Disagreements between grassroots tea partyers and establishment Republicans continues to draw an intense and curious audience. Now here comes the analysis. “Ranking the RINOs: Who does the tea party hate most?” asks new research by the Center for Responsive Politics, which bases its judgment on how much money has been raised by tea party groups in their battle against these “Republicans in name only.”
Sen. Mitch McConnell is in first place; “conservative outside groups” have spent a $788,101 opposing the Kentucky Republican, and another $586,151 in support of his primary opponent Matt Bevin.Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi ranks a close second, “Conservative groups have spent $334,808 opposing Cochran and $780,539 in support of his tea party challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel,” the analysis says.
What about the ‘hate’ category? Do tea party groups really hate these lawmakers?
“Well, no. I think we’re just so fed up with stuff that goes on we don’t know how to express it. We’re at the end of our patience, and that can be pretty demonstrative,” says one member of a Maryland-based tea party group. “
Meanwhile, Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr. of North Carolina is in third place; the Ending Spending Fund and the Emergency Committee for Israel have spent $348,000 opposing him. House Speaker John Boehner follows on the list.
The TeaParty.net Leadership Fund spent $238,799 opposing the Ohio lawmaker and $33,558 boosting his the appeal of his grassroots opponent, J.D. Winteregg. And in fifth place, it’s Rep. Mike Simpson of Ohio. The Club for Growth Action and FreedomWorks spent $206,634 to defeat him and $36,869 in support of challenger Bryan Smith.
“The rankings will change as primary dates inch ever closer. Our tallies do not include the “issue” ads favored by Americans for Prosperity and other organizations so far this cycle,” says analyst Emily Kopp. “Those are often aimed to influence elections, but do not specifically endorse or attack a candidate and thus needn’t be reported until the election is closer.”
There are more lawmakers on the list. Find it here.