Juan Williams | Those Tea Party wing-nuts could cost the GOP the Senate in 2016

Juan Williams, The Hill:

The bad news for the few moderate Republicans still in Congress is that they face long odds in the fast-approaching 2016 elections.

The good news for Republican moderates in Congress is that a difficult 2016 cycle of Senate races now looks likely to close the book on the Tea Party era of American politics.

The hot rhetoric coming from talk radio hosts and conservative activists — whether it’s trashing Planned Parenthood or praising Donald Trump’s outrageous comments about Mexican immigrants — is only making it more difficult for Republican senators trying to win centrist votes next year.

The GOP is at a disadvantage as this political game starts.

Republicans hold the Senate majority now with eight more seats than Democrats. But next year they have to defend 24 seats while Democrats are defending only 10. And they will be playing defense in a presidential election year when minorities, young people and women — major Democratic constituencies — are likely to turn out in big numbers.

The bottom line for Republicans is holding control of the Senate. The Democrats will be busy trying to win five seats to gain the majority — and only four will be required if a Democrat wins the White House, since her or his vice president would then hold the tie-breaking vote in the Senate.

The danger posed to Republicans by Tea Party politics is on display right now.

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