As the GOP eyes 2010, it’s turning to centrist candidates to restore its health—despite a “good riddance” attitude to the departure of moderate Arlen Specter, Politico reports. “I’m absolutely committed to recruiting candidates around the country that fit their states,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee head John Cornyn. It’s “a recipe for permanent minority status and irrelevance if we don’t pay attention to the arithmetic.”
Gov. Charlie Crist, who backed President Obama’s stimulus package, would be the leading Republican candidate for Florida’s open Senate seat; a Delaware representative who supported Obama’s stem-cell research order is considered the sole Republican who could nab Joe Biden’s vacated seat; the list goes on. The danger remains, however, that these moderates don’t make it to a general election—party voters could yet deliver conservatives in state primaries.