For the 2nd electoral cycle in a row, The Republicans blew opportunities in senate races. The turning point in in the 2012 race, was Todd Akins winning the nomination for Senate in Missouri. The Democrats made this possible by supporting Todd Akins with ads. He went on to defeat John Brunner and Sarah Steelman. The latter 2 were electability and would have easily defeated Sen. Claire McCaskill. The Democrats knew that Akins was not an electable. The gambit work as Akins made offensive comments about rape and went on to lose. Senate Republicans now vow that there will be no more Todd Akins in future elections.
Read their lips: no more Todd Akins.
In the wake of the GOP’s Election Day beatdown, influential Republican senators say enough’s enough: Party leaders need to put the kibosh on the kind of savage primaries that yielded candidates like Akin — and crippled Republican prospects of taking the Senate in two straight election cycles.
It’s time, they say, for Washington bosses to be more assertive about recruiting and then defending promising candidates. They argue that it’s critical to start enlisting local conservative activists as allies and to ease the tea party versus Washington dynamic that’s wreaked havoc on the party.
All easier said than done, of course. Tea party types have relished showing the chosen candidates of the Washington establishment a thing or two — and it’s hard to see them laying down arms overnight. But after a sure-bet election in 2012 turned into an electoral disaster, Republicans say resolving their primary problem is, well, their primary problem.
Now, top Republicans are considering splitting the difference between the heavy hand they wielded in 2010 that prompted sharp blowback from the right and their mostly hands-off approach of 2012. Both strategies produced a handful of unelectable candidates, so senators are gravitating toward a middle ground: engage in primaries so long as they can get some cover on the local level.
One thing I dispute from this article is that Todd Akins was a Tea party candidate. He wasn’t since the Tea Party in Missouri supported Sarah Steelman. Akins was from the Santorum/Huckabee/Bush big government Progressive wing of the GOP. He would have lost a run off election. That is what is needed, mandatory run off elections if no candidate gets 50%. This will prevent a loon like Akins or an obvious false flag candidate like Sharon Angle from getting near a Senate candidacy.
Another item needed to make sure the Senatorial 2010 and 2012 debacles is message discipline. All new candidates should be given instructions on how to answer trap questions. Hopefully the GOP learned its lesson for 2014 and there will be no more Akins/Angle ssituation.