[Freshman Rep. Tom Cotton] is neither a hick, nor a blowhard. But he was virtually invisible until he won an audience with the Club for Growth. The Club has pioneered a technique that has helped make Congress an even more polarized mess. Instead of wasting time on high-profile races, the group intervenes in contested Republican primaries, often putting its money on the most conservative of a conservative bunch, like Cotton.
Chris Chocola, a former Republican House member from Indiana who is president of the Club for Growth, said the group zeroes in on candidates who have been overlooked or opposed by party leaders: candidates like Cotton, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — all of whom started at single digits in polls, then went on to beat establishment candidates after getting backing from the Club.
“The establishment opposed them, and now they’re talked about as the future stars of the party,” Chocola said. “The establishment is focused on party-building instead of the principles the candidates hold. Now these are national leaders who can be persuasive on fiscally conservative issues and can re-instill confidence that the Republican Party believes things.”
It works both ways, but this POLITICO article makes it sound like this is a bad thing.
"The Senate’s old bulls are rapidly fading as a band of more junior members in both parties seek to upend the seniority system that has ruled the chamber for generations. Gone are the likes of Bob Byrd, Daniel Inouye, Ted Stevens or Ted Kennedy. Growing are the number of younger senators with either little experience in national politics or who were House members from a hyper-partisan institution in which the majority can run roughshod over the minority. It’s an image that doesn’t square with the popular stereotype of septuagenarian senators presiding over an aging institution. Instead, most of the senators in the 113th Congress have barely served one term, and those lawmakers are pushing their respective leaders to engage in more direct confrontations not only with the other party but also on long-standing Senate customs. Appropriators have been weakened. Earmarks are gone. And the political discourse is growing more rancorous."