Thursday, February 28, 2013

Here's to hoping Karl Rove continues to "help" the GOP

By Richard K. Barry

Funny that Karl Rove has set up an entire operation to discourage wacky right-wingers from successfully competing for Republican Senate nominations, and it's apparently having the opposite effect.  

Rep. Tom Latham (IA-03) has announced that he will not seek the GOP nomination for the open seat being vacated by Tom Harkin in Iowa. In a statement reported by Daily Kos, Latham said that he doesn't want to "detract form his duties in the 3rd," which they note certainly sounds like he will be seeking re-election there instead.

The point is that Latham is just the kind of guy people like Karl Rove would like to see run for a Senate nomination for the GOP. He's an establishment guy, and, apparently, not crazy. 

That leaves Rep. Steve King (IA-04) a pretty clear path to the GOP Senate nomination if he still wants it, and given King's hard-right, foot-in-mouth ways, also gives IA-01 Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley (already in the race, and expected to clear the Dem field) a similarly clear path to the Senate.

A Public Policy Polling survey released on February 5, 2013 found that a matchup between Latham and Braley was pretty much a toss-up with Braley ahead by 44-41, while a King-Braley race goes to Braley by a margin of 49-38. 

Kos notes the irony in that Rove's attempt to push aside "off-message," "anti-establishment" GOP primary contenders like Steve King may have had the effect of energizing King and his donors, making him that much harder to beat. 

It's relatively early days, and a more mainstream contender could still get in, but it's great to see Karl Rove continue to screw up. 

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