The Biggest Losers: Gentry GOP, or Tea Party?

PJ Media » May Southern Primaries Set Up GOP for Fall Battles

In the election cycles of 2010 and 2012, Republican contests in several Senate primaries produced either hopelessly unelectable nominees such as Christine O’Donnell, or badly flawed candidates such as Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, Todd Akin, and Richard Mourdock. All of these candidates self-destructed in the general election campaign, losing winnable races. In each of these cases, the eventual nominee ran well to the right of more mainstream incumbents (Richard Lugar) or other primary contestants.

This always gets a lot of play.  But for some reason those pushing this pro-moderate, pro-establishment narrative never seem to mention this:

GOP Myths About Conservative Candidates

That said, let’s tally these races as arguments for the GOP establishment against conservatives. If these races had flipped, or stayed, Republican, the party would have 48 seats, very close to a majority. 

But, what is the GOP establishment track-record?

In 2012, the GOP got its pick of candidates in several states. The party was able to fend off primary challenges and rally behind the “most electable” candidate. These included: Linda McMahon (CT), Denny Rehberg (MT), Tommy Thompson (WI), George Allen (VA), Connie Mack (FL), Heather Wilson (NM), Josh Mandell (OH), Pete Hoekstra (MI) and Linda Lingle (HI). These nine candidates had the “moderate” records that voters purportedly prefer. They each had enormous resources to wage successful campaigns. Had these “electable candidates” won, the GOP would be in the majority now with 54 seats. 

In 2010, the GOP establishment lost winnable seats in California, with Carly Fiorina, and Washington, with Dino Rossi. If the GOP establishment truly knew the “special sauce” to win campaigns, the party would have 56 seats in the Senate now, even allowing for the seats where the “tea party” supported “flawed” candidates. 

So, even accepting the tenuous argument that the “tea party” cost the Republicans 3-5 seats, the GOP establishment lost 11. One could easily argue that the Tea Party needs to step-up its involvement in primaries to prevent the Republican party from continuing to nominate “moderate” candidates who can’t win. The last two GOP presidential nominees have been “electable moderates” who so failed to inspire actual voters that they lost very winnable races.

The omniscient guru of “electability,” Karl Rove, pissed more than a 100 million dollars down a rathole trying to elect “moderate” Republicans in 2012, with dismal results:

The “Biggest Loser” of the 2012 Election: Karl Rove | PR Watch

Republican mastermind Karl Rove was responsible for most of the damage. Together, his SuperPAC American Crossroads and 501(c)(4) “dark money” group Crossroads GPS reported spending $175 million (when undisclosed spending is taken into account, the actual total may be as high as $390 million), but accomplished very little of consequence. A post-election analysis by the Sunlight Foundation found that very few of the candidates supported by Rove’s groups emerged victorious on Tuesday. Just 1.29% of the $104 million spent by American Crossroads backed a winning candidate. Crossroads GPS fared slightly better, achieving a 14.4% return on its $70 million in reported spending.

I wonder why the propaganda hacks of the Gentry GOP never mention any of this?

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About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.

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