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How Can GOP Senate Majority Prospects Be Trending In The Wrong Direction?

Activists with tape over their mouths
Hat tip to our friend Mike Flynn of Breitbart for his column noting that top political odds maker Nate Silver has lowered his forecast for a GOP takeover of the Senate. (link to articles at the end of this piece)

Two weeks ago, noted Flynn, Silver estimated the GOP had a 64% chance of winning a Senate majority. On Tuesday, Silver lowered his estimate to 55%. The landscape still favors the GOP, says Flynn, but the trend-lines are ominous.

As Mike Flynn and others, including CHQ Chairman Richard A. Viguerie, have noted “the GOP could take the majority by simply winning Senate races in states carried by Mitt Romney.” While such an outcome would be enough to take control of the Senate, it certainly wouldn't constitute a Republican wave. It would simply “revert the partisan make-up of Congress to the political mean,” as Mike Flynn put it. Republicans would have control, but it wouldn't have won any new political ground.

One of the trends that Silver emphasized in his analysis (and that Flynn picked-up on) is the enormous cash disparity enjoyed by Democratic candidates. In North Carolina, for example, incumbent Democrat Sen. Kay Hagen has over $8 million cash in the bank, against her GOP opponent's $1.5 million. The national campaign arms of the Democrats routinely raise more money than their Republican counter-parts.

Now here’s the key point in Flynn’s article: “Republicans have struggled, in particular, with small-dollar donors. These donations represent the activism of base voters, the life-blood of a party. For a year and a half, Republicans in Washington, abetted by their business allies, assailed conservatives privately and in the press.” Establishment GOP leaders regularly made it clear that they would assert themselves in primaries to ensure they had the “best candidates” to take on Democrats in the general election.

It was forgotten said Flynn that Republicans had largely accomplished this goal in 2012, with little success. Establishment candidates in Montana, North Dakota, Virginia, Wisconsin and Connecticut all met humiliating defeats. (We could add Florida, Hawaii and New Mexico, but you get the point.)

As Mike Flynn pointed out, Obama's poll numbers are in the basement. Voters disapprove of his performance on every issue. The economy is, at best, stagnant. Large parts of the world are in flames as a result of America's disappearance from the world stage. If the GOP can't win a purple state in these favorable conditions, can it ever?

The issue isn't really the candidates, concluded Flynn, but the message the party and its consultants sent in the months after the 2012 elections. Conservatives need not apply. Unfortunately, the Republicans may get their wish.


Click the link to read Nate Silver’s “Senate Update: Democrats Draw Almost Even. Is It The Money?

Click here and here to read Mike Flynn’s latest columns on GOP Senate prospects.

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