John Hillen writes at The Corner:
“If Kerry doesn’t concede by mid-morning, he can only be thinking and being advised one thing: that the Democratic party needs to keep its only centripetal force and organizing principle going….that the Republicans can only rule by illegitimate means. The we-was-robbed-in-2000 zeitgeist generated record fundraising, high-visibility support, and provided an emotional core for the Democratic party that it had been missing since Watergate.”
I think this would be a monumental mistake on the part of the Democrats. Playing the “we-was-robbed” meme may have energized their base, but I think last night’s results show that it may, just as well, have backfired on Kerry and the Democrats. I think that it equally moved the Republican base to turnout: the popular vote in the Presidential race and the GOP gains in the Senate races being the best indicators.
Al Gore was able to hang on desperately in 2000 because he had won the popular vote. Kerry has no such vehicle to hang his hat on this time, and continuing in a refusal to concede in the face of major defeat makes him look, at least to me, extremely small. In the Senate races, the GOP has gained ground, picking up at least three seats, and if Martinez and Murkowski hang on, then add one more for a four point swing in the Republican party’s favor. Granted the Democrats were defending more seats, and in most of them were in Republican territory, but still, the contested races were close, and as things stand now, seem to have all, save Colorado, broken the GOP’s way.
If the Democrats continue down this path, especially in light of such a huge Republican victory, look for the future marginalization of the Democratic party.