Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Pelosi's Worst Mistake Comes Back To Plague House Democrats


From the moment Nancy Pelosi announced she was reappointing failed Blue Dog Steve Israel to be DCCC Chairman again, it was apparent to anyone who pays attention that the Republicans had nothing to worry about in regard to losing the House majority. Once Israel started announcing his recruits-- garbage conservative Democrats in unwinnable red districts like anti-Choice, antigay,/pro-NRA, pro-fracking Jennifer Garrison in OH-06 and a trio of CIA stooges from Michigan and Pennsylvania the agency is trying to use to infiltrate Congress.

Now, one month before election day, many of Israel's top recruits-- like Garrison-- have fallen so flat with voters that the DCCC has decided to set them adrift and stop spending money on their pointless campaigns. Red-to-Blue this cycle certainly isn't adding up to green! The best opportunities to defeat Republican incumbents in Obama districts-- like Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Dave Jolly in Florida, Fred Upton in Michigan, Peter Roskam in Illinois, Darrell Issa in California, Charlie Dent, Joe Pitts and Pat Meehan in Pennsylvania, Paul Ryan and his clone Sean Duffy in Wisconsin, Dave Reichert in Washington, David Joyce in Ohio and John Kline in Minnesota-- have been completely blown by Israel's incompetence and hatred for progressives and independent-minded grassroots candidates.

While Israel is floundering, trying to minimize losses, this morning, Alex Isenstadt reported at Politico that the GOP Is trying to expand the field and go for their biggest partisan majority since the Truman presidency. Pelosi should have thought the consequences of reappointing Israel through more carefully. His policy of not targeting GOP leaders or committee chairs and of not going after members of his old Center Aisle Caucus have not only been catastrophic for Democrats, they make it mathematically impossible for House Dems to increase their numbers.
Over the past several weeks, the National Republican Congressional Committee has reserved millions of dollars of TV advertising time in two House districts-- one in upstate New York, the other in northern Maine-- that broke sharply for Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election but where GOP prospects have been on the rise.

In the coming days, the House GOP campaign arm will launch a polling project to gauge whether to invest in three other blue congressional districts that have only recently come onto the national radar, according to two sources familiar with the deliberations. Two of them comprise the eastern, more liberal half of Iowa. The other is in Obama’s native Hawaii.

The goal is to broaden a political map that, much to the GOP’s frustration, has remained stubbornly narrow. Thanks to a recent round of redistricting that limited the number of seats vulnerable to an opposing party takeover, the House playing field comprises only around three dozen districts. If the election were held today, Republicans, who currently have a 17-seat majority, would gain perhaps six or seven seats-- short of the 11-seat benchmark they’ve set.

So the GOP is venturing into places one wouldn’t expect. The stakes are high: Republicans are trying to achieve a governing majority, something that has eluded John Boehner in his tenure as speaker. If they can meet their 11-district goal, Republicans will have 245 seats, their largest delegation since 1949. It would also give the party a buffer heading into a 2016 House election expected to be more generous to Democrats.

Encroaching on the Democratic turf won’t be easy. The upstate New York seat, centered in Syracuse, has been represented the past two years by Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei; Obama carried it by 16 points in 2012.

The NRCC launched ads there in mid-September, with messaging that’s distinct from what the committee has emphasized in more conservative areas. There are no pointed attacks on the president or his health care law. Some of the spots highlight the biography of the GOP candidate, former organized crime prosecutor John Katko.

Republicans face a similar challenge in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, where they started airing ads this week. Obama won the district by 9 points in 2012 and by 10 points four years earlier. But Republicans contend they’re gaining ground. An independent poll released last weekend actually had the GOP candidate in Maine, former state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, with a 10-point lead over his Democratic opponent.

The NRCC has booked more than $1 million in advertising time in each of the districts.

The Iowa and Hawaii seats are even harder slogs for the GOP, but party officials say there’s cause for encouragement in both cases. Democrats’ struggles in the Iowa Senate and governor’s races, they argue, could trickle down to the congressional races.

In Hawaii, a new independent poll shows the Republican candidate, popular former Rep. Charles Djou, in a surprisingly close race against Democratic state Rep. Mark Takai.

Democratic groups are bracing for the GOP offensive. House Majority PAC, a super PAC aligned with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, has reserved advertising time in Syracuse and Maine.

Democrats insist the GOP engagement will backfire.
The Republicans are unlikely to win any of the 5 seats-- although the conservative-leaning Democrats in Hawaii, Maine and New York are incapable of inspiring much grassroots enthusiasm. The one race worth progressive investment is IA-01, where the Democrat is a proven progressive champion, Pat Murphy. You can support him here. Polling in IA-01 doesn't bare out GOP optimism. There are 3 publicly available polls, two from August and one from September and all three, including a partisan GOP poll, show Murphy beating his right-wing opponent, Rob Blum in the D+5 district that Obama won against McCain 58-40% and against Romney 56-42%.
The Polling Company (R)- Murphy 40%, Blum 35%
Myers Research (D)- Murphy 51%, Blum 40%
Loras College- Murphy 35%, Blum 33%
But what the Republican strategy will do is sop up Democratic resources and prevent them from going into races where they are needed. If the House Majority PAC is spending big bucks on behalf of New Dems Emily Cain in Maine and Dan Maffei in New York-- the way the DCCC is wasting as much as a million dollars of their weak conservative candidate, Pete Aguilar, in California's D+5 Inland Empire district-- they can't use that money to help Democratic candidates in tough races-- let alone expand the field in a Democratic direction by aiding solid Democratic challengers that Israel has ignored, like Paul Clements (MI-06), Kelly Westlund (WI-07), Jason Ritchie (WA-08), Michael Wager (OH-14) and Mike Obermueller (MN-02).

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At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You pile up the evidence to support my contention that the Democrats are actively throwing the 2014 Congressional election. I suspect they think that if they let the GOP have control for two years, that the Hillary band wagon will create a massive Democratic landslide which sweeps away the GOP once and for all.

Let's ignore that the GOP will have even more power to eliminate the voting rights of a majority of American voters. Given two years with no meaningful opposition (as evidenced by the Caspar Milquetoast hiding in the Oval Office lest he be successfully impeached), there won't be enough eligible voters to over turn a school board.

At 9:10 AM, Blogger ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I don't think the Republican wing of the Democratic party is interested in sweeping the GOP away once and for all, Nony.

They want their share of the corporate graft (campaign contributions AND lucrative jobs after 'serving' the public), and they'd rather lose elections than lose control of the party.


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