Washington Post: GOP effort to take #NCSEN seat “problematic”

kaytomYep. That’s the way veteran political analyst Dan Balz characterizes the 2014 tussle between incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan, Republican Thom Tillis, and Libertarian Sean Haugh: 

[…] Republicans need to win a net of six seats to take control. Three states are considered almost certain to switch from Democrat to Republican: Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia. It’s relatively easy to assume they will gain one or two. The debate is about how many more Republicans will win beyond that. They have plenty of options but their victories must come either by defeating Democratic incumbents in red states or picking off seats in blue or purple states that Obama and the Democrats have been winning in presidential elections. 

To give some idea of the differences in current assessments of the outlook, the Upshot has published a chart summarizing what the six election forecasters say about 10 competitive Senate races (beyond Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia).

The Cook report listed nine of the 10 as toss-ups. Monkey Cage’s analysis listed only one as a tossup. The Upshot modeling counts seven toss-ups. Silver and Rothenberg each say there are six (and agree on what they are), while Sabato’s analysis lists five as too close to call.

Republicans feel confident for several reasons. First and perhaps most important, key contests will be fought on turf favorable to the GOP. They could win control of the Senate without ever having to win a state Mitt Romney lost in 2012.

To do that means they will have to overcome one serious obstacle: They must defeat incumbent Democrats in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina. Their best chances appear to be in Arkansas and Louisiana. Alaska and North Carolina are more problematic. […] 

Problematic? Hmmm. I thought this was going to be a slam dunk?  Let’s see.  Hagan has about $7 million more in the bank than Tillis.  Tillis is having “base problems” — including a disgruntled Tea Party faction, a well-polling Libertarian, and THREE right-leaning write-in candidates.  Every poll featuring the three major party candidates has Hagan on top. (Though, many of those leads are within the margin of error. )

In 2008, Hagan did not pull ahead of the incumbent Republican Dole until late August.  The next round of polling, released at the end of this month, should give us a much clearer idea as to whether the state House speaker can replicate Hagan’s 2008 victory strategy.  

22 thoughts on “Washington Post: GOP effort to take #NCSEN seat “problematic”

  1. So in other words, Tillis cannot unite the base, because a significant chunk of the grassroots activists who oppose crony corporatism simply will not vote for him, going for a Libertarian or a write-in candidate instead.

    However, it should be pretty obvious by now that establishment GOP donors and activists would not have supported Brannon, Harris, or any of the other grassroots candidates had they prevailed. All the evidence of that we need can be found in Mississippi, Lisa Murkowski’s write-in campaign against GOP nominee Joe Miller in 2010, or the way donors refused to support the Alaska or Iowa state GOP organizations once grassroots activists got control of those organizations.

    The question is, where does that leave us? It appears the GOP is one party in name only.

    1. Adam, you are, in my view, precisely correct. Here we have a political party which at the highest levels has lost touch and become disconnected from its values and principles — and thus detached from a major part of its own base.

      The RNC and elected officials at the national level are, with a few exceptions, violating the Constitution and ignoring their own party platform with impunity. There is little difference with their opposition. At the state level, the GOP hierarchy weakened its own platform and waged a not-so-inconspicuous war with a large part of its grassroots base.

      Tillis alienated so many of us, yet the Party insisted, as they always do, that he was the only “electable” candidate. Well, they will soon reap what they have sown. When the Republican Party abandoned its own stated principles, weakened and ignored its platform, interfered in primaries, and imposed candidates whose actions are those of crass, self-interested career politicians, they cannot expect to hold the base together — much less to inspire most independent-minded voters to come out in support.

      I predict Tillis will lose. I will not be surprised to see Ellmers lose. And I predict that the Republican Party will once again blame its own base for the sins of its old, tired hierarchy.

    2. The problem in the GOP is that much of the base is moving right while much of the donor class is moving left, and in the case of the US Chamber of Commerce, far to the left. Many in the Washington DC GOP ”establishment” also known as Big Government Republicans or Obama Republicans now clearly sees conservatives within the GOP as a bigger enemy than the Democrats. With that posture, their cries to the base for ”party unity” after they have Watergated us in places like Mississippi now often fall on deaf ears. The arrogance of the establishment is tearing the party apart. Unless that can be contained, there is a huge danger of an open party split.

  2. Tillis would no doubt be a better senator than Kay Hagan. His problem is that the GOP Washington Establishment pulled him through the primary–and Republican base voters are ready to burn Washington to the ground, and for good reason. In all candor, Mark Harris would have been our best candidate, a true outsider with no insider political baggage. But that’s hindsight now. Unless Tillis can really fire-up the voters who are fed up with Washington corruption, he will not win. After Mississippi, Republican voters are in a distrusting mood, to put it mildly.

    1. Tillis is in bed with the maliciously anti-conservative Big Government Republicans of the US Chamber of Commerce. That is absolute poison for conservative voters, as the Chamber puts big ,money into anti-conservative campaigns around the country, backing sometimes leftwing Republicans and other times Democrats as in Louisiana.

      Other than letting the Common Core repeal bill roll in the House this session, Tillis has refused to do anything to seek conservative votes. Well, after the Mississippi Mugging, the concept of voting for the lesser of the evils just does not sell any more. Time is running short for Tillis to make a case to conservatives about why we should hold our nose and vote for him.

  3. I am not an Establishment supporter and was not in the Tillis camp at all — I supported Greg Brannon in the primary. I still am not happy about Tillis however, the alternative is more frightening. The only hope to saving our Republic is keeping Republicans in the House and Senate, any way we can, in order to counter the head liberal in the White House. In this case, partisanship is our only ally. If the Dems take over and control the legislative branches, it’s going to be a free fall to disaster for the next two years. We must look at this in regard to who we really want to defeat — Harry Reid. If we get Republicans in the Senate, we can remove Reid, and that will take out one of Obama’s biggest supporters. We continue to press forward with our Conservative, anti-establishment cause but it’s imperative that we keep our eye on the prize — getting rid of Harry Reid and putting the Republicans in control of both houses of Congress. Without enough Republicans to counter the tide, we’re really going to be sunk and I fear the damage will be irreparable. .

    1. Mary Ann, I have the UTMOST respect and admiration for you. But I see things differently:

      If the Republicans assume control of the Senate in the 2014 elections, yes, ole senile Harry-Boy will take a lesser seat as did Botox-Nancy in the House (how’s that Boehner thing workin’ out for ya’?….) OK.

      At that point, one of two things will happen:

      1. A Repub-controlled Congress will pass bill after bill which will be vetoed by Obama. Some will be good. Some will be bad. But it won’t really matter. Obama will veto all and accuse the Congress of intransigence. And then he will issue more un-Constitutional Executive Orders which the cowardly and furtively capitulating Repubs will “criticize” but completely tolerate. The damage will be done.

      2. Obama and the complicit Washingtonian Repubs will “partner” with a newly “co-operative” Obama to pass and implement un-Constitutional “compromises” which move us even further to the left. The damage will be done.

      Either way, we LOSE! Unless we had thrown the bulk of Repub “conservative” pretenders out. Which we did not. How many of the traitorous Repub incumbents were exchanged for principled honest freshmen? You can count them on one hand. Such a sorry state of affairs…..

      If we know that the scoundrels in both parties in Washington have created the problems we now face, then why, OH WHY, do we keep electing the same people or the same kind of people??!!?!???!

      1. Bill, my friend, I absolutely return the respect, but we’re going to have to disagree on this one!

  4. Mary Ann, I agree that Harry Reid is a national disgrace and I would love to see him gone. Nonetheless, the GOP establishment is not conservative and will do nothing to advance liberty or conservatism. I used to believe they would, but years of experience in the party have opened my eyes to the sad truth. From 2000-2006, the GOP controlled all three branches of the federal government and spending for big government went out of control. Even with GOP control again, nothing will change. We basically now have two parties with one agenda. History bears this out.

    1. How is it that much better to replace Harry Reid with Mitch ”Kentucky Kickback” McConnell? This is the same McConnell, who when he vowed to the NY Times to ”crush them everywhere” was talking about conservatives in his own party, not Democrats. This is the same McConnell who arranged the funding of the dishonest and slimy Watergate style campaign in Mississippi that cheated conservative Chris McDaniel out of the Senate nomination. This is the same McConnell who refused to fight Obamacare other than a little window dressing. This is the same McConnell who sold taxpayers down the river on the budget vote for a huge bribe, the ”Kentucky Kickback” from Harry Reid.

      If we could dump Mitch and get a GOP Senate leader who really knew how to lead like Jeff Sessions. then there would be a much stronger argument for holding our noses for the likes of RIchard Morgan Republican Thom Tillis in order to get a GOP Senate majority.

  5. Sessions would be terrific, but the Republican Senate is now too corrupt to allow him to take charge. Karl Rove, Haley Barbour, the Chamber, the consultant class, and the hordes of lobbyists feeding off the taxpayers would never allow Sessions to be the Majority Leader of the Senate. Sad, but true.

  6. The naivete of well intended people like Mary Ann (and this is not a direct attack on her, but people who think like her) is overwhelming.

    The truth is that the Democrats were not alone in destroying this country. They were helped by the Socialist R people who have played footsie with the left, and went along to get along at the expense of our Republic. Being reelected was more important than the Constitution, liberty, or any other principle.

    Careerist hacks who have put self interest before their constituents and have sold their votes to line their own pockets and those of their friends are not found in only the Democrat party.

    George Washington warned us about “factions” but we did not heed that advise. Now the parties represent power and money…not the American people.

    I refuse to be a pawn in their game.

  7. The situation Americans who adhere to the Constitution face with the current two party system is further enslavement. There is a huge void in our political situation and sooner or later a new party will emerge. The GOP must die.

  8. Martin~The GOP, as I knew it years ago, seems to be deceased already. It dose not stand for Gallant Old Party, Get Out and Push Party, or the most familiar Grand Old Party any more. Now, sadly, it seems to stand for Government Over People Party, or at least, party over people.

  9. Nancy in Craven, I am offended at your characterization of me as naïve. If you actually knew me, you’d understand that I am well aware of the severity of the problem and am actually trying to be part of the solution through participation as an outspoken Conservative in my local GOP Women’s group, through my chairmanship of a governing board in my community and through my work as a writer for a Conservative Political Action Committee. Like everyone else on this post, I am furious with the GOP establishment, but I don’t see the wisdom in handing over everything to the Socialist left by throwing away votes on write-in candidates that won’t win or by handing the election to the Dems by voting for the likes of Clay Aiken in the Congressional race. I don’t see this as a viable solution to the problem. If we want to see effective change, we need to keep control of the House and Senate. Simultaneously, we need to stop letting the GOP beat up on us and start pushing them back, hard! I’ve seen this occur in my local GOP group and we can use the same methods to speak loudly and clearly to the Establishment leadership that we will not tolerate their behavior any longer by first and foremost, withholding money while systematically infiltrating the ranks, overrunning them with Conservatives. I am open to a third party, but unfortunately, we don’t have one. What we do have is a party that is in tatters, which makes it ripe for a coup.

  10. The democrats play to the left end of their party…. The republicans demean and threaten the right wing. Democrats have understood the need to have a coalition of people. The republicans are changing to all moderates and see the right wing as an anchor. Nothing is going to change the establishment republicans, aka Rove, Bush(s), Christy, Mccain, McConnell, Bohener, etc etc. So either prepare to accept their candidates or start a revolution each and every election to drag them kicking and screaming back to the right. If they keep losing elections with party picks, then maybe they will return to their base. They think they will get elected by appealing to the “undecided/unaffiliated but those numbers are growing because of the republicans leaving the party. Vote for whomever you like, but I believe that a new group of unaffiliated candidates are emerging and looking to fill that void. There are 2.7 million registered democrats, 2 million registered republicans, and 1.7 million unaffiliated and growing in NC. The hand writing is on the wall. Your choices:
    Millionaire Democrat with zero accomplishments
    Rino republican
    Open borders libertarian
    A Klingon
    A republican who didn’t participate in his own petition for senate
    or a candidate who pledges to give back his salary to 100 counties of NC… you decide

  11. Should al-Qaeda decide to send a nuke over, I hope they aim for DC. THAT will be the only way to term limit these jackals.

  12. While I agree with so much of what is outlined above because I, too, am disgusted with what is going on in the party, what will be the result if Tillis and/or Ellmers lose in the election? The Democrats’ hold on both Houses will be strengthened, and the regime will be unfettered in its plan to ruin America. If it is possible to do anything to hinder or thwart the regime, I will. That means that I will vote for both Tillis and Ellmer. So without argumentum ad hominem, I urge everyone to rethink their votes. Be angry, but do not allow that anger to enable the other side to grow stronger. This is more than about parties. This is a dangerous time, and real enemies would like to kill you and your families. Remember the larger fight that we have to face.

  13. @ Kay & Mary Ann
    I will be throwing my vote away and writing in John Rhodes. Voting for Thillis is an asinine proposition. Look no further than the GOP majority from 2002 – 2006 to see what you will get times two.

    The GOP majority in NC proved what will happen on the national level. Look at the GOP budget and tell me how they reduced Govco. Our problems with Govco cannot be solved at the ballot box, but “by the tree of liberty being refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants”.

  14. Do not let Rove tell us who our Senator should be. Kay beats Tillis hands down. Vote for anyone but Tillis or just sit it out. Send a message to Rove.

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