Add up the total votes for Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum when both were competitive this year, and it will demonstrate that the very conservative vote among Republicans is more than alive and well.
And the thought that conservatives are motivated in 2012, but only in primary elections, will be proven incorrect when November rolls around. I predict that Mitt Romney's onetime opponents, such as former Speaker Newt Gingrich, will in coming days end their tepid endorsements of Romney and will come out in full force for him.
The real lesson in the Lugar defeat is one of retail politics. Many voters, not just Republicans, are sick of Washington royalty. They perceive many of their Republican leaders as being too caught up in the intricacies and luxuries of the "inside the beltway world" to understand the hell they are going through trying to pay outrageous taxes, keep their homes and businesses going, and just plain making ends meet.
In an article in Politico, Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss was quoted as saying, "I know I'll have an opponent in 2014." I respectfully disagree. Chambliss has a strong conservative voting record and is his state's senior U.S. senator. And he has the good fortune of serving with a very popular and extremely active junior Republican senator, Johnny Isakson.
Chambliss and other in his party don't have to expect opposition as long as they acknowledge their constituents mean business, and with regard to that business, they pound their local pavement to prove that they realize the business that they are in is retail.