We’ve talked before about the negative effects that could affect the entire Republican ticket given their meltdown in the Governor’s race. Today MSNBC takes a look at the carnage and offers a sobering historical lesson for Republicans:
There’s at least one previous case of GOP intra-party turmoil in one race spilling over into down-ballot races.
“The clearest recent example of a gubernatorial downdraft is Ohio 2006,” said Claremont McKenna College political scientist John Pitney. “The incumbent GOP governor (Bob Taft) had been ensnared in scandal and his party’s candidate to replace him (Ken Blackwell) was unpopular. Together with bad national trends, trouble at the top of the ticket helped bring down incumbent senator Mike DeWine and cost the GOP a couple of House seats.”
Now, obviously those national trends that benefited Democrats in 2006 are not there in 2010. But a race like CD-4 could come down to the wire, and the Republican troubles at the top of the ticket could mean the difference for Rep. Betsy Markey.
Former Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo’s rogue bid for governor, already imperiling the GOP’s shot at the state’s top office, could also dim Republican prospects for knocking off first-term Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey in the 4th Congressional District.
That’s because Tancredo’s running on the ticket of the conservative American Constitution Party- a minor third-party ballot line that happens to include a candidate, Doug Aden, running in Markey’s district. A statewide campaign that draws attention to Aden’s party might give him the kind of lift that would make him a spoiler for Republican state Rep. Cory Gardner’s campaign…
This is turning into a pretty big deal for this formerly-insignificant minor party–Tancredo’s high profile and strong support on the hard right are certain to give the ACP the broadest exposure in its history. And given that “Tea Party” and related groups are already nonplussed by GOP nominee Gardner after his run-in with Steve King a few weeks ago, the danger of Aden peeling off votes from Gardner is bigger than first impressions might suggest.