“I think strategically we’ll have to be a little bit smarter,” said Drew Ryun, political director of the Madison Project, a conservative political action committee. “I think there’s going to maybe have to be a narrowed focus, maybe not spreading the field as we did this election cycle.”

Indeed, it’s not enough to run losing candidates simply to make a statement, argued Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List: “If you’re going to shoot a bear, you better kill it. If you actually are going to engage in a primary challenge, play to win.”…

Carr said McCain may be a “viable target” for conservatives, but only if there’s a responsible alternative who has a reasonable chance of holding the seat.

“In McCain’s case, can we get that truly viable alternative that can articulate the conservative message without making a mess of things?” Carr wondered.