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The Campaign Spot

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

‘Make no mistake: Nancy Pelosi’s days as Speaker of the House are numbered.’



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The NRCC offers a memo, one week out.

What jumped out at me:

  • “Republican turnout in early voting is nearly universally above registration levels, proving that the intensity gap that Democrats fear is in fact real.” Of course, many key states and districts have more registered Democrats than registered Republicans, so the GOP had better turn out better than their registration level.
  • The memo specifically mentions, “New Jersey’s Third District, New Mexico’s First District, North Carolina’s Seventh District, and Colorado’s Third District.” Hard to believe they would mention the districts of John Adler, Martin Heinrich, Mike McIntyre, and John Salazar if they didn’t think they had a real good shot at knocking off those incumbents.
  • The memo also refers to “unprepared vulnerable incumbents like Charlie Wilson in eastern Ohio, Tim Walz in southern Minnesota, and Gene Taylor in southern Mississippi.”
  • “The financial advantage that Democrats long believed would allow them to retain their majority has disappeared.”

The full memo:

#MORE#

TO: INTERESTED PARTIES

FROM: NRCC CHAIRMAN PETE SESSIONS

DATE: OCTOBER 26, 2010

SUBJECT: CLOSING THE DEAL: PUTTING THE PIECES IN PLACE FOR A REPUBLICAN MAJORITY

With only a week to go until Election Day, Democrats have found themselves in a position they hoped to avoid from day one. As Republicans continue to expand the playing field and put races away early, Democrats are constantly plugging holes in the dam while resources grow scarce. After a natural post-Labor Day tightening in races across the country, developments at both the national and district-by-district levels confirm that Republicans are finishing strong. A few weeks ago, we found ourselves on the precipice of victory. Now we are closing the deal, moving toward accomplishing our ultimate goal of retiring Nancy Pelosi and capturing a new Republican majority.

While Democrats are still attempting to claim momentum, reality is far different. The Democrats’ ‘triage’ strategy is cutting off outgoing incumbents at a rapid pace, all but conceding losses in key races. The Rothenberg Political Report already rates 22 Democrat-held seats as either ‘Lean Republican’ or ‘Republican Favored’ with another 14 Democrat-held seats rated as ‘Toss Up/Tilt Republican.’ Public and private polling shows that Republicans are already on their way to winning in nearly 40 races. With a week to go, competitive races are moving quickly away from the Democrats and we have captured critical momentum that will play a large role in breaking the 39-seat barrier.

Early results are promising. Republican turnout in early voting is nearly universally above registration levels, proving that the intensity gap that Democrats fear is in fact real. In toss-up races like New Jersey’s Third District, New Mexico’s First District, North Carolina’s Seventh District, and Colorado’s Third District, early Republican enthusiasm foretells a painful election night for Democrats who thought they were immune to the coming wave.

We need look no farther than the Democrats’ spending strategy to see the extent of their problems. As Republicans continue to push the borders of the playing field, the DCCC and its allies are forced to spend money in races they expected would be locked up weeks ago. Even more troubling for Democrats is the fact that many of these races are even competitive in the first place. With the NRCC on offense against unprepared vulnerable incumbents like Charlie Wilson in eastern Ohio, Tim Walz in southern Minnesota, and Gene Taylor in southern Mississippi, DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen has described his party’s challenge as playing a game of ‘Whac-a-Mole.’ The DCCC has scrambled to follow the NRCC into many of these districts to play defense in an unsuccessful effort to stop the bleeding.

The national environment has presented the extraordinary opportunity for Republicans to capture the majority, but the NRCC’s record-setting fundraising has allowed us to capitalize and remain on offense. The NRCC raised $11.2 million in September 2010 alone — its best fundraising month since 2006. We followed that effort by outraising the DCCC once again in the first half of October. While the NRCC is successfully executing a plan to spend $54 million in approximately 90 races, Republican candidates are turning in stellar fundraising performances as well. The Hotline calculates that 34 of the most vulnerable incumbent Democrats were outraised by their Republican challengers last quarter. The financial advantage that Democrats long believed would allow them to retain their majority has disappeared.

Democrats are message-less. There is no longer enough time for them to coalesce behind a message that resonates with middle class voters. Instead, they have desperately turned to attacking outside organizations who dare oppose their anti-business views. Democrats had no complaints when their liberal allies were spending hundreds of millions of dollars on their behalf in the 2006 and 2008 elections. They also conveniently neglect to mention the fact that labor unions continue to outspend conservative groups as well. With their hypocritical attempts to distract voters with scare tactics and side topics, Democrats are only reinforcing voters’ perception that they have absolutely no plan to create jobs. Their message should be taken for what it is: Democrats are laying the groundwork for a massive Election Night loss and they are in need of scapegoat. Unfortunately, reality doesn’t match their rhetoric.

With the playing field much more balanced over the closing weeks of the campaign, Democrats are forced to defend their unpopular agenda in Washington — a fight they know they can’t win. The final unemployment numbers before election day that were announced earlier this month confirmed that Democrats will be held accountable by voters for their reckless job-killing policies. Last week’s state-by-state unemployment numbers reinforced that reality from coast to coast. As Americans are desperately seeking leadership in Washington that is willing to address a struggling economy, Democrats pushed forward with a radical big-government spending agenda that stood in the way of economic recovery and only made matters worse. Though many vulnerable Democrats are running away from this record on the campaign trail, the American people will not soon forget about this binge of unprecedented spending at the expense of a healthy economy.

Make no mistake: Nancy Pelosi’s days as Speaker of the House are numbered. Thanks to nearly two years of hard work on the campaign front and a renewed commitment to listening to the American people, Republicans are poised for a significant victory on November 2. With just days to go until Election Day, we are faced with a historic opportunity to take control of Congress away from Nancy Pelosi and put a stop to the Democrats’ reckless job-killing agenda. Republicans intend to seize this opportunity.


Tags: Charlie Wilson , Gene Taylor , John Adler , John Salazar , Martin Heinrich , NRCC , Tim Walz


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