The Mahablog

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The Mahablog

GOP Senate Candidates Struggle

This seems to have been the week that the Republican Party realized its midterm Senate candidates are a pack of bozos. Mehmet Oz? Herschel Walker? Seriously? (In a sane world Eric Schmitt of Missouri would be on that list too, except he’ll probably win.) FiveThirtyEight has Democrats slightly favored to keep the Senate.

Mitch McConnell nearly admitted that Republicans are unlikely to take back the Senate. And “candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.”

At National Review, Jim Geraghty asks, Are Republicans Blowing Their Chances of Winning Control of the Senate? The very conservative Geraghty tries for several paragraphs to put the best possible GOP spin on current polling data.

But overall . . . yeah, the narrative that Republicans are blowing their chances in what should be winnable races because they nominate deeply flawed, relatively unknown, far-too-Trumpy or extreme candidates has a lot of evidence to support those contentions. Blake Masters has yet to look all that strong against incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly in Arizona’s Senate race, which was expected to be one of the most competitive races of the cycle. The hopes that Joe O’Dea would give incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet a serious run for his money in Colorado have yet to bear fruit. In a year like this, you would think a North Carolina Senate race would be a relatively easy win for Republicans, but that doesn’t appear to be the case yet, and it’s a similar story in Nevada, where incumbent Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto is hanging in there against GOP nominee Adam Laxalt.

Winning Ohio was supposed to be a snooze for J.D. Vance, but this week a PAC associated with Mitch McConnell announced it was making a $28 million ad buy in Ohio on Vance’s behalf. Vance, a newbie to politics, turned out to be inept at the campaigning thing. Nate Silver still considers Tim Ryan to be a long shot, however.

Speaking of ad buys, do see ‘It’s a rip-off’: GOP spending under fire as Senate hopefuls seek rescue by Isaac Arnsdorf at the Washington Post.

Republican Senate hopefuls are getting crushed on airwaves across the country while their national campaign fund is pulling ads and running low on cash — leading some campaign advisers to ask where all the money went and to demand an audit of the committee’s finances, according to Republican strategists involved in the discussions

In a highly unusual move, the National Republican Senatorial Committee this week canceled bookings worth about $10 million, including in the critical states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Arizona. A spokesman said the NRSC is not abandoning those races but prioritizing ad spots that are shared with campaigns and benefit from discounted rates. Still, the cancellations forfeit cheaper prices that came from booking early, and better budgeting could have covered both.

Here’s where it gets weird:

The NRSC’s retreat came after months of touting record fundraising, topping $173 million so far this election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission disclosures. But the committee has burned through nearly all of it, with the NRSC’s cash on hand dwindling to $28.4 million by the end of June.

As of that month, the committee disclosed spending just $23 million on ads, with more than $21 million going into text messages and more than $12 million to American Express credit cardpayments, whose ultimate purpose isn’t clear from the filings. The committee also spent at least $13 million on consultants, $9 million on debt payments and more than $7.9 million renting mailing lists, campaign finance data show.

How do you spend $21 million on bleeping text messages? Never mind. Obviously money is disappearing somehow. As far as I know the RNC is still covering Trump’s legal fees, and they were nuts to agree to that. But that’s separate from the NRSC, or it’s supposed to be.

Part of the problem, the article says, is that the NRSC put a lot of money into digital fundraising and building up a database of small-dollar donors. But this has not gotten the results they had hoped for. It’s not known whether the small-dollar donors are feeling penny-pinched or whether they are sending their small dollars to Trump, who fundraises incessantly.

11 thoughts on “GOP Senate Candidates Struggle

  1. The RepubliKKKLAN Party's gushing campaign bucks, and with little to nothing to show for it?


    Hmm…   I think I know why!

    Ever wonder who's in charge of all the ways to allocate an election year's GQP campaign money, where to, when to, to whom, and for how much?




    Well, I DO KNOW!

    And the joke's on the GQP itself!!!

    This year, they chose Florida Senator Rick Scott (R – for Reptilian).

    Yes, the same Rick Scott, who, while he was the CEO of some medical company, basically stole over $ 200 BILLION dollars from the MediCare/MediCaid fund – with that money being paid from people's taxes.

    Well, GQP, this year, he didn't steal people's tax money.

    Instead, he stole FROM YOU!!!



    I'm dyin' ovah here!!!!!


  2. "If I had known that the corporation I was CEO of (Columbia Hospital Corporation) was engaged in extensive Medicare/Medicaid fraud, I would have stopped it."  Oh well, only $1.7 Billion in fines;  just the cost of doing business.

    Yes, that same Rick Scott is running the NRSC.

    • The unblinking snake god of corruption can find more than 1.7 bil in his sofa cushions. 

      Now that he's in the Senate he can accept "donations" for his cause the way a stripper in Miami can get c-notes in his (or her) g-string on Cinco de Mayo.

      The lobbyists and anonymous donors would rather stuff their bills in his portfolio than his g-string, although for good reason. 

  3. Tucker Carlson reportedly freaked on Friday over Mich McConnell's comment. I think we're seeing the formation of a circular firing squad over what I project will be a Dem gain in the Senate. Watch the positioning in the blame game.

    Rick Scott is as ambitious as anyone in the Senate. That means money Scott was in control of went to GOP kingmakers in the election business – consultants and lawyers, I'd guess. To buy their future favor when Scott makes a move. Scott figured the Senate was a gimme in the midterms. Scott has also been a Trump toadie – unlike McConell, Scott can't blame Trump's picks. 

    Trump is gonna get his clock cleaned in all the Senate races, I hope. Trump will need a scapegoat. Carlson (and Trump) would like to blame McConnell, but I don't see that sticking. Trump likes to blame the candidates, but they may take unkindly to the insults, considering that in some cases, Trump actively recruited the worst clowns. (Walker and Oz.) 

    Fox has picked DeSantis for GOP POTUS in 2024. This will spill over into the 2024 Senate races. DeSantis has been diabolically effective in FL because the FL state  Congress will pass his agenda. SO DeSantis does not want Trump to make the same kind of picks (Trump loyalists) who will get their butts kicked. 

    So this is good news in the short term and potentially better news in the future. Losing a seat or two in the Senate in the midterms will embolden the GOP establishment (McConnell, Chris Christie, Liz Cheney with help from Fox) to sideline Trump as the Oracle of Wisdom.   I mean Stupidity.

    If I was a GOP kingmaker, the best, perhaps the only way to avoid a fatal fracture of the party, would be to see Trump behind bars soon – and blame the Democrats. Any other path (that I see) pits the establishment GOP, Fox News, and a lot of money against Trump and the full-blown crazy. (Who will still be the majority of GOP voters) There's one person who seems to have the first mortgage on Trump's soul and probably has the goods on Trump – V. Putin. If Trump is of no use to Putin (except as an agent of chaos), what deal might Vlad make to throw Trump under the bus for the GOP in exchange for??? 

      • Pliable… Trump is a prisoner to his extreme narcissism. Look at how the Saudi's played Trump. Did a little sword dance with him like he was part of the gang, and let him touch the wizard's orb. Trump ended up giving away the store. Oh, let's not forget he got a golden necklace also that theoretically bestowed upon him the greatest honors that can be bestowed.

      • You might watch the interview in Helsinki, consider that Trump (The Former Guy) confiscated the notes of his interpreter, and look at the body language of Trump and Putin together. 

        You are right there is no mutual respect – Putin owns Trump and now (TFG) Trump is no longer useful. Putin has his ass in a sling in Ukraine and the GOP establishment likewise may discover in the next election and the foreseeable future that they are going to wield less and less power while the inmates are running the asylum. 

        The GOP establishment needs Trump gone – silenced – and forever discredited. Otherwise, the cultists will remain fixated on TFG in jail. (Their Mandela.)  If the DoJ puts TFG behind bars based on J6 crimes, he's still not discredited. But maybe Putin could do it.

  4. (In a sane world Eric Schmitt of Missouri would be on that list too, except he’ll probably win.) 

    Honestly, rural MO has lost its entire damn mind. I know, because I live there.

  5. Be careful what you wish for.

    I consider the GOP to be far more dangerous than Trump – in the long run.  Just look what the GOP has done to our country & our world in the last 40+ years!  They *intentionally* concentrated wealth & income to the point where we are now more unequal than at the height/depth of the Robber Barron era.  Water Supplies are now being *privatized*.  We – humanity – won't be able to avoid decades of seriously worsening effects of Global Warming.  The only effective Agencies of the Federal Government are the dangerous ones. Billionaires control politics through PACs which don't have to report their donors.  GOP controls elections in a majority of States, and isn't afraid to cheat to maintain power.

    Trump didn't do those things, the GOP did.

    Trump is grotesque, largely because he's primarily motivated by his insatiable need for attention.  He has never cared about any long-term policies, beyond how they might affect him personally.  He's a lousy manager.  The only thing he's good at is a very ugly kind of entertainment.

    Trump will never regain the Presidency.  The GOP – the Big Donors and the Party Machinery – barely cooperated with him in 2016, and stood aside in 2020, but they would actively oppose him in 2024.  Trump might win the GOP nomination in 2024, but he can't win the General election.  He has a solid, enthusiastic base of supporters, but he has alienated *everybody* else.

    The old Big Money GOP let him play President for one term, and they got what they wanted from him: more Tax Cuts for the Rich, and a supermajority of reliable Federalist Society hacks on the Supreme Court.  They don't need Trump now, but they *really* need to make sure that his Mob continues to hate Democrats.

    Trump is going down.  But if the GOP can blame that on Democrats, they regain the loyalty of Trump's Mob, and our country is toast.  Even worse – sorry to belabor the metaphor – our planet will be Burnt Toast.

  6. I'm just relieved that there's a chance the Senate will flip. If we lose the House it will truly be the crazed lunatics running the asylum. The stress levels will be thru the roof for those Ds that remain, esp the women of color.

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