There went the game.
Republican chances of taking back the Senate became a bit tougher last night in Missouri, as Representative Todd Akin was selected by Republicans to oppose Senator Claire McCaskill this fall.
The implications of the nomination are grand in the resources that will be required from the various Republican election apparatuses to defend Akin’s record and hurl attacks at the vulnerable McCaskill.
But lost somewhere in the election results is the fact that the great prognosticator of the 2012 Senate primary season suffered her first setback last night.
Sarah Palin chose incorrectly.
The Alaska Republican announced her support for the candidacy of Sarah Steelman and went as far as cutting commercials for the conservative “mama grizzly,”yet unlike contests in Indiana, Nebraska, Texas and Utah, where Palin’s picks all were successful, Steelman lost.
Known for her anti-party establishment zeal ( ignore the 2008 vice presidential nomination for just a second), Palin has made choices that have won primaries, shaping the conservative makeup of the Republicans vying for the Senate.
She has backed newcomers like Ted Cruz in Texas and Deb Fischer in Nebraska while heralding party regular Orrin Hatch in Utah. The only thread tying them all together was their winning ways.
Now that she has a loss during this cycle, all eyes will turn to Arizona to see if her support for Republican Representative Jeff Flake’s run for Senate will pan out or if her initial four Senate picks were just lucky.
The perfect game was lost, but depending on how things develop in the final run of the primary season, Palin, and her preferred candidates, could still wind up with victory.