Friday, October 21, 2011

Washington Post: Missouri Republicans have lousy candidates

Claire McCaskill may be vulnerable, but the candidates who have announced so far are not exactly bright lights on the Republican horizon, according to an analysis in the Washington Post. The same assessment is offered for the governor's race:

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has been battered by a number of bad headlines, including for his past flirtations with a stripper whom he happened to be photographed with recently. (Ah, politics.)

Kinder has also seen his fundraising drop off significantly, from $1 million in the second quarter to $400,000 in the third, and Gov. Jay Nixon (D) is looking stronger every day.

Republicans familiar with the race note that Kinder hasn’t officially announced his bid — he’s getting some pressure not to run — and they expect an alternative candidate to emerge soon.

The question is just how good that candidate will be. Failed 2010 House candidate Ed Martin, who has been severely outraised by Wagner in the 2nd district race, is the subject of a draft effort by some conservatives.

Those close to Missouri politics say that there just isn’t much of a bench in the state, which accounts for their weaker-than-they-should-be fields.

Kinder is one of just two Republicans in a statewide constitutional office, and most of the state’s GOP House members — including, many thought, Akin — are not considered major talents who are upwardly mobile.

And, the potential rising stars the party was grooming have fallen on hard times in recent years.

They include state Sens. Jack Goodman and Gary Nodler, who both lost to now-Rep. Billy Long in a 2010 primary; former state representative. Bob Onder, who lost a 2008 primary to now-Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer; and state Sen. Bill Stouffer, who lost to now-Rep. Vicky Hartzler last year and is now running for secretary of state.

“Consecutive cycles of open seat House races with quality candidates has really shuffled the deck,” said a Missouri GOP operative. “What’s happened is that the winners have won, and the losers take a hit.”

No comments: