Green Room

Circle of Stupid: How the NRSC and Karl Rove Cost the GOP as Many as Five Senate Seats

posted at 7:23 am on November 7, 2010 by

The National Republican Senatorial Committee spent $3 million in the week before the election on the ill-fated campaign of Carly Fiorina, despite polling that showed her trailing by 9 points to the tiny Marxist Barbara Boxer (Fiorina ended up losing by… 9.8%).

In the mean time, Ken Buck lost by a tiny margin in Colorado; Nevada’s Sharron Angle lost by a similar narrow vote total, Dino Rossi was edged by Patty Murray in Washington, 27,000 votes swung the election against Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and and Joe Miller is hanging by a thread in Alaska.

In Alaska, the final results may not be known for some time, but the NRSC’s final ads actually ended up helping Lisa Murkowski in her write-in campaign against GOP nominee Joe Miller. Instead of attacking Murkowski — the candidate who most threatened the party’s nominee — the NRSC instead took aim at Democrat Scott McAdams, who had no chance of winning. Any support they drove from McAdams was far more likely to go to Murkowski than to Miller — meaning the NRSC effort probably did more harm than good for Miller’s campaign.

In other words, the NRSC’s idiocy — combined with outrageous remarks by Karl Rove on national television — likely doomed four or five true conservative candidates to extinction.

In the post-election debrief, the Nixonian RINO contingent of Whimsy Graham, John Cornyn and the rest of the NRSC’s ludicrous cadre of losers blamed… staunch conservative Jim DeMint, who had funded a handful of Tea Party-backed Senatorial winners like Pat Toomey (PA), Marco Rubio (FL), Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT) and Ron Johnson (WI).

Oh, but that $8 million spent on Fiorina’s campaign didn’t hurt at all — right, boys?

I know one thing: that $3 million spent in the final weeks on those five campaigns could have swung four or five seats to the GOP. But the idiots at the NRSC are selfish, insular Beltway Republicans who are wedded to the status quo.

News flash, boys: we just stamped expiration dates on your foreheads.

Lessons learned

Give directly to conservative candidates — and don’t send even a dime to the NRSC or any of Karl Rove’s pathetic groups (e.g., “American Crossroads” — or, as I like to call it, “American Double-Crossers”).

You can and should support the PACs of true conservatives like Jim DeMint, such as The Senate Conservatives Fund.

As for you, Whimsy Graham — I can’t wait until 2014. I will come to South Carolina, I will do whatever it takes to help defeat you in the primary.


Hat tips: Mark Levin and Michelle Malkin. Cross-posted at: Doug Ross @ Journal.

 

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Fear of flying. Even with a tsunami at their backs the GOP has a deficit of confidence.

Perhaps if the Republican leadership had embraced real Conservatives and real conservatism earlier they would have had a bigger war chest.

Speakup on November 7, 2010 at 8:34 AM

The Republican leadership is a disgrace. It’s clear they prefer to go along to get along than be in the majority where they have to govern from the right.

Time to clean them all out with primaries in 2012 and 2014.

erp on November 7, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Give directly to conservative candidates

Started doing that a while back. Won’t donate to national organizations anymore.

oldleprechaun on November 7, 2010 at 8:40 AM

I guess they figured they could lay the blame for losses on Palin. /

katiejane on November 7, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Hear, hear!

BKeyser on November 7, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Sooo, instead of spending on a candidate who ended up losing by 9.8 points, they shoulda spent it all on one who lost by 17 points…?

Now, I totally agree on Angle and Buck. The Dems can’t cheat if it isn’t close. They should have spent it on ground game in CO and NV. And the NRSC should have made their case for Miller in AK

Sekhmet on November 7, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Sooo, instead of spending on a candidate who ended up losing by 9.8 points, they shoulda spent it all on one who lost by 17 points…?

Sekhmet on November 7, 2010 at 9:50 AM

O’Donnell lost by 17 points with little-to-no support from the NRSC, Rove, or any establishment types. Fiorina lost by 9.8% with that help. 20/20 hindsight, blah blah blah Etc. ad nausaum…

gryphon202 on November 7, 2010 at 9:53 AM

I worked as an alternate election judge in a gentry-liberal district , and I can tell you that a lot of what caused Reps to lose in gentry-liberal districts was the Left pressing the panic button, seeing an extinction-level event coming. The margin of error in California made Fiorina possible, but unlikely. O’Donnell didn’t have a chance, even if Karl Rove praised her to the rafters.

Sekhmet on November 7, 2010 at 10:55 AM

I, too, thought Fiorina could win, so it may have just been irrational exuberance that had them donating to her campaign. However, their personal attacks on O’Donnell and Angle, piling on to what the Dems were doing, probably turned away the few key swing voters we needed in Colorado, Washington, and Nevada, and are the reason it was so close in Pennsylvania. Money would have helped in all those places, but a full-throated defense of conservatism was what we really needed.

joe_doufu on November 7, 2010 at 11:12 AM

The margin of error in California made Fiorina possible, but unlikely. O’Donnell didn’t have a chance, even if Karl Rove praised her to the rafters.

Sekhmet on November 7, 2010 at 10:55 AM

But how do you know that? Fiorina got the help, and she STILL lost by almost 10 points! If you’re going to compare Fiorina’s loss to O’Donnell’s, it’s really just a matter of degrees. When it comes right down to it, they both lost because they both didn’t get the votes. Anything else is just speculation, and I don’t give a flying fig what a person’s credentials are if they think otherwise.

gryphon202 on November 7, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Hindsight is wiser than foresight.

…27,000 votes swung the election against Christine O’Donnell in Delaware…

That number is meaningless – you have to look at the percentage of the total vote.

Moreover, with the exception of Rossi, many of those candidates had problems of their own making. Buck blundered by wandering into divisive social issues; COD was fatally flawed from the start; Miller had the unfortunate online poll/computer issue to deal with. Angle did not help her campaign with that clumsy immigration ad, and of course Harry had the GOTV advantage, buses and minders at the ready.

Meanwhile, Rove’s American Crossroads donated $60 million dollars in September alone. How about we thank him for his help in winning the races which were run, instead of blaming him for COD’s failures? One can donate directly to conservative candidates, but they need to know what to do with the donations. That statergerizing is something Rove knows how to do.

Buy Danish on November 7, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Firoina was within the margin of error in many of the polls during the final weeks of the campaign. Boxer never polled above 46%. That’s the definition of a winnable race. The polls may have been wrong because they missed a lot of Spanish-speaking voters that went heavily for Democrats. This also happened in Nevada.

I don’t know what anyone thinks the NRSC could have done in Delaware to help Christine O’Donnell. She was done the minute that “I’m not a witch” ad came out, and that was HER decision. National laughingstocks don’t win too many elections.

rockmom on November 7, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Oh, and Ken Buck lost a race that should have been won by several percentage points and not needed much help from the NRSC. Jane Norton would have clobbered Michael Bennet. Buck was a bad candidate. That’s not the NRSC’s or Karl Rove’s fault. You can’t polish a turd.

rockmom on November 7, 2010 at 12:05 PM

rockmom on November 7, 2010 at 12:01 PM
rockmom on November 7, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Exactamundo.

Buy Danish on November 7, 2010 at 12:21 PM

O’Donnell didn’t have a chance, even if Karl Rove praised her to the rafters.

Sekhmet on November 7, 2010 at 10:55 AM

I don’t disagree. However, just shutting up would have eliminated himself from any blame after her loss. Now, he gets to wear that around his neck, deserved or not. Pretty dumb move for someone so smart on political dynamics.

roy_batty on November 7, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Now, he gets to wear that around his neck, deserved or not. roy_batty on November 7, 2010 at 1:24 PM

So what are the ground rules in the future? Rove can’t criticize GOP candidates? How about acommenters here at Hot Air? Is it all unicorns, lollipops and rainbows from here on in? Or maybe we all ride the Peace Train into the sunset?

Buy Danish on November 7, 2010 at 1:54 PM

So what are the ground rules in the future? Rove can’t criticize GOP candidates? How about acommenters here at Hot Air? Is it all unicorns, lollipops and rainbows from here on in? Or maybe we all ride the Peace Train into the sunset?

Buy Danish on November 7, 2010 at 1:54 PM

I’ll put you down as in support of his post-Castle petulant rant.

roy_batty on November 7, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Give directly to conservative candidates — and don’t send even a dime to the NRSC or any of Karl Rove’s pathetic groups (e.g., “American Crossroads” — or, as I like to call it, “American Double-Crossers”).

You can and should support the PACs of true conservatives like Jim DeMint, such as The Senate Conservatives Fund.

Can’t be said often enough. Amen.

It might be too late, but the national GOP might want to consider sending to the back pasture (or the glue works) the tired old RINOs, DIABLOs, and in-it-for-the-power elites (did I jst say the same thing three times?).

Overdue: Stop worrying about the “third parties” and start working on being one of the three.

lsheldon on November 7, 2010 at 3:56 PM

You can’t expect anything else from the bunch of RINO’s who are running the NRSC. They need to be unceremoniously booted out of leadership and sent packing as soon as possible to save this country from morons like them. This is exactly what is wrong with the GOP and why I am no longer a Republican or an NRA member. If you don’t care about this country, then get out of the way and let those of us who do run the show!!!!

flytier on November 7, 2010 at 5:09 PM

The bottom line for me is this:

If these Beltway Boys are going to go all in with their little messaging campaign, blaming Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint for not controlling the Senate, then it is certainly appropriate to point out their failings in this cycle as well. They are not omnipotent geniuses, they made mistakes that in hindsight are also clear to see.

Remember, they started the blame game on their own team right after the vote. Reminds me of ’08, actually.

They are not blameless either, and they have ensured that the grassroots are going to hear about it because they decided to try and set a narrative by attacking DeMint and Palin, who have done a hell of a lot for the Party in the last couple of years.

This is an error they are making, and they will pay for it.

Brian1972 on November 7, 2010 at 5:17 PM

@Buy Danish

So what are the ground rules in the future? Rove can’t criticize GOP candidates? How about acommenters here at Hot Air? Is it all unicorns, lollipops and rainbows from here on in? Or maybe we all ride the Peace Train into the sunset?

Dude – simple: you don’t kneecap the GOP candidate in the midst of a campaign to save society from the Alinsky-ites and Marxists.

That’s what Reagan did. It’s called class.

directorblue on November 7, 2010 at 7:24 PM

They are not blameless either, and they have ensured that the grassroots are going to hear about it because they decided to try and set a narrative by attacking DeMint and Palin, who have done a hell of a lot for the Party in the last couple of years.

This is an error they are making, and they will pay for it.

Brian1972 on November 7, 2010 at 5:17 PM

This is not an error this is a BATTLE that must be fought and won if power is to be returned to the people!

The players, consultants and kingmakers in both parties (Rove, Gilespie) accept big money from big corporate donors and wealthy eletists guaranteeing them a seat at the handout table when it comes to earmarks and favorable legislation.
One way to slow this gravy train is to bypass them and give directly to the campaigns.

The other way is to elect palins and deMints who will limit the payoffs and lobbyist influences once in office.
the Kingmakers will not give up their gravy train easily, its how they feed themselves and make the big bucks no matter which party is in power.

Always playing one side against the other to draw the money and peddle the influence.

dhunter on November 7, 2010 at 7:41 PM

“Circle of Stupid” I like that. The RINOs have been negative on the Tea Party and it’s candidates from the beginning and I’d say, are they stupid? You betcha.

Done That on November 8, 2010 at 6:54 AM

Thanks, I felt the same way about Turd Blossom and the rest of the Beltway bozos.

patch on November 8, 2010 at 2:54 PM

directorblue on November 7, 2010 at 7:24 PM

It’s Dudette. No one depises Marxists and Alinsky-ites more than I do. But if this is going to be the standard, then Rove is going to have to stop working as an analyst/commentator for Fox News.

Meanwhile, I hope we get better candidates that COD in 2012.

Buy Danish on November 8, 2010 at 4:42 PM

But if this is going to be the standard, then Rove is going to have to stop working as an analyst/commentator for Fox News.

Buy Danish on November 8, 2010 at 4:42 PM

If the standard is his unhinged jabbering then, we agree.

Or perhaps he was just doing the double-plus-head-fake-reverse-psychology ploy on the DE left?

I might have missed that nuance…..

roy_batty on November 8, 2010 at 6:04 PM

roy_batty on November 8, 2010 at 6:04 PM

Oh please! Karl Rove is not “unhinged” and it’s particularly amusing to hear you use that term relative to a discussion of Christine O’Donnell. Indeed, it’s not unlike the absurdity of the radical left calling Reagan conservatives ‘out of touch with the mainstream’. At the very least, it should bother you that she can’t stop blaming everyone but herself for her loss.

Buy Danish on November 9, 2010 at 8:23 AM

Buy Danish on November 9, 2010 at 8:23 AM

Heh, talk about not letting it go…..

;-)

He was totally unprofessional and his comportment after she won the primary supports that premise.

Simply, we disagree on that point.

roy_batty on November 9, 2010 at 2:10 PM

He was totally unprofessional and his comportment after she won the primary supports that premise.
Simply, we disagree on that point.
roy_batty on November 9, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Okay, truce. I’ll admit to being a bit touchy on this subject having had to listen to all sorts of ridiculous hyperbole about how Rove “smeared” COD, at another thread.

Buy Danish on November 9, 2010 at 3:58 PM

O’Donnell was a bad candidate, but the reason she was there is because the establishment didn’t want to run anyone against Castle. The establishment said “our candidate or no one because we already know Castle can win and we don’t want to waste money.”. The Tea Party didn’t take the gambit. If they took the gambit, then the establishment will do it again. This got the establishment PO’d and Rove went ballistic. The establishment, after years of saying that we should all back the GOP candidate, they turned around and attacked O’Donnell. They didn’t stand by Miller either. They made sure that O’Donnell never had a chance. Forget if she could have won or not. Rove and the establishment took her out.

The Tea Party got it right. And Palin stepping in even when she knew that O’Donnell chances were dire was a classy move.

MrX on November 10, 2010 at 4:00 PM

The hard right has always lived in a paranoid delusion of second guessing and criticizing its own allies in the Republican Party. All these attacks on Karl Rove are just blaming the messenger for the truth: O’Donnell is a dim bulb. But she’s a celebrity now and will have all the attention she ever craved. I don’t know if any Republican can win in some of these ultra blue states, at least until they learn their lessons through bankruptcy.

Karl Rove raised huge amounts of money that helped tea party candidates win. This tendency to heap abuse on the leaders in Congress is unhelpful and self-defeating. I don’t buy this theory that more money would have won in all these states. Rossi has run good campaigns again and again, and his losses have been due to a lack of money.

I think all of these gripes are pointless. In two years we have a chance to return Reid and Boxer and others to the minority, we need better candidates than Sharon Ange and Christine O’D to make it happen though.

flataffect on November 11, 2010 at 7:47 PM