I am by no means saying that the liberals will win all these races. But unless, the polls are totally wrong (I hope they are) the following races are either unnecessarily close, tossups, uphill battles, or totally lost. The amazing thing is that they are all in their current state of play due to absurd smears and lies by the Democrats, despite the extreme baggage and lack of gravitas of the democrat candidates:
- Meg Whitman in California: Jerry Brown has more baggage than anyone around, yet he successfully tainted Whitman with the smear of her illegal house cleaner. Jerry Brown is a supporter of illegals and there was nothing Meg Whitman could have done different, but the media has successfully connected with the plethora of drones in CA to sink Whitman. If we cannot win California with $150 million in the best of political climates, is CA lost forever?
- Ken Buck in Colorado: I know that he is slightly ahead, but the fact that he hasn’t been able to pull away from a major lightweight in a state where Obama and Bennett’s policies are extremely unpopular is amazing. Despite the lies of the media about Republican campaign spending, the Democrats have always had an unlimited money supply, and nowhere is that so evident as in Colorado. Bennett has spent millions of dollars spreading vicious attacks against Buck. This has kept the race competitive. Buck recently expressed his frustration over their success in ducking the issues.
- John Raese in West Virginia: There is perhaps no state in which Obama’s policies are more unpopular than in West Virginia. Yet, Joe Manchin has succeeded in smearing Raese about his wife’s residency and has made that a bigger issue than the economy. Also, not only will he not run on the Democrat agenda (even though he is heavily funded by the DSCC), he campaigns against it.
- Joe Miller in Alaska: This was a no brainer hold in a strong conservative state during a conservative year. Yet, Lisa Murkowski (in place of the Democrats in this situation), along with her union thugs, outside money, and the local media, has successfully made the campaign about Miller’s participation in an online poll during his lunch break while he served as a judge.
- Bob Ehrlich in Md: Martin O’Malley is one of the most liberal and incompetent governor’s in the nation. He is the one who coined the term “new American” for illegal aliens. Yet, he has spent millions of dollars viciously attacking and distorting Ehrlich’s record to the point that most drones in Maryland actually think that Ehrlich is the incumbent.
- Linda McMahon in CT: Dick Blumenthal is a radical extremist and a lightweight. In addition, he offered one of the most dastardly lies about serving in Vietnam in middle of the campaign. Yet, this stuff just rolls right off of him, while he successfully makes the election about WWE. I am not a huge fan of Linda McMahon, but if we can’t win with a multi-millionaire, aggressive self funder, against a lightweight extremist Democrat who is full of baggage, in a solid Republican year, then how can we ever win this state?
- Christine O’Donnell in Delaware: This one is real easy. The Democrats have put up an uninspiring Marxist who supports every unpopular part of Obama’s agenda. However, the media, along with Mike Castle’s op-researchers have successfully made the campaign about frivolous nonsense.
- Rick Scott in Florida: This is a race that we should have won in a walk but do to vicious personal attacks on Scott (thank you Bill McCollum) this race is still neck and neck. What is even more amazing, is that even after Alex Sink was caught cheating in a debate, Rasmussen only has Scott up by 3. These things simply roll off Democrats like jello!
- Rand Paul in KY: Yes, I know that this one doesn't belong in my list because Paul should easily win. But here is what bothers me. Kentucky is an extremely conservative state that rejected Obama handily even in 2008. In 2010, Obama is downright toxic and has a 35% approval deficit in that state. Jack Conway was actually the more liberal candidate who emerged from the Democrat primary and supports the full Obama agenda. Yet, most polls don't have Paul up more than 8 or 9. (Although things are finally beginning to break there) The fact is that the personal smears have worked a bit. Otherwise, Paul would be ahead by 25%.
It's interesting to note that the one race that we have blown wide open, even though it involved a political neophyte running against a major incumbent, is the Wisconsin Senate race. I think that the reason is quite obvious. That is the one race in which the Democrat, Russ Feingold has (to his credit) honestly run on his record of support for the Obama agenda. And when the narrative of the election is primarily about political ideology, we are able to succeed.
The bottom line is that this will be a very good year for us, irrespective of what happens with some of these specific races. But as we head into the 2012 election, we need to start thinking of ways to successfully counter the smear machine of the Democrats and the media. There is something wrong if the Democrats can succeed in electing extreme lightweights with tremendous baggage, during a horrible political environment for them, simply because they are able to point to one frivolous detail of the Republican candidate’s background. Truthful and relevant attacks on the Democrats seem to gain no traction, while irrelevant and untruthful ones on Republicans can define the whole race, even with so many people who are unemployed.
What does this say about the power of the media and the Democrat op-researchers? What does this say about the plethora of brainless drones that comprise a significant portion of the American electorate, especially in blue states? As Rush always says, even if we win this election, we can’t assume that we have won the war and changed everyone's mind. As we have seen, there is still a lot to overcome.
There is no presidential candidate in this country that we can nominate who won’t have “baggage” that the Democrats will invent, and the media will promote. One would think that the issue of Republican “baggage” won’t matter in 2012, given all of Obama’s baggage, along with the depressed economy and his repudiated policies. However, the 2010 elections (even if they turn out better than some polls are predicting) prove that the Democrats and the media can still successfully distract a significant number of voters from reality in order to focus on contrived nonsense. Does a Republican candidate's alleged behavior in college (whether true or untrue) matter to the voter who is unemployed as a result of Obama’s policies? Unfortunately, it does for too many people. We need to learn how to effectively combat the Democrat/ media smear machine, or we will never fully succeed in electoral politics.
Cross-posted to Red Meat Conservative