The conventional wisdom is that the GOP should come close to taking the majority in the House and pick up a few seats in the Senate in this year’s mid-term elections. The party of the President almost always loses seats in the mid-terms. This year will likely similar with one major difference. The Tea Party movement has produced many candidates so outside the mainstream that it’s possible, if not likely, the rising GOP tide will not lift their boats.
Case in point Sharron Angle. If you asked me in January what would happen to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in this years election I would have told you he would have plenty of time to enjoy Vegas come 2011. A funny thing happened on the way to the GOP victory party. They selected Tea Partier Sharron Angle in a contentious GOP primary. Angle is among the most conservative Senate candidates running this year. She is incredibly anti-government and has stated publicly on the record that Social Security should be eliminated. Now I know she is new to politics, but the first thing I was taught about the business is that Senior Citizen’s always vote. They also collect Social Security. In Nevada, Seniors make up 30% of the electorate, their children and grandchildren make up the other 70%. She has also suggested that if conservatives don’t win this year, they should consider “2nd Amendment Remedies.” Sharron if you’re saying what I think you are saying you’re suggesting treason. The Constitution has a remedy for that. This woman is so unprepared for the race that she refuses to meet with the press, local, national or otherwise. Senator McConnell, the minority leader, announced today that he will not go to Nevada to campaign for Angle. I am starting to like Senator Reid’s chances and I think Vegas will have to wait another 6 years for his retirement party.
All in all, the GOP is having an identity crisis when it comes to the Tea Party. We know what the Tea Party is against, but what are they for? If you’re a Republican candidate with an innovative idea for government, dare you campaign about it? I mean, its a new government program that may actually require government spending. What if you are an incumbent Congressman who secured an appropriation for a project? It’s going to be a tricky year. I know the GOP will pick up seats, but not as many as you think.