Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

Senate Republicans Aren't Getting Involved in the RNC Race

Later this week, the RNC will meet at a resort in Dana Point, CA, just south of Los Angeles, to elect a new chair. The chairperson of the RNC is highest-ranking person in the Republican Party (which is not the same as the highest-ranking Republican in federal office, which would currently be speaker Kevin McCarthy). Consequently, one might think that all Republicans in federal office would be intensely involved in the now-competitive race. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, very few Republican senators are getting involved, at least not in public.

Ronna Romney McDaniel is running for a fourth 2-year term as chair. Her results in 2018, 2020 and 2022 were disappointing for Republicans, but it is unfair to give her the blame. Her job was to raise a lot of money. She raised a lot of money. What she didn't do (and was not expected to do) is pick candidates or somehow make Democrats not hate Donald Trump so much. Also, there are other big players in Republican campaigns these days, including the NRSC, the NRCC, and super PACs too numerous to name.

What is surprising is how few Republican senators are out there fighting either for her or against her. A typical response from a Republican senator is that of Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) when asked about the RNC race. Cramer said: "I don't care. I was surprised she wanted to run again. Why would you put yourself through that? But it's her call." Hardly a strong endorsement, but also not much of an endorsement of McDaniel's main challenger, Harmeet Dhillon.

Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) said: "I don't know what the RNC does. I really don't." If she really means that, she is dumber than the rear end of a rodeo bull. The RNC's job is to raise lots of money and distribute it wisely to critical races up and down the ballot. The RNC also coordinates the 50 state parties, provides messaging and talking points to the state parties and candidates. If Lummis really wanted to find out what the RNC's does, she might have just gone to and looked at the main page, which looks like this (except we added the green ellipse):

RNC home page; it has a big header that
says 'what we do' and has buttons you can click on under that, like 'train,' 'support,' and 'connect.'

To say she doesn't know is very insulting to her party (as well as making her look like a dumb hick). If she didn't want to comment on McDaniel, she could have said: "I am very busy working every day for the people of Wyoming and don't have time to get involved in party politics."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) are well aware of the race but are staying neutral. That is legitimate, of course, since they are not members of the RNC, but at least they are not making fools of themselves. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) supports his niece, but only a handful of other Republican senators have come out for her. On the other hand, while the senators know the Republicans have done poorly in the past three cycles, they don't know if Dhillon would have done any better or will be able to do better in the future, given that Donald Trump still seems to be calling the shots. In fact, most of them don't anything about Dhillon at all. Sometimes it is better to support the devil you know than the devil you don't know. (V)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates