In the last election cycle, the Republicans allowed the primary process to determine who their nominees would eventually be, without much national clout. Because of this hands-off attitude, the GOP has lost a number of potential seats it was favored to win before the parties chose their nominees. That is about to change by 2014.
So, according to Politico, Washington ‘bosses’ will recruit candidates after speaking with local conservative leaders; then, if these candidates are challenged in primaries, the national elites will defend their prospective choices. The leaders assume that this will ease tensions between the Tea Party and the forces in Washington which has caused problems in Senate campaigns. They also believe that newly elected Senators picked in this way will induce more of a sense of loyalty from them when they come to DC. This would lead to a more harmonious party in the Senate instead of the current situation where few of the Senators have loyalty to the party leadership.
In 2010, the national party tried to pick nominees without input from local elites. This led to rancor among conservatives in some states; they then sometimes chose candidates who were less capable of victory in November. Some seats, notably Delaware and Nevada, were thrown away by this process. In 2012, the GOP tried the opposite method. It allowed states to choose the nominees themselves; some of these candidates were fatally flawed which led to a devastating set of results where the Republicans actually lost 2 seats, which few analysts predicted. Thus, now it seeks a middle ground approach.
The GOP has picked Kansas Senator Jerry Moran as the chair of the National Republican Senate Committee. It is hoped that newly elected Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey will also play a part in picking nominees.
It is essential for the Republicans that they take over the majority in 2014, since that is probably their last opportunity to do so. Everyone expects that the Democrats will take back some of the seats that they lost in 2010 in the next Presidential election year, 2016.