RNC PURITY TEST MAY TRIP UP SEVERAL CANDIDATES…. The proposed “purity test” for GOP candidates seems to have already made an impact, before even being considered. To review, a significant faction within the Republican National Committee is reportedly pushing a test, which GOP candidates expecting party support would have to pass. It includes a 10-point platform, and if you’re deemed insufficiently conservative on three or more issues, no party backing for you.

My initial take is that the test was so conservative, prominent Republican leaders from George W. Bush to Ronald Reagan would all come up far short. Probably more important, though, is the practical effect on current GOP candidates.

The New York Times, for example, noted that Rep. Mike Castle, a relatively moderate Republican, is running for the Senate in Delaware next year, and is likely to face a fierce fight against state Attorney General Beau Biden (D). Castle will no doubt need plenty of support from the national party — which he won’t get if the purity-test resolution is approved by the RNC.

Lee Fang went a little further still, and included House lawmakers likely to seek re-election.

ThinkProgress has conducted an analysis that finds at least 40 current Republican members of Congress have violated at least one principle of the purity test.

This is all pretty entertaining, but in my heart of hearts, I suspect this initiative will go about as well as the last big push from Jim Bopp — which is to say, cooler heads will realize this is ridiculous, and pass a watered down resolution that doesn’t actually mean anything.

But I have a hunch the DNC is hoping the measure has far greater success.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.