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.
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.