SO THE GOP DIDN'T PICK UP THE SENATE...WHO'S TO BLAME?

November 4, 2010

I really believed the Republicans were going to pick up nine seats in the Senate on Election Night. That would have given the GOP 50 seats, the Democrats would have had 48 with 2 independents caucusing with them and Joe Biden breaking the tie.

So I did think the Dems would maintain control of that august body which would have kept the Vice President busy on Capital Hill and out of the sight of the American public.

It would have been exciting to see Sharron Angle knock out Harry Reid. And I personally held out for Ken Buck to win in Colorado. As for Alaska, well, let's just say that Lisa Murkowski has always had this sense of entitlement since she and her father before her have held that Senate seat since the late 70s and she is quite popular. One would hope that if she were to acquire a plurality of the write-in votes over Joe Miller that should wouldn't pull an Arlen Spector and switch to the Democratic Party or caucus with them.

Now conventional wisdom is congealing in the elite media and political precincts that the GOP would have won a 50-50 split in the Senate Tuesday, but for those wild-eyed Tea Party radicals recruited by Sen. Jim DeMint and his subversive Senate Conservatives Fund.

As usual, the conventional wisdom in the elite media and political precincts bears as much relationship to reality as Star Trek does to the current NASA program.

Red State's Erick Erickson has an incisive analysis of this issue this morning and it includes the following eight reasons why it is ludicrous to blame DeMint or the Tea Party for GOP Senate losses in Nevada, Delaware and Colorado:

"1. Jim DeMint is being blamed for Sharron Angle’s nomination in Nevada. DeMint specifically did not endorse nor campaign for Sharron Angle prior to her nomination. Even here at RedState, I backed Danny Tarkanian.

"2. Jim DeMint waited until the end of the Delaware Primary to endorse Christine O’Donnell and, frankly, I’d rather Chris Coons than Mike Castle. You may not think you would, but you would. But that is beside the point. O’Donnell was a week away from the primary and already ahead in the polls before DeMint said one word or spent one dime.

"3. In Colorado, and this is the biggie, Ken Buck barely lost. The NRSC, shortly before the end of the Colorado Primary, sent millions to Jane Norton freeing her up to attack Ken Buck to be anti-women. Michael Bennet then picked up Norton’s campaign attacks and clobbered Buck.

"4. Likewise in Colorado, neither the NRSC nor the RNC funded a GOTV program. They relied on the Republican Governor’s Association, which left Colorado when Dan Maes cratered.

"5. Instead of pouring in additional resources to Washington, Colorado, etc., the NRSC sent $8 million to California in the last week for Carly Fiorina who lost by somewhere around ten points.

"6. In Alaska, Jim DeMint did nothing to help or support or fund Joe Miller until after he became the Republican nominee. Not including the NRSC, Jim DeMint spent $727,000.00 to help Joe Miller. The rest of the Senate GOP members combined spent $25,000.00.

"7. GOP Senate candidates underperformed their polling at around 3% in most races. Why? Because the NRSC did not fund a ground game operation, nor did the RNC. They either left it to Karl Rove or Haley Barbour. There was not, as in past years, a mass exodus of GOP Hill Staffers from Washington to the ground in swing states."

And number eight?

"But there is an even greater, larger point. None of this would have happened had the NRSC not decided to dictate to Republicans in the several states who their Republican candidates should be. Christine O’Donnell’s and Sharron Angle’s wins were largely reactions to what the NRSC was doing."

No it is not the Tea Party's fault for not picking up the Senate.


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