GOP’s lackluster fundraising spurs post-election infighting

By BRIAN SLODYSKO and AARON KESSLER

WASHINGTON (AP) — Trailing badly in his Arizona Senate race as votes poured in, Republican Blake Masters went on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program and assigned blame to one person: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“You know what else is incompetent, Tucker? The establishment. The people who control the purse strings,” Masters said before accusing the long-serving GOP leader and the super PAC aligned with him of not spending enough on TV advertising. “Had he chosen to spend money in Arizona, this race would be over. We’d be celebrating a Senate majority right now.”

Masters not only lost his race against Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly. He trailed every other Republican running for statewide office in Arizona. But there’s another problem Masters didn’t acknowledge: He failed to raise significant money on his own.

He was hardly alone.

As both parties sift through the results of Democrats’ stronger-than-expected showing in the midterm elections, Republicans are engaged in a round of finger-pointing, including a failed attempt by Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who led the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, to challenge McConnell for his leadership post.

But the recriminations obscure a much deeper dilemma for the party. Many of their nominees — a significant number of whom were first-time candidates who adopted far-right positions — failed to raise the money needed to mount competitive campaigns. That forced party leaders, particularly in the Senate, to make hard choices and triage resources to races where they thought they had the best chance at winning, often paying exorbitant rates to TV stations that, by law, would have been required to sell the same advertising time to candidates for far less.

The lackluster fundraising allowed Democrats to get their message out to voters early and unchallenged, while GOP contenders lacked the resources to do the same.

“This has become an …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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