DCCC Going On Offense In 08

Last night Jonathan alerted us to the fact that NRCC fundraising is going so badly that Chairman Tom Cole has taken to threatening members, as The Hill headline puts it:

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.

As for how many seats the DCCC has in its sights for next year, per Roll Call (via The Stakeholder):

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."

Tags: 2008 Congressional Elections, dccc, NRCC (all tags)

Comments

13 Comments

Re: DCCC Going On Offense In 08

Except at what cost?  Did anyone see the vote on the Peru trade bill?  Yeah the Dems have a lot more moiney, but has Rabbit Rahm and Co. sold out their constituents in the process?

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-11-08 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Going On Offense In 08

Welcome to the real world.

by spirowasright 2007-11-08 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Going On Offense In 08

I'm glad they have taken the 50 state strategy to heart and are making a big net to sweep the nation with.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-11-08 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Going On Offense In 08

My question is...

So far, 14 House Republicans have announced their retirements, compared with only four Democrats.

Who's the fourth Democrat??

McNulty, Tom Allen, Mark Udall.  Tom Udall isn't official yet... So...?  Did we have a Democrat retiring go under my nose?  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-11-08 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC On Offense In 08

Maybe that's counting Tom Udall, in NM too. Also unofficial and unannounced, but easy to leap to that conclusion.

by Woody 2007-11-08 02:15PM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Going On Offense In 08

Good strategy.  There's only small and shrinking handful of Democrats still in actual danger. Marshall, Lampson, maybe Boyda and a couple others. I'd love to see the questions focused not on whether Republicans will have a net loss, but on how large it will be.

Plus, if Republicans in, say, Kansas, have to focus on keeping the Wichita district, they'll be that much more hindered from attacking Boyda.

by admiralnaismith 2007-11-08 08:28AM | 0 recs
Boswell (IA-03) underperformed in '06

but I haven't heard anything about his opponent, and with any luck the higher Dem turnout in a presidential year should keep him safe.

He over-performed the top of the ticket in 2004, winning the largest county in Iowa by about 26,000 votes (Kerry's margin in the same county was only about 9,000 votes). But Chet Culver's winning margin in the 2006 gubernatorial race was much bigger than Boswell's was in our district. I can't find the numbers right now.

by desmoinesdem 2007-11-08 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Going On Offense In 08

We'd better start gearing up for another use or lose it campaign.

by MNPundit 2007-11-08 10:52AM | 0 recs
I wonder who they are moving off

My guess would be Arcuri(NY-24), Barrow(GA-12), Courtney(CT-02), Donnelly(IN-02), Edwards(TX-17), Ellsworth(IN-08), Hodes(NH-02), Murphy(PA-08), Shuler(NC-11), Space(OH-18), Walz(MN-01), and Yarmuth(KY-03).  These are all races where Republicans have a third tier challengers at best and should be fairly secure.  

by Toddwell 2007-11-08 01:25PM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Going On Offense In 08

Great, we have the money, momentum, and Rahm Emanual helping to fund/pick candidates? The piece of picture we need is to be able to fund liberal candidates that Rahm doesn't like. Otherwise we get stiffs like Wynn [MD] in districts where progressives should be leading.

by bmelz 2007-11-08 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Going On Offense In 08

I wish the Dccc did a better job stock piling money for challengers

by orin76 2007-11-08 04:11PM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Going On Offense In 08

25 Million seems like a large warchest to me.

by pierredude 2007-11-08 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Going On Offense In 08

that's not even 150k a challenger

by orin76 2007-11-11 11:08AM | 0 recs

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