Democratic Memo: Senate Races

By Chris Good

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee circulated a memo tonight explaining why they've done so well--which they have, on the whole, protecting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's seat in Nevada and electing Joe Manchin in West Virginia, while losing races in Missouri and Kentucky.

Here's what they had to say:

REPUBLICANS TARGET WAS THE SENATE MAJORITY
The Republicans may now be singing a different tune, but make no mistake it, their target this year was to take back the U.S. Senate and make Mitch McConnell the Majority Leader. They will have fallen short.
·   Just 2 months ago, the NRSC's Political Director said Republicans would "absolutely" take back the Senate.
·   John Cornyn, the head of the NRSC, predicted a "Tsunami" and a "wave election." Tonight, Senate Democrats beat back that storm.
 
WHY DEMOCRATS HELD OFF GOP: SMART CAMPAIGNS, ECONOMIC FOCUS, BETTER CANDIDATES
·        Tonight, Democrats held off Republicans in targeted races because of smart campaigns, better candidates and an aggressive focus on economic issues.
·        In race after race, Democrats clearly defined their far-right Republican opponents. Democrats remained focused on bread-and-butter issues, while Republicans focused on fringe issues and attempted to nationalize the election.
·        In Delaware, West Virginia and Connecticut, Democrats ran aggressive races that stayed focused on the economy and defined nationally targeted Republican candidates as extreme. Make no mistake, the national Republicans needed these seat for their majority.
 
DSCC'S STRONG RESOURCES BEAT BACK A GOP TAG TEAM OF HIDDEN CORPORATE DONORS AND SHADOW THIRD PARTY GROUPS
Despite Republicans enjoying political momentum for most of the cycle, the DSCC outraised and outspent their counterparts at the NRSC. But the DSCC wasn't just battling its counterpart - we were up against a GOP tag team of hidden donors and 3rd party groups.
·        The DSCC outraised the NRSC by $15 million over the 2010 cycle ($107 million to $92 million).
·        The DSCC's independent expenditure outspent the NRSC's IE by $17 million (a $41 million to $24 million margin) on direct communication with voters.
·        In sum, shadow groups of unlimited, undisclosed, and unregulated corporate interests spent $64 million against Democratic Senate candidates.
 
SENATE DEMOCRATS MADE HISTORY TONIGHT - THE HOUSE HASN'T FLIPPED WITHOUT THE SENATE SINCE WWII
Since 1930, Every Time The House Switches Parties The Senate Switches As Well.
·        Since 1930 when Democrats took the House from the Republicans through special elections, the six times the House switched party control the Senate also switched.  Cost wrote "Not only does the Senate switch more frequently, it always switches with the House...In other words, when the House has switched, the Senate has always followed." [Real Clear Politics, 4/24/06 <http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/04/what_about_the_senate.html> ]

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/11/democratic-memo-senate-races/65849/