Republicans Gearing Up to Waste Millions More on NJ?
by Jonathan Singer, Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 11:02:29 AM EST
Oh, this could get good. As I have detailed before, Republicans have gotten themselves into a nasty habit that has really put them at a disadvantage nationwide: continually sinking money into futile campaigns in New Jersey. As a short refresher, remember that the Republicans sunk money...
- Trying to win a Senate election in New Jersey in 2002, only to see former Senator Frank Lautenberg win by a comfortable 10 points after having joined the race late when then-Senator Bob Torricelli bowed out.
- Trying to help George W. Bush carry the state in 2004, even as John Kerry carried it by a 7-point margin.
- Trying to defeat Senator Jon Corzine in his effort to make the move to the Governor's mansion in an election he won by a double-digit margin.
- Trying prop up Tom Kean Jr. (who had as good a name in the state as about any Republican because of his father's legacy) in his bid to unseat appointed Senator Bob Menendez, who won by 8 points.
On the basis of this track record, I've been saying for a while that I'd love to see the Republicans fall prey to this mistake yet again by dumping money they don't really have on a meaningless challenge to Lautenberg, who's up for reelection this year. And apparently, according to PolitickerNJ.com, the Republicans indeed appear intent on throwing away money in yet another Garden State election.
According to a press release from Anne Evans Estabrook's campaign, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Ensign (R-NV) contributed $5,000 and $10,000 to her campaign, respectively.
While he did not say whether Estabrook has the official support of the NRSC, Estabrook campaign manager Mark Duffy said that it shows that the party is coalescing around her.
McConnell and Ensign make up a significant chunk of Estabrook's donors. So far, she's raised about $1.7 million - $1.6 million of which is her own.
We won't have December's committee fundraising numbers for a few more days, but as of the end of November the National Republican Senatorial Committee trailed its rival, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, by a whopping $13.1 million when debts and obligations are taken into account. When this figure is combined with the fact that the Republicans must defend about twice as many seats as do the Democrats -- and, more importantly, that the Republicans really are on the defense in more than a half dozen districts whereas the Democrats might only have to play defense in a single state -- can the Republicans really afford to waste $4 million in New Jersey, as they did during the 2006 cycle? I'm pretty sure that the answer to that is a big fat "no" -- but that doesn't make me want to bet that they're not going to futility spend the money in the state anyway. Darn!