Money has stopped flowing so freely. Ads from fully engaged outside PACs have dried up on television and radio. Endorsements have come and gone with little fanfare. No elected officials anywhere seem to be jumping on the bandwagon. A once ambitious, active campaign is looking shopworn down the stretch.
You have to wonder: If Mississippi's U.S. Senate Republican primary is the hottest front on the national Tea Party's midterm fight with what they term as the "establishment," just where is Chris McDaniel's cavalry?
Where’s the money from political donors?
Where’s the Senate Conservatives Fund?
Where’s Ted Cruz?
Where's Rand Paul?
Where’s Mike Lee?
Why aren't potential Tea Party Senate colleagues, men who McDaniel reference and aspire to be, touting the state senator, standing beside him?
Where's Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Sarah Palin and others who have endorsed him?
Why aren't these Tea Party giants here in Mississippi on the ground, stumping for their boy?
Why are all of these giving no credence, beyond lip service and a few minutes of talk radio airtime, to the hottest Tea Party versus establishment race in the country?
In other words, what do they know that the local Tea Party faithful don’t know or can’t bring themselves to yet admit?
Chris McDaniel just may be the Tea Party's Custer and that's unfortunate for a state senator who once held potential for higher office.
But that's the nature of the political beast the Tea Party has become at the national level, and it's one reason why McDaniel should not have wrapped himself so tightly in their label.
The connection between the two was a strategic decision aimed at gaining precious, much needed dollars and raising name ID but the manner in which such a relationship has forced McDaniel to run this race may soon be his biggest regret, barring a ballot box surprise.
Anti-Barbour Tea Partiers don't want to hear it but Haley has long said, “Purity is a loser." That advice seems to be bearing out.
These national Tea Party types have little staying power and even less principled commitments to stick with a fight even when it starts trending against them. They aren't loyal to their candidates of choice (make one wrong vote and they kick you to the curb) or the people they continually beg for donations from, like the average hardworking conservatives right here in Mississippi.
It's big political business, with high salary leaders and double dipping consultants with relatively little long-term investment in their candidates on the ground in the fight.
And that's not likely to change anytime soon.
Why? Because these Tea Party elites like to talk a big game, dip a toe in here or there, and move on to the next train wreck. They will dump a marginal candidate in a heartbeat only to flock to a more sure thing to show relevance. While it stirs the emotion and tugs at the wallets of those hometown conservatives who truly want to see a more constitutional government, the news cycle and political winds blow swiftly and many local Tea Party loyalists often get left holding the bag.
McDaniel's camp might as well circle the wagons because by all indications just three weeks out from June 3rd the cavalry isn't coming, and if it does, it will be too late.