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ICYMI: Republicans suddenly face messy primaries ahead of 2024 bid to retake Senate [Washington Examiner]

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Washington Examiner: Republicans suddenly face messy primaries ahead of 2024 bid to retake Senate 
By Samantha-Jo Roth
August 27, 2023

  • Senate Republicans mounted an aggressive primary intervention strategy… but not everything is going according to plan.
  • Former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) are widely expected to enter their state’s respective Senate races in the coming months, creating new hurdles for Republican leaders as they try to chart a winning strategy without inflaming disaffected conservatives.

  • Their carefully constructed plans could be thrown off in several critical states.

  • Rosendale, one of the most conservative House members, is still mulling a second run for Senate against Tester after failing to unseat the Montana Democrat in 2018. Rosendale had previously been backed by the Club for Growth, a conservative political organization that has been a major player in Republican primaries in recent election cycles.

  • There are some fears that Rosendale could win the primary but could suffer another general election loss to Tester.

  • [Jim Justice] must also face a Republican primary against conservative firebrand Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV), who is backed by the Club for Growth.

  • The Arizona Senate race is becoming the latest cautionary tale for many Republicans concerned about repeating the mistakes of last cycle.

  • “Kari Lake guarantees Republicans of losing again. Her rhetoric is wrapped up in anger and willingness to fight, and it’s clear she doesn’t have a coherent strategy to actually win,” Heye said.

  • Lake was among one of the most vocal of last year’s Republican candidates who promoted former President Donald Trump’s claims to have won the 2020 election. After narrowly losing her bid for governor to Democrat Katie Hobbs, she continues to challenge the outcome in state court, claiming widespread irregularities.

  • “If you’re the NRSC or any other group, there’s nothing they can do to prevent her from getting in,” said Brian Walsh, a veteran Republican strategist. “The governor’s race wasn’t stolen from her; she lost it — and she lost it because she alienated swing voters and moderate Republicans.”

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