Celebrity candidates threaten GOP’s hopes of a Senate majorityJosh Kraushaar
Inexperienced Republican candidates are threatening to cost Mitch McConnell a long-anticipated Senate majority in this year’s midterms.
The big picture: The GOP roster is filled 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: 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 help tailor his message for a general election, according to Republican sources familiar with his campaign.
Between the lines: McConnell is concerned that this crop of GOP Senate nominees is reminiscent of flawed Tea Party-aligned candidates like Christine O’Donnell and Todd Akin, who lost winnable races in 2010 and 2012.
But, but, but: Political outsiders are sometimes the right candidates.
The bottom line: McConnell prefers experienced candidates who stay on message. Trump likes zany outsiders who stand outside the political mainstream.