Nightmares of Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock are taunting Republican lawmakers and Senate strategists as fears grow that this midterm cycle could be 2010 and 2012 all over again.

Plagued with weak, divisive candidates in many key races, the palpable trepidation among a dozen GOP insiders we spoke to is that — despite a favorable political climate and history that shows they should be able to net at least one seat to break the 50-50 logjam — their efforts to win back Senate control will fall short even as Republicans easily flip the House.

If that premonition comes true, it'd be deja vu to twelve years earlier, which is probably the most recent pro-Republican climate that is closest to how the past year has shaped up for the GOP. Even though Democrats suffered a "shellacking" and lost 63 seats in President Obama's first midterm election, Republicans left winnable races on the table, with Angle in Nevada, O'Donnell in Delaware and Ken Buck in Colorado unable to deliver victories. However, even then, Republicans still flipped

More from the Cook Political Report

Four Possible Leaders; Four Unenviable Tasks
National Politics
Photo of Charlie Cook
First Person
Cook Politcal Logo
Where History Rhymed and Where It Didn’t
National Politics
AW