Weak GOP Candidates May Need More Than a Good Year

Stuart Rothenberg October 23, 2014 · 9:24 AM EDT

Republicans have the wind at their backs this year. But not every GOP nominee is taking advantage of that dynamic. As usual, some candidates are under-performing, proving once again that candidates and the campaigns they choose to run actually matter.

That should come as no surprise to anyone who watched Republican Senate nominees Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana implode in 2012 or Delaware Republican Christine O’Donnell and Colorado Republican Ken Buck lose in 2010.

But this year, the problem children are not candidates foisted on the party by the Club for Growth or tea party groups. This cycle, the problem is a handful of candidates favored by most in the Republican “establishment.” They looked like strong nominees (some even like slam dunks) a year before Election Day, but they haven’t acted that way.

In Georgia, GOP Senate nominee David Perdue continued to try to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory when he said that he was “proud” of his record of outsourcing jobs.

There clearly are benefits to individual businesses and consumers from outsourcing certain business activities, but the middle of a campaign is not the time to debate business strategy. Good candidates — experienced candidates — don’t fall into those kinds of traps.

Democrat…

South Dakota Senate Race Returning to Form

Stuart Rothenberg October 22, 2014 · 3:30 PM EDT

Republican attacks on Democrat Rick Weiland and Independent Larry Pressler appear to have worked, making it more likely that the GOP will pick up the seat of retiring Democratic Senator Tim Johnson, as long expected.

Republican Mike Rounds, a former two-term GOP governor, found himself in…

Not His Father’s Arkansas

Stuart Rothenberg October 20, 2014 · 10:27 AM EDT

I have been thinking for months about how politics has changed over the past decade, but those changes struck home in a very obvious way while I was reading a recent Washington Post article written by the very able Philip Rucker.

“Senator’s parents hit trail to preserve Ark. dynasty” was a…

Senate Outlook: Lots of Moving Pieces But Fundamentally Unchanged

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Stuart Rothenberg October 17, 2014 · 3:30 PM EDT

The arithmetic for Senate control in the midterms is more complicated and confused than ever, but it is also still very dangerous for Democrats.

Who would have thought that a little more than two weeks before the election Republican strategists would be trying to spending time and money to try…

Wither the National House Vote?

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Nathan L. Gonzales October 17, 2014 · 3:29 PM EDT

Democrats failed to win back the House in 2012 but took pride in discrediting the Republican majority by pointing to the National House Vote. So what happens if Republicans keep the majority and get more votes nationwide?

Last cycle, Democrats gained just eight seats, falling 17 short of the…