Tags: Mike Kelly

Daniel Webster 46, Devil 30, and Other Interesting House Polls



Summarizing the big poll dump the NRCC just provided the Washington Post:

  • FL-8: Daniel Webster (R) 46, Alan Grayson* (D) 30
  • PA 3: Mike Kelly (R) 56, Kathy Dahlkemper* (D) 39
  • OH-15: Steve Stivers (R) 51, Mary Jo Kilroy* (D) 39
  • WA-3: Jaime Herrera (R) 51, Denny Heck (D) 38
  • NY-20: Chris Gibson (R) 48, Scott Murphy* (D) 45
  • MA-10: Jeff Perry (R) 44, Bill Keating (D) 42
  • IL-17: Bobby Schilling (R) 44, Phil Hare* (D) 41
  • PA-10: Tom Marino (R) 44, Chris Carney* (D) 37
  • VA-9: Morgan Griffith (R) 44, Rick Boucher* (D) 44
  • OR-5: Scott Bruun (R) 44, Kurt Schrader (D) 42
  • OH-6: Bill Johnson (R) 40, Charlie Wilson* (D) 40
    (* = denotes incumbent)

All of these results sound pretty plausible, but if you want to take some salt with an NRCC-commissioned poll, that’s fine. I would note that any Democratic incumbent who’s polling in the high 30s or low 40s in a cycle like this is probably doomed or close to doomed.

Tags: Alan Grayson , Bobby Schilling , Chris Gibson , Daniel Webster , Jaime Herrera , Jeff Perry , Mike Kelly , Steve Stivers , Tom Marino

The Pattern Continues: GOP’s Kelly Leads Dahlkemper, 48-37


The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette shows us the 13th poll in seven weeks showing a GOP challenger leading a Democrat incumbent:

An internal poll conducted by Republican firm the Tarrance Group for Mike Kelly’s campaign and the NRCC shows the Butler car dealer well ahead of Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, D-Erie, 48-37. The survey of 305 likely voters has a margin of error of 5.8 percent.

Time for the caveats: It’s a GOP poll, and similar surveys proved inaccurate in forecasting the Tim Burns-Mark Critz special election. Still, 11 points is a lot.

Some other notable numbers: Kelly, a former city councilman in Butler, carries an impressive 67 percent name recognition and 51 percent of voters think Dahlkemper does not deserve re-election.

The other polls are:

  • NM-1: Barela 51, Heinrich 45.
  • IL-17: Schilling 45, Hare 32. 
  • VA-5: Hurt 58, Perriello 35.
  • AZ-8: Paton 45, Giffords 44.
  • PA-11: Barletta 56, Kanjorski 37.
  • PA-7: Meehan 47, Lentz 26.*
  • VA-2: Rigell 41, Nye 35.
  • SD-AL: Noem 49, Herseth Sandlin 44.
  • ND-AL: Berg 51, Pomeroy 44.
  • AR-2 : Griffin 50, Elliott 34.*
  • OH-13: Ganley 44, Sutton 41.
  • MS-1: Nunnelee 50, Childers 42.

* Open-seat race in district currently represented by a Democrat.

All of the usual caveats stand, but if these polls are even close to accurate, we are on course for a November blowout of epic proportions.

Tags: Kathy Dahlkemper , Mike Kelly

Quite a Few GOP Challengers Are a Bit Cash-Poor Compared to Their Rivals


Quarterly fundraising numbers are coming out in dribs and drabs.

My initial assessment is that a lot of Republican campaigns are at least mildly underfunded, and in some cases, quite underfunded. I’m sure this comment will bring a lot of campaigns to my e-mailbox and phone, saying, “No, no, we’re doing fine! We’re comfortable where we are! But send some cash anyway!” Of course, money is far from the most important factor in a campaign.

There are some GOP challengers who are doing fantastic.

In Florida, Marco Rubio has had two phenomenal quarters and has outraised Charlie Crist this past quarter; he still has a cash-on-hand disadvantage, although I suspect that will narrow further. In Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey has proven a throughly effective fundraiser — I suspect it’s because I keep seeing his ads on NRO — and has twice as much cash on hand as Joe Sestak. In Nevada, Sharron Angle is guaranteed to be outspent, but with that caveat, she’s actually doing pretty well, raising $2.6 million in a quarter. Her cash-on-hand disadvantage is still $1.8 million to $9 million.

Then there’s the North Carolina phenom Ilario Pantano, who’s outraising a longtime incumbent almost 2 to 1:

For the quarter, the Pantano campaign raised $211,720 compared to $114,119 for Congressman McIntyre. Pantano raised over $100,000 from supporters in the 7th District and outraised McIntyre by a better than 5 to 1 margin in the district. Since entering the race on January 27th, Pantano has raised $320,930. Over that same time period, McIntyre has only raised $213,243.

So which GOP candidates are looking a bit low on cash after this quarter?

Mike Kelly looks like he has the skills to be a strong challenger in Pennsylvania’s 3rd district. It’s not a terribly expensive district, but a 10-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage for incumbent Kathy Dahlkemper is ominous.

In the neighboring 4th district, Jason Altmire is on everybody’s list of vulnerable Democrats to watch, but GOP challenger Keith Rothfus has to make up a 7-to-1 cash-on-hand disadvantage.

In Pennsylvania’s 8th district, I have little doubt that Mike Fitzpatrick will give incumbent Democrat Patrick Murphy a tough challenge, but he’s still looking at a 3-to-1 cash-on-hand disadvantage.

And in the 10th district, Tom Marino has only about $11,000 on hand, going up against Chris Carney, another incumbent who looks beatable under the right circumstances.

In West Virginia’s 3rd district, Elliot “Spike” Maynard appears positioned to give Nick Rahall a stronger-than-usual push, but it will be tough to overcome a 15-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage.

Close to my neck of the woods, an expensive, tough primary left Republican Keith Fimian with about $271,000 on hand, while incumbent Democrat Gerry Connolly has more than $1.2 million. I actually think Morgan Griffith has a terrific shot against incumbent Rick Boucher in Virginia’s 9th district, but Boucher’s sitting on a stockpile of $2 million.

In North Carolina’s 2nd district, Renee Ellmers is a strong candidate, but she’s still financially outgunned against Bob “Who are you?” Etheridge. I can’t believe Jeff Miller, the Republican running against Heath Shuler in North Carolina’s deeply conservative 11th district, is facing a 21-to-1 cash-on-hand disadvantage.

When you run against the House Budget Committee chairman, you’re probably going to be outspent, but Mick Mulvaney is at roughly a 3-to-1 disadvantage against John Spratt in South Carolina’s 5th district.

Mind you, this is just perusing the filings for East Coast states that have had their primaries already. As I said, money isn’t everything, and some of these candidates will be able to count on help from party committees and independent groups that prefer them over their rivals. But a year where the atmosphere is fantastic for the GOP is not yet translating to great finances for every GOP candidate. Of course, perhaps it’s hard to raise money in this economy. (Perhaps this is all a brilliant gambit by President Obama and congressional Democrats: mismanage the economy so badly that no opponent can raise any money!)

Some may interpret this post as a “hey, give to these candidates” appeal. Nope, my job is not to tell you where to send your money — er, besides subscribing to National Review, helping during our pledge drive, going on the cruise, and advertising on the site and in the magazine — but if you do want to donate to your preferred candidate, do so. But I actually think volunteering for a campaign can be more effective; money can buy things, but volunteers can do things.

Tags: Ilario Pantano , Keith Fimian , Mick Mulvaney , Mike Fitzpatrick , Mike Kelly , Renee Ellmers , Spike Maynard , Tom Marino

300,000 Reasons Kathy Dahlkemper Is Having a Rough Monday


I hope your Monday morning is going well. If it isn’t, be glad you’re not Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, the Democrat who represents Erie, Pennsylvania, who just learned she’ll be facing $300,000 worth of ads from a pro-life group determined to see her replaced in November.

Today the Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund, a national pro-life political action committee, announced its endorsement of Mike Kelly, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Pennsylvania’s 3rd district, against incumbent Kathy Dahlkemper. Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund President Marjorie Dannenfelser said of the endorsement:

Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper will soon realize, as Alan Mollohan and Bart Stupak already have, that votes do have consequences.While Kathy Dahlkemper betrayed women and unborn children with her vote in favor of a pro-abortion health care bill and subsequently ushered in the greatest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade, we know that Mike Kelly will keep his promise to protect Life. The Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund is proud to endorse dependable pro-life leaders like Mike Kelly.”

Leading up to the March 21st health care vote, SBA List efforts in Dahlkemper’s district included a press conference, radio ad and automated phone campaign urging her to vote against any bill including federally funded abortion. An SBA List-commissioned poll conducted the week before the vote revealed that 79% of Dahlkemper’s constituents opposed federal funding of abortion and that 65% would be less likely to re-elect her if she voted for a bill including it. After Dahlkemper voted in favor of the legislation, the SBA List launched a second radio ad campaign, encouraging constituents to express their disappointment with her vote, spending a combined total of $20,000 on ads in her district.

The SBA List plans to spend more than $300,000 educating PA-03 constituents about Dahlkemper’s pro-abortion vote through November, when she will face Mike Kelly in the general election.

The group says they plan to spend $6 million on voter education in the midterm elections, including $3 million on key Senate races, $1 million in bundled direct candidate contributions from SBA List members, and $1 million on its plan to target “pro-life” Democrats who voted for abortion funding in the health-care bill.

Dahlkemper represents an R+3 district; in 2008, as Obama and McCain were roughly tied in her district, she won by 7,000 votes out of about 286,000.

Tags: Kathy Dahlkemper , Mike Kelly

Kathy Dahlkemper Has Reason to Sweat


Yesterday, in Pennsylvania’s 3rd congressional district, incumbent Democrat Kathy Dahlkemper had 34,483 votes. About 49,000 Democrats voted in that district’s primary.

The Republican primary winner, Mike Kelly, had 15,144 votes. But just under 54,000 Republicans voted in the primary on their side.

My summary from the list of 99:

Kathy Dahlkemper, Pennsylvania: She’s a freshman Democrat in a district McCain carried by 17 votes and Bush won easily. The local political gurus at PoliticsPA rank her the third-most-vulnerable lawmaker in the state.

Tags: Kathy Dahlkemper , Mike Kelly

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