Only One Thing Can Save House Dems From DCCC Incompetence-- Even Worse Republican Incompetence
• Republicans are convinced they’ll be significantly outspent by Democrats-- in contrast to the 2010 midterm election when the GOP overwhelmed their opponents with an avalanche of cash.But Callis and Renteria aren't the only Red-to-Blue candidates the DCCC has already kicked to the curb. The DCCC and it's House Majority PAC have committed to spending big bucks for only a small handful of challengers. These are the only (non-incumbent) candidates they've reserved TV time for:
• GOP strategists are particularly worried about the performance of a handful of candidates who are well positioned to win but seen as running poor campaigns. Three candidates are mentioned repeatedly: Florida Rep. Steve Southerland, Nebraska Rep. Lee Terry and Virginia Republican Barbara Comstock.
• Nearly a year after the government shutdown, Republicans privately say the party’s tattered public image is dragging down candidates in key races.
• Despite the GOP’s troubles, Democrats remain anxious that the political environment could deteriorate still further before Election Day. They say two of their vulnerable incumbents, New Hampshire Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and Illinois Rep. Bill Enyart, may soon be lost causes and are scrambling to prevent that list from growing.
The GOP’s House prospects have fluctuated throughout the election cycle. For much of last year, it was widely assumed Republicans would pick up roughly the half-dozen seats they now look poised to gain, but President Barack Obama’s troubles this year raised hopes among party leaders they could do significantly better than that. As recently as July, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden was quoted as saying Democrats faced a “wave” and were about to get “blown away.”
…Democrats have gradually narrowed their focus to protecting jeopardized incumbents and are likely to seriously invest in only the dozen or so candidates seen as realistic contenders for Republican-held seats. At the start of the cycle, for instance, national Democrats had been talking up the candidacies of Ann Callis, a former county judge running for an Illinois seat, and Amanda Renteria, a former Capitol Hill aide seeking a California seat. Neither candidate is now seen as likely to win, and neither is receiving as much attention.
• Jackie McPherson (AR-01)- $625,000Red-to-Blue candidates without DCCC ad buys: Patrick Henry Hayes (AR-02), James Lee Witt (AR-04), Pat Murphy (IA-01), Emily Cain (ME-02), John Lewis (MT-AL), Rocky Lara (NM-02), Erin Bilbray (NV-03), Kathleen Rice (NY-04), Nick Casey (WV-02) and, of course, Sean Eldridge (NY-19), who at least got boxes and boxes of bagels and cream cheese from Steve Israel. Disappeared entirely from the Red-to-Blue page are Mike Obermeuller (MN-02), Jennifer Garrison (OH-06), Michael Wager (OH-14), Joe Bock (IN-02), Elisabeth Jensen (KY-06), Clay Aiken (NC-02), Suzanne Patrick (VA-02), Bill Hughes (NJ-02), Glen Gainer (WV-01), and George Sinner (ND-AL).
• Michael Eggman (CA-10)- $1.1 million
• Pete Aguilar (CA-31)- $625,000
• Andrew Romanoff (CO-06)- $1,996,000
• Gwen Graham (FL-02)- $785,000
• Staci Appel (IA-03)- $1,453,000
• Jim Mowrer (IA-05)- $670,000
• Ann Callis (IL-13)- $1,753,000 (cancelled? only $21,700 spent)
• Jerry Cannon (MI-01)- $940,000
• Pam Byrnes (MI-07), and Bobby McKenzie (MI-11)- $1,140,000
• Brad Ashford (NE-02)- $215,000
• Aimee Belgard (NJ-03)- $1,290,000
• Domenic Recchia (NY-11)- $950,000
• Aaron Woolf (NY-21)- $820,000
• Martha Robertson (NY-23)- $465,000
• Kevin Strouse (PA-08) and Manan Trivedi (PA-06)- $3.1 million
• John Foust (VA-10)- $3,537,000
Grassroots candidates who built their own substantial field operations aren't dependent on the vicissitudes of the DCCC bosses. They can win their campaigns without the massive ad buys that didn't do Alex Sink a bit of good in Steve Israel's disastrous FL-13 special election. And that's exactly what Blue America candidates Kelly Westlund and Paul Clements, running, respectively, for Wisconsin and Michigan seats occupied by Sean Duffy and Fred Upton, have been doing. Neither gets the time of day from Steve Israel… and both are in winnable districts, far more winnable than some of the red toilets he's flushing away millions of dollars. If you'd like to help Paul and Kelly and the other Blue America House candidates build their field operations into wins for November, here's the place.