The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has launched an effort to capitalize on volatility of Republican seats that face primary challenges.
“With August recess in full swing, the DSCC is launching a new campaign, ‘GOP Tea Party Primary-Palooza,’ to highlight the numerous divisive GOP primaries across the country,” the DSCC said in a release, noting it would be supplemented by online advertising, social media and news alerts.
“In 2010 and 2012 tea party candidates like Sharron Angle, Joe Miller, Todd Akin, Ken Buck and Richard Mourdock upset the GOP establishment and ultimately lost the general election. In some races where the establishment barely slipped through tough primaries, the Republicans candidate was badly bruised and broke going into the general election, like Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin,” the DSCC contined. “Despite assurances to donors that this time would be different, and the NRSC would work with Karl Rove to handpick establishment candidates who could avoid primaries and win general elections, national Republicans once again find themselves mired in nasty tea party primaries.”
The campaign will target GOP primaries in Georgia, Kentucky, Alaska, North Carolina, Louisiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, South Carolina, and others as they may emerge.
“We are seven months into the cycle, and each week a new GOP primary or senate candidate seems to emerge, further complicating their path to the majority,” said DSCC press secretary Justin Barasky. “Despite their rhetoric, Republicans find themselves once again held hostage by the far right of their party. The failure of national Republicans to avoid contentious tea party primaries will plague their party through the August recess, well into 2014, and will end up as one of many reasons that Democrats keep the majority.”
In Kentucky, the DSCC campaign notes, “for months, Minority Leader McConnell worked day and night to avoid a Tea Party challenger, but when Matt Bevin launched his campaign McConnell’s worst nightmare came true.”
The DSCC hopes that by highlighting and stoking the division, it gives great opportunity for the Dems to squeak ahead. They note that Cook Political Report just moved McConnell’s race to “toss-up.”
In Georgia, the DSCC said today, “the right-wing circus that’s erupted…could possibly be the craziest in the country and provides Democrats with a prime pick up opportunity.”
“With seven candidates in the race and a very conservative primary electorate, the divisive GOP primary is pushing all the candidates to the far right and is certain to produce a nominee too extreme for mainstream Georgians,” the committee added.
The Georgia seat is open due to the retirement of Sen Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). The daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), Michelle Nunn, is running for the seat, and is polling about even with GOP hopefuls including Reps. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) and Paul Broun (R-Ga.).