I'm sure Walter Jones watched with interest on Tuesday night as Wayne Gilchrest, a nine term Republican congressman from Maryland, lost in the primary to state senator Andy Harris. Harris effectively attacked Gilchrest as too liberal, especially harping on his views about Iraq that diverged from the party line.
Sounds pretty similar to the situation in our 3rd District, where Jones is being challenged on the right by former Onslow County commissioner Joe McLaughlin.
There is, of course, a very key difference. Through December 31st, about five months before the election, McLaughlin had raised a little over 70k. Five months before his election, Harris had raised well over half a million dollars.
But the folks on the far right have seen now that they can knock off a moderate Republican Congressman in the primary with the right candidate and the right amount of money. They'll doubtless move on to the next target, and it could be Jones. If McLaughlin starts to see money flow in across the country from ultra conservatives bent on revenge, the race in the 3rd District could get very interesting.
And of course we'll be happy to poll it if someone pays us to!