A while back I speculated that few if any of the GOP Senate challengers would win their primaries against Republican incumbents. With Liz Cheney having dropped her run in Wyoming and Bevin far behind, that seems to be precisely what is happening. These tea-party challengers have an uphill climb, not only because the candidates by and large are unknowns but also because the product they are selling — a shutdown, partisan gridlock and fiscal austerity — doesn’t have enough sell within the GOP base. (And if that is the case, imagine how unpopular their agenda would be to all the other voters.) Governance is in; dysfunction is out.
If all these candidates flop, it will continue the trend in the GOP toward deal-making, conservative policy innovation and maybe even a GOP Senate majority. Candidates pondering a presidential run in 2016 should also take note. Voters may not be so keen on fire and brimstone at the expense of electability and reform.