Will Paul Ryan run for the House?

Paul Ryan Saturday, primaries Tuesday

The biggest news out of Tuesday’s primaries was Wisconsin: former Gov. Tommy Thompson?  Yup. Thompson won with a plurality, 34 percent. If the opposition was a big anti-Thompson vote, it was split–with Grover Norquist’s help, interestingly. Self-funder Eric Hovde was thus unable to put together quite enough votes to beat Thompson.

Former Governor Thompson

If Wisconsin had a run-off rule like that in Texas–where a nominee has to get over 50 percent–presumably Thompson would be headed for a loss like that of Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Thompson’s unofficial vote total yesterday was 197,772. His opponents totaled 384,347, approaching double the vote for Thompson. Again, it is interesting that the big-money wing of the so-called Tea Party insurgency–mainly Norquist’s Club for Growth–would weigh in so decisively in Wisconsin. Surely Norquist’s faction can read opinion polls. Can the big-business anti-taxers and anti-regulationers really have thought that Neumann, who came in third, could be put over Thompson? Or did they achieve their actual goal, of damaging Thompson’s main challenger, who fell to second place, thus sending on a more plausible GOP nominee?

Hovde

Will Paul Ryan resign from the U.S. House?

Also in Wisconsin: incumbent Rep. Paul Ryan won his uncontested primary, to face Democratic nominee Rob Zerban. Speaking of polls–if Ryan and his team are reading current election trends, he may not resign from the House to run for Vice President. It will be mildly interesting to see which way they choose to go.

For major self-financing candidates, it was one up and one down yesterday. Hovde lost in Wisconsin, but Linda McMahon won in Connecticut, running again for Senate, this time against Chris Murphy.

Murphy, McMahon

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