Via Breitbart, any PR pros out there reading this? Explain to me the strategy behind insisting that you’re confident you’ll hold the Senate when really no one believes that at this point. The thinking, I guess, is that you never say anything that might demoralize your troops right before a big vote. But Democrats didn’t worry about that with their fundraising pitches this summer; on the contrary, seemingly every e-mail to lefty donors was some variation of “REPUBLICANS ARE ON THE VERGE OF BLOTTING OUT THE SUN.” Debbie Downer could have just as easily played that game here, telling Tapper that things are looking iffy unless the Democrats watching do their duty tomorrow. Phony confidence that you’re going to win is just as likely to breed complacency in low information voters as it is to keep up their spirits, I would think. Now we’re all set up for Tapper to have her back on in a few days and ask her not only why she crapped the bed with her prediction but why she thought the presidential ball and chain around every Democrat’s ankle was some sort of “asset.”
It’s interesting to contrast her message on that point with Josh Earnest’s:
With the GOP in striking distance of regaining control of the Senate, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday that “the vast majority of [Senate races] are actually taking place in states that the president did not win in the last presidential election.”…
“The electorate is different this time than it is in a traditional presidential election,” Mr. Earnest said. “That will be part of the calculation that’s made as we consider what sort of conclusion should be appropriately drawn from the election.”
He added, “Any analysis that you do is different than the analysis that you would do on a true national election.”
That’s a smarter spin from a guy who can’t urge Democrats to turn out as freely as Wasserman Schultz can: Conservatives don’t like the president, so go figure that an election fought on conservative turf wouldn’t go the left’s way. The next one will be fought on liberal turf, not only in terms of a bluer turnout nationwide but in terms of Republican senators being forced to defend their seats in purple states. In fact, expect that to be the spin du jour tomorrow night from more polished Democratic mouthpieces than Debbie — yeah, sure, Republicans won, but barring something unusual happening, Dems are going to take back the Senate in 2016. Back in January, Sean Trende ran a two-cycle election model that tried to predict the Democrats’ odds of reclaiming the majority in 2016 depending upon how well the GOP did this year. Right now, a good (but not spectacular) night for Republicans tomorrow probably means a pick-up of eight seats, bringing them to 53. According to Trende, if that happens, then even if a Republican is elected president in 2016, Democrats would still have a 59.8 percent chance at a majority in 2016. If the GOP takes 54 seats tomorrow, i.e. if Pat Roberts wins and either Scott Brown upsets Jeanne Shaheen or Thom Tillis beats Hagan, those odds drop to 43.5 percent. If Roberts, Brown, and Tillis all win, as well as all the other Republicans who are expected to win tomorrow, that’s 55 seats and just a 27.1 percent likelihood that Democrats regain the majority in two years. And if a GOP tsunami develops and Ed Gillespie ends up shocking Mark Warner in Virginia, that 56-seat total would drop the Dems’ odds of 51 seats in 2016 to just 13.5 percent. You’ll hear all of those figures tomorrow night and Wednesday, I assume. It’s a much better consolation for Democrats than babbling about how Mr. 42 Percent was your best asset.