In the past few elections, Republican primary voters have nominated many candidates who appeared to be less electable than other possible choices. High profile examples of this are Christine O'Donnell over Mike Castle in Delaware, Ken Buck over Jane Norton in Colorado, Joe Miller over Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, Sharon Angle over Danny Tarkanian in Nevada, Richard Mourdock over Dick Lugar in Indiana, and Todd Akin over Sarah Steelman in Missouri. The end result of this was five senate seats that could very well have gone to Republicans ending up in Democrat hands, with only Alaska staying Republican after Murkowski's write-in bid. Democrats have had big problems with this in the past too, but not as recently.
For the next set of races its already looking like this could come into play again. Steve King, who is heavily considering running for senate, is being dissuaded by the Republican establishment due to his perceived unelectability. Although, if he does run, he is the favorite to win the nomination. Paul Broun in Georgia who announced he was running for Senate is also perceived as a less than electable candidate, who if nominated, could turn red Georgia into a possible Democrat pickup opportunity.
Steve King: ‘Nobody can bully me out of running for Senate’
Dems start out ahead in Iowa Senate election - Public Policy Polling
My question is then if you were deciding between two candidates which trait would you value more? Electability or ideological purity? Would you choose the candidate whose ideals were closest to your own, even if that candidate would have little chance of getting elected? Or would you go with the one who does not share all of your viewpoints, although they are closer than the main competitor, and has a much better chance of being elected? In general, which do you find more important in a candidate?