(Politico) – Most of their candidates were crushed this year, even as their party won big. Now, many tea party activists are embracing a strategy for 2016 that’s strikingly at odds with the movement’s take-no-prisoners approach.
It’s time, they say, to show a little restraint.
In interviews, more than a dozen conservative leaders said the activist right needs to be pickier about which Republican incumbents it challenges in primaries, acknowledging its total wipeout in primary challenges to resurgent establishment Republicans.
“I would generally urge my conservative friends to not focus on the primaries as much as on open races,” said Richard Viguerie, a veteran tea party operative. “There’s some primaries you have to go out there — and you should — but I wouldn’t spend as much energy and resources on incumbents, particularly for Senate.”