This runoff was a flat-out certainty for months, which is why the GOP and its allies planned for big spending in Louisiana past Election Day. They put money aside even while aggressively spending against Democratic incumbents — like Landrieu herself, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mark PryorSenate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard9%, Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mark BegichSenate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard10%, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Kay HaganSenate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard4%, and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Jeanne ShaheenSenate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard6% and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mark WarnerSenate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard2% in narrow losses. …Yet no one in Democratic circles prepared for the four-week campaign to save Landrieu from Barack Obama and herself.
Well, perhaps it’s due to a bad call on the DSCC’s part. Let us pretend, for a moment, that the results in 538’s last Senate ranking were correct, and reflected election night results. Well, in that scenario the GOP is not at 53 Senate seats and counting: we’re at 50. That’s because in that scenario we lost North Carolina and effectively Kansas (we will no longer pretend that Greg Orman was anything but a Democrat), and Georgia is on its way to a runoff election. As is Louisiana, of course; but in that situation a Democratic strategist could legitimately conclude that it would be simple enough to fund an emergency drive to take/flip the seats and retain the Senate. It would not be a hard sale, given the knife’s-edge nature of the scenario – which was, mind you, also the Democrats’ public worse-case scenario.
Only… nope! Things got worse for Democrats, hilariously enough. North Carolina flipped, Kansas stayed red, and Georgia isn’t running off anything. And, …read more