‘Candidates matter’ — and Republicans are flopping at Senate recruitments: report
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Shutterstock)

Democrats are receiving good news heading into the 2022 midterm elections as Republicans struggle to recruit top challengers for U.S. Senate races.

New Hampshire GOP Gov. Chris Sununu announced he would pass on a Senate campaign against Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and instead seek a fourth term as governor.

Sununu is the younger brother of former U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu (R-NH) and the son of former Sen. John H. Sununu (R-NH), who served as White House chief of staff during the George H.W. Bush administration.

"From New England to Arizona, Republicans are struggling to land top-tier recruits even as the deteriorating political climate for Democrats puts them in a strong position to win back the chamber. Party operatives find themselves having to keep a close eye on several Senate hopefuls they see as unelectable, a familiar problem for the GOP," NBC News reported Wednesday. "This time around, the midterm battle has taken on a new tenor with former President Donald Trump picking favorites, enforcing loyalty tests and lashing out at prospective candidates who criticized his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results."

Sununu said there were "other candidates" who can win New Hampshire's Senate race. But that isn't the only state where the dynamic is playing out.

"In Pennsylvania, Sean Parnell, whom Trump endorsed, denied his estranged wife's accusations of abuse at a custody hearing this week. In Georgia, former football star Herschel Walker is seen as a front-runner thanks to Trump's endorsement, even though The Associated Press, citing court records and documents, reported about accusations that Walker threatened to kill his ex-wife. And in Missouri, former Gov. Eric Greitens is attempting a comeback after sexual misconduct allegations appeared to have derailed his career," NBC reported.

And in Arizona, Trump blocked Gov. Doug Ducey from running. Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) is now likely to face GOP Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

"Mark Kelly would much prefer to be running against Mark Brnovich than Ducey, whether Brnovich carries his nunchucks around with him or not," said Democratic strategist Andy Barr told NBC News.