NRSC Tacitly Backing Lieberman

Jason Horowitz reports that,

a source at the National Republican Senatorial Committee confirmed in a phone interview that the party will not help Schlesinger or any other potential Republican candidate in Connecticut, and it now favors a Lieberman victory in November. “We did a poll and there is no way any Republican we put out there can win, so we are just going to leave that one alone,” said the NRSC source.

An update to the post notes that,

An NRSC spokesman just called to make clear the distinction between actively and openly supporting Lieberman, which they’re not doing, and merely opting not to support a Republican in Connecticut. “The NRSC is not supporting Lieberman,” said Brian Nick, a spokesman for the NRSC. “He is a Democrat who votes 90 percent of the time with the Democrats. The race isn’t competitive at this point — our resources will be used elsewhere.”

A subtle distinction, to be sure. Still, the NRSC wouldn’t have actively supported Schlessinger anyway. Had the netroots insurgency not sprung up and Lieberman had coasted to re-nomination–as everyone expected just a few months ago–he would have been a shoe-in to win re-election. Schlessinger has always been a placeholder. The GOP has enough on its plate this November without backing sure-fire losers.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. legion says:

    The GOP has enough on its plate this November without backing sure-fire losers.

    Sigh. If only they’d apply that policy to all the races…

  2. James Joyner says:

    Heh. That pretty much IS the policy, though, and it has been for years. Really, most of the national money is spent on a handful of toss-up races.

  3. LJD says:

    If only they’d apply that policy to all the races…

    It is not the exclusive privilege of the GOP. Think about Gore and Kerry…

  4. Michael says:

    Yeah, this policy of only caring about competitive races worked so well for Democrats, why shouldn’t the GOP give it a try?

  5. legion says:

    Touche, LJD 🙂

  6. If the GOP was taking the opposite tack, pouring money into a Schlesinger campaign, they would be ridiculed. Its not like they could tip the scales for a win, but it is possible they could tip the scales for someone worse than a guy who votes with the democrats 90% of the time (for example a guy who would vote 100% of the time).

    So why is this news? I know the Sanders campaign (where the democrats did something similar) didn’t get a lot of play because it wasn’t news. Yes Sanders doesn’t have ‘D’ tattooed on his butt (I wonder if this is how Internet rumors get started), but the democrats know he will be a faithful spear holder for them and he will vote to caucus with them if it matters for a majority. The GOP isn’t even getting that much out of the deal in CT.

    What does strike me is the contrast to the GOP position (put resources into contests you have a chance of winning) and the Dean approach (Contest in all 50 states).