September 15th, 2010
03:40 PM ET
13 years ago

NRSC to go on offensive

Washington (CNN) - As early as next week, the National Republican Senatorial Committee will "go on the offense," according to a senior Senate campaign strategist, laying out its path to victory in a number of Senate races – not claiming to be on the verge of a majority, but well on its way.

While the path to a majority just got a lot tougher last night with the defeat of Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware for the GOP nomination, this campaign strategist says "We're going to take our lumps after Delaware. But for all of the beltway narrative, we are winning in a lot of places."

Does that mean a majority? Maybe not, "but we're still going to win a bunch of seats."

Indeed, the GOP message will point to what many consider to be the obvious right now: the Democrats are "in for a bad election," according to this source. The proof, they say: history. In 2006 and 2008, when Democrats won big, any Democrat ahead of his GOP opponent on Labor Day went on to win. 'It was a wave," says this GOP source. "And that's what we are looking for now."

The senior Republican points out that, according to both internal and external GOP polling, their candidates are ahead in six open seats: Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, Florida, Illinois and even New Hampshire. While the GOP nominee has still not officially been named, and may be subject to a recount, this source believes that the GOP would win with either former state attorney general Kelly Ayotte or attorney Ovide Lamontagne. The open seat that still gives the GOP heartburn: Roy Blunt versus Robin Carnahan. After all, Blunt is a creature of Congress, having served in the House GOP leadership.

In addition, Republicans claim to be up in the polling of seven seats now occupied by Democrats: in North Dakota, Arkansas, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Washington state and Colorado. What's more, they say they are "within the margin of error" in California, Wisconsin and Nevada, and within single digits in Connecticut and West Virginia.

Voter intensity, of course, is key to winning in any midterm election. And GOP voter intensity, which is very high right now, could be difficult to sustain. But internal GOP polling –as well as CNN's own polls– shows that independent voters have becoming increasingly alienated from the Democrats. Republicans believe they will come out and vote for their candidates.

One factor: the tax debate. "If we're debating whether to raise taxes 35 days before an election, we win," says this Republican, convinced that the Democratic strategy of letting the tax cuts for the wealthy expire (while making middle class tax cuts permanent) will not work.

As for the infamous internal GOP Delaware battle, this source does not totally rule out more money for Christine O'Donnell. "It's all about viability," he says. "If she's within single digits, we will spend money there." Upcoming decisions: whether to give $180,000 to the coordinated campaign, and whether to allocate independent expenditure money in Delaware. As of this point, both seem unlikely-unless O'Donnell catches fire with Delaware voters.

Filed under: NRSC
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Voice of Reason

    "NRSC to go on offensive"

    Isnt ANY national partisian group already 'Offensive' ?

    September 15, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Hey, Tim Kaine has now made the "major announcement" he promised yesterday, the one that will "fire up all Democrats" and remake the party.

    Yes, it's a new website. And a new logo. CNN, you are definitely excused for not following up on this one.

    September 15, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. liberal elite = anyone with an education

    The NRSC has been offensive for years. Oh, sorry, they said 'on' the offfensive.

    September 15, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. ronalde

    the only offence you need is to try and get something done,all you did was try to block everything that the democrats did.put up some nem ideas that don't sound like something of the last 10 years,pass a bill for small business,do something for the middle class,not the rich,and stop lying.

    September 15, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "NRSC to go on offensive"

    When has the GOP not been on the offensive since Jan 2009? Hmmm? The GOP has treated us to the nastiest, most misinformation filled 20 months of demagoguery I've born witness to in my life. There's no "to go on offensive" about it...maybe "to continue being offensive."

    September 15, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. Jilli

    NRSC to go on offensive

    On the offensive with what? Republicans have sat on their hands while the economy and americans suffered through the worst economic period since the 30's – while they planned their political strategy. It better be a good one since they've done nothing to help the nation recovery. Yeah, some will be fooled by their games, but they're games, not solutions. The republicans aren't serious about leadership and governance, they're only serious about winning, and that's a loss for the nation.

    September 15, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. Dave

    So what is the GOP's game plan? Maybe they will outline their ideas and solutions to the country's problems. Oh, wait, they don't have any. They will probably just go with all of the "socialism" and "take our country back" garbage, because that's all they have.

    September 15, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. JD in Moraga, CA

    "As early as next week, the National Republican Senatorial Committee will "go on the offense," according to a senior Senate campaign strategist..."

    Shouldn't be too hard...they've always been pretty offensive.

    September 15, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "The upper 2% of income earners (those making over $250,000) in the United States account for 40% of all consumer spending. We are in a weakly growing economy at best and at worst we may have never recovered from the prior recession. "

    What Limbaugh and his merry band of Becksters forgot to tell you was that even if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, AS WRITTEN AND ENACTED BY THE GOP, that top 2% of income earners STILL HAS ENOUGH DISPOSABLE INCOME TO ACCOUNT FOR 40% OF CONSUMER SPENDING. Get a clue. You people like screaming "4!!!" when all you've heard is "2 +".

    September 15, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. J

    If you want to go right back to the Bush administration policies that put us in a recession, vote GOP. They also want to hand Social Security over to Wall Street (as we are very lucky Bush failed to do when he tried it). On top of that, the GOP wants to repeal the regulations that President Obama was just able to put back on Wall Street. If the GOP has its way Wall Street will be taking unregulated risks with your Social Security and our country's future. The GOP cares more about the ultra-rich than it does about working families. If you want to move forward by regulating Wall Street, addressing the shrinking middle class in America, and having smart government that helps working families then you should vote Democrat.

    September 15, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Regarding O'Donnell, politically I'm in between Ronald Reagan and Benito Mussolini. But I agree with Karl Rove - O'Donnell is nuts.

    September 15, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. lost in america

    The GOP already has a path provided by the Tea Party; take back our country so our voices can be heard. where was your voices when all this began with Bush? where was your voice when Bush and the GOP began TWO wars? It is really funny when you say you what to be heard, but it is only your far right agenda you are interested in, not what is good for America. otherwise, you would had spoke up 5 years ago. The Tea party is nothing but radicals yelling as loud as they can. I honestly hope they win, it would be a great reality check for this country.

    September 15, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Bob

    Why is everyone counting out McDonnell in Deleware? People are angry at career politicians who refuse to listen to We The People! We're on the wrong path and it's critical that our country change direction.

    September 15, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I hope this idiot thinks that Sharon Angle is going to be the next sneator from Nevada. He is sadly mistaken. These right wing lunatics are going to lose in the general election.

    September 15, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  15. Jack

    Does the GOP really expect voters to vote for someone like O'Donnell, for instance? Here is a woman who had to be sued by her college to pay them what she owed them from a decade ago. She only this summer got her college degree because she finally lost the suit and had to pay them AND she took a required course she avoided. Is this an adult or some adolescent running wild in an adult world? We need responsible, adults working for us, not impetuous teenagers in grown-up clothes.

    September 15, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. D. Bunker

    What's this about "NRSC to go on the offensive" nonsense?!?! They've been on the offensive since Obama was sworn in. And yet, during all that time, the NRSC has yet to come up with any sane plan to help the average American. Instead we get a bunch of teatard lies and propaganda along with the usual cultist devotion to the disproved "principles" of deregulation, "tax cut and spend" and other nonsense from the Friedman/Rand church of insane economic policies.

    September 15, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. Conservative Victory 2010

    Last night's win and all others by Tea Party movement backed candidates has no impact on the GOP; it impacts the ENTIRE establishment which is made up of all career politicians who have lost touch with their constituents and are responsible for the rapid degradation of American resolve, pride, financial strength, and values. Last night is just part of the message that will continue to be sent to everyone, not just Republicans. The Democrats are the ones that are still going to be held accountable in November for using their elitist, socialist agenda to increase government intervention, quadruple the deficit, not create jobs, and reduce this country's intestinal fortitude by worrying more about what radical Muslims think of our decisions instead of just standing as proud Americans and making the decisions period. Last night is just the start of bringing America back to the citizens of the country, so Democrats still need to be afraid, be very afraid!

    September 15, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. bill

    wake up sucker.your party can say NO.for so long .then its time to come up with a plan.please please tell us your plan to save the rich.

    September 15, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. Gale

    Is there some kind of law that says the Senate can't work with each other for the better of our country instead of for the better of their party? Get a grip Democrats and Republicans, this is what the people want!

    September 15, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Reality

    Ensign & Vitter, anyone? Yep, the NRSC's still "offensive."

    September 15, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    Just an observaation of the frightening trend in conservative thinking with respect to their overuse of the phrase "lame duck" here and elsewhere:

    "Lame duck" refers to the period between election of a new POTUS and the swearing in of that new POTUS. It is not a term for what a POTUS becomes if the other party takes control of one or both houses of congress after a mid-term election. All you do by continually referring to Obama as a "lame duck" if the GOP wins in November is reveal that it is indeed the right wingers who have the non-bipartisan, non-cooperative, my-way-or-the-high-way mentality that leads to a fascist state. It is an implicit admission on your parts that NOTHING you have done since Jan 2009 had anything to do with the substance of Obama's or the Dems' proposals or policies...that it was, in fact and as many have argued, just a giant temper tantrum political ploy to abuse the filibuster, obstruct EVERYTHING and fabricate pervasive misinformation memes in order to scare, anger and distract the public for political leverage....that if you were going down, you were willing to take everyone else and this nation with you. You might want to think twice about continuing to vomit the "lame duck" talking point.

    September 15, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Ben in Texas

    The NRSC is always offensive to me. In fact, short of the Taliban, there's not a more offensive group in the world.

    September 15, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. Givemeabreak!!!

    GOP will NOT win Florida. Crist will be the winner.

    September 15, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. GL

    Republicans have been on defends and we are all tried of hearing from them. They need to produce a plan. WE ARE ALL TRIED OF THEIR veiws.

    September 15, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. ART

    Silly Republicans,not only have they done absolutely nothing to help with the economy they are now fighting internally with the monster that they themselves created (tea Baggers). Wow to think I once considered myself a Republican what was I smoking

    September 15, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |