As we race toward the midterm elections that conventional wisdom had already handed to Republicans, things are not going according to plan for Republicans. There is no GOP wave. Republicans are under pressure in red states where they expected to be safe. Even Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is in a tight race that will all come down to turnout, as he pays supporters to attend his rallies. And Democrats keep outraising Republicans.
Senate Democrats have outraised Republicans again, with the DSCC taking in $6.5 million to the NRSC’s $6 million in the first two weeks of October. That’s just a $500,000 lead in raising funds, and overall the Senate Democrats have raised $30 million more than the NRSC.
The DSCC also reports getting $1.5 million from the DNC as well as a $10 million loan.
The DSCC reported spending heavily in certain races including Kentucky and Georgia, “In early October the DSCC spent heavily on multi-million dollar ad buys in key states across the country, including new buys in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Colorado while continuing to build and expand investments in the Bannock Street Project, yet still ended the month with $7.8 million on hand.”
DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil thanked the Democrats’ grassroots supporters for giving them the fuel they needed to put up an unprecedented get out the vote fight, “As the campaign shifts to GOTV we’re grateful that our grassroots supporters have given us the resources we need to make unprecedented investments in turnout that will be crucial to holding the majority.”
Money raised by grassroots actual humans who vote can quickly be dominated by the vast dark money sources Republicans have access to, thanks to their corporate agenda that benefits only the top 2%.
But we are once again seeing that dark money isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In 2012, it backfired a bit as negative ads went too far (there is an actual tipping point upon which the public says no more). Iowa Republicans Senatorial candidate Joni Ernst was hurt by association with the Koch brothers (and Sarah Palin, but the Tea Party is another brawl for another day).
And as Senator Mitch McConnell knows well, money can’t buy you love. It can bus in paid supporters, but it can’t buy you love.
We are watching the “GOP wave” disintegrate in front of our eyes. And there’s a man in the White House whose own campaign team successfully designed the emphasis on turnout that the Senate Democrats are following. He’s smiling somewhere, because he can see the Republican wave of obstruction disintegrating from his Oval Office window.
It is, shockingly, quite possible that Senate Democrats will barely keep hold of the Senate. And if that happens, smoking Joe Biden could be the tie breaker. Worse things have happened to our nation (see 2010). Goodbye GOP wave.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.