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Are Tea Party Candidates Electable?

Written By: Daniel J. Flynn  |  Posted: Monday, September 27th, 2010

Rand Paul's views were too "strange" to win a general election. Kentucky's Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate currently leads his Democratic opponent by 15 points. Ken Buck was "too crazy for Colorado." In polls dating back to late winter, Buck has consistently received more support than Democratic Senator Michael Bennet.

Charlie Crist, not Marco Rubio, stood the best chance of winning a general election. Rubio is now ahead of Independent Crist by 14 points and Democrat Kendrick Meek by 19 points. The lesson? Conservatives should stop taking election advice from liberals, be they liberal Republicans or liberal Democrats. They don't have conservatives' best interests at heart, and their reference point for "electability" begins and ends with mistaking their narrow ideology for the broader public view. If "extremists" are outpolling "mainstream" candidates, then a recalibration of the political spectrum may be in order. Had Republicans heeded liberal advice in 1980, President Howard Baker or, perhaps, four more years of Jimmy Carter, would have been the result.

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