In just 50 days, voters will flock to the ballot box to cast their votes in the midterm elections. As November 8 approaches, however, the possibility of a Republican Senate majority is looking dimmer and dimmer.
As recently as May, Republicans were looking at outcomes as favorable as 53 seats. Now, however, they are clawing away just in hopes of reaching a 51 vote majority.
Only one thing is responsible for the Republican blunder of such a favorable election cycle: candidate selection.
In battleground states, many of which went towards Biden in 2020, Republicans decided to nominate controversial “MAGA” candidates that were poorly equipped to win in the general election.
Dr. Oz and Herschel Walker are fighting tooth and nail just to stay in the race against similarly poor Democrat candidates, while Blake Masters is seemingly outmatched by incumbent senator Mark Kelly.
J.D. Vance, arguably the best quality candidate in the most favorable battleground states for Republicans, finds himself in a neck-and-neck race with opponent Tim Ryan.
Each of these candidates are polling behind expectations and behind their gubernatorial counterparts. The one thing they all have in common is an endorsement from Donald Trump, and loyalty to his brand of conservatism.
Nominating these sorts of candidates gives Democrats a cop-out. Instead of being forced to address recent flaws of the government over which they have the lion share of legislative power, Democrat candidates can just continue to focus on Donald Trump.
Sure, these candidates are popular enough to win nominations. Several of them won the nomination handily, even in the face of opponents endorsed by a slate of more-moderate GOP leaders. But this is precisely the problem. Republicans are picking candidates that reduce their chances of winning the general election.
The truth is that Donald Trump doesn’t care about nominating strong candidates, only those who are loyal to him. He would rather be the figurehead of a minority party than the man who stepped aside to let a majority happen.
Conservatives may be in store for a harsh lesson this November. Choosing lackluster candidates who are stuck in the past, beholden to Trump’s 2020 claims over the interests of Americans, is not a recipe for success. If the GOP does come up short in the Senate, I hope that the lesson is that they should look to the future, not to Donald Trump.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.