Tea Party Hopes Battered by Lamar Alexander Win

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, left, Gov. Bill Haslam, and U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., share the stage during a get out the vote rally Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, in Knoxville, Tenn. Alexander is being challenged by state Rep. Joe Carr and Memphis radio station owner George Flinn for his senate seat. Paul Efird / AP

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Any hopes the tea party had of knocking off an incumbent Republican senator this midterm cycle were shattered Thursday when Sen. Lamar Alexander won the Tennessee GOP primary.

The Associated Press called the race for the two-term senator whose fundraising advantage helped him survive a challenge from conservative state Rep. Joe Carr.

Carr, like all the tea party challengers hoping to knock off incumbents in 2014, argued that Alexander has become entrenched in the ways of Washington and has lost touch with his home state. Carr attempted to undercut Alexander’s conservative credentials by highlighting the senator’s vote in favor of comprehensive immigration reform.

But Carr’s efforts proved ultimately unsuccessful, which has been the theme for tea party candidates challenging Senate incumbents in primaries this year. All seven of the GOP senators who were challenged from the right won their primaries.