The Republicans In Touch With Reality

Survival Caucus

Lizza compares the GOP’s “suicide caucus,” which instigated the government shutdown, to the 87 House Republicans who voted to re-open the government, a group he dubs the “survival caucus”:

The biggest difference between the suicide caucus and the survival caucus is geography. While the suicide caucus is dominated by the South, and especially members from Appalachia and states like Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia, as well as Texas, the survival-caucus draws members more equally from the South (thirty per cent), the Midwest (twenty-seven per cent), the West (twenty-two per cent), and the Northeast (twenty-one per cent). There are no Texans, Tennesseans, South Carolinians, or Georgians in the survival caucus. In fact, the clearest divide between the two caucuses is also the oldest divide in American politics: North-South.

The survival caucus’s numbers are unlikely to grow significantly anytime soon. Weigel finds that an intra-GOP backlash against the Tea Party has yet to materialize:

There are only three or four “Tea Party conservatives” on the target list so far. Michigan Rep. Kerry Bentivolio and Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais, repeatedly cited as the first backlash targets, had already guaranteed primary challenges by, respectively, winning an election after the incumbent had failed to make the ballot and covering up his mistress’s abortion. Anyway, they’re outnumbered on the other side: Republican senators or Senate candidates in Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, South Carolina, and South Dakota are all fending off Tea Partiers.