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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

The DCCC’s Panic List



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Reid Wilson and the AP reveal that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reserved $7.7 million in air time in the first wave of massive buys, locking in low rates now in an effort to save their House majority.

Most of these expenditures are quite surprising.

FL 02: Rep. Allen Boyd (D) will get $455K in assistance — nearly saturation level in the Tallahassee and Panama City over the race’s final 2 weeks. Boyd will likely face funeral home director Steve Southerland (R) this fall.

As of the June 30 filing, Boyd has $1.06 million in cash on hand; Southerland, about $194,000. That’s a striking amount of money to put into a race where your guy already has a 5-to-1 cash advantage, unless you’re in a panic that he desperately needs help fast.

ID 01: Dems shouldn’t have a lot to worry about after a promising challenger fell flat against Rep. Walt Minnick (D), but the committee is reserving $135K in Boise and $158K in Spokane for his race just in case. Minnick faces state Rep. Raul Labrador (R), who doesn’t have a lot of cash on hand.

The cash-on-hand advantage for the incumbent is $1.1 million to $68,000. A 16-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage isn’t enough to get the Democrats to feel comfortable about this race?

Once you’re spending nearly $300,000 in Idaho, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to see the DCCC committing $336,000 to help Leonard Boswell in Iowa, even though he has a 7.3-to-1 advantage in cash on hand over Republican Brad Zaun.

The more I go through this list, the more mind-blowing these planned expenditures become. I completely agree that Pennsylvania Democrat Kathy Dahlkemper is vulnerable. But if she can’t beat Republican Mike Kelly with her current 10-to-1 cash advantage in a pretty cheap district to advertise in, I’m not sure how $1.1 million in DCCC funds is going to save her. (It is possible some portion of that $1.1 million will be used for Mark Critz, but that’s still a pretty stunning amount.)

Also note that at this point, no money is set aside for races with presumably vulnerable GOP incumbents like Charles Djou or Joseph Cao. Then again, the DCCC may put that in a separate category, and when you have 255 seats in the House, those races are luxuries anyway.

(This post will be updated as I go through each race.)


Tags: Allen Boyd , Steve Southerland


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