Sharron Angle was not Karl Rove’s choice to run against Harry Reid. And I was furious with Rove last year, too, when, on primary election night in Delaware — just minutes after Christine O’Donnell had won her GOP Senate primary over Rep. Mike Castle — Rove went on Fox News to announce that the GOP had just grasped defeat from the jaws of victory and would now surely lose its almost certain win in November to the Democrats.
These sure sound like strong evidence that Rove favors moderates and RINOs over conservatives, right?
But then how about when Rove favored tea party candidates to beat the GOP establishment so often last year? Two of the most startling examples were when he urged the Tea Party to defeat the “moderate” longtime GOP Senator Bob Bennett in Utah and when he went far out on a limb and urged Florida Republicans to reject the Florida GOP’s RINO choice: Governor Charlie Crist.
Now the evidence is really confusing… agree?
One thing is clear from all these elections I just mentioned, though: Rove was right every time about who would win. Sharron lost the election even though polls were saying that Reid could be beaten by a Republican. Christine was blown out of the water and lost the Delaware election that all polls had said Castle would win easily as the GOP candidate. But a more startling fact was that RINO Gov. Charlie Crist was literally run out of the GOP by Rove’s Tea Party favorite, Marco Rubio. And the moderate, semi-RINO Senator Bob Bennett in Utah — no Charlie Crist RINO and a Senator most polls saw as a shoo-in for re-election — was trounced by Rove’s conservative Tea Party challenger Mike Lee, a 38-year-old constitutional scholar and Justice Sam Alito’s former law
As I said, I don’t always agree with all of Rove’s choices but, giving the devil his due, several things are clear:
1. Rove is an uncanny GOP strategist.
2. He insists that the GOP win every winnable
3. His nerd-ish fascination with election results and patterns enables him to know not merely vote patterns in states and
even counties but what voters do right down to local voting districts.
4. Rove always begins by analyzing which upcoming elections might be in play for a GOP victory: if they’re not, they have
no interest whatever for him.
5. If an election is winnable for the GOP, Rove then scans the GOP candidates to determine who can win. If he decides they can’t win that election, he has no interest in them in that election — even if he likes what they stand for and would work for that person’s election in a different place or election where he or she could win.
6. When he decides that several GOP candidates can win, he always seems to favor the most conservative. That’s right, I said
he then favors the conservative — but only if his voter analysis and tons of information about their positions, history and style convinces him that they will win.
I disagreed with Rove about Angle and O’Donnell. While I expected O’Donnell to lose, for example, I still preferred her — even as a loser — than a victorious — but extreme arch liberal — Mike Castle: the guy who’d been the most leftist GOP member of Congress. In Angle’s case, I viewed her differently than O’Donnell because I really thought she had a good chance of winning. But while she didn’t run a bad campaign, I now have to admit that Rove knows much more about Nevada ‘s voters than I do.
Even though I disagree with Rove about the importance of winning no matter who the GOP candidate is, I admire Rove’s ability to predict what voters will do based on his obsessive study of election
patterns across America. And I like the fact that when he decides that more than one candidate can win, he then seems to favor the conservative.