Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

Keeping a close eye on developments in the 2008 U.S. Senate races

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

NRSC Chair Ensign Begs RNC for Help

  • Wow. The Hill reports:

    National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman John Ensign (R-Nev.) is pressing Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) to break tradition and steer Republican National Committee (RNC) funds to Senate races for the 2008 cycle.

    Historically, the RNC has done little to help individual Senate candidates in presidential election years, although candidates in battleground states have reaped the collateral benefits of the RNC’s get-out-the-vote program.

    But under Martinez’s stewardship, the RNC may come to NRSC’s aid in 2008. ...

    Martinez said that he does not know how much help the RNC can give to Senate Republicans and emphasized that any significant aid would break from past practice.

    “Traditionally, in presidential years the RNC has not been of much help to either of the committees,” he said, referring to the NRSC and its House counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee.
    MyDD's Singer sums it up well:

    Yet the fact that it is March 2007, more than a year and a half before voters go to the polls to determine the makeup of the Senate in the 111th Congress, and Ensign is already indicating that he does not believe he has the capacity to, on his own, raise the type of money necessary for his party to retake the Senate is extremely telling. Make no mistake, this is a sign of weakness and despair from within the Republican establishment -- a sign that is not going to instill much confidence in the donor base of the GOP.
    The NRSC has been begging the Republican Senate members for money for Liddy Dole and other select, hard-luck GOP Senators; and now NRSC Chair Ensign comes hat-in-hand panhandling to the RNC for help. This should be very demoralizing to the GOP base. The NRSC is already at a numerical disadvantage, having to defend 21 seats to the Democrats' 12 seats; but now they're admitting that they won't be able to cut it financially without help. Scenes like this have to make a prolonged and growing Democratic majority in the Senate seem all the more likely.


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