Other GOP strategists suggested that candidate selection could have more of an impact on the fall campaign. One who has been involved in Senate races pointed to the Kentucky primary, in which Paul defeated Secretary of State Trey Grayson, and noted: “Trey Grayson would have walked into that seat.”
And he sees similar challenges in other contests where anti-establishment candidates have prevailed.
“There’s no way [the National Republican Senatorial Committee] could tell you they’d rather have Ken Buck than Jane Norton, or that they’d rather have Sharron Angle than Sue Lowden, pre-chicken-bartering comment,” the strategist said, referring to the GOP candidate in Nevada and her defeated primary opponent.
That reality has not been lost on Democratic leaders, whose strategy for defending their congressional majorities increasingly depends on exploiting Republican missteps and branding Republicans as extremists.