The “but he fights” wing of the Republican Party in Virginia just chased off Americans for Prosperity. The influential group backed by the billionaire Koch brothers won’t be helping the GOP in the Virginia U.S. Senate race, thanks to them nominating possible crypto-racist Corey Stewart.

A tea party group backed by billionaire conservatives plans to sit out the U.S. Senate race in Virginia.

News outlets report that Americans for Prosperity will not support Republican nominee Corey Stewart as he tries to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine.

Americans for Prosperity has been supported by conservative industrialists Charles and David Koch. The group spent heavily to help Stewart’s opponent in the GOP primary earlier this year and was a major spender in last year’s election for governor.

When your U.S. Senate candidate is having to walk back praise of or explain his involvement with white supremacists, you have chosen poorly and it’s going to cost you money and support.

If Virginia’s GOP primary is any indicator, the Republican infatuation with problematic blowhards hasn’t ebbed to any significant degree. It’s at list somewhat heartening that slow motion train wreck, Corey Stewart only edged out the seemingly solid (and seemingly sane) constitutionalist State Delegate Nick Freitas.

Head to head I think Freitas would have won but the primary was a three way race. As we’ve learned, the bigger the field, the easier it is for support to solidify around a candidate who may espouse some conservative line items but overall is a person with garbage-like character.

If true, Mediaite’s piece on Stewart’s numerous ties to sketchy people ranging from alt-right wackos to Neo-nazis shows that the Virginia U.S. Senate nominee has bigger problems than just flippantly praising Paul Nehlen, the crackpot whose attempts to primary Paul Ryan have been nothing short of embarrassing. Stewart later disavowed Nehlen but he needs to disavow a lot more.

It all sets up a race mirroring the 2016 Presidential election. A lackluster, left wing Democrat candidate versus a Republican who likes to give his opponents plenty of ammo. It sets up another Hobson’s choice for conservatives who care about the future of the movement. Getting rid of Kaine is certainly desirable but is it worth the price of having Corey Stewart hanging around your neck for six years.

That sort of calculus worked in the GOP’s electoral favor in 2016, but I don’t know if Stewart can repeat it at the state level.

What I do know is that there is no good choice for Virginia conservatives in the 2018 Senate race.

 


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