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Morning Joe Panel: GOP ‘Blowing Their Chance’ to Retake Senate in 2014

The panel guests on Friday morning’s Morning Joe on MSNBC examined how the government shutdown may impact the Republican Party’s electoral prospects heading into next year’s midterm elections. The panel guests agreed that the unnecessary shutdown has likely cost the Republican Party whatever chance they had of retaking the U.S. Senate in 2014.

Mika Brzezinski played a clip of Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Rand Paul (R-KY) discussing their strategy for victory over the course of a shutdown which was captured on a live microphone.

“It’s weird that they don’t seem to get the calendar,” said New York Magazine reporter John Heilemann.

“When they fought this battle the last time in 2011, they were fighting against a president who was in the position of vulnerability,” he continued. “The president is not running for reelection in 2016. It’s a congressional election in 2014. The public opinions are pretty clear. He is winning the battle right now.”

RELATED: David Gregory: Do Republicans Think They Get ‘Participation Trophy’ for Shutdown?

“I said this from the very beginning, as the Wall Street Journal and the litany of conservatives that agree with me,” Joe Scarborough agreed. “It’s irrational.”

“They’re playing a bad hand and they’re playing it badly,” Heilemann added. “It’s just a neutral fact.”

“And one impact may be ensure that Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell, if he gets reelected, remain the minority in the Senate,” Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson submitted. “The Republican Party could have taken the Senate next year. I think they’re blowing their chance.

Watch the clip below via MSNBC:

[Photo via screen grab ]

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