D.C. – One Washington insider is confident that the Republicans will maintain the majority in the Senate this fall – no matter if Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump emerges as the presidential victor.
Ward Baker, the National Republican Senatorial Committee's executive director, makes his argument in Medium.com and in doing so points to, among other things, Illinois U.S. Senator Mark Kirk's overwhelming victory in the Illinois Republican primary.
From within the Beltway, views of the Heartland are often distorted, but Mr. Baker is less than forthright when he boasts of Senator Kirk's win over small businessman James Marter, who was unable to raise funds due to pressure on check-writers from Illinois GOP powers-that-be and their staffs. Mr. Baker also doesn't mention that Senator Kirk has no outreach or interest in attracting conservative voters from Illinois – as he consistently signs onto radical leftist causes and receives embarrassing scores from national conservative groups.
All that aside, Mr. Baker is adamant that Kirk's win in Illinois symbolizes victory for Republicans in the fall.
At the NRSC, our goal is to construct campaigns the way a shipbuilder would construct a ship for a long journey: build a vessel, train a crew, give them coordinates, and set them to sail. Our campaigns are staffed and fully functional. We’ve done exhaustive training for campaign staff, with the NRSC hosting a communications boot camp, two digital summits, two campaign management and field workshops, eight in-state field schools, and we’re currently underway with eight digital training sessions.
The results of our preparation are already apparent. In a cycle where many reporters like to pontificate about the “Trump effect,” our Senators have successfully navigated tricky waters in their primary contests. Across the board, Republican Senators have outperformed the top of the ticket in raw votes, and Senators like Richard Shelby, John Boozman, Richard Burr, and Mark Kirk scored decisive primary wins that were hardly guaranteed given the mood of Republican voters. In fact, every Republican Senate incumbent has won with over 60%.
In addition to mastering the intricate mechanics of running a modern campaign, we have a very clear messaging strategy. Republican Senators are talking to voters like they’re running for sheriff. Every message is highly targeted and purposefully local. Our Senators are making sure their voters know they’re focused on issues that matter in their states – Rob Portman and Kelly Ayotte are leading the fight against opioid abuse; Roy Blunt is a forceful advocate for mental health funding; John McCain and Ron Johnson are going above and beyond for reform and accountability at Veterans Affairs and VA hospitals. We want to make sure voters are casting votes for Senate candidates based solely on issues related to that Senate race – not up, down, or adjacent on the ticket. We’ve embraced data analytics, new digital platforms and non-traditional message delivery in order to talk to voters in targeted segments amounting to 7-8% of the electorate at a time. The results are self-evident: Portman is running the best field and data program in America and Pat Toomey has been a leader on the digital front with the use of Snapchat to expand his message universe.
We have the best candidates, the best campaigns, the best messages, and we have been gearing up for a fight since day one. No stone has been left unturned, no campaign left unprepared, and not a single campaign tool ignored. The NRSC has been unrelenting in our efforts to prepare our campaigns, and as Democrats spend the heart of the campaign hoping for the best, we will execute a strategy that has been in the works for a year in a half. Republicans are writing the book on how to win in an unpredictable environment and we will hold our Senate majority in November.
I won’t be voting for Christian hating Mark Kirk. A very good primary candidate(James Marter) was stabbed in the back by Illinois GOP. I will be leaving the US senate box unchecked this November.
Which “ship” is Ward Baker building? The “TITANIC?”
“From within the Beltway, views of the Heartland are often distorted…”
YEAH, and isn’t that the problem with the Establishment Republicans? They sit in NYC, DC, and in other left-wing power centers, talk only to each other, dine, drink with and date left-wing media people, and refuse to keep in touch with their voters out here in working-class America.
Then they wonder why Donald Trump is now the GOP candidate for president!
The fact that there is a National Republican Senatorial Committee to raise money to retain traitorous GOP incumbents like Mark Kirk disgusts me. Anyone who mistakenly sends money to this organization is ignorant of where it is going. This Committee will distribute the cash as the COMMITTEE sees fit, even if the candidate who receives it has a record of acting against the interests of voting Republicans, as does Mark Kirk.
James Marter’s loss was not due to Mark Kirk’s superior voting record on Republican issues. Marter’s campaign lost for three reasons; Not enough money, not enough name recognition, not enough time ahead of the election to acquire the first two.
I’m surprised that Kirk won his primary, since he frequently disagrees with the republican platform. Here are some of his latest interest group ratings: Planned Parenthood, 100%; NEA, 100%; John Birch Society, 35%; and Gun Owners of America, 0%. He won the primary because many Republicans are as liberal as he is, or they didn’t care enough to research his views.
Spence, please don’t skip that section of the ballot. At least one conservative will be in that race.
Mark Kirk was rejected by 29.4 percent of GOP primary voters in the March primary election or more than 388,000 votes for a candidate who could not compete for money and media so it is almost a pure protest vote. Kirk has done nothing to mend fences with GOP conservatives since the primary so most of those protest voters have no stake in voting for Kirk in the fall because they do not see him as much better than the Democratic Party candidate. Kirk cannot win enough votes from Democrats when they have their own Democrat to vote for. Kirk will have only himself to blame when he loses in November and Illinois conservatives will be no worse off then they are now. If the GOP Senate majority cannot do more to act like a majority in opposition to Obama, what makes anyone think that they will be more aggressive in confronting a Democratic majority or president? But even a busted clock is right twice each day and the GOP majority leader has so far blocked a replacement for Justice Scalia r but Sen. Kirk has been no help at all in that effort and in fact has criticized his fellow Republicans for holding the line.
Apparently you weren’t paying attention when Topinka, Cross, Rauner, Rodogno won primary after primary when they usually disagree with the Republican platform.