Monday, November 08, 2010

GOP Rep. Bachus Blames Palin for Continued Dem Control of Senate

Someone's going to get tea partied come 2012:
Alabama Rep. Spencer Bachus (R) told members of the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce that former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was probably the reason for the GOP's failure to take control in the U.S. Senate in last week's election.

"The Senate would be Republican today except for states (in which Palin endorsed candidates) like Christine O'Donnell in Delaware," Bachus said. "Sarah Palin cost us control of the Senate."

There's actually a surprisingly decent case for this: Nominating sane candidates flips Delaware, Nevada, and Colorado into the GOP column. That makes things 50-50, and frees up Republican resources to bombard Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), who barely escaped 2010 intact.


sonicfrog said...

You probably don't listen to conservative talk radio much, but it's pretty amazing how they are trying to spin this failure and deflect it from any association with Palin. I mean, really, the same people that say that Al Gore lost 2000 in part because he couldn't even win his own state (a valid observation as that would have made FLA a moot point) now can't see a problem that her hand picked candidate couldn't even win in her home state.

Julia said...

Correlation, or causation? Palin's endorsement didn't make these candidates insane, they had accomplished that very well themselves before her endorsement.

David Schraub said...

Sure, but I think Rep. Bachus' point was that these candidates never would have made it out of the primary absent Palin's help.tabi

PG said...

I don't know about the other states, but I think it's likely true that Palin's support for O'Donnell in DE was a deciding factor in the GOP primary win. O'Donnell launched her primary campaign in March 2010. Palin endorsed her on September 8. Prior to that endorsement, O'Donnell had not had a poll showing her as likely to beat Castle. Palin's endorsement made O'Donnell, who had a history as a fringe candidate in Delaware, look far more respectable as well as making her more well-known nationally, which helped to attract more money. In an election as small as the Delaware Republican primary -- in which fewer than 58,000 people voted -- even a small influx of additional money and name recognition can be significant.

That said, Castle didn't run his campaign very well. In particular, he should have debated O'Donnell. Refusing to do so meant he completely played into her campaign's narrative that he was an out-of-touch establishment pol who had been in office so long he was unresponsive to the voters. I don't think there was anything wrong with his failure to mention her a lot in his emails or on his website, but refusing to debate almost never looks good.