Throughout primary season, the National Republican Senatorial Committee in alliance with groups like the Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Partnership have treated the Republican base as their enemy.
Running scorched earth campaigns, they have attacked conservative groups, they have attacked conservative activists, and they have funded third party campaigns to paint the tea party and its candidates as racists. They have been able to win a number of primaries doing this. In conservative events around the country, conservative activists still use Mississippi as a rallying cry against the establishment.
So let us not be surprised by this news.
In every single one of the Crystal Ball’s toss-up states, (Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana and North Carolina), the Republican Senate candidate has not yet opened up a real polling lead in any of them. Democratic nominees have been running hard and staying slightly ahead, or close to, their Republican foes.
I get it everywhere I go regardless of the group I'm speaking to. Long time Republican voters ask me why they should even bother. These are not just conservative voters, but traditional Republican voters, particularly in Southern states who saw the NRSC collaborate to paint Chris McDaniel as a racist in Mississippi and saw also the harsh attacks in North Carolina against conservatives.
The Speaker of the North Carolina House is losing to an unpopular Democrat. Tom Cotton, who was basically coronated, is having trouble. Joni Ernst, a great candidate against a terrible Democrat prone to gaffes, is not as far ahead as she could be. It is a consistent pattern across the country. Wonderful people like Joni are being impacted by this.
As Jeremiah Wright said, the chickens are coming home to roost.
When you treat your base as the enemy, don't be surprised when the base treats you as the enemy. Put another way, the NRSC is now reaping what it sowed in the primaries. I expect the Republican candidates to win. But I expect it to be far harder than originally thought. And as much as I expect the NRSC and its outside allies to push back against the idea that its own base voters are reluctant to support them, the evidence should be inescapable to the media.
Jerry Moran and Mitch McConnell, this is what you get when you call your most reliable and dependable voters "racist" and then say it wasn't you, but some third party group.