Invitations declined : In her role as the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) is getting less than stellar results in both her main tasks: Raising money for GOP senatorial candidates and recruiting Republican candidates out in the states.
The Senate Democrats, headed by Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, are well ahead of Dole and her group in fundraising, and there has been a string of lost recruitment opportunities on the Republican side. Most recently, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-VW)
opted out of running against Sen. Robert Byrd, the venerable West Virginia Democrat:
Capito’s decision comes on the heels of North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven’s decision to pass on a race against Dem Kent Conrad. Vermont’s Republican Governor Jim Douglas refused to take on Bernie Sanders. And so on. In fact, the NRSC’s only high-profile challenger is one they wish would go away — Florida’s Katherine Harris. (The GOP has a strong candidate in the open Minnesota seat.)
Maybe it’s the national mood — we’re seeing strong Democratic challengers arise in the House as well as Democrats sense a change in fortune. Or perhaps Dole is completely clueless. Or both. But in any case, we can rest assured that in the early going, our Chuck Schumer has beat the crap out of Dole — in both money and candidate recruitment.