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The GOP's War on Tea Party May Cost it the Senate

While Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other top Republicans have bragged about their desire to destroy the so called Tea Party, or their own conservative GOP base, even their own polls are demonstrating how they may have over-reached and may pay the price by failing to capture a Senate majority this year.

Below, the LA Times quotes Republican pollster Whit Ayres, among others.

But Ayres found one ray of hope for Democrats: the party’s voters reported equal levels of enthusiasm about the November vote as Republicans in these states. Typically in the midterm election of a president’s second term, the opposing party has a significant edge, as national polls now show. 

“This is an unusual result,” Ayres said. “But I do think that’s a function of the attention that’s been lavished on these dozen states so far. There’s been a tremendous number of ads already, even where the Republican nominee has not been settled yet. So I think that’s what’s generating this parity in enthusiasm.”

Ayres’ survey, conducted for the GOP think tank Resurgent Republic, also found that Republican voters were more likely to be dissatisfied with their party’s leadership in Congress than were Democratic voters, a product of the tea party-versus-GOP establishment battles that have hurt previous efforts to win back the Senate.

The Times also points out that Democrats are merely playing politics with their so called agenda, seeking to invigorate certain constituencies, as opposed to crafting serious legislation. But the fact remains, Republicans may have succeeded in making themselves their own worst enemy in the Fall by refusing to yield any ground at all to any already weary base. 

“This infighting has taken its toll,” said Amy Walter, a national political analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. Republicans “are not as enthusiastic as they were in 2010. Even they are a little bit disillusioned by what’s been happening over the last couple years.”

That also means Republican candidates are not getting the benefit of the doubt among independent voters as they did in 2010, Walter added.

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