I agree with you. The Akin seat was winnable, granted he made a mistake, according to leading physicians, not in his conclusion but in his wording, promoting that conclusion. It shocked me to see the RNC pull the plug on him. Had they stayed with him, he would have won. West was another one, "too conservative," I recall Rove saying. Yet, on his own, he lost by less than one point.
Voter fraud: Granted, in a moment of stupidity, the RNC signed an agreement 30 years ago not to fight the issue, that did not preclude individual candidates from calling fraud and requesting recounts, especially in the so-called battleground states, when vote tallies exceeded the population or when electronic machines were defaulting to the incumbent.
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I still wonder if Rove was managing RNC campaigns to win or to come in a close second so that his tactics wouldn't be called into question. I am not a big proponent of conspiracy theories, but I believe the elections were rigged from the start and no matter who the RNC ran, he would have lost. Why else would Obama have told Putin after the elections he would have more flexibility? He knew then he wasn't going to lose. Yes, the RNC needs to get rid of the three powerbrokers you mentioned. They need to start working on 2014 and 2016 if they ever hope to keep the party alive.