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Obama Looms Large Over Democrats' 2014 Fight to Retain the Senate
Roll Call ^ | Feb. 4, 2013 | Stuart Rothenberg

Posted on 02/05/2013 9:23:06 PM PST by neverdem

The odds are against Senate Democrats this cycle. But, of course, they were against the party two years ago at this time, and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Guy Cecil didn’t merely beat the odds — he slaughtered them.

This time, Democrats face better prospects of holding onto their Senate majority next November than they did two years ago (after all, they begin with 55 seats instead of 53), but a net loss looks inevitable and a big loss is quite possible. Cecil, who is back for a return engagement this cycle, has his work cut out for him.

The biggest factor in how the cycle turns out probably isn’t candidate recruiting, fundraising or the number of open seats, though each will affect the fight for the Senate next year. It is almost certainly going to be President Barack Obama’s popularity and the electorate’s sense of how he is doing.

Democrats went into the 2012 cycle defending 23 Senate seats to the GOP’s 10 seats, and the landscape of that Senate class — races in Massachusetts and Maine, but also in North Dakota, Missouri, Virginia, Florida and Montana — certainly favored Republicans.

This cycle, the numbers aren’t quite as asymmetric, but with 21 Democratic seats and only 14 Republican seats up for election, the GOP once again begins with an advantage.

Unlike 2012, when Democrats started with at least two serious takeover opportunities, in Massachusetts and Nevada , this cycle the party lacks any good takeover opportunities (before retirements). That reality, combined with a landscape that includes a number of Democratic seats in very conservative states (West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alaska and South Dakota), makes for an ever greater initial Democratic headache than at the start of last cycle.

With Senate contests next year in four strongly anti-Obama states, Democrats can’t afford a second Obama midterm election with a national electorate that wants to send a message of dissatisfaction with the president.

Obama carried just 35.5 percent of the vote in West Virginia, 36.9 percent in Arkansas, 39.9 percent in South Dakota, 40.6 percent in Louisiana, 40.8 percent in Alaska and 41.7 percent in Montana last year. While voters were able to split their tickets in 2012 and vote against Obama but for Democratic Senate nominees such as Joe Manchin III in West Virginia or Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, voters won’t be able to do the same thing in 2014.

The president isn’t on the ballot next year, so the only way for anti-Obama voters to express their opinion of the president is to vote against his party’s Senate nominees. And that makes Senate seats in anti-Obama states in 2014 much more difficult to hold than Senate seats in anti-Obama states were in 2012.

An overly ambitious — and overly liberal — agenda coming from the White House, which looks like a distinct possibility, could undermine the Democrats’ chances of holding onto Senate seats in states where Obama performed poorly in both 2008 and 2012.

Still, last year’s elections certainly proved that candidates and campaigns matter, and if all else fails for Democrats, the party can probably figure on Republican primary voters screwing up in at least a couple of states and producing nominees so weak that Democrats can steal a seat or two, as they have done during the past two elections.

You can almost see the writing on the wall in the newly open Iowa Senate race, where GOP primary voters easily could select a doctrinaire conservative over a mainstream conservative, lessening their party’s chances of picking up an already difficult opportunity.

Anyway, the cycle starts off with eight vulnerable Democratic Senate seats and not a single vulnerable GOP one. Republicans need to net six Senate seats to have a majority in the next Congress. Though not impossible, that is a very difficult task, especially given the current standing of the two parties.

At the Rothenberg Political Report, we start off by giving Republicans a slight edge in West Virginia’s open seat. South Dakota looks like a problem for Democrats with or without Sen. Tim Johnson’s retirement, while the politically conservative, anti-Obama natures of Louisiana and Arkansas put them at great risk for incumbent Sens. Mary L. Landrieu and Mark Pryor.

The cycle could deteriorate dramatically for Democrats if most or all of the next group of potentially competitive contests — Alaska, Iowa’s open seat, Montana, North Carolina and even New Hampshire — become really serious Republican opportunities. Of those five, Obama carried only two, Iowa and New Hampshire.

Obviously, this year’s special election in Massachusetts and additional retirements on both sides of the aisle could have a big effect on the final results next November.

No two cycles are exactly alike. The GOP’s failure to net three or four seats last time, as many initially expected, doesn’t mean the same will happen in 2014. Personally I don’t believe in jinxes, whether in second-term midterms or because the Boston Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees. But voter fatigue with a president after six years is a very real danger for Obama, and that, more than anything else, may make 2014 more challenging than last cycle for Guy Cecil.


TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: obama
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1 posted on 02/05/2013 9:23:15 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

This IS were the fight is at people.
We Need that Senate.


2 posted on 02/05/2013 9:30:30 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: neverdem

What is this “dissatisfaction with the president” thing? Is that supposed to matter? If the DNC et al sense “dissatisfaction” they will simply turn their attention to the GOP and turn on the hate-laser, again, effectively. And the low-info people will understandably vote for “dissatisfied” over “hate” when he promises to increase their rice portions.


3 posted on 02/05/2013 9:30:42 PM PST by Attention Surplus Disorder (This stuff we're going through now, this is nothing compared to the middle ages.)
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To: neverdem

We’ll see if RINOs and conservatives who say the damndest things ruin our chances again


4 posted on 02/05/2013 9:32:41 PM PST by abercrombie_guy_38
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To: neverdem

I helped send Ted Cruz there.
Battle on, but let’s not kid ourselves, Obama and Biden have allies in the Senate.


5 posted on 02/05/2013 9:32:51 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: neverdem

Also the Senate is crucial in our battle for the Scotus.


6 posted on 02/05/2013 9:35:03 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: neverdem; Impy; randita; BillyBoy; AuH2ORepublican

I’m surprised Rothenberg never mentions the fact that the GOP hasn’t defeated more than 2 Senate Democrat incumbents in an election since 1980. It’s become a real and serious curse.


7 posted on 02/05/2013 9:35:33 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: neverdem

I’m confident. Democrats will be spread thin in hostile territory. Let’s sweep them out.


8 posted on 02/05/2013 9:39:17 PM PST by Viennacon
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To: neverdem

Ted Cruz


9 posted on 02/05/2013 9:47:10 PM PST by TexasTransplant (This needs to go viral http://vimeo.com/52009124 please watch it)
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To: neverdem

too bad the Vichy GOPe won’t fight for the Senate


10 posted on 02/05/2013 9:51:44 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: abercrombie_guy_38

and you really think that is why the GOP lost in 2012?


11 posted on 02/05/2013 9:53:13 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: neverdem

Have the good citizens of SC found a viable replacement for grahamnesty or are we going to be cowed by the claim we need to hold on to every senate seat we can?


12 posted on 02/05/2013 9:57:14 PM PST by plsjr (<>< what mankind "knows" is by trial and error; only the CREATOR really knows)
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To: All
The Senate is always a den of backroom deals.


13 posted on 02/05/2013 10:01:19 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: wardaddy; Joe Brower; Cannoneer No. 4; Criminal Number 18F; Dan from Michigan; Eaker; Jeff Head; ...
Obama's gun grabbing is one of the worst things he could have done to Senate rats. Look at Sotomayor and Kagan. It makes the Senate's role in confirming SCOTUS justices another issue.

NRA Winning the Influence Battle Over Gun Control

'Equality' on the Battlefield

NBC EXCLUSIVE: Justice Department Memo Reveals Legal Case for Drone Strikes on Americans

Why a Permanent Democratic Majority Is Not a Demographic Inevitability (Part One: Antecedents)

Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.

14 posted on 02/05/2013 10:14:49 PM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: wardaddy; Joe Brower; Cannoneer No. 4; Criminal Number 18F; Dan from Michigan; Eaker; Jeff Head; ...
Obama's gun grabbing is one of the worst things he could have done to Senate rats. Look at Sotomayor and Kagan. It makes the Senate's role in confirming SCOTUS justices another issue.

NRA Winning the Influence Battle Over Gun Control

'Equality' on the Battlefield

NBC EXCLUSIVE: Justice Department Memo Reveals Legal Case for Drone Strikes on Americans

Why a Permanent Democratic Majority Is Not a Demographic Inevitability (Part One: Antecedents)

Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.

15 posted on 02/05/2013 10:14:49 PM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: abercrombie_guy_38

Hope there are no Akin or Mourdock types running in 2014.


16 posted on 02/05/2013 10:15:20 PM PST by entropy12 (The republic is doomed when people figure out they can get free stuff by voting democrats)
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To: neverdem

www.gone2012book.com


17 posted on 02/05/2013 10:22:28 PM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: mylife

Do you really think McConnell, Alexander, et al. will deny Obamugabe’s SCOTUS nominations?

They could have blocked Kagin and and that other Commie doofette if they had wanted to do so.


18 posted on 02/05/2013 10:26:30 PM PST by rashley (Rashley)
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To: neverdem
but a net loss looks inevitable and a big loss is quite possible.

That's funny - you even got The Doctor and Rose laughing on that one...


19 posted on 02/05/2013 10:32:51 PM PST by Old Sarge (We are officially over the precipice, we just havent struck the ground yet...)
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To: neverdem

Obama and the Senate Democrats don’t care.

They’ll press ahead with their agenda knowing the GOP is badly divided and demoralized with the Rovians aiming to push the party to the Left.

Giving where the country is they feel confident they have the Tea Party on the ropes.


20 posted on 02/05/2013 11:24:18 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: mylife

That’s unfair to sticks and cognac.


21 posted on 02/06/2013 12:04:37 AM PST by Gene Eric (The Palin Doctrine.)
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To: neverdem

With the entire nation apparently drinking Obama’s Kool Aid, all bets are off.

America, once the land of the free and the home of the brave is now merely the land of Marxists sucking the tail pipe of outdated communist doctrine and calling out, “Yes, Premier Obama, give me more of the same!”

Contemptible.


22 posted on 02/06/2013 12:26:42 AM PST by Jack Hammer
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To: GeronL

It certainly didn’t help.

Republicans have got to get used to the idea that the media is not their friend and the media is actively looking for the most innocuous statement to blow out of proportion, all across the country.

Not learning to stay on message is preventing conservatives from winning seats in close election areas. It’s fine where conservatives are guarenteed seats for candidates to say whatever they want, but when those same words are heard in blue counties and states, it’s costing votes.

Canada went through the same thing. We had candidates, in backwater towns that nobody has heard of, saying the reasonable things, from a conservative point of view, but those same words somehow made it on the front page of the Toronto or Montreal papers and the conservative candidates in liberal areas suddenly had to defend themselves for those words, that they did not say.

Yes, it did cost the conservative party seats during those years. It was only when conservative candidates refused to be baited by hostile reporters did we finally make headway.


23 posted on 02/06/2013 1:12:03 AM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Who? Sasser was one.


24 posted on 02/06/2013 4:16:44 AM PST by MSF BU (n)
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To: mylife

“We Need that Senate.”

Well, I’m sure Rince Priebus and Karl Rove will get the job done—just look at last Nov. (snort, snort)


25 posted on 02/06/2013 4:27:17 AM PST by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like it)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Democrats, esp. those in conservative leaning states, seem to have an easy time convincing voters that they are conservative and will be independent voices in D.C.. Manchin, Heitcamp, Landrieu, e.g.

But when they get to D.C., they play faithfully on the Democrat team. And voters rarely hold them accountable for that.

Some losses you can chalk up to just plain weak candidates and the power of incumbency.

But there’s absolutely no excuse for a Republican to lose an OPEN U.S. Senate seat in a conservative leaning state. None, whatsoever.


26 posted on 02/06/2013 5:30:36 AM PST by randita
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To: neverdem

the Dems will just paint the Republicans as the party of ‘no’ and say look how they fight Obama on all the good he wants to do. And all the mushy moderates will again be swayed and want to ‘punish’ those that don’t get along in the Senate playgroup. They will say we really can’t judge Obama until he is given full reign to do whatever he wants (as if he doesn’t already). I have little hope that this will will be any different than Nov. 6.


27 posted on 02/06/2013 5:34:45 AM PST by usmom
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To: neverdem
We need to repeal the 17th Ammendment.

It was pushed through by the arch-Socialist Wilson as the first step in dismantling the Republic.

28 posted on 02/06/2013 6:19:04 AM PST by Redleg Duke ("Madison, Wisconsin is 30 square miles surrounded by reality.", L. S. Dryfus)
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To: plsjr
Light in the loafers Lindsey is untouchable in the primaries. Too much money and too much power to be effectively tea partied out, especially since Rats can vote for Graham in SC's open primary system. The general election could be interesting though. SC is slowly but surely turning purple and the state GOP party unity is starting to implode.

As for West Virginia, a GOP pickup is a pipe dream.

29 posted on 02/06/2013 7:26:10 AM PST by buckalfa (Tilting at Windmills)
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To: neverdem

Well in GA we will be replacing one of our POS RINO’s for a conservative and then in 2016 we will get rid of the other one.


30 posted on 02/06/2013 8:25:07 AM PST by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: entropy12

Here is the way to handle that. Have someone stand behind our candidates where they are within arm’s reach, and carry a big roll of duct tape. When the candidate is questioned by the ‘Rats and/or the media (and you know they will be) about abortion and rape, have the person with the tape slap a big strip of it over the mouth of the candidate. Keep doing that until they learn not to fall into that ‘Rat trap.


31 posted on 02/06/2013 10:46:46 AM PST by chimera
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To: MSF BU

In case that was misread, I didn’t mean that we’ve only defeated 2 Senate Dem incumbents since after 1980. I said that we’ve never beaten MORE than 2 in each election since. In 1994, we won the Senate solely because of a rash of Dem retirements. We still only defeated 2 incumbents, Sasser in TN being one (by Bill Frist), and the weak Harris Wofford in PA (who was serving out the 3-year remainder of John Heinz’s term), whom was beaten by Rick Santorum.


32 posted on 02/06/2013 1:26:08 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: randita; Impy; AuH2ORepublican; BillyBoy; Perdogg; campaignPete R-CT

I look at Landrieu as especially galling. In pre-Katrina Louisiana in 1996, she won by massive voter fraud in New Orleans (coordinated by then-Mayor Marc Morial’s LIFE political machine). The Republicans were too scared to challenge her (and Loretta Sanchez’s in the House) “win.”

We end up running these retreads and weak candidates, and we shouldn’t be surprised at the outcomes. Perhaps it’s time to set up some sort of Conservative candidate school to prepare our girls and boys for the hard-knocks and having to fight against three sides (first, the party establishment that hates small-government Republicans; two, the media/culture that will try to trip them up, especially on gotcha questions on rape; three, their Democrat opponent, who hopes that the prior two will have softened them up to the point that they can deliver the death blow).

It’s time to raise and train an army of teflon candidates who can go out there and get the job done.


33 posted on 02/06/2013 1:43:49 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: chimera

That may be the ONLY way to keep those politically unskilled to keep their mouth shut. The problem is they are too honest about their beliefs. Which is just fine, but please do not run for a statewide office. The statements by Akin & Mourdock was the fodder demorats used to portray republicans as at war with women. It was very effective based on the exit polls for women’s vote.


34 posted on 02/06/2013 2:19:11 PM PST by entropy12 (The republic is doomed when people figure out they can get free stuff by voting democrats)
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To: entropy12
The statements by Akin & Mourdock was the fodder demorats used to portray republicans as at war with women. It was very effective based on the exit polls for women’s vote.

Question:

Does that say more about Akin and Mourdock...or about the women who cast those votes?

35 posted on 02/06/2013 2:34:47 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: okie01
was the fodder demorats used

Democrats AND RINO VICHY GOPe TYPES used....

36 posted on 02/06/2013 2:36:06 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: neverdem
Rubio's response in Spanish to the State of the Union address will pretty much do it for my relationship with Republicans, no matter how tenuous it has been for 12 years.

No, there won't be a GOP Senate in our lifetime, because...well, you know. They pee on their base.

37 posted on 02/06/2013 4:05:59 PM PST by jammer
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To: fieldmarshaldj; randita; BillyBoy; AuH2ORepublican; Perdogg; campaignPete R-CT
I’m surprised Rothenberg never mentions the fact that the GOP hasn’t defeated more than 2 Senate Democrat incumbents (Impy's note: Per cycle) in an election since 1980. It’s become a real and serious curse.

This has been my talking point. We will HAVE to overcome that to get majority in '14 unless there are more retirements and we sweep the open seats.

Meanwhile GOP incumbents have dropped like flies.

38 posted on 02/06/2013 5:56:13 PM PST by Impy (All in favor of Harry Reid meeting Mr. Mayhem?)
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To: Old Sarge

Those two must not understand if they are laughing at that accurate comment.


39 posted on 02/06/2013 5:58:04 PM PST by Impy (All in favor of Harry Reid meeting Mr. Mayhem?)
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To: neverdem

Hey Obama keep pushing that gun thing.


40 posted on 02/06/2013 5:59:55 PM PST by bmwcyle (People who do not study history are destine to believe really ignorant statements.)
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To: fieldmarshaldj
It’s time to raise and train an army of teflon candidates who can go out there and get the job done.

I don't know about teflon, but I do think the tea party (notice small "t") mindset has influenced elections at the local and state levels a lot. How many local and state legislators have switched parties in the last few years? Quite a lot.

State legislatures are being flooded with folks with tea party principles.

It will take a while for the cream to rise to the top, but it will. Conservatism will be reignited at the local and state levels out of necessity. Hopefully, the success of states and cities where conservatism has been applied contrasted with those where liberalism reigns will serve as a wake up call.

41 posted on 02/06/2013 6:16:40 PM PST by randita
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To: okie01

I’d say both. But we won’t be successful if we run candidates who are right on the issues but say things in a stupid way that allows them to be caricatured beyond all recognition by the media and the ‘Rats. In the political realm, there is a right way and a wrong way to say things, and there are times when you have to be smart enough not to be drawn into the no-win trap the media ‘Rats set.


42 posted on 02/06/2013 6:19:51 PM PST by chimera
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To: neverdem

I’m not convinced voting isn’t tampered with. No one could have been that stupid to re-elect Obama.


43 posted on 02/06/2013 6:20:55 PM PST by marsh2
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To: chimera
I’d say both. But we won’t be successful if we run candidates who are right on the issues but say things in a stupid way that allows them to be caricatured beyond all recognition by the media and the ‘Rats.

No arguments there.

But the women who fell for the whole "War On Women" canard deserve their share of the blame, too. "The low information voter" personified...

44 posted on 02/06/2013 6:31:17 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: marsh2
I’m not convinced voting isn’t tampered with. No one could have been that stupid to re-elect Obama.

You may well be correct, but fraud only works on the margins. The sad reality is that there were an astounding number of people voting for Baraq despite the horrible economy. The entitlement society has come to America.

45 posted on 02/06/2013 6:43:15 PM PST by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: okie01

Does it really matter about Akin & Mourdock? It is only the votes that matter. If one loses an election, one becomes totally powerless and irrelevant to effect any positive change.

Akin was especially moronic in saying pregnancy will be deterred by woman’s body in case of a rape. Explain that to millions of pregnancies caused by conquering armies throughout history. Alexander the Great’s soldiers left behind a whole bunch of pregnant women from Persia to Hindustan. Ditto with Mughal invader Tamarlane in Hindustan.

But why should we expect Akin to know history?


46 posted on 02/06/2013 7:57:08 PM PST by entropy12 (The republic is doomed when people figure out they can get free stuff by voting democrats)
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To: entropy12
Does it really matter

Well... Hillary... it certainly DOES matter when the entire Vichy GOPe establishment turns against its own candidates to placate the radical left and the MSM.

47 posted on 02/06/2013 8:00:22 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: nascarnation
The sad reality is that there were an astounding number of people voting for Baraq despite the horrible economy. The entitlement society has come to America.

Which proves we are no better than the Greeks, Spaniards, Russians or Chinese people who all fell for the socialist/communist propaganda at one time or another.

What sounds better to a "have not" than "soak the rich and distribute that wealth to all the poor" or "give every one a fair shot"? Nothing! It is very seductive prose.

Eventually they run out of other people's money and then they march back to capitalism. China now has 150 new Billionaires and One million new millionaires! China had almost none during Mao's regime.

48 posted on 02/06/2013 8:05:51 PM PST by entropy12 (The republic is doomed when people figure out they can get free stuff by voting democrats)
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To: GeronL

Moral of the story is....do not nominate politically stupid candidates, no matter how pure. After they lose the election, their noble and pure philosophy is impotent, powerless to further any conservative agenda and they become totally irrelevant. Just Todd Akin.


49 posted on 02/06/2013 8:10:00 PM PST by entropy12 (The republic is doomed when people figure out they can get free stuff by voting democrats)
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To: entropy12

politically stupid candidates like Romney?


50 posted on 02/06/2013 8:14:41 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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