DCCC Going On Offense In 08
by Todd Beeton, Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 07:45:12 AM EST
Pay your dues or lose in Nov., Tom Cole says
Things are so bad, in fact, that as of September, the NRCC was still in the red while the Democrats had more than $25 million after debts and obligations. As a result, the Democrats smell blood.
From The Politico:
Top House Democrats, sensing an opportunity to pick up additional seats in 2008, are warning some of their more vulnerable incumbents that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee won't spend money in their districts unless Republican leaders do. [...]
The DCCC chairman, Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, and the Democratic Caucus chairman, Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, have been putting out that message in a series of recent meetings with members of the "Frontline" group that helps reelect vulnerable House Democrats, according to members and staffers who have been attending the sessions.
The fact is, it's not just the Democratic committees that are flush with cash. Most of our supposedly vulnerable members are in good shape as well. In fact, the brisk fundraising of our freshmen in red districts has consistently exceeded expectations.
Only two of the Frontline Democrats -- Reps. Michael Arcuri of New York and Brad Ellsworth of Indiana -- reported having less than $500,000 on hand at the end of September, according to their most recent reports with the Federal Election Commission.
Some Frontline Democrats have more than $1 million in cash each, including Reps. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Patrick J. Murphy of Pennsylvania, and Ron Klein and Tim Mahoney of Florida.
Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas) is part of the Frontline program but has nearly $600,000 on hand and says he has "no problem" with the warning from Emanuel and Van Hollen.
I'm glad to see the DCCC taking such an offensive posture here. It could be tempting to read an anti-incumbent wave into the low congressional approval ratings and over-commit resources to playing defense. Instead, Van Hollen and Emanuel get that voters understand that the status quo that needs overturning is still very much a Republican one.
In an interview, [DCCC Chair] Van Hollen said once several, if not all, of the vulnerable Democratic incumbents are in good enough shape to be moved off of the DCCC's "Frontline" program, his committee will begin targeting additional Republican seats.
"We have 40 seats, at least -- and growing -- where we have good challengers in place," he said. "That makes for a very big playing field this time around."