I’m not exactly sure what the reasoning is, here.
- It’s not because the race isn’t competitive. It is – or, more accurately, it could be. Jeanne Sheehan is ahead of Scott Brown by 6.5 points in the current RCP average, sure. But she’s also under 50% in the aggregate polling, which is the usual rule of thumb for an incumbent in trouble. This is the sort of situation where throwing some advertisting cash into the mix could really come in handy.
- Of course, it’s a little late for that now – back in May the Democrats blocked out about $1 million in ad buys for New Hampshire. I have been told that Senate Majority PAC has likewise put in $1.2 million. The NRSC… has decided not to spend any money for the last month.
- The problem here may simply be that there’s bad blood. Now, this may be over something like Brown’s early (perhaps premature, in some people’s eyes) hard line on illegal immigration issues; or it may simply be that Scott Brown had some moderately harsh words to say about the NRSC’s operation back in 2011, and nobody ever forgets a slight in This Town*.
- Either way, there doesn’t seem to be any last-minute money coming down the pipe. Which is… odd.
OK, let’s do cards-on-the-table. On November 5th, the NRSC is going to go out and give itself a giant big pat on the back because, hey, they won the Senate! And they’re going to be exceedingly smug about it, because they’ll have in the process re-elected [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ], and [mc_name name=’Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C000567′ ], and – in my personal opinion, which I have not been shy about expressing – [mc_name name=’Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000307′ ]. And that’s fine; or, rather, that’s what will happen, so you might as well be prepared for it.
However. There is winning well, and then there is winning poorly. Every cent that the the NRSC spent on those candidates in the primaries is a cent that did not go to general races in New Hampshire, Oregon, Minnesota, Michigan and yes, maybe even New Jersey. We might win in some of those places anyway; but we might not, either. And I say this to anybody who might have a spare ten grand or so to toss at the next set of Senatorial candidates; if you are looking for speculative investments – which is to say, you are looking to get some innovative candidates in there to shake up the system – then you are not going to get good value for money from a group that’s apparently adopted the motto The Status Quo at any cost.
(Image via Shutterstock)
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Scott Brown for Senator for New Hampshire, by the way.
PPS: Believe it or not, I don’t enjoy writing posts like this. The national committees provide indispensable assistance to campaigns, from expert advice to financial resources to supplementing volunteer networks. And I know that the rank-and-file folks are just trying to do their job. But – and let us be honest, here – there is a broad sense of entitlement among the top level of permanent staff that is getting in the way of the committee’s ostensible purpose. This is particularly obvious when it comes to their digital and social media outreach cadre, which apparently collectively thinks that the proper relationship between them and the Republican base should involve a leash.
Now you may think to yourself, Clearly Moe is unhappy that some people from the NRSC have been rude to him. And you would be correct! I am. – But here’s the question you should be asking: Why did the NRSC think that it was such a good idea to infuriate even a notorious Republican partisan hack? And here’s another: if the reliable partisan Republican hack is this unhappy, imagine how the rest of the base feels?
*What makes this particularly… complicated… is that the NRSC pretty much encouraged Brown to run in the first place. You’d think that they would have followed through.