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This Week in Journamalism: What's Wrong with the Politico?

Meditate on this headline:

Josh Kraushaar: GOP could win 3 key Senate seats

Then recognize that the key verb ought to be not "win" but "keep" or "hold":

...the seats left vacant by the retirements of Sens. Mel Martinez of Florida, George Voinovich of Ohio and Kit Bond of Missouri...

Add some dodgy description:

[I]n 2008... the GOP struggled to come up with top-tier candidates in key open seats in Virginia and Colorado and ended up with nominees whose weak performances led to the loss of two key Republican-held seats...

The Republican Senate candidate in Colorado ran dead-even with McCain, IIRC.

Then it becomes clear that Kraushaar is trying to make a friend in John Cornyn in the lead:

[N]ewly minted National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn looks to be starting 2009 with a promising lineup of attractive recruits...

before pulling it back after the jump:

“It certainly presents a challenge, but there are strong prospective Republican candidates...” said Republican consultant Nathan Wurtzel. 

In Florida, former state House Speaker Marco Rubio is expected to run.... Republicans caution that Rubio is far from assured of winning the nomination.... The winner of the Republican nomination could face the state’s popular chief financial officer, Alex Sink.... “Whoever wins the [Republican] nomination, it’s still Sink’s to lose” if she runs, said one GOP operative.

In Missouri, Republicans boast a stable of well-known candidates who are considering running for the seat vacated by Bond... solid contenders... former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman. Steelman is perhaps the most intriguing prospective candidate.... “She’s Sarah Palin with an economics degree,” said one Republican operative in Missouri. On the Democratic side, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan is expected to jump in the race, and would be a formidable challenger.

In Ohio... Rob Portman... boasts... stints as President George W. Bush’s trade representative and later as head of the Office of Management and Budget. Portman’s biggest downside is his connection to the unpopular Bush administration and his support of free trade in a state where many blue-collar voters — including some Republicans — are downright critical of recent free trade agreements....

Republican operatives acknowledged the political downside to having open seats, but are optimistic that with Bush out of office, the national environment will be much improved for the party in 2010. “And even in a very bad environment, strong candidates can still win elections in battleground districts and states,” Wurtzel said, pointing to the party’s uphill 2006 election victories of Sen. Susan Collins in Maine and Reps. Dave Reichert of Washington, Erik Paulsen of Minnesota and Leonard Lance of New Jersey in highly competitive House districts.

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?