GOP turns to losing Senate candidate to help win future elections
Republican Blake Masters, who performed worse than any statewide GOP candidate in Arizona in the 2022 general election, will be on a panel analyzing the party’s dismal midterm performance.
After Republicans failed to take a majority in the Senate and underperformed expectations in the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterm elections this month, the Republican National Committee is launching a “Republican Party Advisory Council” to figure out why its promised “red wave” never materialized.
Politico reported on Tuesday that the panel will include candidates who were successful in November, such as Sen.-elect Katie Britt of Alabama, and Reps.-elect Monica De La Cruz of Texas and John James of Michigan.
However, the panel will also include Blake Masters, who lost his challenge to incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in Arizona.
Masters was the worst-performing statewide Republican candidate in Arizona, winning only 46.5% of the vote. That’s 2% less than the vote total received by Mark Finchem, an election-denying Republican who was present at the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and who lost a run for secretary of state against Democrat Adrian Fontes.
According to the New York Times, Steven Law — the head of the Senate Leadership Fund super PAC that has close ties to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — told major Republican donor Peter Thiel that Masters had had the worst performance among focus groups that he had ever observed. Focus groups are often used to gauge voter sentiments ahead of an election.
Election experts said Masters is a prime example of a bad candidate losing a race that should have been winnable for the GOP in the 2022 midterms.
“The problem in Arizona was Blake Masters himself,” the Cook Political Report’s Jessica Taylor tweeted.
Some Republicans were not happy that Masters was included on the new GOP advisory panel.
“The fact that Blake Masters is a part of the panel running this autopsy and not a subject of it seems highly problematic,” Amanda Carpenter, a Republican who has become a prominent anti-Trump commentator, tweeted.
“What on earth is a candidate who underperformed most of the Rs in his state, a state where Rs lost almost every statewide race, advising his party on its path forward,” GOP columnist Noah Rothman tweeted. “What would he have to offer on that score?”
David Bergstein, the communications director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said Masters’ role on the panel was “excellent news for Democrats.”
“Put Blake Masters in charge of every GOP Senate campaign, I say,” Bergstein tweeted.
According to Politico, Masters wants Republicans to change their strategies going forward.
“Our party needs to modernize. We’re fighting against Big Tech, the media, and now, the Democrats’ GOTV early voting machine,” Masters told Politico. “I look forward to working with Ronna [McDaniel, chair of the RNC] to make sure the party effectively supports our candidates and wins big in 2024.”
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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