U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, from Michigan, introduces Vice President Joe Biden before he delivers the keynote speech at the Michigan Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner in Detroit, Saturday, April 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republicans are struggling to recruit strong U.S. Senate candidates in states where the party has the best chances to reclaim the majority in Washington.
It’s a potentially troubling sign that the GOP’s post-2012 soul-searching could spill over into next year’s congressional elections.
The vote is more than 18 months away, so it’s early. But candidate recruitment efforts are well underway, and thus far Republicans have been unable to field a top-tier candidate in Iowa or Michigan.
In those two Mideast swing states, the GOP hopes to make a play for seats left open by the retirement of veteran Democrats.
The GOP is facing the prospect of contentious and expensive primaries in Georgia and perhaps West Virginia, Republican-leaning states where incumbents, one from each party, are not running again.
President Barack Obama is not on the ballot, so Republicans may have their best chance in years to try to retake the Senate. Changing the balance of power in the Senate would put a major crimp on Obama’s efforts to enact his agenda and shape his legacy in the final two years of his presidency.
Republicans need to gain six seats to gain control of the Senate. Democrats will be defending 21 seats to Republicans’ 14, meaning the GOP has more opportunities to try to win on Democratic turf.
Only recently, Republicans were reveling in the fact that several veteran Democrats were retiring in states where the GOP had not had a chance to win in decades.
Last week, Democrat Max Baucus of Montana Login to read more