2014 GOP Senate primaries to watch

Some tea party nominees could be weak general election candidates. Others could change the Senate. Here are six key primaries to watch.

2. Iowa (June 3), Colorado (June 24)

Democrats in Iowa, Colorado, and other states are hoping for GOP nominees they can tag as extremists. They may try to nudge the process along.

In the 2012 Missouri Senate race, incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill thought that Todd Akin would be the easiest Republican to beat. Just before the GOP primary, she ran television spots claiming that he was “too conservative.” Though nominally attack ads, they were actually sly appeals for conservative GOP primary voters to back Akin. The maneuver worked. Akin got the nomination and went on to make the rape gaffe that sealed Ms. McCaskill’s reelection.

Look for similar tactics during the 2014 primary season.

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