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Celebrity candidates threaten GOP’s hopes of a Senate majority

Inexperienced Republican candidates are threatening to cost Mitch McConnell a long-anticipated Senate majority in this year’s midterms.

The picture as a whole: The GOP roster is filled up with Trump-endorsed celebrities who’ve never run political campaigns former NFL star Herschel Walker in Georgia, Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and best-selling author J.D. Vance in Ohio.

Driving the news headlines: The winner in this week’s Arizona’s GOP contest, Blake Masters a venture capitalist who ran an unconventional primary comparing his candidacy to a tech startup has resisted hiring political strategists to greatly help tailor his message for an over-all election, in accordance with Republican sources acquainted with his campaign.

Why it matters: Despite a good political environment for Republicans, these nominees are trailing in recent public polls.

  • Senate Minority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) acknowledged the lowered expectations days ago within an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier: “I believe when this Senate race smoke clears, were more likely to employ a, very close Senate still, around up slightly or the Democrats up slightly.

Between your lines: McConnell can be involved that crop of GOP Senate nominees is similar to flawed Tea Party-aligned candidates like Christine O’Donnell and Todd Akin, who lost winnable races in 2010 and 2012.

  • In 2014, McConnell took a far more active role in the recruiting process, concentrating on more capable contenders like Thom Tillis in NEW YORK (circumstances House speaker), Cory Gardner in Colorado (a congressman) and Bill Cassidy (a congressman) in Louisiana.
  • Republicans won the Senate majority that year, netting nine Senate seats.

But, but, but: Political outsiders are occasionally the proper candidates.

  • Democrats won control of the home in 2018 by recruiting military veterans, businesswomen and physicians to make an impression on swing voters.
  • But those candidates also campaigned as moderates, unlike the existing crop of Trump-backed Republicans.

Underneath line: McConnell prefers experienced candidates who stick to message. Trump likes zany outsiders who stand beyond your political mainstream.

  • Trump won the fight in the GOP primaries. But if Trump’s candidates lose in November, McConnell gets the final laugh albeit while stuck in the minority.

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