Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Mop Up

It looks as if Republicans, once again, did not bring home the bacon in Connecticut. Campaign analysts are asking why.

This is an easy one. Republicans are outnumbered in the state roughly by a ratio of two to one, a very steep hill to climb. And, considering the historic nature of journalism in Connecticut, they cannot expect a leg up from the state’s left of center media. The Hartford Courant’s election eve endorsement editorial for instance looked as if it had been dictated to the paper’s publisher and editorial board by David Axelrod, and the paper’s endorsement of Democrat Elizabeth Esty over moderate Republican Andrew Roraback was particularly self-serving.

The paper endorsed all Democrats, at least two of whom are congresspersons for life, U. S. Representatives Rosa DeLauro and John Larson.  If it is the mission of journalism to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, that editorial is a frank admission that the mission has been abandoned. Mr. Larson and Mrs. DeLauro are very comfortable indeed; not so their opponents, who are discomforted by massive spending gaps. 

Linda McMahon spent a hundred million dollars in two attempts to win a vacant U.S. Senatorial position and lost both times. Is there a message there?

There is: Money alone can’t buy you a Senate seat. Mrs. McMahon spent $41,474,257 on her campaign, while her Democratic opponent Chris Murphy spent $9,345,243, a ratio of 4.5 to 1. Most journalists, and not a few voters on the receiving end of her mailers, were horrified by the imbalance; however, it was impossible to help but notice that the McMahon-Murphy spending gap was much smaller than that in two other races.

John Larson spent $1,961,468 defending himself from his Republican challenger, John Decker, who spent $47,005, a 41 to 1 gap. And Rosa DeLauro spent $1,039,238 defending herself against Republican Wayne Winsley, who spent $51,668, a gap of 20 to 1. Mr. Larson is operating within a gerrymandered district that makes ANY campaign fundraising redundant, and Mrs. DeLauro’s district fairly assures her a lifetime sinecure. Yet these imbalances, obvious for many years in their campaigns, hardly raised an eyebrow among the state’s left of center media.

There were no great numerical losses for Republicans in the General Assembly; the numbers remain similar, though some seats changed.

Republican conservatives lost at least one valiant soldier in state Senator Len Suzio, who was targeted by the Malloy administration for having discomforted Mike Lawlor, Governor Dannel Malloy’s Under Secretary for Criminal Justice and the architect of a problem plagued early release program. The thin-skinned Malloy administration is nettled by its gadflies and punishes them ruthlessly whenever possible. Suzio, a man of honor, lost by a heart stopping 221 votes out of nearly 40,000 cast in his overwhelmingly Democratic District after his opponent had imported many of his views into her campaign. The Malloy administration targeted other nettlesome conservative legislators but, for the most part, the few conservatives in the General Assembly acquitted themselves well.

What part was played in Connecticut elections by the Tea Party?

Tea Party members withdrew their participation, discreetly for the most part.

Is the Tea Party, some wonder, still a force to be reckoned with?

Though the Tea Party is not a party but rather a movement, some leaders within the movement recall General Ulysses Grant’s response after a humiliating counter attack by Confederate forces at Fort Donelson, “Dig in, we will get’em tomorrow.”

Tea Party members were not sought as campaign recruits by either McMahon or Roraback, who lost his race to Esty by a relatively slim margin. The Democrats, of course, used the Tea Party as a foil in their races, a stratagem devised by President Barack Obama’s Chicago shakers and movers, although it was clear that most Tea Party members in Connecticut were not animated by the Republican offerings this year. Mr. Murphy, the Planned Parenthood candidate, deployed the Chicago rhetoric to some effect against Mrs. McMahon. But generally, Tea Party folk were disengaged. There was not enough libertarian-conservative pollen among Republican candidates this year to attract the bees.

Looking to the future, what’s the most important take away for Republican candidates?
Both Mr. Roraback and Mrs. McMahon, who positioned themselves in their races as demi-Democrats, have demonstrated that Weickerism doesn’t work anymore.  Mothball it; try something different. The Republican Party needs more Grants and fewer McClellans.


Don Pesci said...

For the oxygen-breathing Republicans in the state, the lesson of Roraback's loss is that you can't win without your base. And if you're a so-called moderate, and you actually get the support of the base (as was the case with Romney) you still won't win, because why should the electorate settle for Democrat-Lite when they can vote in the real thing.

The CT GOP has probably run 20 or so "Moderates" since the state turned blue and lost every race. I'd like to try 20 conservatives in a row and see how many we get to score.....or maybe just a couple conservatives with true Party support...but alas, I pipedream too much - there don't seem to be many in the CT GOP who still breathe oxygen...............

Bob MacGuffie

Right Principles

Don Pesci said...

The comment above was written by Bob. Somehow he couldn't get it through the capcha.

Anonymous said...

As a party chair I think we need to reconsider the Pro-life anti gay marriage position that will NOT work in CT.

Many women in CT are scared by the Republican stance on social issues. They want a fiscal conservative and do not want a right wing pro-life anti-gay marriage stance that several Republican Candidates took and many of these women would call extreme.

I will say that I am Pro-Choice, because I am a male, I will not tell a woman, what she can do with her body. Personally, I am Pro-Life, but my public and private decisions are just that, public and private, and they ARE different, as they should be. I stand with those that do not believe abortion should be used as a form of birth control, and many agree with that position.

As Republicans we believe in personal responsibility and less government. The pro-life position is anathema to personal responsibility and less government! We should be the party of pro-choice and the Dems should be the party of pro-life, because as with ObamaCare they want more government involvement between you and your Doctor. The basic precepts of less government involvement in the affairs of private people are a basic tenet of Republicanism however the national stance is anti Republican, in my opinion. A public policy is different that a personal choice and that idea can be applied to almost anything.

The Anti gay marriage issue is another one. We should be pro-civil union and recognize them nationally in the tax code and replace the word marriage. Marriage is a spiritual contract before God and as such if your God recognizes such unions it is your option. The States can decide this issue and the Federal Government should be out of this discussion. The issue of what you do in your bedroom is YOUR business and not mine.

We need to reinvigorate our base with the tenet of less government, lower spending and control of taxes.

Bruce Rubenstein said...

the republicans had no chance because your party has not made a priority of registering republicans a priority,thus you remain a 2/1 loser off the bat. In addition,Connecticut doesnt like self funded candidates, ergo...McMahon,Foley,LaMont,Wilson-Foley and a host of others before them.Furthermore and most important,is the changing demographics that favor my party.When you offend Latino's and cause them to go 3/1 in favor of Obama,by using the "self deportation and anti dream act route, you will surely lose.If you do your homework like we democrats have, you will see a decining vote among white folks and in this 2012 race only 72% of voters were white,the lowest in history and the next presidential race will be in the 60's.The fastest growing racial and ethnic groups in this country are registering Democratic and will remain so until you guys figure out that losing isnt going to help you.Maybe after some more loses you will realize that the republican party must revamp itself if it expects to remain a national party and not just a regional party.

Don Pesci said...

I’ll be writing something about that later. In the meantime, here’s a response to your points from RCP’s Sean Trende (propitious last name:

“But most importantly, the 2012 elections actually weren’t about a demographic explosion with non-white voters. Instead, they were about a large group of white voters not showing up.”

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Bruce Rubenstein said:

the republicans had no chance because your party has not made a priority of registering republicans a priority,thus you remain a 2/1 loser off the bat.

Bingo - we have a winner!

That's exactly what we haven't been doing.

Never mind that registration and outreach were pretty much the only topics I talked about during my unsuccessful attempt at GOP party chair.

Featured Post

Casey Chadwick’s Uneasy Life after Death

Casey and her mother Wendy "I just started grief counseling. I'm always sad. I'm sad and in pain and I miss her." ...