Mr. Cornyn runs down the states where he sees the strongest opportunities for Republican pickups:
Hawaii. The president's native state is overwhelmingly Democratic, but Mr. Cornyn thinks Linda Lingle, a two-term Republican former governor, has "a real shot" at the seat Sen. Daniel Akaka is vacating….
In his role at the NRSC, Mr. Cornyn is a partisan, not an ideologue: His job is to elect Republicans. In 2010 that sometimes put him at odds with Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who worked to nominate tea-party conservatives, often against candidates the GOP establishment viewed as more electable.
"Somehow, miraculously, I became part of the establishment—something I never aspired to," Mr. Cornyn says with a chuckle. "I always thought Republicans do better when we run as reformers. When we're part of the establishment, we lose, because we're sort of Democrats Lite."….
Mr. Cornyn says that he and Mr. DeMint both learned from the 2010 experience. "He and I have become more aligned, in the sense that we're both worried about 'What are your conservative credentials, and what kind of senator could you be?' But you know what? We've got to also worry about 'Can you get elected?'"
A few weeks after former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle entered the Senate race, she flew to New York City for a fundraiser at a kosher steakhouse, Le Marais, geared toward her fellow Jewish Republicans.
“I’ve been to events that have already raised in excess of six figures for her,” Republican Jewish Coalition President Matt Brooks said. “This is going to be a real priority race for the organization.”
Just last week, as almost every GOP White House hopeful paraded through the RJC’s presidential forum, Florida Senate candidate Adam Hasner worked the confab, too. Lingle and Hasner aren’t strangers to the Jewish Republican community, and neither is Josh Mandel, a Republican running for Senate in Ohio and one of the most successful fundraisers this cycle.
There’s a small tribe of Jewish Republicans in Congress, with a current membership of just one: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.). But that could change this cycle, especially in the Senate where three Jewish Republicans are running in competitive 2012 races.
“We are blessed with many. The harvest is bountiful,” said former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), who is Jewish….
…Mandel raised more than his opponent, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), for the last two quarters in the competitive Ohio Senate race. Part of Mandel’s funds include a fundraiser in St. Louis hosted by Fox, who helped him raise six figures at an event with RJC members.
Lingle hasn’t had to file her fundraising totals yet for her first quarter in the race, but news outlets reported she brought in $400,000 in the first week of her candidacy. That’s more than either of her Democratic opponents, former Rep. Ed Case or Rep. Mazie Hirono, brought in during the third quarter.
Hasner outpaced his GOP opponents last quarter by raising $535,000 for his challenge to Sen. Bill Nelson (D). However, the dynamic of the primary changed completely when Rep. Connie Mack IV (R) entered the Florida Senate race this month.