After the North Carolina Senate primary ended last week, the prefab narrative of Republican Establishment Destroys the Tea Party depended on state treasurer Shane Osborn vanquishing Ben Sasse in Nebraska tomorrow, and then David Perdue and Jack Kingston winning runoff spots on May 20 in GA, even as Mitch McDonnell dispatched Matt Bevin in KY.

Well, a late poll in NE from Magellan Strategies shows Osborn running third with 20% of the vote, as compared to 38% for Sasse and 24% for Sid Dindsdale, a self-funding banker whom the other campaigns are attacking as a crypto-Democrat.

Osborn has run a heavily negative campaign against Sasse that doesn’t appear to have gone over all that well, so maybe his likely loss will get blamed on some nasty consultant, or maybe promoters of the Year of the Establishment will decide retroactively that the former front-runner was a Tea Person after all, making a Sasse win an intramural Tea event. But in any event, it will be interesting to see how the MSM spins it, or if they instead just focus on McConnell.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.