A Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate, which would dramatically reduce Hawaii’s access to the levers of power here in Washington, is now far less likely than it once appeared. And Linda Lingle is part of the wave that wasn’t.
The Washington Post today has an A-1 story mostly about the Missouri contest that really changed the game. It’s titled ”With Senate at stake, GOP waits on Akin’s next move, McCaskill goes on offense” and provides national context for the fallout from Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment.
Politico also notes the impact of Akin’s August über-gaffe in its article titled “Forecast for GOP Senate takeover: More clouds.” But its focus is broader, wrapping in the unexpected retirement of Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe as well as what Republican operatives say have been “underwhelming candidates.”
… the GOP’s once-high hopes in New Mexico and Hawaii are fading as the party confronts daunting blue-state demographics.
It’s a marked change from the beginning of the cycle, when most GOP operatives were brimming with confidence about netting the four seats needed to wrest power from Democrats.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Washington-based GOP operative who has his hands in several races, offered a dimmer view.
“Republicans are undeniably in a worse spot than a few months ago,” he said. Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle and former New Mexico Rep. Heather Wilson haven’t panned out, and former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp [a Democrat] has exceeded expectations, the strategist added.
The WaPo story doesn’t mention Lingle by name and doesn’t insult her so directly, but it’s dismissive in its own way. Its list of races where Republicans have an opportunity to pick up a seat — North Dakota, Virginia, Montana, Ohio and Florida — notably does not include Hawaii.
— Michael Levine