Are the Republicans, or at least the party leadership, actively working to deliberately not win the majority in the U.S. Senate in the mid-terms elections this November? If not, it sure seems that way. If they are not, they couldn't do any better job of putting themselves in position of not winning the majority this Fall when they should easily be able to win far more than enough seats to reclaim the majority.
Let's look at the best indications of where the GOP stands right now in the effort to regain control of the U.S. Senate this Fall. By my own projection of July 14 of this year, which will be updated very soon, Democrats stand a good chance of retaining the majority with at least 50 seats and control by Vice President Joe Biden's tie-breaking vote if not by 51 or more seats. In that projection, I concluded that with safe or likely seats, Democrats will have 44 seats, while Republicans will have 45, and the other 11 seats will decide the majority. Of those 11, I rated four leaning Democrat, five leaning Republicans, and two of them too close to call. Democrats could easily win just two more of those seats to retain their majority for another two years.
Professor Larry Sabato, of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, who is quite likely the best (yes better than Nate Silver because he's been in the business much longer) in this business of projecting and predicting political races, is currently projecting Democrats will control 47 seats, Republicans 48 seats, and five seats as toss-ups. Those five seats are in the following states: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana and North Carolina. While Democrats could sweep all five of those races, they only need three of them win 50 seats and the majority by tie-breaking vote of the Vice President. Dr. Sabato is counting Mississippi at solid Republican, and the political mess there is quite unique and far from settled yet.
The Real Clear Politics projection of the Senate races today shows Democrats having 45 seats to the Republicans 46 seats with 9 rated as toss-ups. RCP has moved Mississippi from safe Republican to likely Republican, and it wouldn't be surprising if that state further moves to leaning Republican next. RCP has the same five states Professor Sabato projects as toss-ups, plus also lists Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky and Michigan in that category. Democrats need just five of those nine seats to retain the majority via tie-breaker. Alaska, Colorado, Michigan, Iowa and Louisiana seem to be the most likely of those five for the Democrats to have a route to 50 seats, unless they can upset Mitch McConnell in Kentucky and/or capitalize on the political mess in Mississippi to get Democrat Travis Childers elected in that state.
So back to the question, are the Republicans actually trying to NOT win the Senate majority this Fall? Let's consider this simple fact, when looking at this map, and how many of these races are being held in so-called “red” or “purple” states where Republican candidates should be competitive, the GOP should be in a much much stronger position in these senate races than they are today. No one believes Republican nominees in New Mexico, Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, Minnesota and Oregon have a chance, yet with the current political atmosphere, GOP candidates should be competitive in all those states, yet they are not. In states likes Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, Colorado and Alaska, Republicans should be clearly in the lead and those states should be listed as leaning or likely Republican rather than toss-up status.
The Republican campaign of 2012, and notably that of Mitt Romney, failed to inspire between four to seven million potential GOP supporting voters from going to the polls and casting their ballots. The party failed to offer a message of real hope and true change in the right direction that would have any chance of inspiring those voters, and the GOP leadership and the various campaigns in most state are making that mistake again this year. While the party is bent on going the “Democrat Lite” direction and pushing for comprehensive amnesty reform, which is massively unpopular, they are failing to communicate a positive vision for taking back this country from the far left that would inspire voters to have a positive reason to put Republicans in power in the U.S. Senate.
If Republicans really wanted to win this year, they'd announce a positive agenda for victory that would inspire voters, much like the 1994 Contract with America that Newt Gingrich designed that lead to the victories in that year that allowed the GOP to regain control of both houses of Congress. But they are not doing that. The GOP leadership is not doing what's necessary, and not even making the most basic effort to communicate a winning message of of an optimistic conservative future of limited government, liberty, and American Exceptionalism that would inspire voters to turn out in record levels to take the country back from the far left.
I think the GOP leadership either simply doesn't care to make an effort to win, or they actually want to lose. They didn't make the effort to win in 2010 either, most of the real work of that GOP victory that re-took the majority in the House was done by activists working within and for the TEA party movement. Once again, if the GOP is going to win this year, the people will have to lead and the politicians and party leadership need to follow.
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