Renee Ellmers, Tea Party darling and the U.S. Congress’s only Edith Bunker impersonator, had scored a big ol’ endorsement by Donald Trump during her primary campaign this year. Donald recorded a robocall giving Ellmers his blessing, which was then played up big to the voters of her district in North Carolina.
This may have come as a surprise for Renee, but it turns out that having a racist orangutan endorsing you is not actually the greatest idea if you want to win re-election. You see, Renee got her place in history by becoming the first incumbent of 2016 to lose her primary campaign.
If you’re an incumbent Republican in a state like North Carolina, there’s an extremely small number of things you can do to lose a primary challenge. One would be supporting President Obama and the Democrats. Ellmers, being a Tea Partier, clearly didn’t do that. No, it was an endorsement by the Republican party’s presidential nominee that ensured her demise. This speaks to a larger story of just how badly Donald is destroying the Republican party. Renee lost her primary fight and a substantial reason for it was the fact Donald blessed her campaign. Even the right wing nuthouse that is North Carolina didn’t like their elected Republican being “Trump approved.”
With a small amount of luck, this will be the first in a line of right-wing failure this year which can be tied back to Donald. Just think of the unprecedented nature of what’s happening. In ANY other election, a down-ballot candidate would have leaped on the chance to get their party’s Presidential candidate’s endorsement. In 2016, Republicans are going to be actively avoiding it. It’s nearly surreal to think that this is happening in the party that can be unified by a handful of simple words and a few American flags.