Afternoon Jolt

Today's winner: US Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. 

Despite an endorsement for her opponent by US Rep. and failed VP candidate Paul Ryan, and despite the resounding defeat in last week's election of the Tea Party agenda she espoused, Washington State US Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was elected chairwoman of the House Republican Conference today. 

McMorris Rodgers said she raised about $1 million for the Republicans and traveled to 50 US Congressional districts in her bid to take over the head of the House Republican Party, Initially, McMorris Rodgers, as vice chair of the conference, seemed destined to ascend to the position effortlessly; however, she faced a tough challenge from George Republican Tom Price, who had the support of congressional candidate John Koster, a Tea Party Republican who lost his bid for Washington State's First Congressional District to Democrat Suzan DelBene.  

Although McMorris Rodgers has made statements in line with Tea Party views—saying, for example, that the "War on Women" is a "myth" and that the Republican Party has no need to become more moderate in light of last week's election defeat—leaders in the party favored her over the more-conservative Price. 

Today's loser: Tim Probst, the Democratic17th District state Representative who's challenging Republican Senator Don Benton (R-17). Probst went from winning by 17 votes two days ago, to losing by 65 votes yesterday, to losing by 110 votes today.

A recount seems inevitable.