May 21, 2010

THEY'RE PROFESSIONAL POLITICIANS AND THEY NEED TO BE TOLD THAT?:

GOP fingers culprit in Pa. election (SHIRA TOEPLITZ & CHARLES MAHTESIAN, 5/21/10, Politico)

POLITICO has learned that on Thursday, pollster Gene Ulm was asked to deliver a post-mortem on the race at a closed-door meeting hosted by Sessions and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is in charge of candidate recruitment for the NRCC, and attended by the vice-chairmen of the House GOP’s campaign operation, a group that included Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Tom Price (R-Ga.), Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and senior staff.

According to a Republican source familiar with the meeting, Ulm was questioned about how and why the loss occurred and whether anyone saw it coming. The group also discussed how to maintain party morale in the wake of a humbling defeat that seemed to defy other political indicators suggesting 2010 will deliver huge House gains for the GOP.

In a memo obtained by POLITICO that is scheduled to be circulated to House Republicans on Friday, Ulm wrote that the special election outcome was largely the result of a late-breaking surge of Democratic voters toward Rep. Joe Sestak in the high-profile Senate primary, a force that unexpectedly boosted turnout in southwestern Pennsylvania.

“The bottom line is that the special election coincided with very competitive Democratic primaries that inflated the number of base Democrats anxious to defeat Arlen Specter,” wrote Ulm, a top GOP pollster.

“The Democratic primary prevented the turnout depression we have seen in other races this year: 82,675 turned out to vote, making Election Day turnout 64.3% Democrat - 35.6% Republican,” noted Ulm. “This is overwhelmingly the most powerful factor impacting the results which makes this race different from other partisan contests held this year.”


It would be a GOP seat now if Arlen Specter hadn't been chased out of the party.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 21, 2010 5:25 AM
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