But as one political showdown after another has illustrated just how beholden congressional Republicans are to extreme right-wing interests, their prospects for retaking both chambers have grown dimmer.
Republican Sen. Dick Lugar (IN) recently reinforced that sentiment in an interview with CNN, explaining that the Tea Pary’s insidious influence has pushed out moderate elements of the party:
LUGAR: Republicans lost the seats for Nevada, and New Jersey, for example, and Colorado. There were people who claimed that they wanted somebody who was more of their Tea Party aspect. But in doing so they killed off the Republican chances for a majority. This is one of the reasons we have a minority in the Senate right now.
Watch it, courtesy of Mediaite:
Lugar is facing his own Tea Party primary challenger. If Republicans lose his seat, their chances of winning a Senate majority become even shakier.