The lesson that hyper-partisans will be tempted to take from Tuesday’s historic “shellacking” is that the more polarizing the candidate, the better the results.
Reality does not bear that theory out. In fact, the most celebrated Tea Party-supported nominees trailed more centrist Republican candidates in the same state considerably, putting a drag on the overall ticket and quite possibly costing the GOP control of the U.S. Senate.
The fact that Harry Reid ended up sailing past Sharron Angle in Nevada wasn’t the only important measure of her failure in this marquee Tea Party race. Angle ended up trailing the current Republican Governor-elect Brian Sandoval by more than 61,000 votes. Read More…
Christine O’Donnell’s latest face-plant—asking “Where in the Constitution is separation of church and state?”—was not just cringe-inducing. It was revealing and part of a growing chorus from social conservative populist candidates running under the Tea Party banner this year.
O’Donnell’s comments were muted compared to her fellow Delaware conservative Glen Urquhart, who earlier this year offered supporters of his congressional campaign a detailed explanation of how the separation of church and state was not in the Constitution but rooted in Nazi propaganda.
“Do you know, where does this phrase ‘separation of church and state’ come from?” Urquhart asked in a campaign speech caught on tape. “It was not in Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists… The exact phrase ‘separation of Church and State’ came out of Adolph Hitler’s mouth, that’s where it comes from. So the next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State ask them why they’re Nazis.” Read More…
China has emerged as a key campaign issue in 2010, invoked by Democrats and Republicans alike. But the anger isn’t just the outsourcing of jobs in this Great Recession—it’s the long-term threat to American sovereignty posed by the U.S. debt.
No less than 30 candidates across the country are running ads that negatively tie their opponent to China. On a trip to Ohio this week, my television was flooded with campaign ads, including a telling salvo against incumbent Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy, featuring Chinese money, Mao, and the red communist flag. Anti-China themes are also evident in late-inning videos from California and Nevada to Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Not coincidentally, these are races where The Daily Beast Election Oracle finds the term “China” surging in online digital grassroots conversation. In select House seats in Ohio (18-CD), Florida (12-CD), West Virginia (3-CD) and Alabama (5-CD), debates about China are making up more than 15 percent of the total online conversation. It’s more evidence of what Joe Klein found talking to people on his nationwide road-trip, recounted in a recent Time magazine cover story: “For every occasion they raised Afghanistan, they mentioned China 25 times.” Read More…
It’s enough to make you miss the “Daisy” ad.
LBJ’s invocation of nuclear war if Barry Goldwater won the ‘64 election was substantive and civil compared to the worst of the campaign ads we’ve seen so far this season.
It’s not that our ads today are necessarily uglier or more mean-spirited than those in the past. But they are palpably weirder.
The craziest campaign spots this year to date include a cranked-up interview with an Abe Lincoln impersonator who compares health care to slavery, and Terry Gilliam-inspired “Demon Sheep” that just might provoke acid flashbacks. There’s Muslim-baiting imagery borrowed from 24 and an absurd ‘80s nostalgia sing-along that would make the boys from Wham! blush. Read More…
One year ago, the first Tea Party protest hadn’t even been held yet and the phrase remained safely ensconced in American history textbooks. This weekend, the first national Tea Party Convention will be held in Nashville, and the fractious movement has secured a place in the history of the Obama administration. But for all the attention it has earned, misconceptions abound. Here are the top five. Read More…