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The Joy of Recruitment

[UPDATE: I originally misidentified Fiorinia's abortion stance. She's pro-life.]

Josh Kraushaar notices that Republicans have gotten the U.S. Senate candidates they wanted in New Hampshire and Illinois, where they “lacked a deep bench of viable recruits — and their political hopes were largely dependent on one specific candidate running.” This feeds this week’s meme that Republican candidate recruiting is taking off, and the party is looking at a comeback after two disastrous election cycles.

Two side notes. One, the story of the party’s Senate recruiting is the story of moderates being enticed to run in blue states. If Republicans perform well in 2010, they’ll add Mike Castle (Delaware), Mark Kirk (Illinois), Charlie Crist (Florida) and Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire) to the Senate. That would be a net gain of two seats, with two candidates who supported cap-and-trade legislation, one who supported the stimulus and one who was re-appointed by a Democratic governor. If the party scores an upset in California, it would be with Carly Fiorina, who was thrown under the bus by the McCain campaign after a series of gaffes.

Second note: The White House failed to get Lisa Madigan to run in Illinois and Roy Cooper to run in North Carolina, but it got the candidates it wanted in Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio and New Hampshire. For all the attention paid to Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s (D-N.Y.) run in New York, the White House scared two potential candidates out of the field to help Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Rep. Joe Sestak’s (D-Pa.) primary challenge in Pennsylvania doesn’t seem to be creating an opening for former Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). It all seems like slightly less success than George W. Bush had in 2002 Senate race recruitments, but much more than Bill Clinton had in 1994 races. In other words, pretty average.

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