Peter Thiel, the venture capitalist, founder of PayPal, and member of Facebook’s Board announced that he would be stepping away after serving on it for more than 15 years. Thiel has a history as being one of the most prominent conservative voices in Silicon Valley, and the most conservative voice on Facebook’s board. Thiel also has a history of supporting free speech and fighting against censorship. In fact, Thiel invested in Rumble: a site that is popular amongst right-leaning users.
Thiel plans to focus his attention on the 2022 midterms. Thiel has a history of backing Republican candidates across the country–notably Donald Trump in 2016. However, Thiel has set his sights on not simply electing any typical Republican. Instead, Thiel is focusing on getting a new generation of pro-Trump, America-first candidates. He has already started supporting several candidates across the country. Notably, Thiel has thrown his support behind J.D. Vance of Ohio and Blake Masters of Arizona.
J.D. Vance is best known as being the author of the best-selling book Hillbilly Elegy. The book is autobiographical and tells the story of Vance–with a particular focus on him growing up in the Appalachian region of the US to a lower-class single mother with a drug addiction. J.D. Vance announced in July of 2021 that he would be running for Ohio’s US Senate seat currently held by Rob Portman. Portman, a moderate establishment Republican, announced that he would be retiring due to the dysfunction of the US Senate. However, despite the support of Thiel, Tucker Carlson, Josh Hawley, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, Vance is polling at 13% in recent polling. Josh Mandel, the former state Treasurer, is leading the race with 28% with businessman Mike Gibbons following in second place with 17%.
Blake Masters, President of the Thiel Foundation, is running to challenge Democratic Arizona Senator Mark Kelly. Arizona, which is seen as one of the Republicans’ best shots of flipping a Senate seat this November, also has a competitive Republican primary. Establishment candidate and Incumbent state Attorney General Mark Brnovich leads the field in polling–by polling 25%. Followed by Brnovich is Retired Major General Michael McGuire who is polling at 11%. Masters comes in fourth place with recent poll numbers showing him polling at 6%–however, some polling shows masters in second place with 14%.
Ultimately, polling shows that the aforementioned Thiel endorsed candidates have a lot of work to do in order to defeat their establishment opponents. It will take a lot more than endorsements and poll numbers to win the nomination. It will take the work of everyday Americans and grassroots activists in order to change the political tides and ultimately defeat the establishment.