Democratic Senate Campaign Chair: Akin And Mourdock “Did Not Decide This Election”

Democrats credit “strategic decisions over many months.” Basking in the glow of unlikely Senate victories on Election Day.

Eric Thayer / Reuters

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After an Election Day marked by a string of unlikely Democratic victories in Senate races, the Democratic Senator who made it happen wasn’t about to let Republicans take credit — even for their missteps.

“Offensive comments from Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock did not decide this election,” Sen. Patty Murray, the chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said in a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. Instead, she credited her party’s success to “strategic decisions over many months.”

Among those decisions: Major investments in ground operations in states where the presidential race wasn’t a factor — including Missouri, a firmly Republican state where the DSCC spent roughly $3 million on field operations alone to boost Sen. Claire McCaskill’s reelection bid.

And Murray trumpeted the DSCC’s success in endorsing candidates early and sticking with them — a sphere which proved problematic for Republicans in states such as Indiana, where Richard Mourdock bested incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar in the Republican primary race, setting the stage for a needlessly competitive general election contest.

Ultimately, of the eight Senate races considered straight tossups, Republicans won only one, in Nevada. Democrats, meanwhile, maintained control of the Senate and picked up one seat in the process.

“We have defied the odds,” Murray said. “Good candidates and great campaigns do make a difference.”

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