You don’t get more “Republican Estabishment” than Senator Dick Lugar of Indiana. He’s been in the US Senate since 1976, never having a serious challenger in a primary and living full time in Washington DC. When polls showed that he was 10 points behind, Lugar started pleading for Democrats to vote for him, since over the years he has been “bipartisan”, oftèn being a vote giving Democratic presidents what they wanted. Democrats wanted Lugar to lose so they have a chance to win in November.
Out in Utah, Orrin Hatch (also elected in 1976) failed to get a big enough majority in his primary that he faces a runoff in June that he might lose – Glenn Beck had the man running against Hatch as a guest the other – he seemed well prepared, walking the line of explaining why he should be elected without angering people who like Hatch.
Who controls the US Senate and by how many votes is at least as important as the Presidential race. Last election, Tea Party primary winners ended up losing “safe” seats to Democrats.
Having Senate candidates who think Mitt Romney is too moderate is not a good formula for succeed. It’s too late for the Convention to change their mind and pick a different candidate. The 2012 election is turning into a fight of who will control the Republican Party in 2013, not the country.
Republican Senators have a huge problem, in that the media only pay attention to and give positive remarks to the moderates – McCain, Lugar, Hatch, Olympia Snowe, and former Senator Arlen Spector. If you’re a political junky, try this exercise – take a piece of paper and make a column of Democratic Senators and Republicans that you can name without looking it up – see which list is longer.