Tuesday's election was really bad for Democrats. How bad was it, you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked.
Consider this: The three men charged with winning elections for Democrats at the House, Senate and gubernatorial level weren't even able to win them at home.
1) The Democratic Governors Association chairman, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, will be at the mercy of his state legislature after failing to surpass 50 percent of the vote on Tuesday. Little-known Republican Scott Milne trails Shumlin by just one point, despite the race being on nobody's radar. Vermont law dictates that the state legislature (which is Democratic) will pick the next governor, but the legislature almost always picks whoever gets the most votes (this has happened 23 times now), so Shumlin is probably safe. Still, wow.
2) The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (House) chairman, Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), had his poorest showing since being elected in 2000 (54 percent) and lost his Long Island colleague and neighbor Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.).
3) The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chairman, Sen. Michael Bennet (Colo.), became the first senate committee chairman in more than 40 years to lose his home-state colleague, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.).
Here's the breakdown on point No. 3 from the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call's Nathan Gonzales from a few weeks back -- when Bennet and the GOP's Senate campaign committee chairman, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), both were at risk of losing their home-state colleagues (Pat Roberts, in Moran's case, wound up winning by double digits):
It’s been 40 years since a senate campaign committee chairman saw his or her home state colleague go down to defeat.
Back in 1972, Colorado Sen. Gordon Allott lost re-election to Democrat Floyd Haskell at the time that Sen. Peter Dominick was chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Those were very different times in terms of campaign finance. That was before the Supreme Court’s landmark Buckley v. Valeo decision in 1976, which determined that campaign spending was a form of political speech and laid the foundation for our current campaign finance system. The party campaign committees were small, amateurish operations back then.
There really haven’t been that many close calls since. In 1986, GOP Sen. Arlen Specter won re-election with 57 percent in Pennsylvania while Sen. John Heinz was chairman of the NRSC. Two years later, Minnesota Sen. David Durenberger, a Republican, won re-election with 56 percent with NRSC Chairman Rudy Boschwitz.
On the Democratic side, it’s not clear that a DSCC chairman has ever lost a home state colleague to re-election, even before Buckley. In 1990, Louisiana Sen. Bennet Johnston won re-election with 53 percent in a famous race against Klansman David Duke while Sen. John Breaux was chairman of the DSCC.
Shumlin's apparent near-miss is even rarer -- but only because governors facing reelection don't generally helm their parties' national campaign organizations. Shumlin, though, comes from a state where you have to seek reelection every two years, so if he wanted to be DGA chairman, he had to do it when he was seeking reelection.
Update 4:53 p.m.: No Democratic chairman, though, had it worse than Ohio state party Chairman Chris Redfern. His party got drubbed, losing every statewide race, he lost his own state House seat, and then he was forced to resign after nine years as chairman. Ouch.