Dems, GOP Assess Campaign Shortcomings

Stories look at what went wrong for both parties in this week's elections: how comments about rape by two Republican Senate candidates fed a GOP gender gap, and how Democrats' offensive against a Republican plan to overhaul Medicare fell flat.

The New York Times: Senate Races Expose Extent Of Republicans' Gender Gap
Republicans, hoping to gain seats in the Senate, knew that their limited appeal among minorities would be a problem, as would party infighting. But they did not expect to be derailed by the definition of rape. Comments by two Republican Senate candidates concerning pregnancies that result from rape -- which came after months of battles in Congress over abortion, financing for contraception and a once-innocuous piece of legislation to protect victims of domestic violence -- turned contagious as one Senate candidate after another fell short of victory (Steinhauer, 11/7).

Kaiser Health News: Democrats' Medicare Offensive Falls Flat Against GOP
Republicans, for example, have exulted not only in their continuing House majority but also in their ability to withstand Democrats' harsh attacks on their budget blueprints, which called for major changes in Medicare. "There is no evidence that the Democrats’ message got through," said a senior House GOP leadership aide. "Our House Republican position has become stronger" (Cohen, 11/7).

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