Here's an excerpt of the actual text of the Roll Call article today on the consequences of the Daschle defeat (summarized earlier today by The Hotline). Even Daschle's media guru Karl Struble says that Democrats in Red States are "endangered species." My article discussing Struble can be found here. I told you (im May) that Struble had lost his magic. I suppose he's the one who produced that absurd Daschle hunting ad. Roll Call excerpt:
Senate Republicans believe that the defeat of Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) on Nov. 2 sends a chilling message to Democrats who must stand for re-election in 2006 in “red states.”
Republicans not only point to Daschle’s loss at the hands of former Rep. John Thune (R) but also their pickup of five open seats in the South. All six of those states were carried by President Bush.
“One of the themes no matter whether one was in Cajun Country in Louisiana or in Florida or in the Black Hills of South Dakota was that this obstruction has to stop,” said outgoing National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman George Allen (Va.). “There are consequences beyond the won-and-lost column in every election.”
The theory of heightened Democratic vulnerability will be tested in less than two years, as five Democratic Senators — Ben Nelson (Neb.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Robert Byrd (W.Va.) and Jeff Bingaman (N.M.) — stand for re-election in states that Bush carried on Nov. 2.
(The White House approached Ben Nelson about becoming Agriculture secretary recently, but he declined. If he had accepted, Republican Gov. Mike Johanns would have appointed a GOP Senator to fill out the term.)
Thune successfully turned the election into a referendum on Daschle’s role as leader of his party, which, he alleged, centered on blocking Bush’s agenda.
The lesson learned, Thune said, is that “if you are part of this pattern of obstruction and get yourself crosswise with the interests and values of your constituents, it is going to cost you politically.”
Even Democrats acknowledge that the defeat of the influential 18-year incumbent was a stunning blow and a cause for reflection.
But they add that Daschle’s position as leader of his party seeking re-election in a presidential year made for a unique set of circumstances that are unlikely to be repeated.
“You can overanalyze South Dakota, because in this case you had somebody who was a national leader,” said Democratic media consultant Karl Struble, who handled the television strategy for Daschle. For someone like Daschle, it is “easier to ascribe the national party agenda” to them.
Struble added, however, that “there is no doubt that being a Democrat in red states make you an endangered species.”