The worst candidates of 2014 included Democrat Allison Lundergan Grimes, who was unsuccessful in her quest to unseat Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, and Rep. Bruce Brailey, who failed to maintain a long-held Senate seat for Democrats in Iowa.
That’s according to the Hill newspaper's list of the “Top 10 Worst Candidates of 2014.”
Most on the list were Democrats — not surprising considering the wave that swept Republicans into a Senate majority. But a few were Republican candidates such as Terry Lynn Land in Michigan and Monica Wehby in Oregon.
Senate Democratic candidate and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes campaigns with former President Bill Clinton and United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts, Aug. 6, 2014 in Hazard, Kentucky. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Besides running bad campaigns, most on the list were perceived as having a good shot at winning early on, but then lost by more than expected. THe Hill didn't actually rank the worst candidates, but here are a few who were singled out:
• Iowa Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley
Braley is a Democratic House member who sought to keep the seat of liberal stalwart Sen. Tom Harkin for the Democrats. First lady Michelle Obama famously called him “Bailey” on the stump. The Hill noted Braley was gaffe-prone and ran a mostly negative campaign against Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst before losing to her by 8 points, in what was called a toss-up before Election Day.
• Michigan Republican Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land
Land is Michigan's former secretary of state but was not the state’s top choice to run. But, being a woman who had won statewide in the past, some in the GOP hoped to run a competitive race in a strategically important state. The Hill said she disappeared from the campaign trail and refused to debate Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.). She lost to Peters by 14 points in a state that re-elected a Republican governor.
• Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes
Democrats were practically salivating over the chance to beat McConnell this year, and money poured into Grimes' campaign. She even led McConnell at several points during the race and had the Clintons and other big-name Democrats stumped for her. But she had a variety of missteps, most notably refusing to answer whether she voted for Obama. McConnell won by 15 points, and is headed toward almost certainly becoming the Senate majority leader.
• New York Democratic House candidate Sean Eldridge
Eldridge brought personal wealth and business experience to the campaign against Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.). He spent $2.8 million of his own money into the campaign, the Hill reported, but wound up losing by 30 points. He hadn't lived in the district long and was criticized for not taking questions from the press.
See the rest of the names at the Hill.