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How to Win in 2014

Stop Obama, promote the farm team.

Mar 4, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 24 • By JAY COST
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But making the most of that opportunity is easier said than done. Unfortunately over the last three years, we have seen the GOP shoot itself in the foot many times over; Republican electorates have nominated candidates for office who have underperformed, needlessly alienating voters who otherwise might be amenable to the GOP program. This has been most pronounced in the Senate; over the last two cycles, Republicans have lost as many as seven Senate seats because of weak, ineffectual candidates who could not communicate persuasively.

Insofar as the party is capable of collective action, its efforts should focus on finding quality candidates, both for 2014 and 2016. A lot of this simply comes down to convincing the top tier of would-be Republican officeholders that the country’s problems are too dire for them to refuse the call to service. The rest of the task will be about making sure that these top challengers make the most persuasive case to Republican primary electorates. If there is one thing Republicans have failed to do in the Age of Obama, it is putting its best foot forward.

All told, it is mightily frustrating that the GOP did not capture a national majority in the 2012 election, especially considering it seemed up until the last minute that victory was possible. But, disappointment aside, the 2013 Republican party is relatively well positioned, considering it just lost the presidency. It has a lot of tools in its toolbox, and while there are certainly problems that must be dealt with, they are not of the existential variety. If Republicans can stop the further advance of Obama’s liberal agenda while deflecting his demagogic attacks, that should provide the cover for the Republicans’ farm team in the states to get ready for the battles of 2014 and beyond.

Jay Cost is a staff writer at The Weekly Standard.

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