Democrats are going to lose control of the Senate and lose seats in the House. They are already looking for scapegoats. Popcorn anyone?
Tempers are running high a month out from Election Day, with polls showing Democratic candidates trailing in the crucial battleground states that will decide whether control of Congress flips to Republicans.
The behind-the-scenes tension broke into the open last week when former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) questioned Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) decision not to endorse Democrat Rick Weiland in South Dakota’s Senate race. Pro-immigrant advocacy groups, meanwhile, are saying Democrats should not blame them if Latino voters don’t turn up to the polls on Election Day. They say President Obama made a tactical blunder by postponing an executive order easing deportations.
And grassroots organizers are grumbling about Alison Lundergan Grimes’s (D-Ky.) bid to take down Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), arguing her campaign has been disorganized.
“Yes, you’ve seen pre-emptive finger pointing in the last couple of weeks,” said Gerald Warburg, a former Senate Democratic leadership aide and assistant dean at the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.
"I used to work in the Democratic caucus and some of the toughest shootouts we ever engaged in were when we stood in a circle and fired at each other. I think you see a little bit of that now," he said.
With control of the Senate in jeopardy, some Democrats are eyeing potential scapegoats: Obama’s low approval rating; low turnout from Hispanic voters; overly centrist messaging; and the media, to name just a few.
One of the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbents, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) recently said he wants to replace Reid by electing Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) as majority leader. He made the comments at a fundraiser, according to audio obtained by The Washington Free Beacon.