The co-founder of Tea Party Patriots will be the guest of Rep. Steve King (R-IA) at Tuesday's State of the Union address as the prominent conservative outfit is evidently eyeing involvement in Iowa's 2014 U.S. Senate race on behalf of the congressman, The Hill reported.
King, a tea party champion who's viewed as a likely candidate in the contest to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), has found himself in the crosshairs of a new Karl Rove-led group that will seek to field more electable Republican candidates in Senate races.
The formation of the group, dubbed the "Conservative Victory Project," has been viewed by many on the right as an effort to purge the GOP of tea party candidates. King sent out a fiery fundraising email to supporters last week asserting that Rove won't be able to "bully" him out of a Senate run. And on Tuesday night, he will be joined by Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, at President Obama's State of the Union address. Martin has already said publicly that her group will be pitted against the "Conservative Victory Project" and Tuesday's report in The Hill suggested that next year's race in the Hawkeye State could be ground zero for that showdown.
Recent polls have indicated that King is the overwhelming favorite of the ultra-conservative Iowa GOP to be the party's nominee in the race. But those same surveys have suggested that he could meet the same fate in a general election as the likes of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, two failed Republican Senate candidates in 2012 whose flameouts served as the inspiration behind the new Rove group.