I’m having flashbacks to the 2010 and 2012 elections. Republicans nominated some nutty senatorial candidates in both cycles. Remember Sharron Angle in Nevada and witchy woman Christine O’Donnell in Delaware? Harry Reid was vulnerable that year but won in Nevada. In Delaware veteran moderate Republican Congressman Mike Castle lost in the primary to O’Donnell who got shellacked by Chris Coons in the general election. Then there was the legitimate rape guy, Todd Akin in Missouri in 2012.
There were others but those are three that stand out. I remember them as does Mitch McConnell:
“I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate. Senate races are just different — they’re statewide, candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.”
That’s a far cry from the optimism on the GOP side as the year began. The Republican Senate Campaign Committee (RSCC) is run by Florida Bat Boy Rick Scott. They stayed out of primaries and the result is the four bozos on the GOP bus in the featured image: Dr. Oz, JD Vance, Herschel Walker, and Blake Masters. I’ve taken to calling them the Gruesome Foursome.
Former President* Pennywise is behind the three celebrity candidates. And Silicon Valley douchebag Peter Thiel has funneled tons of cash to his proteges Masters and Vance. One could even say that he’s reverse disrupted those two races in seats that the GOP should be favored to hold. You say disrupt, I say backfire. Let’s call the whole thing off.
The Gruesome Foursome are all weak candidates. Dr. Oz’s candidacy is already on life support. It’s what happens to carpetbaggers in any region in any era. Candidates matter.
The Walker-Warnock race is as tight as a tick right now but I have a good feeling about it. Stacey Abrams is also on the ballot, which means a massive GOTV effort among Democratic voters. There’s also this devastating ad:
It would help Team Walker if the candidate was capable of coherence but he’s not. Stay tuned. Candidates matter.
Ohio should be a good chance for a Republican hold, but JD Vance hasn’t shown much interest in the race. Ohio has been trending right for years, but Congressman Tim Ryan is the perfect candidate for the Buckeye State in 2022. He *really* wants the job whereas Vance’s coasting is worrying his own allies. Candidates matter.
Reflecting the unhinged nature of Republican politics in Arizona, Blake Masters is in bed with some unsavory types. It’s a state that used to be known for rational conservatives but the nuts and Trumpers are in charge. Senator Mark Kelly is a solid candidate who’s in the lead and is not known for making mistakes. Candidates matter.
I dedicate this musical antidote to the Gruesome Foursome to John Fetterman, Raphael Warnock, Tim Ryan, and Mark Kelly:
Yeah, I know. That’s not a political song but it’s got candidate in the title. That’s close enough for this daft election year.
In other races, Ron Johnson is in trouble in Wisconsin home state to multiple First Draft alums. His challenger has one of the best names in politics: Mandela Barnes. Candidates matter.
There are even signs of life in North Carolina but I’m not going out on a limb there. Memories of 2018 are too damn fresh but this time it’s an open seat. Good luck to Cheri Beasley. She’s a good candidate but the Tar Heel state has broken Democratic hearts too many times in recent years.
In another state that will break your heart every time, Marco Rubio is in trouble in Florida. He faces a formidable opponent in Rep. Val Demings. I’m not holding my breath over this one but the fact that it’s competitive warms the cockles of my heart. I still don’t know WTF cockles are…
FiveThirtyEight is bullish on the Dems Senate chances giving them a 64 in 100 chance.
Rick Scott is under withering fire from fellow GOPers. Knowledge of Florida politics has rarely transferred to the national scene. Just ask Jeb Bush.
It’s harder to tell what will happen in the House. It’s easier for extremists to win in the heavily gerrymandered districts of what should be the people’s house.
One thing that’s increasingly clear: the red wave has receded as the 2022 election has become about former President* Pennywise. It’s how he wanted it. He picked the candidates, but he’ll blame someone else if things don’t go to plan.
Repeat after me: Candidates matter. The Gruesome Foursome are lousy candidates. Thanks, Donald.
The last word goes to Johnny Marr: