Friday, September 16, 2016

How The DCCC Has Been Wasting Its Money So Far


We've been watching closely how the DCCC spends its money since 2005. The fact that they've lost dozens and dozens of seats since then, tells you all you need to know about how incompetently the vast sums are being deployed. This year is no different, although probably worse-- at least so far-- than previous years. Here's an example, last cycle, the Democrats ran Emily Cain against Bruce Poliquin in the seat gay Blue Dog Michael Michaud gave up to run, unsuccessfully, for governor against Paul LePage. The Democrats had held the district (PVI is D+2) for 20 years. Obama won it 54-44% against McCain and then 53-44% against Romney. It includes the whole state outside of the southeast corner (Augusta and Portland)-- so, Lewiston-Auburn, Skowhegan, Bangor, all the way up to the borders with Quebec and New Brunswick.

Both parties picked flawed candidates, Bruce Poliquin (R) and Emily Cain (D). She outspent him $1,969,517 to $1,710,616. Big outside money was spent on her behalf by Pelosi's House Majority PAC ($625,480), EMILY's List ($439,838), the NEA ($335,747), the League of Conservation Voters ($219,200) and the DCCC ($96,860). The NRCC responded with a hefty $1,269,601. All in, outside funding favored her $1,661,857 to $1,417,228. He beat her 133,320 (47%) to 118,568 (42%).

But instead of finding a better candidate this year, the DCCC was happy to have a rematch. although many people think if she couldn't beat him in 2014 in an open district, it'll much harder this year with him as an incumbent who hasn't been nearly as radical and extreme as people thought he would be. As of the last FEC report (June 30), he was outraising her significantly. He raised $2,611,194 and had $2,128,546 on hand. She had raised $1,693,828 and had $1,155,528 on hand.

The NRCC has spent $206,538 so far and two-DCCC directed groups (supposedly the DCCC doesn't direct them, but they do), Pelosi's House Majority PAC and the End Citizens United PAC spent, respectively $953,343 and $259,22 on behalf of Cain. So, the DCCC will spend a fortune on Cain-- who is a New Dem-- probably a couple million dollars. And she'll probably lose, her only chance being an anti-Trump tsunami in the district. A poll released yesterday by the Boston Globe showed no tsunami forming in ME-02. In fact, Trump may win the district! Trump is leading Clinton by 10 points! So, predictably, Poliquin is up 50-45% against Cain. I guess the voters didn't change their minds about the two of them. Maybe the DCCC should have figured that out before they backed a failed totally generic candidate like Cain again. She has nothing to offer except a weak claim that she's better than Poliquin. If that didn't work in 2014, why would it work in 2016? But the DCCC doesn't have any other theory of recruitment.

Pelosi's House Majority PAC has started rolling out the big dough on behalf of 5 other candidates besides the hapless Cain so far:
Josh Gottheimer (Blue Dog/New Dem-NJ)- $943,208
Rick Nolan (D-MN)- $581,120
Salud Carbajal (New Dem-CA)- $366,224
Kim Myers (Blue Dog-NY)- $244,586
Anna Throne-Holst (D-NY)- $163,716
Nolan is a decent incumbent, but the 4 others are poor candidates and, from what I've seen, would make ordinary-to-awful careerist members of Congress with nothing in particular to offer anyone. Except Gottheimer; he has a lot to offer, although only to the Wall Street banksters who are shoveling money into his campaign-- $668,333, so far... more than to any non-incumbent from either party other than Ro Khanna, a conservative Republican masquerading as a Democrat and using gigantic amounts of GOP money to try to defeat Mike Honda. Wall Street has given Khanna $729,801 so far and he's raised $2,881,055 so far this year, much of it from for-profit charter school fanatics like the odious Laura & John Arnold. I wonder why Pelosi's PAC isn't coming in to help Honda. The DCCC isn't either. The DCCC's big investments so far are for half a dozen candidates who range from mediocre to truly horrible. Brad Ashford, for example, is a "former" Republican who has voted more frequently against progressive measures in the House than any other Democrat other than fellow Blue Dog Henry Cuellar. 4 Republicans have voted more frequently with the Democrats on crucial matters than Ashford has. So far the DCCC has spent more on him than anyone else up for election in November. His ProgressivePunch score is 32.00. So, he votes with the conservatives 68% of the time. A contact at the DCCC told me they expect to spend around $4,000,000 to help him keep his seat in the next month and a half.
Brad Ashford (Blue Dog-NE)- $653,426
Salud Carbajal (New Dem-CA)- 546,080
Rick Nolan (D-MN)- $436,715
Jacky Rosen (D-NV)- $410,945
Tom O'Halleran (R--->D-AZ)- $340,712
Terri Bonoff (D-MN)- $280,089

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