Romney's missteps could cost party the Senate, strategists say


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Oct 5, 2009
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Republicans believe Mitt Romney’s mistakes could prevent them from winning back the Senate.

Romney’s failure to close the gap with President Obama less than 50 days before the election, as well as a variety of high-profile gaffes, have raised concerns that the GOP nominee will strand candidates in close swing-states races.

Polls show Obama leading Romney in Ohio and Virginia, two states where strategists think the top of the ticket will most affect the Senate contests.

Republican strategists say that Romney has had a rough stretch recently and warn it could cost the party Senate seats if his execution fails to improve by November.

“Every year the top of the ticket has a great influence on the races below. Massachusetts is a very competitive race, and we have a great candidate in Scott Brown. If Obama wins overwhelmingly, it’s a lot more difficult for Scott Brown to get reelected,” said John Weaver, a senior adviser to Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) 2000 and 2008 presidential bids.

“If your guy wins the White House, he’s going to sweep in one or two or three Senate races that might not happen otherwise,” he added.

Several Republican strategists expressed frustration that Romney wasn’t running a better campaign, and warned it could cost them dearly in a number of states.

“If Romney doesn’t improve, that could cost us our chance of picking up the Senate, for sure,” said one senior strategist working on a number of Senate races. “Honestly, I don’t know who’s driving the train, but they need to get their message focused. “

The strategist said Romney’s comments about the “47 percent” hurt the most in blue-leaning states like Connecticut and Massachusetts, as well as swing states where the GOP Senate candidates’ hopes are closely tied to Romney’s.

“These folks are predominantly running on their own brand and cannot afford to have the perceived negative aspects of the GOP label affixed to their candidacy. And if the Republican Party is to retake the Senate in 2012, their hopes rest largely on the success of many of these candidates,” he added.

Romney's missteps could cost party the Senate, strategists say - The Hill - covering Congress, Politics, Political Campaigns and Capitol Hill |

I guess I'd feel sorry for them If I liked Republicans better.

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