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RINO routs continue

Posted by Richard on September 15, 2010

It's not just shaping up to be a bad year for Democrats. It's also a bad year for Republicans who are indistinguishable from Democrats. In a stunning upset in Delaware, an unknown and somewhat flawed Tea Party candidate, Christine O'Donnell, came out of nowhere to defeat establishment-backed Rep. Mike Castle 53-47% for the Republican Senate nomination.

Castle is arguably the most liberal Republican in the House. He backed "cap-and-tax," supports gun control, flip-flopped about four times on Obamacare, and in 2008, voted for Dennis Kucinich's H.R. 1258 to impeach George W. Bush. Nevertheless, he had the full support of the GOP establishment because "he can win." They didn't care how he'd vote on taxes, spending, regulation, gun control, and energy, as long as he helped them regain their committee chairmanships. Asshats.

In New York, Tea Party candidate Carl Paladino crushed establishment-backed former Rep. Rick Lazio 63-37% in the GOP gubernatorial primary. And in New Hampshire, Tea Party candidate Ovide Lamontagne has a slim lead over the establishment-backed favorite, Kelly Ayotte, for the GOP senate nomination. 

So, after the victories of Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, Sharon Angle, Mike Lee, Joe Miller, and others, is the GOP leadership feeling chastened and getting the message? Not exactly. The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee has already decided not to support Christine O'Donnell in the general election. Because "she can't win." Mind you, these are the same people who poured vast resources into the Castle campaign and claimed that O'Donnell had no chance in the primary. The grass roots have changed, but at the top, it's still the Stupid Party. 

Never mind what the NRSC does. As a Libertarian, I've never donated to the GOP or its campaign committees, but I've supported plenty of specific Republican candidates via the Club for Growth and groups like the Tea Party Express. From what I've read, lots of former GOP donors must be doing likewise, because donations to the GOP campaign committees are lagging even as support for GOP candidates is surging. 

One of the most significant stats coming out of this year's primaries is this (emphasis added): 

Of the 30 million ballots cast in 2010 for statewide offices before Sept. 1, more than 17 million were in Republican races, while fewer than 13 million were for Democrats—the first time since 1930 that GOP voters outnumbered Democrats in midterm, statewide primaries, according to an analysis from American University's Center for the Study of the American Electorate. 

The Republican base is energized, as many pundits have noted. But it's not because of the Republican leadership, that's for sure. If that energy level translates into a transformational election this November, hopefully there will be some major changes in that leadership. 

UPDATE: It didn't take long for the pragmatists in the Republican leadership to read the tea leaves, check their email, and realize they'd better "adjust" their positions. NRSC chair John Cornyn has pledged that they'll fully support Christine O'Donnell and backed it up with a check. RNC chair Michael Steele has weighed in even more forcefully in support of O'Donnell. (I still like Steele. I think his heart is in the right place, even if his head isn't always screwed on tight and his management skills are somewhat suspect.)

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4 Responses to “RINO routs continue”

  1. David Aitken said

    I’m sending small checks to Gardner(co-4) and Frazier(co-7), per this list, which lists the top 50 races to focus on.

  2. rgcombs said

    I’m with you on both, David. According to RealClearPolitics, CO-7 leans Dem and CO-4 leans GOP.

    In CO-7, Ryan Frazier was basically tied with Perlmutter (40-39) in an 8/26 poll. I saw Frazier on some Fox News show a while back and was quite impressed. Another articulate, clean black man — and this one isn’t a socialist! 🙂

    In CO-4, Gardner led Markey 50-39 in 8/23-28 polling. I don’t know much about Gardner. Markey has been saturating the airwaves with ads touting herself as the businesswoman opposed to all that Washington spending (she’s been a loyal minion of Pelosi, of course). But I also read somewhere that the Dem leadership has her on the list of seats not to waste money trying to save.

    I think I’ll send a bigger contribution to Frazier, where it may make more of a difference.

  3. David Bryant said

    ”In CO-4, Ryan Frazier was basically tied with Perlmutter …”

    ”In CO-7, Gardner led Markey 50-39 …”

    Say, Richard … you got your districts reversed. That’s not dyslexia; dys-congr-ia, maybe? Anyway, Betsy Markey is sure to have a hard time in the 4th CD. That district had been reliably Republican for many years until the “anybody but Marilyn Musgrave” crowd was able to elect a Democrat in 2008. Even without the wave of Tea Party sentiment BM would be facing an uphill struggle this year.

    ”According to Real Clear Politics, CO-4 leans Dem and CO-7 leans GOP.”

    No, that’s not what the chart says — it’s the other way around. (I don’t see how one can say which way the 7th district “leans”, since it’s only been around since 2002.) But I can understand why it’s confusing — the font’s pretty small, and it was probably late when you were looking at it.

  4. rgcombs said

    “Dis-congr-ia” — I like that. Well, at least I reversed them consistently. Fixed now — thanks!

    As for which way the 7th “leans,” that has nothing to do with history (well, other than the degree to which past outcomes might factor into one’s assessment of the current race). RCP’s “Leans Dem” category is simply those districts where the Democrat appears to have a slight edge, but it’s too close to call a Dem victory “likely.”

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