Week of Monday, October 29
IN BRIEF: One week out from Election Day, Republican Senate candidates are en route to fall far short of expectations. Here’s why:
This cycle’s map was supposed to be a Republican juggernaut. After the 2016 election, onlookers predicted a Republican sweep of 10 Senate seats held by Democratic Senators in states that Trump won.
But multiple recruitment failures, a deeply unpopular president, and Republican ineffectiveness have evened the playing field. States once thought to be in play — Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin — are effectively off the map. And even in redder states like Montana and West Virginia, flawed Republican candidates have failed to overtake popular incumbents.
The GOP has failed to find any meaningful message on which to campaign. Democrats have displayed across-the-board message discipline on the cycle’s #1 issue — healthcare — forcing Republicans to play defense on policies […]