One week ago tonight, Legal Insurrection brought national attention to a Tea Party, Marine mother running for Congress in upstate New York.

Claudia Tenney has been battling a million dollar avalanche of “false flag” Super PAC ads that deceptively portrayed Tenney as the more liberal candidate, and incumbent Richard Hanna as more conservative. In fact, the opposite is true.  Conservative voters in this conservative district may mistakenly vote for Hanna thinking they are electing the more conservative candidate.

The rallying cry has been picked up and amplified by Erick Erickson, Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, among others.

Unfortunately, so far, no big name national conservative or Tea Party politicians have jumped into the race to help Tenney. With the primary this Tuesday, June 24, time is running out.

Why the lack of interest?  This is a completely safe Republican seat, the perfect opportunity to move the caucus at no risk.

And it could have been winnable (and still might be).

The only polls coming out of this race were either conducted by the American Unity PAC (supporting Hanna), or by GOP polling firm McLaughlin & Associates.  Both have Hanna ahead comfortably, but the PAC has their own agenda as we’ve demonstrated, and McLaughlin was slightly off on the Cantor/Brat primary in Virginia … by 44 points.

Turnout will be key.  If conservative voters come out in an effort to unseat the candidate they believe has abandoned his principles, and the moderate base stays at home thinking this will be a comfortable win for Hanna, the wide disparity in polls will dissipate rather quickly on primary day.

An analysis at the Syracuse Post-Standard highlights that expectations of an easy Hanna win could turn sour very quickly:

But can Tenney pull of an upset in a Utica-based district that has elected moderate Republicans and Democrats to Congress for the past 32 years? 

Given the district’s history, political analysts say Tenney’s best hope is for a low turnout in Tuesday’s primary. In such GOP primaries, the most conservative voters are often those with the strongest motivation to show up at the polls.

When Hanna, 63, faced a Republican primary from Tea Party candidate Michael Kicinski in 2012, the race stayed below the radar. Few people took the challenge seriously. Neither candidate spent significant money on the campaign. 

Yet Kicinski still managed to pick up almost 30 percent of the vote in a primary where only 9 percent (14,941) of the 165,097 registered Republicans bothered to vote in the election.

What will happen this time if 91 percent of Republicans stay home?

Regardless of what happens on June 24th, the conservative and Tea Party movements had a chance to grab another big victory.

For some reason, conservative and Tea Party politicians chose to sit this one out.

Something they may regret should Tenney lose by single digits on Tuesday.

UPDATE 6-23-2014 by WAJ:

Washington Post notes Tenney’s strong challenge:

Keep an eye on the 22nd District, where Rep. Richard Hanna (R) faces a surprisingly strong challenge from Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R).

Laura Ingraham has endorsed:


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