The North Carolina Senate race, the experience of other tea party candidates in 2014 and past election follies may contain some lessons for Republican voters. Here are some things GOP voters might want to keep in mind in 2014 and 2016 when selecting House, Senate and presidential nominees:

The 2012 Republican Convention (J. Scott Applewhite/AP) The 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

1. If the candidate has an adverse jury verdict against him, think twice about supporting him.

2. If the candidate compares anything to slavery, look elsewhere.

3. Don’t support candidates who attend pro-animal cruelty events. The same goes for events where John Birchers hang out.

4. Candidates who still insist that the government shutdown was a good thing might just be lacking in political judgment.

5. If there are hours of recorded audio capturing the candidate’s extreme and controversial commentary, it is going to be a problem.

6. If the candidate says there is no difference between the politics of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the candidate might have a skewed view of politics.

7. A candidate who says cutting foreign aid is going to balance the budget isn’t really all that informed.

8. A candidate who tells you Vladimir Putin and President Obama aren’t all that different is not going to win over many non-Republicans.

9.  Having a record of conservative governance or lawmaking is a good thing, even if the candidate didn’t singlehandedly end Obamacare.

10. Having zero experience in government requires the candidate to satisfy voters that he or she knows something about government and public policy. Having no record of having done anything but talk in office is a problem.

11. “Knowing what is wrong with Washington” shouldn’t engender support; knowing how to fix what is wrong should.

12. Candidates whose plans assume a GOP president and a veto-proof majority of Republicans in the House and Senate aren’t operating in the same political universe as the rest of us.

13. The most important thing is not to “fight”; it is to win and implement good ideas.

14. Opposing every bill with any objectionable provision is not a sign of political wisdom.

15.  If the candidate thinks that the United States is now a “tyranny” or that impeachment is a viable political tool, run the other way.

16. Never, ever vote for anyone who uses “God,” “rape” and “abortion” in the same sentence.