Oregon Republican Sen. Jeff Merkley lost his bid for the U.N. post in a primary that featured a bitter fight over a $300 million federal program to help rural communities and a slew of controversial issues.
The race for the seat was a rare example of the national political and cultural influence of the tea party and other conservative groups trumping the power of the incumbent senator and the powerful tea party movement.
Merkleys defeat also raised questions about the party’s ability to take on President Donald Trump in the coming years, which is a concern in the Republican-leaning state.
The defeat, however, could signal a new era for the tea partier movement as the party tries to recover from a presidential election that saw Republican voters leave the party and the party nominate its own establishment candidate, former Massachusetts Gov.
But the party could still find success in other states.
It won two seats in the House of Representatives in the 2016 election, including two seats for the GOP majority in the Senate, where it won control of the chamber.
And it took back control of both the U,S.
House and the Senate in the 2018 midterm elections.
The tea party was once a major player in the political process in Washington and many states, and it was also a driving force behind the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates for unlimited campaign spending and corporate political influence in the U