That’s right, folks. Karl Rove, a former White House adviser who had a meltdown on Fox News on election night, and American Crossroads are creating a PAC dedicated to helping establishment candidates defeat conservatives in primary races:
The biggest donors in the Republican Party are financing a new group to recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s efforts to win control of the Senate.
The group, the Conservative Victory Project, is intended to counter other organizations that have helped defeat establishment Republican candidates over the last two election cycles. It is the most robust attempt yet by Republicans to impose a new sense of discipline on the party, particularly in primary races.
“There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected,” said Steven J. Law, the president of American Crossroads, the “super PAC” creating the new project. “We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.”
It seems that GOP candidates still have not learned that they are better off not speaking about rape and abortion. Just weeks after Todd Akin’s infamous “legitimate rape” comment, another conservative has stated his views on the issue - this time Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock:
“I know there are some who disagree and I respect their point of view but I believe that life begins at conception. The only exception I have to have an abortion is in that case of the life of the mother. I just struggled with it myself for a long time but I came to realize: “Life is that gift from God that I think even if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
Now, I should get one thing out the way here. I personally find Mourdock’s comments to be callous, and as someone who does not personally believe in a deity, I could never imagine telling a woman who was impregnated by a rapist that it was “God’s will” to carry to term a baby fathered by a vicious attacker and forced on her through the most violent of means. It seems remarkably insensitive and lacking compassion.
But it’s not at all inconsistent or illogical given the thinking of pro-lifers. If you’re someone who genuinely believes that life begins at the moment of conception, it doesn’t matter to you the circumstances. I’ve always thought it to be very dishonest for “pro-life” candidates to be against abortion, but leave exceptions for rape and incest. If you believe that unborn fetuses have full human rights, then the only possible time you could be okay with ending that life is if another life is at stake or if you believe it is compassionate due to severe birth defects. And even then, that’s debatable.
Often motivated by financial interests, the political consultant, writes Blackwell, often finds himself branching into lobbying, though “he continues to take some candidates as clients, partly to keep his valuable ties with incumbents and partly because there are in each election cycle some rich candidates and others able to raise big war chests.”
But grassroots activists have threatened political consultants in recent years as insurgent campaigns have become the norm inside the Republican Party. Roll Call notes that this has the insider-class scrambling to regain their power:
The internal battle for the direction of the Republican Party has enveloped Washington’s GOP consultant class, as pragmatic party strategists hired to win campaigns ponder how to reclaim control of the primary process from powerful conservative activist groups.
This developing conflict comes in the aftermath of consecutive election cycles that saw Republicans blow as many as five Senate races because the party nominated flawed candidates over those who were better suited to compete in the general election.
Of all the post-election autopsies I’ve read, this one may be the silliest. It is definitely an excercise in sticking one’s head in the sand, of deliberately ignoring what is going on around you. But since it is written by the President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, maybe I can give Richard Land some slack. Maybe. I mean, after all, it’s not like he’s going to say “Ignore me!” is he?
Here is what Mr. Land writes, in the New York Times of all places (so I suppose he’s just consigned himself to hell for writing in there):
The G.O.P. must not, and cannot, ignore its foundation and base. Exit polls show that white evangelicals made up 26 percent of the electorate, 3percent more than in 2004. Furthermore, these evangelicals voted for Mitt Romney in virtually the same percentages as the governor’s fellow Mormons (78 percent for Romney vs. 21 percent for President Obama, according exit polls by Edison Research). Obama received 26 percent of evangelical votes in 2008.
On the pro-life and same-sex-marriage issues it should also be remembered that while Obama won the total Catholic vote 50 percent to 48 percent, he won Hispanic Catholics 75 percent to 21 percent, while Romney won non-Hispanic Catholics 59 percent to 40 percent. On the issue of same-sex-marriage, the pro-same-sex-marriage forces did win their first electoral victories, but they did so in four liberal states: Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. And, in all four cases they won by relatively small margins in spite of having outspent their opponents by margins approaching nine to one.
Last week. Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) tried to explain the Republican Party’s loss during an interview on CNN. LaTourette, who did not seek re-election this year, explained that, while the GOP has the “right message on finances,” it has to learn to get “out of people’s bedrooms”:
Rep. Steve LaTourette, a Republican from Ohio, had some strong language for his party on Thursday, saying that he wants Republicans “out of people’s bedrooms.”
After Republicans lost the presidential race and failed to retake the Senate, LaTourette said the GOP must rein in its extreme right wing and reach out to growing minority groups in order to stay competitive in future elections.
“We have the right message on finances, we have to get out of people’s lives, get out of people’s bedrooms, and we have to be a national party,” LaTourette said on CNN’s Starting Point. “Or else we’re going to lose.”
LaTourette also blasted the idea that the Tea Party movement has the answers for the party, slamming Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock in the process, noting that their views on abortion cost Republican votes:
The notion that the tea party holds the key to Republican success moving forward is “nonsense,” LaTourette said. He also said that “we can’t continue to dis the Latino voters.” Finally, LaTourette took aim at Republican Senate candidates Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin, both of whom made controversial remarks about rape during the election.
Not much has changed over night. Florida has yet to be called, but Romney trails Obama by some 46,000 votes. Whether or not Romney wins the state doesn’t matter, he’ll still lose the Electoral College. Assuming Obama still maintains a lead in Florida, here is how the map looks after last night:
There is a lot to say about the election, much of which has already been said by analysts, but I’ve thrown together a few thoughts on some different points. You don’t have to agree with me, but these are things worth nothing.
House Republicans Will Lose Seats: There was talk of House Republicans adding to their majority in the days leading up to the election. CNN noted during their coverage last night that this was a possibility. That will not happen. Some of the gains from 2010 were wiped out last night, especially in Illinois and New York. In Florida, Rep. Allen West lost his bid for re-election by less than 3,000 votes. Democrats managed to keep some of the seats Republicans hoped to pickup — such as GA-12, where Rep. John Barrow defeated Lee Anderson, and UT-4, a race that looked good for the GOP, but Mia Love was unable to defeat Rep. Jim Matheson. In the end, Republicans will keep their majority, but it will be slightly smaller.
The writing is on the wall for Republicans — they will not take the Senate in 2012. Polls have closed in the races that were being closely watched, but some are still too close to call. As has been noted in previous day, Republican candidates blew their party’s chances in Indiana and Missouri thanks to their comments about abortion in the context of rape. Others, including Sen. Scott Brown and Josh Mandel just weren’t strong enough to compete against in tough states.
Here is how these races stand as of 10 PM (red is for the GOP and blue is for Democrats and the projected winner is on the right with the color of the text being the party in control of the seat after tonight’s election):
If you’re pulling for Mitt Romney, you can’t be excited with what exit polls reported. Sure, exit polls aren’t definitive, but they do provide an indicator of what to expect. Based on what we’re seeing, the 2012 electorate is roughly the same as 2008, especially in swing states. This is an ominous sign for Romney’s campaign.
Currently, Romney is trailing President Barack Obama in Ohio, which is a must win. He’s ahead in Virginia, but the northern part of the state hadn’t reported at last look. Exit polls show each of these states to be very close, but Ohio may be too far gone for Romney, which means that the night could end early.
Here’s the Electoral College as of 9 PM. Polls have close in Florida, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, but no projections have been made.
Looking at some of the Senate races, Richard Mourdock is trailing Rep. Joe Donnelly in the Indiana race. Josh Mandel is down to Sen. Sherrod Brown in Ohio by a hefty margin. Sen. Scott Brown is losing in Massachusetts, though it’s still early. George Allen is currently leading Tim Kaine in Virginia. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) was projected to win re-election.
Last week, we went over the Senate races that are being watched around the country, noting that it was increasingly unlikely that Republicans would take back that chamber this year. As explained, Republicans thought they had the numbers — and they did, at least on paper. However, the campaigns in states ripe for a takeover haven’t gone that well. Perhaps the best examples of this are, as noted before, Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana, both of which came under fire about controversial comments on abortion in the circumstance of rape.
So with that, here are my predictions for the 15 races that have been so hotly contested this year, including any that are expected change hands. The color of the state is the current party in control of the seat (obviously, red is for the GOP and blue is for Democrats) and the predicted winner is on the right with the color of the text being the party in control of the seat after the election.
On Friday, we took a look at the battle for control of the United States Senate, noting that Republicans, who once had high-hopes to gain a majority in that chamber, are very likely to fall short at the polls tomorrow. Their struggles to take control of the Senate can really be highlighted by races in Indiana and Missouri, where the Republican nominees have struggled after making controversial comments about abortion and rape.
Todd Akin’s misstep in Missouri, where he is likely to lose to Sen. Claire McCaskill, who was thought to be the most vulnerable Democrat in the Senate, has been well documented. More recently, however, are Richard Mourdock’s troubles in Indiana.