DSCC Director: Udall race “not competitive”

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Guy Cecil, the executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, is overseeing the party's 2014 Senate races in more than 20 states.

The executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee issued a lengthy memo Tuesday night, arguing that the victory of Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey in a special election for a vacant U.S. Senate seat shows that the 2010 win by former Sen. Scott Brown, a Republican, was a fluke.

“The lesson from Scott Brown’s accidental win in 2010 was that Democrats must never take a race for granted,” writes Guy Cecil in a memo exclusively provided to the website BuzzFeed.

Later in the memo, Cecil, who served as Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet’s chief of staff during his successful 2010 campaign (Bennet is now serving as DSCC chairman, in large part because of Cecil’s presence there), writes that Republicans are failing to compete in some of next year’s biggest U.S. Senate races — including that for the seat held by Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

“Not only are Republicans facing the prospect of divisive primaries in nearly all of the red states, their failure to compete even in states where Romney was competitive, such as Colorado, Virginia, and New Hampshire, has dramatically shrunk the Senate map,” Cecil writes.

Udall, who continues to raise boatloads of money, has yet to draw any declared Republican opponent.

Colorado Republicans promise a candidate will come forth soon, possibly next month, and they insist they’ll have plenty of time to mount a strong campaign.

FOX31 Denver reported last month that the party’s efforts to recruit both mainstream and out-of-the box candidates have drawn no takers, leaving the GOP with dwindling options: former congressman Bob Beauprez, Grand Junction Congressman Scott Tipton and a handful of state lawmakers ranging from Sen. Owen Hill, a charismatic presence with but one year of experience as a lawmaker under his belt, to Rep. Amy Stephens, the former House Majority Leader and the author of an abstinence-based sex education curriculum for Focus On the Family.

Last month, after the GOP’s strongest potential candidate, Yuma Congressman Cory Gardner, opted not to challenge Udall, the DSCC framed Republican recruitment struggles in much the same way.

“The recruiting nightmare continues to embarrass national Republicans with this week possibly being one of the worst yet after major failures in Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, and Alaska, ” DSCC spokesman Justin Barasky said in the memo published by The Hill.

Democrats must defend more than 20 seats in 2014, far more than Republicans. But the GOP’s early struggles to find candidates are giving Democrats increasing confidence about retaining the party’s Senate majority.

On the heels of Markey’s 55-45 percent win over Republican Gabriel Gomez, Democrats will re-focus on the looming special election in New Jersey, “where Republicans haven’t won a Senate race in four decades,” Cecil writes.

“The NRSC has embraced Tea Party favorite Steve Loneganas their candidate. Not even Republican Governor Chris Christie has endorsed Lonegan, who has garnered national attention for race-baiting Latinos.

“The circumstances in Massachusetts and New Jersey are indicative of a larger failure for the Republican Party and the NRSC: the complete inability to expand the map and compete in blue or purple states.”

Cecil cautions, however, that Republicans will likely have to worry about Colorado — eventually.

“The last several cycles have taught us that conventional wisdom at the beginning of the cycle is often wrong,” Cecil wrote. “We still have a long road to travel, but winning in Massachusetts was an important first step in our efforts to preserve the Democratic majority.”

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