In Epic Journey, we discuss the "decapitation" strategy. At Bloomberg, Ramesh Ponnuru writes:
The Democrats' zeal to take out McConnell has some partisan history behind it. When Senator John Thune beat Tom Daschle in the South Dakota Senate race in 2004, it was the first time a Senate party leader had lost since the 1950s. Democrats regretted all their defeats that year, but that one particularly stung. Ever since, both parties have tried to add to their scalp collection. In 2010, Republicans desperately wanted to take out Daschle’s successor, Harry Reid of Nevada, but failed when their nomination went to Sharron Angle. (She’s the one, you’ll recall, who mused about “Second Amendment remedies” for Reid’s baleful influence.) In 2014, Democrats would love for McConnell to go the way of Daschle.