Matt HealeySunday,20 October 2013

The Snap:

Now that the debt fight is over there is a question as to what the impact will be. So far I have discussed the winners and losers, and the parts that annoyed me most, because lets face it — the entire spectacle was annoying. One of the final questions that needs to be investigated is what impact this will have on 2014 mid-terms.

The Download:

Granted the evangelical christian party of god took the brunt of the blame for the shutdown. So the knee jerk reaction is that this will hurt the GOP in 2014. The logic goes that since more people hold them responsible, independents who are leaning Republican will either not vote, or vote for the Democrat. The counterargument is that people have a very short attention span and they will have forgotten about this by 2014. This is particularly true for independents. The hard core political junkies will remember, but they have already decided which party they will vote for, so the swing voters will have forgotten. I agree with this argument, but I do believe that the shutdown will hurt the GOP.

My reason for this is the primary process. The fact is that the Tea Party still thinks they were right and the problem was those annoying moderate Republicans. You can see that from the comments Carnival made in his last ditch effort. Sarah Palin has already come out and announced that she will attack republicans who voted for the deal. Finally the Tea Party Nation came out and attacked Boehner and the other Republicans that voted for the deal as RIONs. So the impact will be on the attacks the Tea Party is already planning for moderate Republicans and the resulting low quality candidates that are propelled by angry Tea Party primary voters into the general.

To see this we have to look back at some of the past Tea Party-inspired candidates that won the primary and then got killed in the general in states that Republicans could or should have won. The best place to start with this analysis is Christine “I’m not a witch” O’Donnell. She beat Mike Castle in the Delaware Republican Senate primary based on Tea Party support. She was an awful candidate and eventually lost the general election to Chris Coons, the Democrat. Had she lost the primary and Mike Castle had won, there is a very real chance that the GOP would have win the election. Then there is Richard “A life started as a result of rape is god’s will” Mourdock. He won the Indian primary based on Tea Party support and was another awful candidate, losing the Indiana Senate seat that was predicted to go Republican in the 2012 election. Finally we move to Todd “Legitimate Rape” Aiken. He was another Tea Party favorite who lost the Missouri Senate seat in 2012. So when the Tea Party gets fired up, as they are now, they have a strong tendency to nominate candidates that have no chance in the general elections. That is what I suspect will happen in 2014 and that will hurt the Republicans in the 2014 general elections.

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