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January 21, 2021, 06:47:38 AM

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  Who Ran The Worst Senate Campaign in 2020?
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Author Topic: Who Ran The Worst Senate Campaign in 2020?  (Read 1761 times)
TML
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« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2021, 02:14:49 AM »


Apparently Perdue (or his campaign team) forgot that even though Bob Menendez wasnít prosecuted in 2018 for alleged ethics violations, exit polls from that year indicated that the majority of the electorate still thought that Menendez didnít have high ethical standards.
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Catalyst138
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« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2021, 03:51:11 AM »

Why does everyone forget Maine has RCV and so Susan Collinsí lead over Gideon wouldnít be as large if that was taken into account, given the third party vote?

Iím not saying Gideon ran a great campaign or anything but the whole ďshe lost by 9 pointsĒ has a heavy asterisk to it. Itís probably more like 3-4 points, against a incumbent that usually wins in landslides.
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Southern Governor Punxsutawney Phil
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« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2021, 04:01:07 AM »

Cunningham for Ds, Perkins for Rs
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MoreThanPolitics
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« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2021, 07:33:55 AM »

Cal Cunningham wanted to pretend that he was down to earth, yet he didn't even know how to BBQ properly, so him
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MT Treasurer
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« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2021, 01:13:04 PM »

Only focusing on competitive races, because the others donít really matter even if the candidate in question was 'weak':

Sara Gideon -- It takes a special level of incompetence for a Democrat to lose a Senate race in a blue state these days and/or to underperform the top of the ticket by double digits given the enormous partisanship of blue state voters, but Gideon somehow (although unsurprisingly, given that she campaigned like she was up against a R incumbent in NJ and had little understanding of the state she moved to) scored on both counts. Collins is the only Republican representing a blue state in the Senate in the year 2021, and thatís a pretty damning indictment of people like Tom Allen and Sara Gideon. While Collins was never going to be as easy to beat as many had hoped, she was not invincible either.

Martha McSally -- This race was more winnable than her last one (not because Sinema was the Democratic candidate, but because it a massive Democratic wave year) and she had no business underperforming Trump in a year/state like this. A combination of poor messaging, an amateurish brand, and poor optics cost the GOP the 2020 seat and consequently the Senate. You could argue that itís less about her than about Ducey's appointment, though.

John James -- Mostly due to a ton of missed opportunities (not going nuclear on the incumbent like Scott did in FL-SEN 2018, focusing too much on identity and vague platitudes, a lethargic performance on the campaign trail, etc.) and the incompetence of the NRSC with its half-hearted involvement three weeks before the election when Peters had already defined James and himself and it was too late. You could make a case that the race wasnít winnable because Biden carried the state somewhat comfortably, but Iím not entirely sure I buy this. In any case, you werenít going to beat someone like Peters by harping on about socialism or the Green New Deal.
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Mr.Phips
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« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2021, 01:16:32 PM »

Only focusing on competitive races, because the others donít really matter even if the candidate in question was 'weak':

Sara Gideon -- It takes a special level of incompetence for a Democrat to lose a Senate race in a blue state these days and/or to underperform the top of the ticket by double digits given the enormous partisanship of blue state voters, but Gideon somehow (although unsurprisingly, given that she campaigned like she was up against a R incumbent in NJ and had little understanding of the state she moved to) scored on both counts. Collins is the only Republican representing a blue state in the Senate in the year 2021, and thatís a pretty damning indictment of people like Tom Allen and Sara Gideon. While Collins was never going to be as easy to beat as many had hoped, she was not invincible either.

Martha McSally -- This race was more winnable than her last one (not because Sinema was the Democratic candidate, but because it a massive Democratic wave year) and she had no business underperforming Trump in a year/state like this. A combination of poor messaging, an amateurish brand, and poor optics cost the GOP the 2020 seat and consequently the Senate. You could argue that itís less about her than about Ducey's appointment, though.

John James -- Mostly due to a ton of missed opportunities (not going nuclear on the incumbent like Scott did in FL-SEN 2018, focusing too much on identity and vague platitudes, a lethargic performance on the campaign trail, etc.) and the incompetence of the NRSC with its half-hearted involvement three weeks before the election when Peters had already defined James and himself and it was too late. You could make a case that the race wasnít winnable because Biden carried the state somewhat comfortably, but Iím not entirely sure I buy this. In any case, you werenít going to beat someone like Peters by harping on about socialism or the Green New Deal.

James did well to do as well as he did.  He wasnít winning unless Trump got within 50,000 votes of winning the state.
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TheElectoralBoobyPrize
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« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2021, 09:48:30 AM »

Such an Atlas question, but any picks for worse winning campaign(s) or best losing campaign (s)?
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Infertile Fertility Deity
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« Reply #32 on: January 14, 2021, 09:52:28 AM »

Such an Atlas question, but any picks for worse winning campaign(s) or best losing campaign (s)?

Worst winning campaign: Tuberville
Best losing campaign: Ronchetti
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VBNMWEB
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« Reply #33 on: January 14, 2021, 11:40:05 AM »

Cunningham would have lost even without the sexting scandal
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TheElectoralBoobyPrize
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« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2021, 08:55:25 PM »

Such an Atlas question, but any picks for worse winning campaign(s) or best losing campaign (s)?

Worst winning campaign: Tuberville

Tubervilleís campaign was brilliant...

1. Get first place in the primary on name recognition from being a football coach alone
2. Win the runoff in a landslide simply because Trump trashes your opponent on a regular basis even though he was the stateís senator for 20 years
3. Win the general in a landslide simply because youíre the Republican nominee in a deep red state in a presidential year

It was the most brilliant campaign of all time...he never had to debate anyone.
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forsythvoter
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« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2021, 10:12:26 PM »

I think Kelly Loeffler ran the worst campaign if we base it on just the mechanics of running a race. She came across as extremely robotic whenever she spoke, didn't try to defend herself from the insider trading charges (her response was basically that Warnock was a radical socialist to everything). Her statements that her voting record was "100% what Trump wanted" managed to offend even Trump voters who wanted a senator that could think for herself.

However, I also think Perdue ran a close second. His Kamala name gaffe probably cost him enough votes to not clear 50% in the general election (he was 17,000 votes short so he would have only needed to flip 8,500 votes out of ~5M), and then his refusal to debate and runoff strategy of basically letting Loeffler do most of the campaigning for the R ticket (and thus tieing him to the hip with Trump) in the runoffs cost him enough support among suburban moderates to give Ossoff the win.

Both GA Senate races imo were winnable by the Rs and it wasn't luck that gave the Ds the seats but the fact that Ds just ran a much more competent campaign. Just look at the PSC race which is as close  to a generic R / D race as one can get.
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ElectionsGuy
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« Reply #36 on: January 15, 2021, 02:59:54 PM »

If someone said that Steve Bullock and Sara Gideon ran some of the worst campaigns on November 2nd, 2020, I think they would be laughed at and mocked. There are legitimate arguments to be had, but you can run a good campaign that doesn't end up with a favorable result. Those campaigns got nothing but praise from the mainstream media and people on here until they didn't get the result they wanted.
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Calthrina950
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« Reply #37 on: January 15, 2021, 04:41:50 PM »

If someone said that Steve Bullock and Sara Gideon ran some of the worst campaigns on November 2nd, 2020, I think they would be laughed at and mocked. There are legitimate arguments to be had, but you can run a good campaign that doesn't end up with a favorable result. Those campaigns got nothing but praise from the mainstream media and people on here until they didn't get the result they wanted.

Not all posters on here were optimistic about Bullock and Gideon. They were some who raised concerns about the impact Bullock's abortive presidential run might have on his candidacy. One poster in particular (GoldenMainer), brought in a much more realistic perspective about the Collins-Gideon race and sounded the alarm about Gideon's poor debate performance, and he was mocked by some for this. Overall, I'll agree that the majority of posters on here were overly optimistic about these campaigns, but it wasn't a complete echo chamber.
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NewYorkExpress
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« Reply #38 on: January 15, 2021, 05:00:30 PM »

Republicans: Tommy Tuberville. Yeah, he won, but exposed himself as an idiot in the process.

Democrats: Amy McGrath. In hindsight, we were better off running Alison Lundergan Grimes again.
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« Reply #39 on: January 15, 2021, 07:35:21 PM »

Republicans: Tommy Tuberville. Yeah, he won, but exposed himself as an idiot in the process.

Democrats: Amy McGrath. In hindsight, we were better off running Alison Lundergan Grimes again.

Should have been Booker.
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Alcibiades
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« Reply #40 on: January 15, 2021, 07:46:06 PM »

Republicans: Tommy Tuberville. Yeah, he won, but exposed himself as an idiot in the process.

Democrats: Amy McGrath. In hindsight, we were better off running Alison Lundergan Grimes again.

Should have been Booker.


If only because he might not have set fire to so much cash. He probably would have actually done a little worse than McGrift, who did outperform Biden by 6 points, more than can be said for Bollier, Greenfield, and Harrison.
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Liberal Hack
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« Reply #41 on: January 15, 2021, 10:44:36 PM »

Ben Ray Lujan is an undermentioned competitor for the title, he basically fell asleep at the wheel and let the race come far closer than it every actually should have been given how much Biden won the state by. The DSCC had to bail him up out with a last minute ad-buy. There is no excuse for winning by only 6 points in a Biden +11 state against a republican sacrificial lamb with no money.

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ProgressiveModerate
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« Reply #42 on: January 15, 2021, 11:22:49 PM »

If someone said that Steve Bullock and Sara Gideon ran some of the worst campaigns on November 2nd, 2020, I think they would be laughed at and mocked. There are legitimate arguments to be had, but you can run a good campaign that doesn't end up with a favorable result. Those campaigns got nothing but praise from the mainstream media and people on here until they didn't get the result they wanted.

You had plenty on this forum who said Bullock never ran a very good campaign, especially towards the end. In hindsight, this forum did a pretty terrible job at analyzing ME-Sen but that was a tricky one because there were so many conflicting fundementals at play, and I was never able to make up my mind on where that race stood. Atlas tends to have a leftwards lean, which means generally people are more likely to accept what they want to hear and reject what they don't want to believe. I think part of the issue was in these races, it became an issue of local politics vs national politics, and I think that's something this forum forgets; even seemingly good national media isn't always a good thing, especially when you're working in states that have unfavorable partisan leans.
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L.D. Smith
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« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2021, 12:26:44 AM »

Worst Winner: Gary Peters

Best Loser: Jaime Harrison
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Ferguson97
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« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2021, 01:44:47 AM »

Did Gideon do anything specifically bad? I agree underperforming Biden by 20 points is a huge shock, but did she do something wrong or is Collin's brand strength bigger than we thought?
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Blair
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« Reply #45 on: January 16, 2021, 02:53:33 PM »

I really canít imagine a world where Biden loses NC and Cunningham wins, even without the scandal. He held up fine despite it. So not him, IMO.

McGrath is terrible but I donít know if her campaign was uniquely bad. Sheís just a horrendous fit for KY. Like why this butch faux folksy woman who flip flops without any clear policy positions? Itís a miracle she even cleared the primary, so I guess points to her for that.

Gideon is uniquely horrible and I think that race was obviously the most winnable so her on the D side.

For the GOP, I want to give a shout-out to Corky Messner in NH. To lose by almost 20 points as a Republican in this environment is mind blowing. With any decent candidate they should have at least matched or outperformed Trump here.


Mark Warner outperformed Biden by 1.9%. Mark Kelly outperformed Biden by 2.1%. Obviously Cunningham could have won while Trump won the state, and 3% of the vote went to the libertarians.

I'm not disagreeing with the premise but I think Warner's overperforming wasn't that surprising as he was an extremely popular governor & has always run up the score in the east of the state (it was irrc how he almost won in 1996 & how he held on in 2014)

Kelly was always likely to overperform the ticket based on his own background
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Blair
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« Reply #46 on: January 16, 2021, 03:00:05 PM »

Did Gideon do anything specifically bad? I agree underperforming Biden by 20 points is a huge shock, but did she do something wrong or is Collin's brand strength bigger than we thought?

I think on reflection there's a difference between a bad candidate and a bad campaign; she was on paper quite a weak candidate (had never won a state wide or competitive office, first big campaign, was a career politician etc) & the attacks seemed based on things she couldn't change- a lack of experience, not being from Maine etc.


If someone said that Steve Bullock and Sara Gideon ran some of the worst campaigns on November 2nd, 2020, I think they would be laughed at and mocked. There are legitimate arguments to be had, but you can run a good campaign that doesn't end up with a favorable result. Those campaigns got nothing but praise from the mainstream media and people on here until they didn't get the result they wanted.

IIRC there were a few democrats quoted in articles saying they were worried that Gideon had failed to 'put the race away'; my perception of the race was that she was running a standard nationalised campaign race which assumed a much better national election result
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« Reply #47 on: January 16, 2021, 03:23:37 PM »

Did Gideon do anything specifically bad? I agree underperforming Biden by 20 points is a huge shock, but did she do something wrong or is Collin's brand strength bigger than we thought?

I think it's a mix of both. A lot of Democrats underestimated the brand Collins has here. While some of her voters were turned off by the Kavanaugh vote, clearly many were not. Just because voters in California, Massachusetts, New York etc. were ratio'ing her all over social media, that doesn't mean crap because those aren't her constituents. Collins has been applauded here for bringing $ and jobs to Bath Iron Works and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. She also touted her involvement with the PPE loans at every turn. The economy and jobs are going to win over the swing voters here, a state that is one of the oldest in the nation, one that is very rural, one that is a bit disconnected geographically, and one that has lost many paper mills and jobs in other industries. I never understand why Democrats are so timid to make the economic argument.

Gideon barely talked about what SHE would do in regards to the economy and jobs and that was a huge misstep for her. I didn't see many ads about healthcare either. Most ads I saw were anti-Collins ads and when Gideon did have an ad focusing on herself, it was usually a fluffy attempt to try to get you to like and trust her that didn't tell you anything about her or what she would do.

Case in point, this ad (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2oEpNhtdeU) about working across the aisle was one of the ads I saw the most on tv. That ad tells me nothing about Gideon, what policies she believes in, or even HOW she worked across the aisle in the State House and on what laws. I had a coworker tell me in response to this ad: "yeah, she had this person sit here, this one sit there, and then had them sit at home because the State House hasn't done anything since March." Complete joke of an ad that reeks of being created by Washington D.C. consultants who think they know what Mainers want to see (but they don't have a clue). They're going to portray Gideon as bipartisan but don't include ANY legislative examples/accomplishments and instead talk about sitting together like those adults are in kindergarten? What the heck?

People thought Gideon would be strong solely because she was A) Speaker of the Maine House and B) Because she raised a lot of money. But Maine is a relatively cheap state. Retail politics is important here. I never had any canvassers stop by my place. The ground game was nonexistent. Money was wasted on ads that weren't even effective (people would GROAN when they saw another Gideon ad).

Further, people severely underestimate the need to be smart about the candidate they choose in these races. Wealthy millionaire, Portland area, latte liberals with lawyer husbands who live in Better Homes and Gardens style houses who aren't Maine grown and don't show that they understand the needs of struggling Mainers don't make for strong statewide candidates. They just don't. Our last two Dem. governors Baldacci and Mills- both from the second district. Jared Golden- second district and a strong candidate. Look at past electoral successes and go from there.
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