Rick Scott has no regrets about his Senate Republican campaign arm’s hands-off approach to primaries this year — a move that anointed a motley crew of nominees, some of whom cost the GOP dearly.
Looking at this year’s strategy by the National Republican Senatorial Committee that he once directed, Steven Law takes a different view.
“It seemed to us that the posture of the committee was that all candidates are equally great,” said Law, who now runs the Mitch McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund super PAC. “And I just don’t think that’s objectively true.”
With Arizona Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly on the brink of defeating Blake Masters, one of five liability-ridden GOP nominees, Republicans may now head into a pivotal Georgia run-off staking the last of their Senate hopes this midterm on an unproven and scandal-plagued Herschel Walker. The GOP can still win the majority if it knocks off Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), but it blew an opportunity to grab the Senate in November despite obvious political advantages.
How that happened is the story of a larger, existential struggle within the GOP. Interviews with more than 20 strategists and senators from both parties highlight the reasons for Republicans’ stumbles this year: former President Donald Trump played kingmaker, and the party reasoned it could do little about it besides trying to ride historical tailwinds. [Continue reading…]