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Dustin Hawkins

Conservative Politics Blog

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Early Look: 2016 Senate Landscape

Saturday May 31, 2014
The 2014 Senate elections might be six months away, but the 2016 Senate elections will start in full force after the ballots are counted this year. While Democrats have a ton of seats to defend in 2014, it will be the Republicans with all the action next. They will have roughly 24 of the 34 seats to defend. Many of those seats should be safe for the GOP, but t least six will be top targets for Democrats. Meanwhile, the GOP realistically has just two pick-up opportunities early on. The GOP may have a shot to take control of the Senate this year, but the landscape in 2016 may send it right back into Democratic hands. If Republicans perform as poorly in 2016 as they did in the previous two presidential election cycles - where Democrats out-raised and out-maneuvered the GOP - it could get ugly.

Read: 2016 US Senate Seats up for Re-election

Palin Rallies for Chris McDaniel, Polls Still Close in Mississippe Senate Primary

Friday May 30, 2014

Scandals - or often the appearance of scandal - can often derail a political campaign. This is especially true when a newcomer is battling an established and entrenched politician. A new poll heading into the final days of the bitter Mississippi Senate primary shows a close race, with incumbent Thad Cochran receiving 45% of the to challenger Chris McDaniel's 40%. The same polling firm had the incumbent up 52-35% back in April. Luckily for McDaniel, the worst of the scandal is behind him and there hasn't been much of a suggestion outside of the Cochran campaign that team McDaniel was involved.

The final wild card could be a special appearance by Sarah Palin at a Friday rally for McDaniel. In case voters were wondering if his support was waning, a rare campaign appearance by Palin may have answered that.

Read: Senate Primary Battle: Chris McDaniel vs. Thad Cochran

Is this the End of the Tea Party?

Thursday May 29, 2014
These days, media stories about the "death" of the tea party flow from journalists' keyboards with increasing regularity. (This popular topic runs a close second to articles implying the racism the tea party.) This evidence is based on US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell losing 40% of the GOP vote in a primary against a "weak" opponent who was outspent by roughly 4-1. So headlines like "GOP Destroys Tea Party" and "The End is Near for the Tea Party" flow freely from the fingertips of wishful-thinking liberals and, sadly, status quo establishment Republicans. For their part, the media also less-than-accurately predicted the death of the GOP following the 2006 and 2008 electoral beat-down of Republicans by Democrats. Coincidentally, a "fringe" movement of conservatives saved the GOP from itself in 2010.

Continue Reading: The Death of the Tea Party is Greatly Exaggerated

Tea Party vs The Establishment: Who Really Needs Whom?

Monday May 26, 2014
Many conservative voters - especially those who consider themselves tea party members - already view many in the GOP as being little better than their Democratic counterparts. The tea party was formed as a result of out-of-control Republican spending as much as it was formed as a results of out-of-control Democratic spending. The Democrats just tend to be a little more quick about it. So what you have now is a significant portion of the base that the establishment feels fit to ignore and, too often, quick to ridicule. Even if the candidates are not stupid enough themselves to do the ridiculing, their well-connected friends have no problem letting the words and insults fly. But again, what do tea party conservatives have to lose? They've already seen their candidate lose the primary. They now have a candidate who they feel represents what is wrong with government. They too often get a candidate who ignores them both in the primary and in the general - now that they moved on to wooing independents - and expect skeptical conservatives to vote out of "fear" of electing the alternative. But these candidates never think, with all of their years in office and political experience, that maybe that just isn't good enough anymore.

Read: The GOP Needs the Tea Party, It's Not the Other Way Around

Conservative Movies Gaining in Number, Quality

Friday May 23, 2014
For years, the left has dominated both the entertainment industry and the media. In a country where barely one in five Americans consider themselves liberals, this stranglehold on both industries has helped give their ideas cover by either making these ideas "cool" (entertainment) or by refusing to be critical of them (media). While many movies and television shows aren't necessarily liberal, liberalism tends to run wild anyway. Pro-abortion themes run wild in television shows brought to you by the Shonda Rhimes empire and as odd, out-of-place quotes in movies like "Argo." Christians are regularly laughed at as they have become the last social group that can be bullied or laughed at without being publicly destroyed. Not surprisingly, the Hollywood bad guys are always some right-wing caricature. Oil Tycoon! Big Corporation/Pollution Enthusiasts! Bigoted Christian!

Continue Reading - 2014: The Rise of Conservative Movies

The Sports Media is Determined to Ruin Football

Sunday May 18, 2014
"Michael Sam may turn out to be a steal for the St. Louis Rams. Outside of the liberal sports media and liberal activist groups, I haven't spoken to many football fans who care one way or the other about him. The obsession of whether or not Sam will be accepted by fans isn't an obsession of the fans, it's of the liberal sports media. This obsession lasted throughout the draft, making the coverage mostly unwatchable. Bob Costas already has millions of fans running to their remotes during the halftime show of Sunday Night games as he trots out to give his politically-fueled segments on guns or the racist nature of the Washington Redskins. And we already know what his first segment will be about this year, don't we? I'm pretty sure the Constitution doesn't have a Separation of Sports and Politics clause, but maybe it should."

Read: Will the Sports Media Ruin the NFL Season?

Charlie Crist Enters "Say Anything" Mode in Explaining his Past

Wednesday May 7, 2014
When in doubt, cry racism. That is the Democratic way, and Charlie Crist learns quickly. Or, at least eventually. On May 6, 2014 Charlie Crist gave his "reasons" for leaving the GOP and becoming an Independent and then a Democrat. Here are some of the more asinine answers and a reality check in response.

Read: The 10 Bizarre Charlie Crist Quotes from Charlie Crist From Just One Interview

Thom Tillis wins GOP primary, to Face Kay Hagan in NC Senate Race

Tuesday May 6, 2014
Not too much of a surprise given his cash and political support advantage, but North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis has surpassed the 40% threshold needed to avoid a runoff and will move on to the general election to face Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan. Though Tillis was backed by the establishment, he is a guy conservatives should have little problem supporting against Hagan. (He's at about 45%, with the Paul-backed Greg Brannon a distant second at 27%).

Read: Thom Tillis takes Strong Conservative Record into Battle Against Kay Hagan

Will Dr. Monica Wehby add to Democrat's Senate Woes?

Wednesday April 30, 2014
Though the Oregon Senate seat was once thought a lost cause for Republicans, Dr. Monica Wehby has lit a candle of hope in the race. As a celebrated children's brain surgeon, Dr. Wehby can't be easily pigeonholed as dumb, the favored attack of the left against conservative women. If anything, she might be able to turn the tables on the whol War on Women non-sense altogether.

Read: Two (Long-shot) US Senate Hopefuls that Could Upend Democratic Incumbents

5 Exciting Conservatives to Watch in 2014

Tuesday April 29, 2014
The left likes to claim they have one the diversity battle by cobbling different groups of people together who don't necessarily agree with each other beyond their one or two issues. Admittedly, the move to pander to one group at a time has done well for them. For Republicans, the tea party revolution was sort of a catalyst. The movement went from being a "silent majority" to an outspoken force. While the ideas haven't changed, the movement has also ushered in a new era of ushering out the old guard and ending the "next in line" mentality previously prevalent within the party. As a result, a crop of diverse candidates has begun to thrive and help deliver the conservative message. The movement, I believe, has led to increasingly diverse fields of candidates and 2014 is no exception.

Read: The 5 Most Interesting Conservatives Candidates of 2014

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