Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) has defeated Republican primary challenger Todd McMurtry by a seismic margin of 88% to McMurtry’s 12% as of Wednesday.
Although the votes have not yet all come in, this represents a landslide result in a race where many establishment analysts suspected Massie was vulnerable.
Massie’s victory is likely due to his reputation as a man of principle, as well as his accessible and constituent-driven approach to politics, which has left him with a strong support base in his district.
The outcome also comes following a lackluster campaign by McMurtry that quickly became consumed by his Never Trump record and allegations of racism. Massie portrayed himself as an anti-establishment outsider businessman, much in the vein of President Trump himself.
Although McMurtry initially garnered the support of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and powerful special interest groups such as the Republican Jewish Coalition, these endorsements were later revoked after McMurtry’s controversial history came to light. On the other hand, Massie boasted the backing of leading liberty-minded figures within the party, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Freedom Caucus leader Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ).
Following the defection of Rep. Justin Amash (L-MI) to the fringe Libertarian Party, Massie is set to emerge as the most high profile libertarian voice in the U.S. House of Representatives. However, he is expected to receive a reinforcement in the form of Matt Gurtler, the leading candidate in the upcoming Republican primary runoff in Georgia’s 9th congressional district.