If the special-election results aren’t what should scare Republicans, what should? Try the fairly weak field for next year’s top-of-the-ticket race for governor.
I have lost count of how many times this year I’ve heard two things. The first is a lament by someone who had recently attended a fund-raiser for one of the Republicans and came away uninspired.
Party loyalists are worried. I hear little faith in the two biggest names, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp. There were high hopes for state Sen. Hunter Hill, and it’s not over for him, but nor has there been a surge in his direction. State Sen. Michael Williams is running as Donald Trump, but without the money, fame or charm. A political newcomer, Clay Tippins, doesn’t seem to be catching on (or these panicked conversations would be going differently).
The anxiety is even spreading to ordinary voters I hear from. If Democrats can field a strong candidate (which isn’t a lock) and if the national political tide turns in their favor (which looks more likely), they might break through in a race that still ought to favor the GOP.
That brings me to the second thing I keep hearing: Is it too late for someone else to get in the race?
The 2018 primary is six months away, so the idea someone could jump in now and compete with campaigns that have been months, if not years, in the making would normally be far-fetched. It probably still is.
But that isn’t stopping some seasoned Republicans from asking around. They know it would take someone with an existing base of support, pretty good name ID, money (or the network to raise it), motivation and ambition. Who might fit their profile? How about a member of Congress who represents a deep-red district and has some pull within the party?
Doug Collins, call your office.