The Doug Mastriano win should remind us that the Republican Party is still capable of blowing the coming midterms. Not completely, of course. President Biden and his party are far too unpopular and far too incompetent to allow for that. But Republicans can certainly fail to take full advantage of the opportunity with which they have been presented. A political “wave” will help to blunt any sharp edges, but even the largest waves cannot carry everyone who rides them to the shore. Sometimes, people drown.
2010 is instructive here. If the GOP had chosen someone other than Sharron Angle that year, it would have deposed Harry Reid in Nevada. Had it chosen someone other than Christine O’Donnell, it would have taken a Senate seat in Delaware. Had it chosen someone other than Ken Buck, it would have beaten Michael Bennet in Colorado. Could this pattern repeat itself this year? You’re damn straight it could. The mere existence of a Good Republican Year will not be enough to offset Bad Republican Choices, and, in Pennsylvania at least, Republicans seem to have made a series of bad choices.