State Senator Jeb Bradley’s take on the midterms:
“He won, but Sununu under-performed; there’s no question about it. We did fine with in-state fundraising but we’re going to have to address the out-of-state interests and get ourselves on the map the way Democrats did and again that starts with our governor.”
To begin with, by historical standards, Governor Sununu did not “underperform.” Here are the results of the Governor’s race:
In terms of coattails, Democrat gains in the Legislature were significantly less than the GOP gains in the wave election of 2010, and in line with GOP performance in the 2014 midterm.
In 2010, Republicans won supermajorities in both the House, 298 to 102 (previously 174 to 216), and the Senate, 19 to 5 (previously 10 to 14). While in 2014, Republicans flipped the House 239 to 160 (previously 173 to 213), and increased their numbers in the Senate from 12 to 14 seats.
In 2018, the Democrats flipped the House from a 227 to 173 GOP advantage to a 233 to 167 Democrat advantage (with several recounts outstanding). And the Democrats also flipped a 14 to 10 GOP Senate to a 14 to 10 Democrat Senate.
What Sununu deserves blame for is (1) failing to build up the GOP State Committee, which essentially imploded under his watch, and (2) letting what there was of the GOP State Committee function as an arm of his reelection campaign and give short shrift to the down-ticket races, especially the House races.
Also, based on the anecdotal evidence that I have seen, I do agree with Bradley that Sununu could have done more to boost and leverage the campaigns of down-ticket candidates.
Bradley’s contention that it is Sununu’s fault that the GOP was so dramatically outspent is totally ridiculous. The Democrats were able to raise substantially -indeed exponentially- more money than the GOP despite not controlling any branch of State government.
Bradley needs to look in the mirror. It was on his, and Chuck Morse’s, watch that the Democrat State Senate candidates were able to raise so much more than their Republican counterparts. That’s on him and Morse much, much, much more than it’s on Sununu.
Also, as leaders of the GOP State Senators what did they do to sound the alarm on the collapse of the GOP State Committee and to prevent its implosion? Sununu bears the bulk of the blame here, but Bradley and Morse are hardly blameless.
Unfortunately, the post-mortem we are hearing from Bradley -and presumably from Morse- is “not our fault, not our problem.”