July 21, 2015

SOMETIMES I HEAR PEOPLE SAY THE TEA PARTY LOST AND OBAMA WON. NOT EXACTLY.

After two presidential victories, Mr. Obama presides over a Democratic Party that has lost 13 seats in the U.S. Senate and 69 in the House during his tenure, a net loss unmatched by any modern U.S. president.

Democrats have also lost 11 governorships, four state attorneys general, 910 legislative seats, as well as the majorities in 30 state legislative chambers. In 23 states, Republicans control the governor’s office and the legislature; Democrats, only seven.

Such losses help shape the future: An ousted state lawmaker doesn’t run for Congress; a failed attorney general candidate loses a shot at the governor’s office. As a result, the flow of fresh political talent rising to statewide and national prominence in the years ahead won’t be as robust as Democrats hope.

The Tea Party plan was always to capture the GOP from within, and to expand at the lower levels first. That’s easier to do, especially because — and here’s a lesson for big GOP donors, who should be funding alternative media instead of political consultants — much of the Dems’ lead in national elections comes from media dominance.

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