Scott Rasmussen writes that Republican Washington leaders are trying to find ways to prevent primary challenges – and especially the kinds of primary challenges where the insurgent winner blows winnable Senate races. Several thoughts:
1. Sometimes insurgent primary challenger are a really good idea. The Republican establishment wanted that weasel Charlie Crist to be the Republican Senate nominee in 2010. We’re a lot better off with Marco Rubio.
2. Republican primary voters are able to support establishment or even outright moderate candidates. Scott Brown was something of a Tea Party hero despite being on the moderate side of the Republican party. What Brown did was build his campaign around a small number of high salience issues on which he and most conservatives agreed. He was for lower tax rates, against Obamacare and against civilian trials for accused terrorists. Compare Brown’s campaign with that of Michael Castle in Delaware. Castle’s campaign took conservatives for granted when it didn’t treat their concerns as a nuisance. I remember going on Castle’s website a couple of days before the primary and it just didn’t look like a the website of a guy trying to win over Republican primary voters. The result was that he was defeated by the ridiculous Christine O’Donnell. If he had shown as much respect for conservatives as Scott Brown, that probably wouldn’t have happened.