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Celebrity candidates threaten GOP’s hopes of a Senate majority

Thought Leader: Josh Kraushaar
August 7, 2022
Source: Link

Inexperienced Republican candidates are threatening to cost Mitch McConnell a long-anticipated Senate majority in this year’s midterms.

The big picture: The GOP roster is filled with Trump-endorsed celebrities who’ve never run political campaigns — former NFL star Herschel Walker in Georgia, Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and best-selling author J.D. Vance in Ohio.

Driving the news: The winner in this week’s Arizona’s GOP contest, Blake Masters — a venture capitalist who ran an unconventional primary comparing his candidacy to a tech startup — has resisted hiring political strategists to help tailor his message for a general election, according to Republican sources familiar with his campaign.

Why it matters: Despite a favorable political environment for Republicans, these nominees are trailing in recent public polls.

Between the lines: McConnell is concerned that this crop of GOP Senate nominees is reminiscent of flawed Tea Party-aligned candidates like Christine O’Donnell and Todd Akin, who lost winnable races in 2010 and 2012.

But, but, but: Political outsiders are sometimes the right candidates.

The bottom line: McConnell prefers experienced candidates who stay on message. Trump likes zany outsiders who stand outside the political mainstream.

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