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This Times piece on Republican Senate candidates floundering seems awfully hopeful to me, but given that the Republicans blew three pickup opportunities in 2010 thanks to nominating extremist candidates (DE, CO, NV) and that these mistakes cost them control of the Senate, such optimism is possible. While I think a reasonably not insane Republican would have a real chance at many of these seats, nominating a hard core Tea Party person would I think backfire in a nation that seems to be backing away from right-wing extremism in the last months. Claire McCaskill is the perfect example–against a mainstream Republican in a bad economy might tank her, but Missouri is enough of a swing state that a Tea Partier may well come up short.

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