Republicans would pay a huge price if they tried to run Doug Hoffmans in every race in the country. But they aren’t doing that. They’re running a slew of moderate candidates for the Senate next year. Michael Castle in Delaware, Rob Simmons in Connecticut and Mark Kirk in Illinois have provoked some grumbling from Republicans to their right but so far face no credible primary competition. In Florida, Charlie Crist does have a primary challenger in Marco Rubio. But since polls show that either one of them could win the general election, that challenge does not threaten the party’s viability…

What these races suggest is that Republicans’ principal problem in recent elections has not been that they are too far right, or — as a lot of conservatives like to think — not far right enough. After all, voters turned on both moderate and conservative Republicans in the late Bush years. The problem has instead been that voters have not thought Republicans of any stripe had answers to their most pressing concerns. Addressing those concerns, rather than repositioning itself along the ideological spectrum, is the party’s main challenge.