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What if you had an open Senate seat and almost no Republicans wanted it?

What if you had an open Senate seat and almost no Republicans wanted it?

That’s pretty much the situation in Massachusetts, as summarized by Jazz Shaw at Hot Air, MA GOP throwing in the towel on Kerry seat?

Is Massachusetts still in play for elections on the state-wide level? If you asked anyone in the heady days of the 2010 cycle after Scott Brown shocked the nation, you’d probably get a lot answers in the positive. (Or at least a strong maybe.)  But plenty of water has passed under the bridge since then, along with an election which certainly didn’t provide Northeastern Republicans with much reason for confidence. That general air of pessimism seems to have taken over the GOP in the Bay State as they prepare for a special election to fill John Kerry’s seat in the upper chamber, since it’s hard to find anyone of any standing who is interested in the job.

I hate to say it, but Chris Cillizza might be right that Republicans should give up on the Northeast as part of a broader strategy.  He was talking about presidential electoral votes, but I think the logic applies to most statewide races as well (although many congressional districts are in play), How Republicans can solve their electoral-vote problem:

Give up on the Northeast: Part of knowing how to win is knowing where not to fight. Any time (or money) a Republican presidential candidate spends in the Northeast is largely wasted at this point. Take New Hampshire. Yes, it’s a state that has shown a willingness to vote for Republicans at the presidential level in the not-too-distant past. (George W. Bush carried the Granite State in 2000.) But to reach the southern part of the state means buying television time in the pricey Boston media market, a prohibitive cost for New Hampshire’s four electoral votes. Or think about it this way: The six states that make up the Northeast (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island) have a total of 33 electoral votes. Texas has 38 electoral votes by itself.

I do think the Northeast is pretty hopeless.  Not just for Republicans, but for the population in general.  Those who would vote for Republicans are moving away, including lower level traditional financial jobs which are being shipped elsewhere in the country and hedge funds and other top tier companies fleeing for lower tax states.

What’s left behind increasingly are people who cannot be convinced to vote for anything other than bigger government.


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Sad but so very true.

I agree on counting the cost and deploying resources wisely; however, we should never give the left any reason to relax anywhere. It just frees up their resources to be deployed elsewhere as well. And besides, they should always be made to know that their ideology and behavior is corrupt and despised.

Insufficiently Sensitive | February 10, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Electoral success won’t come until some Republicans gain the ability to articulate positive messages of policy and goals that appeal to the electorate in a way that can’t be poisoned by the MSM. And that ability has been made greatly more difficult since pop culture and the MSM have been wholly captured by the manna-from-heaven Democrats.

The MSM has also made use of its poisoning ability to conduct long-term campaigns against politicians (its 6-year negative campaign against GWB) and preventive wars against hopeful candidates (Sarah Palin first, and the tea party, now Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul).

Obama’s anonymously-funded and unaccountable OFA is also capable of far worse, owning databases of activists and intimate connections inside the government.

In other words, the GOP had better get cracking with articulating its own message, and pointing out the hazards of monster government in terms immediately meaningful to the blokes on the street. Philosophical essays about principles are not enough.

Well, if the repubs in the NE feel there’s nothing left to lose, then there’s no reason for them to not start getting in the Left’s face, and boldly – loudly – speaking the Truth.

Wouldn’t that be novel and refreshing?

    Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to gwest. | February 10, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Yes. Tell it like it is, and the hell with PC. ‘Freedom’s just another name for nothing left to lose’.

    kevino in reply to gwest. | February 11, 2013 at 8:46 am

    RE: Get in the MSM and Democrats faces

    I agree. The one thing that the GOP doesn’t do and MUST START DOING is to remind voters of states like CA, IL, and MA; show them in detail what’s wrong; and finish with: “This is what you get when you vote for Democrats. Do you really want this kind of mess in your state or at the federal level (everywhere)?”

Given the current state of the national Republican party I agree contesting seats in the Northeast is a fools errand. If their voters are so unsophisticated as to blindly follow the Kalifornia model of self destruction, so be it. Let it happen but plan on how to be around when the time comes to pick up the pieces. That’s when it will be important to campaign.

[…] Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has up a terrific post on “What if you had an open Senate seat and almost no Republicans wanted it?” Good […]

How can we win if we do not fight? This selective surrender is not a great idea. Chris Christi won in New Jersey, so it is not impossible. There has to be someone who can capture the imagination like Scott Brown did — common sense, no pretense and solid values. John Adams lived in Massachusetts; there has to be someone who can win this thing – or at least fight with a “happy warrior” mindset.

As for all this palaver about having to find a way to message that the MSM won’t poison –that is the true fool’s errand, but someone with boldness and courage a la Breitbart might be able to make some headway in spite of this.

Massachusetts is a test lab. Try something radical and see what happens. Get aggressive, blunt, and keep the message simple. Push ideals, not partisan crap.

    casualobserver in reply to windbag. | February 10, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    GOP to many in the Northeast means ‘hick’ or ‘not smart’. That’s why the images falsely created by the Dems/media get so much traction. For example, the Akin ‘mind-over-womb’ statement is probably know by a large majority of voters in the regaion. I’m not a native of MA/CT/NY so it’s not a reflection on me. But the stereotype of ‘elite limousine liberal’ isn’t far off in describing some of the culture here. Even blue collar types I’ve known have refused jobs in other Midwestern or Southern states for perceived cultural reasons, when factories closed in MA. I’ve even had a good friend of the family, a Jewish New Yorker, turn down a 2-4 relocation in Atlanta because they thought it was unfriendly to Jews. We talked about it numerous times. I’m convinced it was nothing more than associating a red state with that bias.

    So my warning would be that whoever runs needs to keep that in mind. Even though many are getting fed up with the spending and taxing, especially the working class, it’s not clear which is more potent – the inaccurate stereotype or the economic misery.

who cares what republicans think.
I’d rather conservatives fight for us here in maine, where portland is known as the san francisco of the east coast.
but since social stuff never matters (hey hows not caring been working out so far ??) I hold no hope of that. because economic ruin never follows social/moral slides.

casualobserver | February 10, 2013 at 8:09 pm

In the nearly ten years I’ve lived in the Northeast and New England I can’t say I’ve ever noticed a strong, conservative Republican in elected office. (I’m using the modern idea of pushing for small government). Although Scott Brown and Chris Christie are images on the national stage, are they really in sync with where most conservatives want to push the party? Much of the resistance to the national GOP, even within the ranks of those who want to vote anything but Democrat, has to do with social issues in my experience.

But if you look at more than just the stagnant population growth rates of nearly every NE state (almost net zero in and out or slightly decreasing for the most part), you will find some of the worst debt to revenue ratios in the country – many worse than CA even. Only NY beats MA in that race. (It’s worth nothing TX is worse than CT on that measure and not much better than NJ). So most every governor has no choice but to cut or raise taxes or both. Deval Patrick (MA) is seeing a lot of resistance to a variety of his tax proposals. So, it’s possible that at least some states in the region are reaching a tipping point, where even those who voted in the Dems won’t tolerate much more. CT and NY are in the top 2 or 3 for total state and local tax burdens. It will be interesting to see how many more high earners bolt for FL, TX, even AZ. Some may have less flexibilty (Wall Street). But in the end, the tax burden will only grow on all income earners unless something significant happens.

My point is simply that a crash and burn is not the only event to cause it to change. Either Dems will have to become more financially responsible or people will start voting more anything-but-Dems.

I’m not sure this matters in Massachusetts. Out of a population of 6.6 million people all but 17 hold public office or work for the state. Besides, I’m pretty sure they don’t have ‘senates’ or ‘houses’ up there. I think they have politburos.

If the current GOP leadership were entrenched for foreseeable future, we ought to give up everywhere.

Job one isn’t convincing anyone to vote GOP – rather, it is to replace the incompetent leadership of the GOP with people are competent.

If that were to happen, every state would be in play.

With the clowns in there now — and the collateral failures they continue to invest in (Karl Rove) — the ‘hopeless map’ is growing exponentially.

Remember job one.

When you are left with a Democrat as a default candidate and you vote for such a candidate you are voting for financial default.

Oh wait. Voting for any Democrat at any time means defaulting on your state’s obligations (or, most likely, defaulting to higher taxes). Democrats offer nothing else – not a budget, not a supply side initiative, not even a concern. Democrats think a supply side initiative is raising tollway rates.

Democrats could care less if they screw you. They just want you to think you are getting good politic while you are getting screwed. Think Illinois.

FreshPondIndians | February 10, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Hopefully Ryan Fattman will run, once he turns 30.

What, they couldn’t even convince Romney to run for it?

(Maybe they know his track record.)

In the word of Anthony Clement McAuliffe: NUTS!

I despise conceding any part of this country to the Democrats. They are certainly not conceding any section of the country to the GOP.
There are two things at play here: The 1996 Dole plan to only win 270 electoral votes (and perfected by Rove) and taking most of the talent at the state level and move it to DC.
In 1996, the national GOP abandoned New England and other parts of the country. The State GOP was either to weak or feckless to continue the fight. IIRC, the New England GOP had 8 congresscritters and and 6 Senators in 1996. Today, that number sits at 2 Senators.
What is left in New England is a bunch of wimps trying to play the demographic ballgame. They are trying to convince women and minorities that they mean no harm to them instead of selling Reaganism and Jack Kemp.

The GOP trots out feckless and selfish retreads like Romney to save the day. It should be noted that Romney did very little to rebuild the MA GOP. There should be more Ryan Fattmans (as a poster metions above) but there are not. Fattman, who represented my hometown before redistricting, did not rely on the State GOP, Romney, or the high (over) priced GOP consultants to win his race. He did not rely on the media to get his message out. He knocked on a lot of doors and defeated the Democrat incumbent.
My opinion is that parts of MA are winnable but one has to hit the bricks and knock on doors. Will the state be winnable? Perhaps …… but it will not be overnight. There are still a lot of Reagan Democrats and staunch conservatives living in MA. They have sat on the sidelines and watched the State GOP play their footsies with the Democrats. They do not trust the GOP. They are not going to back some wild-eyed bombthrowing social conservative. They will back someone with common sense.

There, I said it.

RE: “I do think the Northeast is pretty hopeless. … What’s left behind increasingly are people who cannot be convinced to vote for anything other than bigger government.”
Because most of those left behind depend on big government to put food on the table and roof over their heads.

MA: Abandon all hope Ye who enter there.

The GOP at least needs a presence in the NE for when their economies inevitably tank, or less they’ll simply see voters support moderate Dems instead of lib Dems.