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    Operation Counterweight after-assessment

    Operation Counterweight after-assessment

    Operation Counterweight 2012 is over.  I reported the results in an earlier post, here is my assessment.

    The first thing you need to understand is that by definition we chose difficult races, not easy ones.  The goal was to try to flip Democratic seats or protect vulnerable Republicans in races which (with a couple of exceptions) were not receiving national attention at the time. 

    So while the batting average below was low, that alone doesn’t bother me.

    What I am most proud of is that we made a difference in several of these races, by raising and pushing issues, or through fundraising and media exposure.

    Before this cycle I learned that there are limits to what this blog can do.  I think we pushed those limits to the max this time around.  But there still are limits.


    Scott Brown (MA) – LOSS — obviously a big focus for me, and one which seemed insurmountable at times because Massachusetts liberals simply did not care that Elizabeth Warren falsely claimed to be Cherokee, or about any of the issues raised here.  Had the roles been reversed, and Brown been caught, the media and public reaction would have been unforgiving.  It’s Massachusetts, the state which turned someone who left a girl to die in a ditch, then waited to report it to police, then used political muscle to avoid prosecution, then was lionized, and now has the Senate seat named after him. 

    Richard Mourdock (IN) – LOSS — The most misunderstood loss of the year.  Mourdock’s late in the game controversial comment would not have doomed his campaign but for the fact he barely was tied or already behind Joe Donnelly because Richard Lugar and his supporters wanted payback.  Had Republicans united behind Mourdock after the primary, Mourdock would have won.  To a meaningful slice of Indiana Republicans, being able to say “I told you so” was more important than winning the seat.

    Barry Hinckley (RI) – LOSS — identified as a long shot at unseating Sheldon Whitehouse.  It’s Rhode Island (more below).  Barry worked really hard, but Whitehouse had the name, the unions, and the money.  I’m glad to have met him, and he deserved praise for fighting the machine.

    Dan Bongino (MD) – LOSS — also identified at the start as a long shot.  Whatever long shot he had was killed by a bizarre third party candidate.  Another good guy in a tough state.


    Allen West (FL-18) – LOSS — still possibly in recount, but not looking good.  He was targeted specifically by multiple SuperPACs and a big get for Democrats.  The redistricting (done by the Republicans in Florida) killed his chances.  That it was so close was to his credit.  Hopefully he can stage a comeback in the future.

    Mia Love (UT-04) – LOSS — This one hurts perhaps the most, as we lost a rising star … for now.  This is similar to what happened to Democrats in 2010, when they lost almost an entire generation of younger congressmen.  Mia lost by just 3000 votes.  I frequently warned that Jim Matheson was the Harry Houdini of politics, and he proved it again. 

    Brendan Doherty (RI-01) – LOSS — Nothing proves the impossibility of being a Republican in Rhode Island more than this race.  Even the liberal Providence Journal could not stomach David Cicilline being “untruthful” about Providences finances, but government-dependent Rhode Island voters don’t care.  Cicilline ran his typical Mediscare campaign, and it worked.  Rhode Island is hopelessly in the pockets of unions and Democrats.

    David Rouzer (NC-7) – RECOUNT — Rouzer down 400 votes as of now.  Keep hope alive.  Still a chance to flip a seat.

    Lee Anderson (GA-12) – LOSS  — We added this race to our list before Anderson was chosen, because it was an opportunity to pick off a vulnerable Democrat.  Unfortunately, Anderson was not up to the task, the result of a three-way primary in which he squeeked by.

    Updates NY Races —

    Chris Gibson (NY-19) – WIN
    Matt Doheny (NY-21) – LOSS
    Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-24) – LOSS
    Maggie Brooks (NY-25) – LOSS
    Chris Collins (NY-27) – WIN

    We actually did okay here.  The Buerkle loss was the only loss of a seat, which became untenable due to redistricting.  The Gibson and Collins races were pick-ups. 

    Honorable Mentions:

    Nan Hayworth (NY – 18) – LOSS  — while not on our list, this was unexpected.
    Chip Cravaack (MN – 08) – LOSS  — it’s still Minnesota.
    Jackie Walorski (IN – 02) – WIN — fills Joe Donnelly’s old district.
    Ricky Gill (CA – 09) – LOSS — young candidate, a future star.


    Would do it again, with the same choices.


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    […] comparison, note that Cornell Law School’s own William Jacobson compiled a list of mainstream Republican “rising star” candidates to promote. Of […]

    Jack The Ripper | November 7, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    John Kerry as Secretary of State?

    That would be worse (in many ways) than the late Richard Holbrooke ever having made it to Secretary of State (sorry, Mr. Barone, for disagreeing with you about the merits of Mr. Holbrooke, who may have been a hard worker, but . . . ).

    There is one way in which John F. Kerry as Secretary of State might be better than Richard Holbrooke as Secretary of State: It would justify the Israelis deciding to cut loose and pursue their own interests because John F. Kerry couldn’t convince a drowning man to buy a life jacket and presumably would not be able to out maneuver Israel on public relations in the United State. [Screw Europe: Their analysis of Middle Eastern affairs is rather consistent – Israel bad, “Palestinians” and Arabs good. Scratch a European, find an anti-semite (or someone who may or may not be anti-semite but cannot help but lust after the money to be made by doing business, however unsavory, with Baathists, Persians, Arabs, Palestinians, and, just on spiteful principle, whoever might be anti-thetical to America and Great Britain.)].

    John F. Kerry is to foreign affairs what Joe Biden is to, well . . . , foreign affairs (and the Vice Presidency).

    P.S. – Now that Barack Obama won re-election, will he be receiving a second Nobel Prize?

    NC Mountain Girl | November 8, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Professor- keep this in mind in 2014. One price the Democrats will pay for the reliance on under 30 and affluent urban childless voters is such voters often don’t pay as much attention to off year races compared to some other voting blocks. When the national media attention wanes so does theirs. Students usually have only tenuous ties to the area they currently live in and don’t follow local races at all in an off year unless one candidate is a celebrity. Affluent urban childless voters often aren’t deeply rooted. Presidential races interest them a a lot. Senate and Governor’s races less so. House races hardly at all because in a large urban market you don’t see a lot about the House races on the big news sites and on TV.

    20 Democrats have to defend US Senate seats in 2014. Several are in red state and several in swing state. A couple of them – Jay Rockefeller, Carl Levin and Frank Lautenberg are older than Methuselah. One our side Lindsay Graham is ripe for a primary challenger.

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