Will the shutdown hurt Republican chances to win the Senate?

Matt K. Lewis | Senior Contributor

How badly have recent events hurt Republican chances of winning back the Senate next year? According to new Public Policy Polling surveys of 6 key Senate races, voters are “extremely unhappy about the government shutdown.”

It would be absurd to think that what happened today will have a major impact on elections to be held a year from now. But even assuming that we don’t repeat this exercise in futility again before Election Day (and we might), it’s still fair to say that there was an opportunity cost associated with what just happened.

Time is the most precious commodity on a political campaign, inasmuch as it’s the one commodity that, once lost, can never be regained. And Republicans essentially wasted the last several months.

Think of it as a football game. Managing the clock, maintaining momentum, and controlling the ball are important factors for a winning team.

What is more, when you look back through game film, it often becomes clear that the game was really lost in the first half.

If you’re a fan, you’ve probably heard (or said) something like this: “If we had just held on to that interception in the second quarter, we would have gone into halftime up by two scores. That would have totally changed the psychology of the second half game.”

Republicans have essentially squandered the second quarter of this game. The question is whether they will watch the game film and correct their mistakes — or continue running with a failed playbook.

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