Recent missteps and bungles by Mitt Romney has fanned fears within the Republican Party that his sputtering candidacy could cost the GOP the Senate.
Romney’s performance is especially important to the races in crucial swing states such as Ohio and Virginia as well as blue-leaning states such as Massachusetts and Connecticut, The Hill
“Every year the top of the ticket has a great influence on the races below,” John Weaver, a senior adviser to Sen. John McCain’s 2000 and 2008 presidential bids, told The Hill. “Massachusetts is a very competitive race, and we have a great candidate in Scott Brown. If Obama wins overwhelmingly, it’s a lot more difficult for Scott Brown to get reelected.
“If your guy wins the White House, he’s going to sweep in one or two or three Senate races that might not happen otherwise,” Weaver added.
Several Republican strategists were critical of the Romney campaign operation and said it could cost them in a number of states.
Both Brown, who won Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat in 2010, and Linda McMahon, the GOP Senate candidate in Connecticut have distanced themselves from comments Romney’s made at a private fundraiser about 47 percent of voters being "victims."
“If Romney doesn’t improve, that could cost us our chance of picking up the Senate, for sure,” one senior strategist working on a number of Senate races told The Hill. “Honestly, I don’t know who’s driving the train, but they need to get their message focused."
Republican strategist, Ford O’Connell, said candidates in moderate states can’t afford to have their brands damaged by the party.
“Republican Senate candidates in moderate-to-left-leaning states who
need to keep the Democratic base pacified and still pull a sizable portion of independents in order to win could very well be hurt by this,” he told The Hill.
“These folks are predominantly running on their own brand and cannot
afford to have the perceived negative aspects of the GOP label affixed to their candidacy. And if the Republican Party is to retake the Senate in 2012, their hopes rest largely on the success of many of these candidates,” O’Connell said.
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