By Scott Tibbs, May 10, 2010
Dan Coats is the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, but he should remember that 60 percent of Republicans rejected him in the primary. Coats won because Marlin Stutzman and John Hostettler split the conservative vote, just as Peter Rusthoven and John Price split the conservative vote to hand the nomination to Paul Helmke in 1998.
Republican partisans urge support for Coats because Brad Ellsworth will be a lapdog for Harry Reid just as he is now a lapdog for Nancy Pelosi. We can't be purists, the partisans say, even though Coats voted for the assault weapons ban and the Brady Law.
This is exactly why we lost the House and Senate in 2006, folks. This is exactly why Barack Obama is President right now. Republicans cannot abandon their conservative principles and expect the conservative base to vote for them because the Democrats are worse.
In fairness to Coats, he is no Helmke. I will probably vote for him in November because the stakes are so high and because stopping Obama is so important. But Coats needs to realize that "Ellsworth is worse" will not be good enough for many conservatives. Coats must give us a reason to vote for him.