Here’s your conservative/Tea Party group primary endorsement scorecard

This post has been corrected. The battle between Tea Party groups and the Republican establishment is getting a lot of press. But there's another interesting struggle underway: the back-and-forth between Tea Party groups and conservative leaders and organizations for endorsement superiority.

Earlier this week, the New York Times looked at the tension between grass-roots Tea Party groups and the national organizations that enjoy the sunshine at the grass tops. Among the tensions the Times highlighted was FreedomWorks' change of heart in its Nebraska Senate endorsement, pulling its support from Shane Osborn to instead back Ben Sasse.  The move annoyed local Tea Party groups, but it paid off for FreedomWorks; Sasse stomped all over his opponents in Tuesday's primary.

Which brought FreedomWorks' overall record in the national primary fights to one win, two losses. In fact, Sasse's victory — widely hailed as a win for the Tea Party, though that's debatable — salvaged a lot of groups' track records. Those win-loss records are important for endorsers. The more wins, the more candidates seek out an endorsement. The more candidates seek out an endorsement, the more power the organizations have.


So, without further ado, here's a not-entirely-comprehensive list of conservative groups and how they've fared in their endorsements in six major races so far this cycle. (What's a major race? This is subjective! One in which a number of national groups endorsed, or which otherwise received national attention.) As more races take place, we'll update the scorecard. Sources for the endorsements are at the bottom of the post; if we missed any, please let us know.

From most to least successful, to date:

Senate Conservatives Fund

Win-loss: 2-0 (100%)

Endorsements:

  • Win: Ben Sasse, Nebraska, Senate
  • Win: Alex Mooney, West Virginia, House

Club for Growth

Win-loss: 1-0 (100%)

Endorsements:

  • Win: Ben Sasse, Nebraska, Senate

Crossroads GPS

Win-loss: 1-0 (100%)

Endorsements:

  • Win: Thom Tillis, North Carolina, Senate

Citizens United

Win-loss: 2-0 (100%)

Endorsements:

  • Win: Ben Sasse, Nebraska, Senate
  • Win: Alex Mooney, West Virginia, House

Tea Party Patriots

Win-loss: 1-1 (50%)

  • Win: Ben Sasse, Nebraska, Senate
  • Loss: Katrina Pierson, Texas, House

Sarah Palin

Win-loss: 1-1 (50%)

  • Win: Ben Sasse, Nebraska, Senate
  • Loss: Katrina Pierson, Texas, House

Erick Erickson

Win-loss: 1-1 (50%)

  • Win: Ben Sasse, Nebraska, Senate
  • Loss: Greg Brannon, North Carolina, Senate

FreedomWorks

Win-loss: 1-2 (33%)

  • Win: Ben Sasse, Nebraska, Senate
  • Loss: Katrina Pierson, Texas, House
  • Loss: Greg Brannon, North Carolina, Senate

Tea Party Patriots

Win-loss: 1-4 (25%)

  • Win: Ben Sasse, Nebraska, Senate
  • Loss: Katrina Pierson, Texas, House
  • Loss: Greg Brannon, North Carolina, Senate
  • Loss: Matt Lynch, Ohio, House

Tea Party Nation

Win-loss: 0-1 (0%)

  • Loss: Katrina Pierson, Texas, House

Tea Party 911

Win-loss: 0-1 (0%)

  • Loss: Katrina Pierson, Texas, House

Conservative Campaign Committee

Win-loss: 0-1 (0%)

  • Loss: Katrina Pierson, Texas, House

Honorable mention: Americans For Prosperity. The group has spent a lot of money, mostly opposing Democrats. But the local chapter in Ohio came out hard against a proposed zoo levy. It failed. So: 100%, sort of.


Sources: Since groups tend to purge unsuccessful endorsements from their Web sites (tsk tsk), we relied mostly on three sources: news reports about endorsements, the candidates' archived campaign pages and Open Secrets campaign spending reports.

Correction: A previous version of this post indicated that Crossroads backed Sasse in Nebraska instead of Tillis in North Carolina. It also indicated that Citizens United endorsed Rep. Steve Stockman for Senate. On Open Secrets, Citizens United is identified as having donated to Rep. that race, but FEC filings show that the most recent donation from the group was last June to Stockman's House race — before Stockman decided to make his losing Senate bid.

Philip Bump writes about politics for The Fix. He is based in New York City.
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