Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

How the NRSC's Approach This Cycle Could Cost the GOP How the NRSC's Approach This Cycle Could Cost the GOP

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Want access to this content? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation

 

Power

How the NRSC's Approach This Cycle Could Cost the GOP

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has taken a bit of a laissez-faire position toward this election cycle, but it may pay the price in November, Dan Friedman reports in this week's National Journal Magazine.

Friedman explains:

Last year, the League of Women Voters bought television ads in Missouri faulting Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill for voting to weaken the Environmental Protection Agency. Concerned the ads could hurt a vulnerable incumbent, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., summoned representatives from the group and environmental organizations to a May 2011 meeting to tell them that attacking McCaskill would hurt their agenda. The spots stopped. McCaskill today can tout a moderate voting record without flak from the left and hit the campaign's homestretch a favorite.

Compare Reid's heavy hand with Senate Republican leaders' floundering in the same state. In Missouri's three-way Senate primary, they saw business executive John Brunner as the best option and Rep. Todd Akin as a weaker general-election candidate. But the National Republican Senatorial Committee stayed out of the contest, part of a revised approach instituted after the committee drew complaints in 2010 for opposing tea party favorites in primaries.

So, what accounts for the difference?

But claims that campaign-committee performance can be chalked up solely to leaders' competence overlook emerging differences between the parties. Under President Obama, the GOP has become the more fractious party. The Republican insurgent-versus-establishment divide defies the stereotypical view of the GOP as more able to impose party discipline than the bigger-tent Democratic camp.

Republicans "in many ways are a little more diverse" than Democrats, McConnell said in an interview this summer with National Journal, noting that Democrats "have more ... ideological harmony."


Magazine subscribers can read more here.

Don't Miss Today's Top Stories

Excellent!"

Rick, Executive Director for Policy

Concise coverage of everything I wish I had hours to read about."

Chuck, Graduate Student

The day's action in one quick read."

Stacy, Director of Communications

I find them informative and appreciate the daily news updates and enjoy the humor as well."

Richard, VP of Government Affairs

Chock full of usable information on today's issues. "

Michael, Executive Director

Sign up form for the newsletter
MORE NATIONAL JOURNAL