Will challenges from right hurt GOP chances to retake Senate?

Washington (CNN) — Sen. John Cornyn, welcome to the club.

The two-term Texas lawmaker is now the seventh Republican Senator up for re-election next year to face a primary challenge from his right.

That club also includes the top Republican in the chamber, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Pat Roberts of Kansas.

If this seems like deja vu all over again, it is.

Since the birth of the tea party movement in 2009, primary challenges from the right have made major headlines, and have hurt the GOP’s efforts in the last two elections in their attempts win back control of the Senate from the Democrats.

“Republicans effectively gave away five Senate seats the last two cycles because of candidates who weren’t capable of winning in November,” said Brian Walsh, who served as communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which provides support, advice and funding to Republican candidates, during the 2010 and 2012 cycles.

CNN
12/10