- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
- HAYDEN: Intelligence, evidence and the case against Russia
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
Senate candidates looking for a lift on Romney’s coattails
Question of the Day
But Mr. Romney’s strong debate performance last week gave him a boost, and now Republicans are eagerly awaiting the next round of Senate polls, banking that their presidential nominee’s rise will lift the rest of the party’s ticket.
“It was always going to be a close election for the [Democratic Senate] majority,” Republican strategist Ron Bonjean said. “However, the better Romney does, the better off the ground is for Republicans in these states.”
Political scientists have long debated presidential candidates’ coattails — their ability to help boost party members’ fortunes down the ticket. But there is little question that as Mr. Romney’s poll numbers dropped in September, so did support for Republican Senate candidates in swing states such as Virginia and Nevada.
In Virginia, Democrat Tim Kaine’s lead has slipped, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls. The same has happened to Sen. Sherrod Brown, the Democratic incumbent in Ohio. In Nevada, Sen. Dean Heller, a Republican, has increased his lead over Rep. Shelley Berkley, a Democrat who is trying to unseat Mr. Heller.
Yet in Michigan, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat, has extended her lead into double digits, and in New Mexico Rep. Martin Heinrich, also a Democrat, has built on his advantage.
“Right now these [Senate] contests are running on different tracks,” he said. “Sometimes you have [presidential and Senate races] on parallel tracks. I don’t think these are right now. But they will be to a greater extent on Election Day.”
“They’re responsible for their own campaigns. I don’t see how they can link that to Romney in September,” he said.
Likewise, Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist and longtime Senate aide who now works for public affairs firm Quinn Gillespie & Associates, said Senate candidates controlled their own destinies in September — to the benefit of his party.
“In many of the races, [Democrats] have better candidates than what we had expected,” he said.
But former Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, who represented Northern Virginia and was chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee for two election cycles, said Mr. Romney’s September slump absolutely hurt his party’s down-ticket candidates.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at email@example.com.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- N.J. Gov. Christie picks state A.G. to fill U.S. Senate seat
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is 'torture'
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq