Main Street Maury

Republicans squandering their mid-term opportunity

Although I certainly do not identify with the Republican Party, I attempt to objectively view political situations with an open mind. Many folks assume I’m liberal and would never offer credit to the other side, but I wholeheartedly disagree.

I think that it doesn’t take a political scientist to realize the Republicans were poised to gain seats in both chambers of Congress. With inflation remaining stubbornly high, the pendulum was bound to swing towards the right, and I fully expected some key GOP wins in November.

The conservative wing of the Supreme Court has thrown all that into question when they overturned Roe v. Wade. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, the ruling has supercharged voters across the nation to get involved in order to preserve their freedoms. I’ve noticed women of all political affiliations fired up due to the court’s ruling.

In the past, Republicans have fumbled electoral chances directly because candidates upset millions of women voters. The 2012 Senate race in deep-red Missouri saw conservative Todd Akin fail to earn 40% because of telling voters women rarely get pregnant in instances of “legitimate rape.” That same year, a similar situation unfolded in equally conservative Indiana, where Republican Richard Mourdock claimed that pregnancy resulting from rape was simply “something God intended”. Mourdock ultimately lost his Senate race as well.

As you can see, the GOP has practice at squandering opportunity.

As the mid-term races are becoming increasingly clear, I can’t help to think that the Republican Party has committed some crucial errors in their nominations this time around.

Regardless of my personal political beliefs, I fully believe the GOP has opportunity to make gains in the November midterms. It seems they’ll only be able to make these gains if they can get out of their own way.

With the retirement of Republican Senator Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, an open primary was an opportunity for Republicans to nominate a fresh face in order to retain the seat. Instead of selecting Army veteran David McCormick, Pennsylvania GOP voters selected the Trump-endorsed television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz.

I suppose Dr. Oz’s name recognition is positive aspect of his candidacy, but he also comes with some serious deficiencies when attempting to win in the general election. The good doctor has been closely linked to not only his home state of New Jersey, but also his home country of Turkey. He has recently voted in elections in both places, which is usually good practice, but neither happen to be the state where he’s running. Dr. Oz’s Democratic opponent, John Fetterman, a rugged and well-educated union man from west Pennsylvania, has taken full advantage of Oz’s scattered roots by directly linking him to New Jersey and Turkey.

Dr. Oz’s fame has largely been as a television personality peddling a variety of different remedies to his audience. While I’m certain he possesses infinitely more medical expertise than most, he’s also viewed as a mixture between a snake-oil salesman and a doctor that embraces fringe theories. For these reasons, Dr. Oz has a favorability rating of only 28% with his unfavorables above 50%. For someone that hasn’t been elected in order to garner the unpopularity of most politicians, these numbers can be described along the lines of dismal and horrid.

Another strange situation stems from Republicans nominating Herschel Walker in Georgia. Walker has numerous similarities to Oz, with both of them having high name recognition that allowed them to win primaries. Walker was also forced to address his residency actually being in Texas and not Georgia. The most difficult obstacles for Walker revolve around his personal life, with the media uncovering multiple secret children he has fathered over the years.

I believe that no candidate is perfect, and we shouldn’t demand perfection from people choosing to run from office. While we don’t need to seek perfection, we do need to hold candidates accountable. Oz and Walker do not pass the test, and this leaves Republicans swinging and missing yet again.

This political environment would lead one to believe the GOP can take back Congress, but they’re tripping over their own feet. An extremist Supreme Court partnered with severely flawed candidates has the Republican Party squandering a mid-term opportunity.

Seth James Campbell is from Columbia, Tennessee and is an educator. He also runs Hound Dog Holler Animal Rescue. He has degrees from Columbia State Community College, University of Tennessee, and Trevecca Nazarene University. He can be reached at

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