Republicans successfully addressed problems threatening to block their path to victory. Meanwhile, “Democrats were trying to overcome problems of their own — including difficulties with a White House suspicious of their leadership and protective of the president’s reputation, his political network and his biggest donors.” The Washington Post,
From the outset of the campaign, Republicans had a simple plan: Don’t make mistakes, and make it all about Obama, Obama, Obama. Every new White House crisis would bring a new Republican ad. And every Democratic incumbent would be attacked relentlessly for voting with the president 97 or 98 or 99 percent of the time.
But none of that would work if Republicans did not get the right candidates, a basic tenet that had eluded them in recent elections. This time, party officials pushed bad candidates out, recruited and coached contenders with broad appeal and resuscitated two flailing incumbents, Roberts and Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi.