WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: “Untested” Republican Senate Candidates “Feeling the Heat” Over “Candidate Quality”

A wave of new reports is highlighting how Senate Republicans are “elevating untested candidates who might not be prepared for the scrutiny” and are “feeling the heat” as news stories detail lies about their biographies, vulnerabilities stemming from their finances, a lack of connection to the states they are running in, unvetted policy positions, and other issues of “candidate quality.” 

See for yourself: 

AP: Money isn’t enough to smooth the path for Republican candidates hoping to retake the Senate
By Thomas Beaumont and Brian Slodysko
May 6, 2024

  • Frustrated by the seemingly endless cash flowing to Democrats, Republicans aiming to retake the Senate have rallied around candidates with plenty of their own money. 
  • But it also risks elevating untested candidates who might not be prepared for the scrutiny often associated with fiercely contested Senate campaigns.
  • In Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, GOP Senate candidates are being pressed on whether they live in the state. In Montana, the party’s Senate candidate recently admitted lying about the circumstances of a gunshot wound he sustained. And in Ohio, the Republican contender pitched himself as financially independent but now may be turning to donors for help repaying loans he made to his campaign.

Roll Call: Republicans banking on the road less traveled to Senate majority
By Nathan Gonzales
May 1, 2024

  • Republicans are heading into battle with a crop of candidates who have not experienced an intense general election, at a time when Democrats’ best path to maintaining control of the Senate is to make their Republican challengers look unqualified for the job.  
  • One way to do that is to question the authenticity and biographies of the challengers, and top Republican candidates have been feeling the heat in the media in the past few weeks. 

MSNBC: In Senate races, GOP haunted anew with ‘candidate quality’ issues
By Steve Benen
April 30, 2024

  • Senate GOP leaders were right to worry about “candidate quality” in recent years. There’s little to suggest, however, that they’ve solved the problem.

The Rachel Maddow Show
April 29, 2024

Rachel Maddow: In Wisconsin, Republicans are running a Selina Meyer understudy, who is from California, whose bank is being sued for elder abuse, and who says don’t let people in nursing homes vote. And Pennsylvania Republicans are running a guy who lives in Connecticut who grew up in a literal president’s mansion and says it was a family farm where he was so poor. 

See also: National Journal: If You Can’t Take the Heat; Washington Post: Could Republicans blow it with bad candidates — again?; HuffPost: Senate Republicans Have Rich People Problems; Axios: Democrats attack Senate GOP’s wealthy “carpetbagger” candidates; DSCC: What They’re Saying: Senate Republicans “Extreme Candidates Have Cost The GOP Before …and There’s Reason To Believe It Could Happen Again.”


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