Although Republicans are feeling bullish about their chances of retaking Congress in 2022, they're experiencing some problems in recruiting top-tier Senate candidates to run against Democratic incumbents.
Politico reports that Republicans are feeling particularly upset about New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu's decision to forsake the Senate and to run for another term as governor.
Although the current political environment is favorable to Republicans, GOP consultants tell Politico that good candidates matter, as evidenced by the current troubles facing Trump-endorsed Pennsylvania Senate hopeful Sean Parnell, who this week is facing allegations of physical abuse from his wife in a courtroom custody battle.
"People are demoralized. People are saying, 'This is devastating. What's our plan?'" one GOP operative tells the publication. "Everyone is kind of like, 'What are we doing here? What is going on?'"
Another McConnell ally tells Politico that the Sununu decision was a "recruiting failure" on the GOP's part, and Senate Republicans were particularly stung by Sununu's claim that he didn't want to go to Washington because he didn't believe he could do anything productive there.
"This was handled so poorly," another GOP operative tells Politico. "He hyped it up as this big announcement to the national press, and then bailed in a way that hurts the party's momentum after a big week in Virginia last week."