A Roll Call article ponders whether the GOP establishment is backing the wrong horse in Missouri's U.S. Senate race.
They're referring to Roy Blunt, who's considered the favorite to carry the Republican mantle in 2010.
UPDATED @ 7: 19 P.M.: BUT A TOP GOP CONSULTANT with ties to Mo. & D.C Phones The Notebook to refute the assumption -- and lay out the case against Sarah Steelman.
"I'm in D.C. a lot talking to the people out there and I'm not hearing that at all," said this Missouri-based consultant, who has experience with national campaigns. "This sounds like someone trying to feed a story."
"The question is are these folks the right candidates?" one Washington-based Republican strategist said Wednesday in the Roll Call article that raises questions about Blunt. "Democrats have to be salivating over the opportunity to run against folks who are pretty closely associated with Bush."
The Notebook has reported that former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman will very likely challenge Blunt in the primary. She's quoted in the piece.
"If party leaders do line up behind Blunt, Steelman said, it would hardly be anything new, and she predicted it would only help the former leader raise even more special interest money from lobbyists." "That’s part of the Washington culture," she said. "That’s part of the problem."
BUT THE CONSULTANT, WHO CLAIMS TO BE NEUTRAL, LAYS OUT THE CASE AGAINST STEELMAN:
"The fact that she's running as an outsider just floors me. Sarah and David have been running for political office since the 70s. David's been running as long or longer than Roy has. And it's so frustrating to hear her say she's an outsider, when she's an insider. The state party basically financed her first Senate race. She probably wouldn't have won without the party," said this consultant.
ON WHY SHE WON'T BEAT BLUNT:
"Roy will be much more aggressive with Sarah. I don't think she'll get away with this outsider thing. She's so in bed with the trial attorneys and labor unions, she's barely a Republican anymore. She's switched her position on ethanol, because it was popular" this consultant went on. "She's switched her positions on other issues. Plus, against Kenny, she overperformed in the 7th, your area. That was her strength. I don't see how she does that again."
By the way, I don't have a subscription to Roll Call, but a staffer at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee made sure this was in my inbox.