Only recently, Republicans were reveling in the fact that several veteran Democrats were retiring in states where the GOP had not had a chance to win in decades. Last week, Democrat Max Baucus of Montana became the latest to announce his retirement in a state that typically tilts Republican.
But a combination of no-thank-yous from prospective Republican candidates in Iowa, slow movement among others in Michigan and lack of consensus elsewhere over a single contender have complicated the early goings of what historically would be the GOP’s moment to strike — the sixth year of a presidency, when the party out of power in the White House usually wins congressional seats…
So, the GOP’s Senate campaign committee is planning a visit soon to Michigan, and hope to coax Rep. Mike Rogers into the race. There’s a belief in GOP circles in Washington and in Michigan that the seven-term Rogers, a former FBI agent who now chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, would be a stronger candidate than two-term Rep. Justin Amash, a tea party darling with little money in his campaign account.
National Republican officials also are working to head off primaries in several states and are taking sides when they can’t. That includes in West Virginia, which Mitt Romney won and where six-term Democrat Jay Rockefeller is retiring.