In her battle to remain relevant in the modern era, Sarah Palin has decided to target Paul Ryan’s re-election bid for Congress. Declaring that she will “Cantor” Ryan, Palin announced that she will fund people who wish to primary Ryan this Fall.
And so, Palin will send out letters and e-mails asking for money to help support these supposedly noble heroes set to take on the Establishment. There’s just one problem – Ryan is enjoying huge amounts of support in his district, as well as generally good support nationwide.
Palin’s subsequent vow to “do whatever I can for Paul Nehlen” has compounded speculation that Ryan might face the most competitive race for a sitting House speaker since Rep. Tom Foley (D-Wash.) succumbed in the 1994 Republican wave. Before Foley’s loss, 1862 was the last time an incumbent speaker lost a re-election campaign.
But there’s significant evidence that Ryan is not about to be ousted from the right, despite the volatile anti-establishment environment and Nehlen’s support from one national tea party group.
A Marquette Law School poll done shortly before the April presidential primary found 81 percent of Republican and GOP-leaning independent voters in First Congressional District had a favorable impression of Ryan, compared to 12 percent unfavorable. Even about a third of Democrats viewed Ryan favorably.
Pay attention there. This poll was done in April. It’s incredibly difficult for favor to shift dramatically, especially considering the Not Trump vote in the Wisconsin Primary was almost 2-to-1 in their favor. Ryan is also (albeit expectedly) showing no signs of worry, referring to the movement against him as “outside agitators.”
Ryan is almost certainly not the type of conservative RedState would push for under normal circumstances, however in a race between fairly reliable Republicans and people simply riding the coattails of a Democrat-turned-Republican with authoritarian tendencies, it’s pretty clear that the Republican is the guy to support.
Donald Trump, meanwhile, is proving once against that those who really support him (those who are a lot more than “Not Hillary” voters) are simply scam artists, looking to make money off the current political climate. How many people will send money to Sarah Palin’s PAC in an effort to futilely oppose a Republican with very little chance of losing his seat. She’s not looking for a scalp. She’s looking for people’s money.