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Tags: DCCC

Are Democrats Set to Win the Get-Out-the-Vote Fight in 2014?



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Hmmm. The Atlantic’s Molly Ball takes a long look at the respective get-out-the-vote operations of Democrats and Republicans in Arkansas and sees a familiar disparity:

Republicans now have 11 offices open across Arkansas, party officials told me, all of them staffed by field organizers. They have recruited “hundreds” of volunteers, and the RNC has had staff here for almost a year. This effort is indeed bigger than anything the party previously built in this state. “We clearly have the largest mobilization we’ve had in my memory, which is pretty good,” the state GOP chairman, Doyle Webb, tells me, crediting the RNC for stepping up its game. “We’ve been waiting for the cavalry, and now it’s here.”

But the Republicans’ effort pales in comparison to what the Democrats have built: Democrats are spending more than five times as much money in Arkansas, and have four times as many field offices and triple the number of staff. In the month of July alone, the Arkansas Democratic Party reported nearly $900,000 in federal campaign spending, while Arkansas Republicans reported $155,000. (Most of the money the Democrats are spending has come directly from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.) Democrats listed 64 staffers on their payroll; Republicans listed 22. The RNC claims it has 50 people on the payroll in Arkansas, including some being paid by other GOP committees, but I could not find a record of them and staffers on the ground were not aware of them. According to public records, there are Democratic staffers in places like Cabot (population 24,000), Marion (12,000), Arkadelphia (11,000), and Dardanelle, Tom Cotton’s hometown, with fewer than 5,000 residents.

It’s possible that there’s a law of diminishing returns with field offices; after a while you’re renting space and hiring staffers for a smaller and smaller increase in the number of votes for your side. Or perhaps candidate quality and charisma matters; it’s probably a lot easier to get irregular or newly registered voters to show up to vote for President Obama in a presidential election year than for Senator Mark Pryor in a midterm-election year.

But if those aren’t true, and Pryor does better than expected on Election Day . . . the GOP will have relearned a hard lesson from 2012.

Why do Democrats win more? Because they want it more. And their donor class is willing to spend more money to insure that they win — at least in most cases:

The RNC has raised $11 million more than the DNC, but the DCCC has raised $37 million more than the NRCC, and in the race for control of the Senate, the Democrats are a whopping $27 million ahead of the Republican’s senatorial committee. Wasn’t winning the Senate the top GOP priority this year? Wouldn’t you think Republican donors would be flooding that committee with cash and resources?

Is it that Republicans prefer to give to the candidate’s campaign? In Arkansas, Pryor is handily outraising and outspending Cotton.

Is it that Republicans prefer to give to outside groups? How good are those outside groups at getting out the vote on Election Day? Or in absentee and early voting?

Tags: NRSC , DSCC , NRCC , DCCC , RNC , DNC , Arkansas

The DCCC’s Gift Shop, Untouched Since the Holidays



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MyDemocraticStore.com is “the official store of the Democrats 2014 campaign . . . paid for by Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.”

It has also not been updated since Christmas the holidays.

When you’re offering “I heart Obamacare” bumper stickers, maybe you’re just not getting that many sales, and thus forget to update the site for a month or three.

Also notice the “Stand Up for Medicare” car magnets . . . 

 . . . which probably should be recalled, since HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius cut the maximum amount she could from Medicare’s payments for home-health-care services.

Tags: DCCC , Obamacare

The DSCC: The Affordable Care Act? What Affordable Care Act?



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Give credit where it’s due; unlike back in December, the homepage of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee now prominently features a section dealing with Obamacare/The Affordable Care Act, entitled “Faces of Repeal,” contending “millions of Americans will be hurt if Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act.”

(Particularly the IPAB “death panel” members who will lose their jobs deeming certain procedures insufficiently cost-effective, and those insurance-company executives who will be hurt without those “risk corridor” bailouts.)

The DCCC faces a steep uphill climb in picking up the 17 seats they need to take back control of the House and make Nancy Pelosi the speaker again.

At this point, the real action of 2014 will be in the red-state Senate races in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, South Dakota, and Montana. Unsurprisingly, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee isn’t so eager to talk about Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act — at least on its homepage.

The only reference to “health” on the DSCC homepage right now is a John Walsh tweet that “#MT can’t afford ppl like @SteveDaines who don’t believe in a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions” and a generic “war on women” blog post that claims, “We must do everything in our power to protect women’s rights and women’s health.”

The words “Affordable Care Act” and “Obamacare” do not currently appear on the homepage of the DSCC website, nor do the words “exchange” or “insurance” or any other reference to the president’s signature domestic legislation, impacting families, workers, and businesses right now.

Last week, a Democratic SuperPAC, House Majority PAC, touted vulnerable Arizona congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick by highlighting her criticism of the “disastrous healthcare website.” Recently, Representative Kurt Schrader (D., Ore.), had a brusque exchange with the White House chief of staff, suggesting that the administration’s defense of the law wasn’t having much effect on constituents upset about premium hikes:

I’m just a little country veterinarian from a small town in the great state of Oregon. So what do I know? I’m from a marginal district that they need to have that talks to people on a regular basis.

Finally, recently MSNBC’s Ed Schultz lamented, with surprise,

There does seem to be, for some reason, a reluctance by Democrats to run home and talk about how positive this health-care law is.

Tags: Obamacare , DSCC , DCCC

The 2014 House Retirement Scorecard: Better Districts for GOP



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Would you rather have fewer members of your party retiring, or more members of the other party retiring in swing districts?

At this point, eight House Democrats and 17 House Republicans are retiring at the end of their 2014 terms or aiming to win higher office. Out of those eight Democrats, two are in heavily Republican districts and two are in what most would consider swing or near-swing districts. Of the 17 House Republicans retiring, none of the open-seat races are in districts that favor Democrats, but four are in what most would consider swing districts.

Democrats:

Hawaii’s 1st congressional district: Incumbent Colleen Hanabusa is running for the U.S. Senate. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: D+18.

Iowa’s 1st congressional district: Incumbent Bruce Braley is running for the U.S. Senate. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: D+5.

Maine’s 2nd congressional district: Incumbent Mike Michaud is running for governor of Maine. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: D+2.

Michigan’s 14th congressional district: Incumbent Gary Peters is running for the U.S. Senate. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: D+29.

New York’s 4th congressional district: Incumbent Carolyn McCarthy is retiring. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: D+3.

North Carolina’s 7th congressional district: Incumbent Mike McIntyre is retiring. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+12.

Pennsylvania’s 13th congressional district: Incumbent Allyson Schwartz is running for governor of Pennsylvania. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: D+13.

Utah’s 4th congressional district: Incumbent Jim Matheson is retiring and says he may someday run for governor or Senate. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+16.

While nothing is guaranteed, the North Carolina and Utah seats look like easy lay-ups for the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the Maine and New York seats could be won under the right circumstances.

Republicans:

Alabama’s 6th congressional district: Incumbent Spencer Bachus is retiring. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+28.

Arkansas’s 2nd congressional district: Incumbent Tim Griffin is retiring. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+8.

Arkansas’s 4th congressional district: Incumbent Tom Cotton is running for the U.S. Senate. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+15.

California’s 45th congressional district: Incumbent John Campbell III is retiring. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+7.

Georgia’s 1st congressional district: Incumbent Jack Kingston is running for the U.S. Senate. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+9.

Georgia’s 10th congressional district: Incumbent Paul Broun is running for the U.S. Senate. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+14.

Georgia’s 11th congressional district: Incumbent Phil Gingrey is running for the U.S. Senate. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+19.

Iowa’s 3rd congressional district: Incumbent Tom Latham is retiring. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: Even.

Louisiana’s 6th congressional district: Incumbent Bill Cassidy is running for the U.S. Senate. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+21.

Minnesota’s 6th congressional district: Incumbent Michele Bachmann is retiring. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+10.

Montana’s at-large congressional district: Incumbent Steve Daines is running for the U.S. Senate. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+7.

New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district: Incumbent Jon Runyan is retiring. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+1.

North Carolina’s 6th congressional district: Incumbent Howard Coble is retiring. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+10.

Pennsylvania’s 6th congressional district: Incumbent Jim Gerlach is retiring. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+2.

Texas’s 36th congressional district: Incumbent Steve Stockman is running for the U.S. Senate. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+25.

Virginia’s 10th congressional district: Incumbent Frank Wolf is retiring. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+2.

West Virginia’s 2nd congressional district: Incumbent Shelley Moore Capito is running for the U.S. Senate. District’s score in the Cook Partisan Voting Index: R+11.

Undoubtedly, Democrats will feel good about their chances of winning the open-seat races in Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, but at this point, none of those seats look like “easy lay-ups,” like Utah’s 4th district or North Carolina’s 7th district.

Tags: House of Representatives , NRCC , DCCC

Democratic House Challengers, Suddenly Silent on Health Care



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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the organization aiming to take back control of the U.S. House of Representatives, touts 20 of their top challengers to GOP incumbents as “Jumpstart Candidates.”

Earlier this week I noted that the words “Affordable Care Act” and/or “Obamacare” do not appear on the DCCC’s home page. Their spokesmen insisted that a section labeled “GOP Hypocrites” counts, although even on that link, there’s no mention of the president’s signature domestic legislation; it’s merely an attack that “Republicans are so intent upon taking away your health care that they shut down the government over it.” (Conflating Obamacare with “your health care” is the point, obviously.)

If you look at the individual campaign websites of the Jumpstart Candidates, you find that references to “Affordable Care Act” and/or “Obamacare” are few and far between. In fact, most of the campaign sites don’t even mention health care at all.

The web site of Pete Aguilar, running in California’s 31st district, doesn’t have a page listing his policy positions yet. While it’s possible he’s mentioned Obamacare in a Facebook Page or Twitter message, there is no mention of Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.

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The web site of Stacy Appel, running in Iowa’s third district, opens with a YouTube video that, at least for me, blocks access to any other part of the page. The video offers a quick reference to a commitment to “more affordable health care” but otherwise offers a lengthy touting of her efforts taking on her own party over . . . texting while driving and the need “to do more to protect people from the dangers of distracted driving.”

The web site of Erin Bilbray, running in Nevada’s third district, does in fact mention the Affordable Care Act, generally positively, but with a caveat:

Health care costs continue to be too high for both patients and small businesses. The Affordable Care Act contains a lot of common sense solutions, such as protecting coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, lowering drug costs for seniors, and allowing young people to stay on their parents’ insurance plan for a longer period. But the results of full implementation remain to be seen. I believe we still need to do more to contain costs. I’m proud that along with my husband, we created Nevada’s only completely free pediatric heath clinic.

The web site of Pam Byrnes, running in Michigan’s seventh district, also does not have an “issues” page and does not mention the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.

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The web site of Ann Callis, running in Illinois’s 13th district, declares she wants to “fix and improve” the law.

Middle-class families want health care solutions that lower cost and expand care, not more partisan politics. Ann Callis believes we need reforms that fix and improve the Affordable Care Act, not kneejerk partisanship that doesn’t solve problems. She’ll work to preserve sections of the law that ensure no one can ever be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, keep the cost of prescription drugs low and that children can remain on their parents’ coverage until the age of 26. 

The web site of Jerry Cannon, running in Michigan’s first district, has a “why I’m running” page that focuses upon his military service. It refers to  “protecting Medicare & Social Security” but does not otherwise mention health care or Obamacare/ACA.

The web site of Michael Eggman, running in California’s tenth district, has an issues page, but “health care” is not one of them. There is a page for “Medicare and Social Security” that pledges to “I will stand up to politicians who want to play games with Medicare” but does not mention Obamacare/ACA.

The web site of Sean Eldridge, running in New York’s 19th district, has an issues page and a section for “Lowering Health Care Costs” that appears to refer to Obamacare, but never mentions it by name. Here it is, in its entirety:

Sean believes access to quality, affordable health care is a basic right of every American. He will work to fix and improve our nation’s health care laws in order to lower costs, hold insurance companies accountable, reduce the burden on small businesses, and ensure that affordable health care is available to every family.

The web site of Pete Festersen, running in Nebraska’s second district, does not have an issues page.

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The web site of Jennifer Garrison, running in Ohio’s sixth district, does not have an issues page. Her biographical section mentions her work in the state legislature on a variety of issues, but not health care.

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The web site of Gwen Graham, running in Florida’s second district, does not have an issues page and her brief “why I’m running” statement does not mention health care other than a pledge to “protect Medicare.”

The web site of Rocky Lara, running in New Mexico’s second district, offers only a short biography and a request for donations.

The web site of John Lewis (not to be confused with the longtime Democratic congressman from Georgia), running in Montana’s at-large House district, has an issues page and one section is on health care. Here it is, in its entirety:

All of Montana is considered rural and many of its small towns are considered “frontier” communities that lack access to health care. John Lewis believes that all Montanans deserve access to affordable, quality health care no matter where they live. That means creating incentives to bring good health care providers to small communities. It means improving access to health care for veterans, seniors and children. And it means holding the nation’s insurance companies accountable — to make sure that they don’t charge women more than men, or that they don’t deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

The web site of Suzanne Patrick, running in Virginia’s second district, has a “priorities” section that does not mention health care other than a reference to opposing “turning Medicare into a voucher program.”

The web site of Domenec Recchia, running in New York’s eleventh district, features a “Why I Fight for the People of New York” section that focuses on Hurricane Sandy and economic issues. It does not mention health care, or Obamacare/ACA.

The web site of Amanda Renteria, a former economic adviser to Senator Dianne Feinstein running in California’s 21st district, does not have an issues page but offers a lengthy biography. That section mentions “healthy foods initiatives” in the 2012 Farm Bill but does not mention health-care legislation.

The web site of Martha Robertson, running in New York’s 23rd district, is one of the few indisputable defenders of Obamacare. She offers a “priorities” section that specifically mentions the Affordable Care Act:

In order to make Medicare more affordable, we have to drive down the cost of health care as a whole. Over time, the Affordable Care Act will reduce the real cost of health care, while preserving or even enhancing quality. Thanks to Obamacare, seniors are already enjoying access they didn’t have before to primary care, and greater reimbursement for their prescription drug costs.

Another section also mentions Medicaid, which is expanded under the law to include people with higher incomes than before:

Protecting Medicaid is vitally important. It’s a fundamental American value to take care of those in need. When it comes to health care, this means people with disabilities, seniors in nursing homes, children, and the very poor. Cuts to Medicaid only serve to drive up health care costs across the board, meaning that we all pay more. It’s absolutely crucial that we protect Medicaid.

The web site of Andrew Romanoff, running in Colorado’s sixth district, declares right on the home page, “I want to make it possible for every child to enjoy the same kind of basic opportunities my
mom and dad gave me: A solid education, a steady source of health care, and a safe place to live.” But there is no “issues” or “priorities” page that mentions the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.

The web site of Alex Sink, running in Florida’s 13th District . . . has nothing beyond a photo and an invitation to link on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

The web site of Kevin Strouse, running in Pennsylvania’s eighth district, has an issues page that lists innovation, investing in American workers, improving education, balancing the budget, national defense, “honoring our veterans,” protecting a woman’s “right to choose” and support of gay marriage. But health care, Obamacare, and/or the Affordable Care Act are not mentioned.

Going over the sites, you come across the same generic phrases over again: declarations that “we need common sense in Washington,” pledges to be “an independent voice,” and endless denunciations of “bickering” “partisanship” “dysfunction” “finger pointing” and “Washington special interests.” Another word missing from most of the sites: “Democrat.”

I’m sure the DCCC and the candidates will be able to offer a lot of excuses for the absence of any reference to Obamacare or even health care in general from their campaign sites. It’s early. They’re still staffing up. Campaign web sites rarely list detailed positions on every issue. The issue is complicated, and the situation of Obamacare’s implementation seems to change by the day.

But let’s face it, if Obamacare were popular and the American people loved it, every Democratic challenger would be loudly embracing it and running on a pledge to ensure it’s kept in place as is. What’s really striking is that “health care” was a bread-and-butter issue for Democrats going back to Harris Wofford’s win over Dick Thornburgh in Pennsylvania in 1991. Suddenly it’s a missing issue, sometimes unmentioned entirely, sometimes merely alluded to briefly while discussing other issues.

Tags: Obamacare , DCCC , House Democrats

What Issue Is Missing from the DNC, DCCC, and DSCC Home Pages?



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Now that the Obama administration assures us HealthCare.gov is working smoothly, Democrats have no reason to run away from Obamacare, right? After all, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz both assured us Democrats will be “standing tall” and will be running on the successful, popular issue of Obamacare in 2014.

Strangely, it appears the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee didn’t get the memo. There’s no mention of Obamacare on their homepage this morning.

The Democratic National Committee did put up a “how to talk to your Republican uncle who doesn’t like Obamacare” post on Wednesday. But immigration is the top issue on the DNC web site now.

Surely the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee isn’t afraid to discuss Obamacare, right? All of those endangered red-state Democratic senators aren’t afraid to tout their votes, and to tell people why it’s such a good idea, right?

Hmm. While there are generic “stand with Obama” messages, the top two issues featured are “voting rights” and employment non-discrimination.

Why, it’s almost as if all the Democratic campaign committees are still convinced Obamacare is a deeply unpopular, toxic issue, and they don’t think their candidates should run on it. But that would mean Pelosi and Wasserman Schultz are lying, and we know that can’t be the case!

UPDATE: The new spin from the DCCC is that when they write “GOP Hypocrisy,” they really mean Obamacare. Of course, at the link, neither “Obamacare” nor “the Affordable Care Act” is mentioned. They merely assert Republicans are “so intent upon taking away your health care they shut down the government over it.”

Of course, conflating “your health care” and Obamacare/ACA is precisely the point. One is something you’ve always had; the other is a tangled monstrosity of requirements, fees, taxes, regulations, rules, higher premiums, higher deductibles, and a dysfunctional website recently imposed upon the nation by a party-line vote.

If the DCCC wanted to write something like “We proudly stand by the Affordable Care Act,” you figure they would and could do that.

Tags: Obamacare , DNC , DCCC , DSCC

Republican Ekes Out 40-Point Win in Missouri Special Election



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This is what happens when national Democrats pretend a special U.S. House election isn’t happening: Republican Jason Smith wins 67 percent to 27 percent over Democrat Steve Hodges, 42,145 votes to 17,203 votes. Yes, it’s a conservative district, but this is a bigger margin than Romney’s win over Obama in 2012 in that district.

The strategists over at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee didn’t merely choose to not allocate any funds to help Hodges; they didn’t even mention the special election on their web site, Twitter account, or Facebook page.

Tags: Jason Smith , DCCC

DNC: We Haven’t Been Using the Term ‘War on Women,’ Really!



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This is a pretty amazing comment in an article by Dave Weigel over at Slate:

In her fateful CNN appearance, right before she evaluated Ann Romney’s economics cred, Hilary Rosen begged the media to “just get rid of this word, ‘war on women.’ After all, “the Obama campaign does not use it, President Obama does not use it — this is something that the Republicans are accusing people of using.”

On Thursday, as the Rosen saga unfolded, DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse echoed her plea for peace. “I’m not a fan of the term,” he said in an interview. “I mean, I’m sure I’ve probably used it. We all fall into these easy vernaculars . . . but we in the DNC have not been running a campaign based on the term ‘war on Women.’ That’s a myth cooked up by Republicans.”

Besides all the use of the term “war on women” by members of the House and Senate on the floor of their chambers . . . besides all the times DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz used the term . . . Well, if Woodhouse really objects to the term, maybe he should talk to his friends at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who are selling “Stop the Republican War on Women” car magnets, coffee mugs, t-shirts, posters . . .

Tags: DCCC , Debbie Wasserman Schultz , DNC

NRCC: We’re $4 Million Ahead of DCCC in Cash on Hand



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The National Republican Congressional Committee, whose mission is to preserve GOP control of the House, sends along word that they have enjoyed their best October fundraising in a non-election year ever, raising $4.56 million and leaving the committee with $13.8 million in cash on hand. Their year-to-date fundraising is 59 percent higher than it was in 2009 ($48.7 million vs. $30.6 million), and the NRCC’s net position is $11.1 million ahead of where the committee was at this time in 2009.

Of course, they’re in the majority; they should be well ahead of where they were in 2009!

For comparison, Roll Call reports that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $4.18 million in October and had $9.81 million in cash on hand on Oct. 31.

Tags: DCCC , NRCC

NRCC: Go Ahead, Democrats, Give Occupy Wall Street a Big Hug!



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Everyone made a stir when the DCCC started tying themselves politically to the Occupy Wall Street protests, with good reason.

The National Republican Congressional Committee likes their odds of getting more support by standing on the other side.

It sounds like the DCCC move has consequences:

Banking executives personally called the offices of DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and DCCC Finance Chairman Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) last week demanding answers, three financial services lobbyists told POLITICO.

“They were livid,” said one Democratic lobbyist with banking clients.

The execs asked the lawmakers: “What are you doing? Do you even understand some of the things that they’ve called for?” said another lobbyist with financial services clients who is a former Democratic Senate aide.

Democrats’ friends on Wall Street have a message for them: you can’t have it both ways.

To their credit, the Occupy Wall Street crowd has clarified their demands: “I don’t want to work. I want to bang the drum all day. I don’t want to play. I just want to bang on the drum all day.”

Tags: DCCC , NRCC , Occupy Wall Street

NRCC: Hey, the Democrats Finally Found Something They Can Cut!



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Folks at the National Republican Congressional Committee are having a good laugh over this…

IN NOVEMBER 2010, THE DCCC SAID IT WAS TARGETING 61 DISTRICTS CARRIED BY OBAMA: “The DCCC has identified 61 seats currently held by Republicans in districts that Barack Obama won in 2008.  ‘Republicans won a lot of seats they have no business winning,’ said a top Democratic strategist. ‘It’s going to be a full-on recruitment cycle [and] Israel is the perfect person for that.’” (Brian Beutler, “Blue Dogged: Meet Steve Israel, The Incoming Chair Of The DCCC,” Talking Points Memo, 11/23/10)

EARLIER THIS MONTH, THEY SCALED THAT BACK TO 37 SUBURBAN DISTRICTS: “Representative Nancy Pelosi’s selection of Mr. Israel to lead the Congressional campaign had much to do with his district, a swath of Nassau and Suffolk Counties where Democrats hold a modest registration edge but independents decide elections.  The path to retaking the House, both say, leads through 37 similar suburban districts, home to nine million independents who voted for President Obama in 2008 but deserted the party in the 2010 elections.” (David M. Halbfinger, “L.I. Congressman Leads Uphill Charge Toward a Democratic House,” New York Times, 03/19/11)

NOW, THE DCCC HAS BEEN FORCED TO FOCUS ON ONLY 14 DISTRICTS: “The Democratic Party is taking aim at 14 freshmen Republicans in the House, of 87 elected, whom it deems the most vulnerable…the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is focusing on districts where Mr. Obama and Senator John Kerry both won as presidential nominees and where Democrats have a registration advantage.” (Jennifer Steinhauer, “Hardly Settled in House, but Already in Hot Seat,” New York Times, 03/27/11)

ACTUALLY, THEY EVEN GOT THAT NUMBER WRONG.  IT’S 13 DISTRICTS WON BY KERRY, NOT 14: “All told, 63 Republicans in the 112th Congress will hold seats that President Obama carried in 2008 and, of that group, 13 will hold seats that Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) also won in the 2004 presidential race.” (Chris Cillizza, “The Obama Republicans,” The Washington Post’s “The Fix” blog, 11/11/10)

Of course, we have very little sense of the political environment of 2012, and how it will affect the 435 House races. The more recent and drastically reduced target lists of the DCCC might be selling themselves short. Certain members of the public might decide that they like budget cuts in the abstract but recoil when they’re actually enacted; the GOP presidential candidate may run particularly strong in some parts of the country and particularly weak in others. Then, of course, there’s redistricting, and we don’t know how many incumbents will retire. Each party still has a lot of recruiting to do.

But it’s pretty remarkable that we’re not hearing much talk about Democrats retaking the House in 2012.

Tags: 2012 , DCCC , NRCC

The NRCC’s Pretty Good February



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The National Republican Congressional Committee feels pretty good about their latest monthly fundraising numbers, $4.9 million during February,

That’s $3 million more than last month, and their cash on hand is now $4.3 million; they’ve paid off $1 million in debt. Their debt remains at $9.5 million.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had a better January, but has $18.6 million in debt headed into February.

Tags: DCCC , NRCC

When Will the ‘When Are the Jobs’ Site Be Fixed?



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Fascinating: The DCCC is still issuing press releases that cite their “When Are The Jobs” web site, even though the day-counting clock on the web site broke some time ago.

March 14: According to the running clock at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s website,http://www.whenarethejobs.com/, Republicans have done nothing to create jobs for 68 days, 17 hours, and 1 minute.

It appears the DCCC doesn’t read their own web sites. So why should you?

Tags: DCCC

The DCCC’s Web Site Becomes a Metaphor



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Much like the stimulus, the DCCC’s grammatically challenged “When Are the Jobs” web site is not working.

Tags: DCCC

The DCCC’s Attack-First, Get-the-Facts-Later Strategy



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A beautiful “Doh!” moment, down in Tennessee:

Democratic officials have spent the past month savaging freshman Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher, claiming he betrayed constituents by campaigning against the new health- care reform law, then signing up for government health insurance at taxpayer expense.

State Democratic Party chairman Chip Forrester called him a liar. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee called him a hypocrite.

The only problem is, Fincher never signed up for government health insurance.

Instead, the Frog Jump farmer opted to keep his private insurance through the Tennessee Farm Bureau and signed a form in November waiving coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, according to a document provided by his office.

The story behind the erroneous allegation hyped by Democrats offers a window into the take-no-prisoners tactics used by both parties, and raises doubts that recent calls for greater civility in political discourse will yield results.

Look, judging by their “When Are The Jobs” web site, the DCCC isn’t really a detail-oriented organization . . .

Tags: DCCC , Stephen Fincher

DCCC: When Are the Jobs? And Who Taught Us How to Write?



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The DCCC, facing a steep comeback trail in 2012, has made its first move, launching a web site entitled “When Are the Jobs?

I know, that doesn’t really make sense and is barely a sentence. The DCCC doesn’t just oppose traditional values; they oppose traditional sentence structure.

The site points out how long the Republicans have had the speaker’s gavel (35 days today) and “0 job creation bills.” Because the DCCC appears to have spent minutes and minutes developing the site, it doesn’t say whether the missing “job creation bills” should be introduced, or passed, or signed into law.

A snarkier defender of House Republicans could point out that in the month Republicans took office, unemployment dropped four-tenths of one percent — but I won’t, since I think that number mostly reflects Americans dropping out of the workforce. But I would note that since Republicans won the election, they, the speaker-to-be and the president agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts (eliminating at least some of the uncertainty hanging over businesses) and giving workers a bit more take-home pay by reducing the payroll tax by two percentage points.

The Democrats are also mocking House Republicans for not living up to their promise to reduce government spending by $100 billion within one year.

Tell me again, how many billions in cuts have the House Democrats proposed?

Tags: DCCC

DCCC: Debt Could Consume Campaigns



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A Washington Republican points out to me that one of the big narratives throughout the 2008 cycle was the National Republican Congressional Committee, tasked with chipping away at the Democrats’ 40-seat margin in the House, could not possibly compete or go on offense because of its then-dire financial position. Obviously, we know how that turned out.

He notes that the end-of-year reports show that the DCCC is in a financially worse position in January 2011 than the NRCC was in January of 2007.

In 2006, the DCCC had $9.3 million in debt and roughly $776,000 in cash on hand, while the NRCC had $14.4 million in debt and roughly $1.4 million on hand.

At the beginning of this year, the NRCC has $10.5 million in debt and $2.5 million in cash on hand. The DCCC has $805,000 cash on hand and an astounding $19 million in debt.

Tags: DCCC , NRCC

New DCCC Head: Yes, We Want Pelosi to Be Speaker Again



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The NRCC is giddy this morning:

Dem campaign chief: Goal is making Pelosi Speaker again

House Democrats’ goal is to make Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) the Speaker of the House again, their campaign chairman said Wednesday evening. 

Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), set his goal as nothing short of winning back control of the House in the 2012 elections. ”We’re all trying to win it back,” Israel said on MSNBC when asked if it was Democrats’ goal of winning back enough seats to make Pelosi, the former Speaker and new minority leader, the next Speaker.

You’ll be seeing Nancy Pelosi, and this headline, in a lot of House race ads in 2012 . . .

Tags: DCCC , Nancy Pelosi , NRCC , Steve Israel

I’ll Bet You Could Have Lost 63 Seats at Half the Price



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I mentioned this in the Jolt, but it’s worth emphasizing again.

Ouch:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent $54.8 million during the last fund-raising period (Oct. 14 through Nov. 22) and was left with $19.5 million in debt. The DCCC had just over $3 million in the bank, according to a committee spokesman. Its Republican counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee, had $4.7 cash on hand after spending $31.3 million during the five-week stretch. It will report debt of $12 million. For the calendar year 2010, the DCCC spent $120.2 million while the NRCC spent $93.7 million.

Dolly Parton used to joke, “It costs a lot to look this cheap.” Well, it cost Chris Van Hollen and the DCCC a lot of money to lose as many seats as they did.

Then again, maybe it prevented a really bad night from being an epically bad night: If every Republican House candidate had won 2 percent more, they would have won or effectively tied (less than 1 percent difference) in twelve more seats: David Harmer (CA-11), Andy Vidak (CA-20), Mike Keown (GA-2), Jackie Walorski (IN-2), Ben Lange (IA-1), Andy Barr (KY-6), Ed Martin (MO-3), Jon Barela (NM-1), George Phillips (NY-11), Tim Burns, (PA-12), Keith Fimian (VA-11) and John Koster (WA-2).

Tags: DCCC

The DCCC, Not Too Choosy About Their Radio Ads This Week



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Earlier today I heard a DCCC radio ad slamming Virginia Republican House candidate Keith Fimian, denouncing him for opposing “a woman’s right to choose.” This may not seem strange, except it was on WMAL, during the Sean Hannity program. You know, after Rush Limbaugh and before Mark Levin.

Forget how many undecided or non-staunch Republicans in the 11th District were listening at that time… how many were staunchly pro-choice?

The DCCC seems to have resorted to the spaghetti method of campaigning: Throw everything against the wall and see what sticks.

Tags: DCCC , Keith Fimian

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