Tea Party leader to join Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King at State of the Union

Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin will be a guest of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) at Tuesday night's State of the Union, a sign of King's support from the Tea Party movement going into his probable run for Senate. And an official familiar with the plans of the new TPP super-PAC, Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, says the group is looking to engage in the upcoming Iowa Senate race in favor of King.

It's an early indication that Iowa's Republican primary will be one of the first clashes in the growing conflict between GOP grassroots groups and the party's establishment wing.

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A new Karl-Rove-backed super-PAC aiming to engage in 2014 primary races, the Conservative Victory Project, is likely to act in the Iowa Republican primary to prevent King from gaining the GOP nomination for retiring Sen. Tom Harkin's (D) seat.

King recently received criticism from Steven Law, the head of the CVP, for what Law called his "Todd Akin problem," or his propensity toward making controversial comments. Many Republicans believe Akin, the GOP's nominee for Senate in Missouri, cost the party an easy pickup opportunity after making a controversial comment about pregnancy and rape.

Law's criticism was read by conservatives as a sign that the PAC will make Iowa's Republican primary one of its top targets in 2014.

But the group is likely to face pushback from grassroots groups frustrated with what they say is inappropriate engagement in nomination contests by the establishment, to the detriment of the party overall.

Martin told The Hill that TPP Citizens' Fund is likely go head-to-head with Rove's PAC in the coming cycle. 

Iowa, it seems, could be one of the first and most contentious tests of the opposing forces in the GOP.