'Weak' State Parties Could Hurt GOP In 2012

The health of particular Republican state parties will likely play a key role in the GOP's prospects up and down the ticket in 2012. Politico's Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns report:

National Republicans have begun to intervene in a handful of key Senate and House battlegrounds where state parties are in disarray, seeking to head off the possibility that local mismanagement could cost the party control of Congress.

These “orphan states,” most notably behemoths with traditionally weak parties like California, Illinois and New York, are increasingly the focus of top GOP officials in the nation’s capital this spring.

The Republican National Committee is going to set aside at least $10 to $15 million to aid states where there are competitive House and Senate races but minimal presidential action, a party official tells POLITICO. That’s enough to blunt the GOP’s financial disadvantage in several states, though not to erase the disparity or put the orphan-state groups on par with their swing-state counterparts.

Half of the money will go to the states with hard-fought House contests, including the blue mega-states, and the other half will be directed to states like Montana and North Dakota, where there are crucial Senate battles.

The problem isn’t limited to the orphans.

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published this page in In The News 2012-04-09 10:00:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy