Establishment GOP groups are aiming to reverse the Tea Party tide by ousting Rep. Justin Amash in his Grand Rapids, Michigan primary in August. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amash’s constituents are more than happy with the Congressman, but he is up against powerful interests who don’t like his brand of conservative/libertarian politics.
Justin Amash, a congressman from Grand Rapids who was first elected in 2010 with tea party support, is being primaried by Brian Ellis, a financial consultant who has the backing of west Michigan’s business community. The election isn’t until Aug. 5, but the latest poll by the Detroit Free Press shows that Mr. Ellis has his work cut out. Not only is the incumbent leading, 55 percent to 35 percent, but 64 percent of primary voters have a favorable view of Mr. Amash, while just 40 percent have a favorable view of Mr. Ellis.
Not that Mr. Ellis should be written off. “Typically, such a margin would virtually guarantee defeat in the case of a challenge to an incumbent politician,” said the paper. “But, as the Free Press reported previously, Amash made some powerful enemies. Over the last week, Ellis compiled a list of endorsements from some of the most powerful Republican groups in the state, such as Right to Life of Michigan, the state Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Farm Bureau.” The poll was conducted before all of the endorsements were announced.
Mr. Amash has well-organized, deep-pocketed backers in the Club For Growth and FreedomWorks. But he must also contend with the fact the he’s not very popular among his colleagues in Washington. Mr. Amash, who models himself on former Congressman Ron Paul, the libertarian Texan, bucks his party more than almost any other member of the House. Which is one reason why Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan is not only endorsing Mr. Amash’s opponent but raising money for him.