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Tags: Keith Fimian

One Week Later, GOP Gets a Bit of Bad News and a Bit of Good News



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One week after the election, the bad news for Republicans this morning: In Virginia’s 11th congressional district, the outer suburbs of Washington D.C., Keith Fimian is conceding defeat to Democrat incumbent Gerry Connolly. He is not seeking a recount; the current count shows Fimian trailing by 981 votes, or four-tenths of one percent of all votes cast.

The good news for Republicans is that in New York’s 1st congressional district, the numbers look good for Randy Altschuler. He leads by 393 votes, and of the absentee ballots waiting to be counted, 3,953 are registered Republicans, 3,611 are registered Democrats.

Tags: Keith Fimian , Randy Altschuler

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

Let’s Help Plan an Am-Fimian Assault on Virginia’s 11th District.



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I’m sure the DCCC is spending $1 million to help Virginia congressman Gerry Connolly out of confidence.

Let’s help out Keith Fimian, to make sure this million is not spent well.

Tags: Gerry Connolly , Keith Fimian

GOP Sees Three Virginia Challengers Leading, One Trailing By Just a Bit



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There’s a new batch of polls in Virginia’s four most interesting House races.

“On Monday, September 27, ccAdvertising completed surveys to voters in four key Congressional districts in Virginia. These surveys focused on the competitive Congressional races as well as current national issues. The surveys were conducted to both landline phones and mobile phones.”

In the 2nd Congressional District, Republican Scott Rigell has a commanding lead over Democrat Glenn Nye in the race for Congress of over 14 percent. When asked whom voters will choose on Election Day, 48.6 percent are supporting Rigell, while 34.5 percent are supporting Nye and 16.9 percent are undecided.

In the 5th District, Republican Robert Hurt would defeat incumbent Democrat Tom Perriello by approximately 16 percent. A 51.1 percent majority of respondents support Hurt while 34.7 percent support Democrat Tom Perriello and 14.1 percent are undecided.

In Virginia’s 9th District, 42.6 percent of survey respondents support the incumbent Democrat Rick Boucher while 39.7 percent support challenger Morgan Griffith and 17.6 percent of voters are undecided.

In Virginia’s 11th District, Republican Keith Fimian has a five and one half percent lead over Democrat Gerry Connolly. When asked whom voters support, 42.2 percent favor Fimian, 36.7 percent support Connolly and 21.1 percent are undecided.

Tags: Gerry Connolly , Glenn Nye , Keith Fimian , Morgan Griffith , Rick Boucher , Robert Hurt , Scott Rigell , Tom Perriello

Talk to the White House? Why?



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Gerry Connolly, who represents the suburbs in Northern Virginia, wants to temporarily extend all of the Bush tax cuts.

But . . . he hasn’t exactly done much to bring this idea to fruition: ”I’ve had no conversations with the White House.”

Gerry Connolly: Full of good ideas that he’s just too shy to promote.

Keith Fimian: Because he knows how to pick up a phone.

Tags: Gerry Connolly , Keith Fimian

If the NRCC Didn’t Buy Ad Time in Your District, There’s Probably a Reason



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Over at the Club for Growth, David Keating notices the NRCC “Young Guns” who aren’t getting any TV ads from the committee, at least not in the first wave.

At first glance, most of these candidates look like they’re in okay shape and aren’t in dire need of NRCC ads in their district.

AR-2, Tim Griffin: Leads early polling, has a cash advantage on his Democratic rival.

FL-22, Allen West: Phenomenal fund-raiser as is. He’ll need every dime he can get against well-funded Ron Klein, but in the end, West just needs enough to ensure he isn’t blown away in the advertising war.

IL-14, Randy Hultgren: Perhaps he’s one of the more surprising omissions, but it’s a suburban Chicago seat and that means an expensive television market.

NJ-3, Jon Runyan: Former NFL star shouldn’t have a hard time raising additional funds; he’s already given $300,000 to his own campaign.

NM-1, John Barela: He’s sitting on $537,000 in cash, according to his most recent filing.

NY-29, Tom Reed: This seat is deemed one of the seats most likely to flip in November; the NRCC probably concluded Tom Reed is doing fine, at least for now.

OH-13, Tom Ganley: This Republican is just going to have to get by on the $3 million or so he’s given his campaign so far.

PA-8, Michael Fitzpatrick: Pretty expensive media market (Philadelphia). In his last report, Fitzpatrick had more than $660,000 in the bank, so he’s actually well-stocked, even though rival Patrick Murphy has much more.

VA-11, Keith Fimian: Expensive media market (Washington, D.C.). Fimian’s behind in the most recent cash-on-hand numbers, but he’s raised more than $1 million over the course of his campaign.

VA-9, Morgan Griffith: Perhaps a bit surprising, but rival Rick Boucher is already running from Obama, and Griffith is probably going to be outspent no matter how well he raises money. This race will probably come down to whether a deeply conservative district (R+11) wants to keep sending a Democrat to Congress.

UPDATE: Interesting. I am informed that the NRCC did make a late addition to their list, reserving air time for the race in New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district to help out Jon Runyan.

Tags: Allen West , Jon Barela , Jon Runyon , Keith Fimian , Michael Fitzpatrick , Morgan Griffith , Randy Hultgren , Tim Griffin , Tom Ganley , Tom Reed

The Things You Learn From a Roomful of House GOP Candidates



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Things I learned at a recent meeting of the “Young Guns” at the National Republican Congressional Committee:

  • In West Virginia, Gov. Joe Manchin, who is likely to be the Democrats’ nominee in the race for the Senate, cannot use the $140,000 left in his gubernatorial campaign fund in a Senate campaign. So he’s effectively starting from scratch. His most likely rival, Republican John Raese, ran against Robert Byrd in 2006 and spent $1.5 million of his own fortune. Manchin is still a favorite, but this is a complication.
  • Andy Barr’s House race in Kentucky will probably be the first one called on election night; polls in Kentucky close at 6 p.m. Eastern. If Barr beats three-term incumbent Ben Chandler, it will be an early indicator of a good night for the GOP.
  • A sleeper issue in Arkansas’s 1st congressional district: The Federal Emergency Management Agency is remapping flood zones, and dramatically expanding the number of counties in this district that are defined as within a flood zone. Homeowners in the expanded zone will have to purchase FEMA-approved flood insurance, at a cost of $2,000 per year. Republican Rick Crawford vehemently opposes the expansion; he accuses Democrat Chad Causey of not having a clear position on the FEMA plan.
  • In Illinois, Randy Hultgren wonders where his opponent, incumbent Democrat Bill Foster, is. He says Foster events are rarely publicized ahead of time, and he rarely if ever does traditional “town hall” meetings. There’s even speculation that Foster doesn’t come back to the district that often; an entire 30 minutes from O’Hare, it’s not like it’s hard to get to from Washington. 
  • Kristi Noem’s early success running in South Dakota’s at-large district against incumbent Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has prompted the DCCC to purchase $500,000 in air time in the final two weeks before Election Day. That’s a phenomenal amount of money to spend on one of the least expensive states in the country; a half-million buys a lot of air time in South Dakota.
  • Mick Mulvaney, running against John Spratt in South Carolina, just wants to keep the spending race reasonably close. “If I have enough resources to get my message out, it doesn’t matter how much he has to get his message out.”
  • Plenty of Republicans from districts that McCain won handily — like David McKinley in West Virginia’s 1st district — joked that they would love to see President Obama appear on behalf of their Democratic rivals. But Keith Fimian, running against Democrat Gerry Connolly in northern Virginia’s suburban district, said the same thing. He noted that Obama won the district handily in 2008, but then the GOP’s Bob McDonnell won 55 percent in this district in 2009. This year, Connolly won’t have that helpful Obama wave or any top-of-the-ticket help; this year, he is the top of the ticket.

Tags: Andy Barr , David McKinley , Joe Manchin , Keith Fimian , Kristi Noem , Mick Mulvaney , Randy Hultgren , Rick Crawford

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



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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

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