Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


Was It The Organization?

The knives are out for Sharron Angle and her top campaign staff.  I discount stories like this as party hacks trying to maintain their viability by trying to shift the blame onto someone else.  The fact that there are names attached to many of the criticisms of the Angle campaign are perhaps a reason to take the article a little more seriously than the despicable and anonymous post-election attacks on Palin by McCain's campaign staff.

The thing is, I'm not sure that, even if the disarray was as described, it would have mattered that much in itself.  The conventional wisdom before the election was that even a weak Republican had a very good chance to beat Harry Reid.  I'm now leaning more toward Byron York's judgment that Reid was able to run a focused, ruthless, and competent campaign that it would have taken a pretty good Republican candidate to beat him.  If you look at the exit poll, Angle lost because she underperformed among whites.  She didn't lose because of her margins among Latinos.  She didn't do much worse among Nevada Latinos than did the Latino Republican candidate for governor who beat Harry Reid's son by a significant margin.  Looking back, there are probably several models of candidate that could probably have beaten Reid.  There is the Pat Toomey-type conservative politician who spent years trying to hone a persona that appealed to working and middle class persudable whites.  There is the Kelly Ayotte-type establishment conservative politician who is already well known and well liked around the state and who has a reassuring affect.  No such candidate ran against Angle in the Senate primary.  I'm not even sure if an affable and disciplined self-funder like Ron Johnson would have beaten Reid.  

I've been tough on Angle, and there are a lot of lessons to be gained from her defeat, but she didn't just lose, Harry Reid also earned a win.   

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