If the Todd Akins and Richard Mourdocks of the world keep their distance, Republicans have a chance of retaking the Senate in 2014, writes Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal. To do so, they would would need a net gain of six seats. It sounds steep, but Max Baucus recently became the sixth Democrat to announce his retirement, compared with only two Republicans. Rove assesses some of the key races involving the 35 Senate seats up for grabs and gives his party an "outside chance" of taking control.
Among other things, candidates will need "a compelling and substantive agenda" on the economy to win over independents. But first on Rove's list of necessities: "Republican success will depend on having quality Senate candidates." (That's where he names Akin and Mourdock, who "self-destructed last fall.") Before Democrats get too nervous, they might recall that on the eve of the presidential election, Rove predicted Romney in a squeaker. Click for Rove's full column today.