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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Missed GOP Opportunities

It was a good election for the GOP but it could have been even better.

Steven Shepard writes at Politico:
For two years, Republicans had been working to correct one of the party’s greatest embarrassments of recent years: the flawed polling that led so many in the party to believe Mitt Romney was on the cusp of victory in 2012. But after dramatically underestimating Democratic turnout in 2012, it was now obvious that the GOP had erred in the other direction in 2014. Their pollsters had understated Republicans’ leads in a number of states, causing the RNC and GOP campaign committees to pour money into places where it wasn’t needed and hold money back from places where it might have made a difference — such as Virginia, where Republican Ed Gillespie lost by less than a percentage point.
“It’s just as bad to be wrong by being too conservative,” said [RNC chief of staff Mike] Shields. “It’s just as big a mistake to tell a client that you’re only winning by one point when they’re winning by eight. Especially at the party committee level, there are just too many decisions being made … That money can be used elsewhere.”
Jon Fleischman writes at Breitbart:
Nationally, Republicans had an outstanding election earlier this month. Besides the huge gains in the U.S. Senate, House Republicans made modest gains (12 seats), bringing their majority to an impressive 244 of 435 members. That said, one cannot help but note that House Republicans could have had an even better night but for being completely routed by Democrats in California. Here is a snapshot of nine separate House races, all likely won by Democrats, that could have gone Republican.
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Obviously hindsight is, as they say, 20-20. But there is simply no way to look at all of these results and not conclude that, had the NRCC made different decisions, there could have been a whole bunch of new freshman Republicans from California, replacing Democrats. 2016, a Presidential election year, will make all of these seats more difficult for GOP pickups in two years.
It is worthy of note that strong performances were made by two GOP incumbents in tough seats in California — both in the Central Valley — Jeff Denham and David Valadeo. And it should be said that this year the California GOP turned the tide back a bit in the state legislature, going from 12 up to 14 members in the 40-member State Senate, and from 25 to 28 members in the 80-member State Assembly. These state legislative gains were in no small part due to a strong focused and well-financed plan largely orchestrated by State GOP Chairman Jim Brulte.