Dem-Allied Groups Target House Republicans
by Jonathan Singer, Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 12:11:53 PM EDT
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has more cash-on-hand than its GOP counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and apparently, the DCCC is going to have significantly more outside support than the NRCC between now and election day, reports The Hill's Alexander Bolton.
As many as 24 Democratic-allied outside interest groups have launched attacks or waged other political activity in 82 congressional districts represented by House Republicans, according to data compiled the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).
The breadth of this mobilization against House Republican candidates appears to surpass by far any similar effort being waged against Democratic House candidates or Senate candidates.
The data show how much Democrats are benefiting from the work of outside allies and how energized labor, environmental and liberal advocacy groups are about the prospect of taking back the House.
Among the Republican-held districts that these outside groups are focusing on are nine districts in both Ohio and Pennsylvania; eight in New York; four each in Florida and New Jersey; and three apiece in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Washington. The districts include both seats the Democrats should pick up this year but also some seats not really yet on the national radar, like Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston in Georgia.
And while we should certainly welcome outside groups who are willing to invest the time and money to educate voters about the doubletalk emitted by GOP incumbents, we cannot fall prey to two possible concerns. One is that as a result of these significant independent expenditures we become lax in districts around the country and fail to pound the pavement, actually meeting with voters and engaging in the types of activities required to motivate voters to go to the polls to support Democratic candidates. At the same time, we also cannot have so many different groups trying to get out the vote inn an uncoordinated manner that we waste precious time and resources -- and even worse end up harming the overall GOTV effort. (Chuck Todd raises this exact point in his National Journal column this week.)
Make no mistake: the fact that there are several more groups going out on behalf of the Democrats than the Republicans and that the DCCC has more money on hand than the NRCC both augur well for the Democrats. More people are buying into the possibility that the Dems can retake the House than in previous cycles, which actually can serve to help the Democrats retake the House (optimism breeds more donations and volunteering which breeds more optimism). Just the same, we cannot take these expenditures to mean that the Democrats will win the House and that a robust effort over the next hundred or so days is not needed.