RNC to pull plug on joint ads with McCain?

Yesterday at Open Left, Chris Bowers had this advice for the opposition in his very upbeat presidential forecast:

When it comes to offering concern troll advice to McCain and Republicans, I would recommend shutting down all paid media, and firing all campaign staff. McCain should take his remaining money, and distribute it to the RNC, NRCC and NRSC. Target a few close House and Senate seats to try and limit the damage, but otherwise save money for 2010 and 2012. When you are beaten, it is probably better to  withdraw, save what troops and resources you can, but live to fight another day.

Crooked Timber reported today on the latest from the rumor mill:

So I hear (via a prominent member of the sane Republican faction) that the word on the right side of the street is that the Republican National Committee is about to pull the plug on its joint ads with the McCain campaign, and devote its resources instead to trying to save a couple of the senators who are at serious risk of losing their seats.

On one level, this strategy makes the most sense for the RNC. McCain is looking more and more unlikely to win 270 electoral votes, so helping him is probably not the best use of resources.

On the other hand, it would be devastating to Republican morale for the media to start reporting that the RNC had given up on McCain. I suspect that would depress GOP turnout in a lot of states, perhaps putting more House seats in play even as the RNC blankets the airwaves in behalf of a few vulnerable senators.

Use this as a thread to discuss anything related to campaign advertising by candidates or outside groups.

Here in Iowa, Republican incumbent Tom Latham is running lots of tv and radio ads in the fourth district (D+0), while 10 worst list honoree Steve King is not up on tv or radio and is barely campaigning in the fifth district (R+8). We could pick up both of these seats if expectations of an Obama landslide depress Republican turnout. (Today SUSA released yet another Iowa poll showing Obama above 50 percent and leading McCain by more than 10 points.)

Tags: 2008 elections, Barack Obama, Congress, House, IA-04, IA-05, John McCain, president, Republican National Committee, RNC, Senate, Steve King, Tom Latham (all tags)

Comments

19 Comments

If they do this they're totally fucked

But it may be the least bad option.  Amazing.

by Reaper0Bot0 2008-10-10 07:00PM | 0 recs
someone commented at Open Left

that Palin's recent travel schedule suggests a focus on Congressional races.

Palin was in California (where there are several competitive House races), then Omaha (where NE-02 is up for grabs), and is going to West Virginia (where Shelley Moore Capito may be in trouble in WV-02).

If they've given up on the presidential election and are using Palin to save vulnerable incumbents, this would be a devastating media narrative for McCain in the final three weeks.

by desmoinesdem 2008-10-10 07:04PM | 0 recs
Any evidence besides our folks

in the blogosphere?  There's plenty of red meat that I'm reading on the right-wing sphere and some of their stats folks (their Nate Silvers I suppose) such as Barone, Oxendine, and Cost (I've concluded that he's a pub) give McCain a 30% chance.

I don't sense surrender yet; if Palin doesn't bring up Ayers unprompted in her stump speech this weekend, that may be the first sign that they are giving up.

by Blazers Edge 2008-10-10 07:09PM | 0 recs
none that I've seen

Palin's schedule is odd, though.

by desmoinesdem 2008-10-10 07:31PM | 0 recs
The thing is:

I'm being a little counterintuitive here, but couldn't it be argued that the fact that Palin stopped over on a flight from California to Florida in Nebraska's district for two hours indicates that the McCain campaign still sees value in that one electoral college vote.  Why wouldn't they just adopt the mentality that if we've lost there, we've already lost everywhere with respect to that one electoral college vote in Nebraska if they really are surrendering?  You could look at it as McCain's crew seeing a conceivable path to victory and tying up a loose end.

McCain's travel schedule is just as weird because he has been on nothing but "offense" this past week with his schedule.

by Blazers Edge 2008-10-10 07:38PM | 0 recs
Speaking of Nate Silver...

I think his take on this is correct.  The electoral picture is so bad right now for McCain/Palin that they really have nothing to lose campaigning in odd places.  Only a true x-factor event can save them now, and by definition, no one can predict where they should campaign as a result.

by jonweasel 2008-10-10 08:15PM | 0 recs
They did the same thing in 1996.

I hope this is true.

I really can't believe it.  Is nightmare really almost over?

by psychodrew 2008-10-10 07:11PM | 0 recs
I didn't realize they did that in 1996

I was living overseas and not following the election closely.

by desmoinesdem 2008-10-10 07:41PM | 0 recs
Re: I didn't realize they did that in 1996

By late September/early October, the RNC gave up on Dole.

This is an important distinction. Dole didn't run the scorched earth campaign that McCain is running now.  He twist things about the economy and taxes, but he kept it on the level.  He made a conscious choice to lose with dignity.

I just can't believe that John McCain isn't doing the same thing. I remember his run in 2000.  I really respected him back then.  I can't believe that he has sunk this low.  

He is going to tear Obama down so much that it might impair his ability to unite the country, just as Bush I did to Clinton in 1992.  What the fuck ever happened to "Country First?"

by psychodrew 2008-10-10 07:52PM | 0 recs
Re: RNC to pull plug on joint ads with McCain?

I would be shocked if it really happened. But then I've already been schocked a lot this year.

by RandyMI 2008-10-10 07:20PM | 0 recs
He brought up Ayers anyway

in that same townhall; I think this is a bs move for McCain where he'll act "above it all" while Palin will continue delivering red meat when she's stumping on her own.  The question is whether Palin will start bringing up Wright and McCain will just say that "we're mavericks and running mates will often disagree."

Of course, McCain will continue to talk about Ayers, etc. as long as someone asks him about it.  As Crowley said, he's practically wearing a sign that says "please ask me about Ayers."  Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, and Acorn seem to be topics that he's willing to bring up on his own unprompted.

by Blazers Edge 2008-10-10 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: RNC to pull plug on joint ads with McCain?

If the RNC ditches McCain to divert its resources to senate fights, can the DNC maybe also focus on the senate? Obama's got his own money--and I would really, really, really love to see McConnell lose. I'm not a 100% Lunsford fan, but I am 100% certain he'd be better for Kentucky and for the nation than ol' Mitch.

by kydoc2 2008-10-10 07:39PM | 0 recs
our safe Senate incumbents

need to give more to the DSCC so they can spend it in KY, GA, and other emerging races.

by desmoinesdem 2008-10-10 07:42PM | 0 recs
Re: RNC to pull plug on joint ads with McCain?

Isn't it great?

I have no idea whether it makes most tactical sense for them to try to amputate their presidential candidate, or try to carry on with him and hope the gangrene doesn't spread proximally.  That the question even seems slightly relevant is a pretty good indicator that anything they do will be wrong.

Let their side conduct the circular firing squad for once.

by gtomkins 2008-10-10 07:50PM | 0 recs
Re: RNC to pull plug on joint ads with McCain?

I never saw this coming!

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/10/6/2150 59/261#commenttop


here is a question I want to pose to everyone, and the front pagers should take it up drive the question, because seriously at this point.

if you were in charge of the RNC resources which would you allocate the bulk of your resources to?

seriously will we get to the point where the RNC says forget it and basically stops spending alot for McCain instead for tight races in the house and senate?

by TruthMatters 2008-10-10 07:56PM | 0 recs
Excellent analysis

I think you're right on regarding the effect this would have for GOP morale, especially since Palin is just about the only morale booster they have right now.

But it gets even worse: by focusing on downticket races, it leaves Obama/Biden almost free-and-clear to also campaign on behalf of those downticket races.  In essence, the GOP would be ceding the highest battlefield to the Dems, and the Dems could use it to mercilessly shell from above.

Of course, if the RNC is desperate, they may make foolish choices.

by jonweasel 2008-10-10 08:09PM | 0 recs
Following up...

If the RNC does this, they also seriously limit their ability to take advantage of some game-changing situation that might arise in the next three and a half weeks in the presidential campaign.

Unfortunately, they really have no good choices right now.  This is a party in grave trouble at every level.

by jonweasel 2008-10-10 08:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Excellent analysis

State House races are more important.  We need to get the Dems in control of as many statehouses as possible, especially to cover for any possible losses in the mid-terms in 2010.   We have redistricting coming up in 2011 and we need to make sure that we can keep the maps Democrat friendly.

by gavoter 2008-10-10 09:21PM | 0 recs
Re: RNC to pull plug on joint ads with McCain?

If the Republicans shut down the Presidential race, it would be an unmtigated disaster for them.  Obama has a warchest like no other person ever in history.  If he is afforded what would amount to a three week victory lap before election day, I would suggest he possibly spend every remaining day of the campaign and the rest of his vast financial resources in OR, GA, KY, TX, NC, AK, ME, MN, MS, OK, NE, KS, ID, WY, and certain key House districts.  I mean, who wouldn't want to work with a 65 seat majority in the Senate?  The GOP is in a VERY difficult position this year because of the overwhelming number of Senate seats they are defending.  They cannot under any circumstances afford to let a wave build that could cost them as many as 15 Senate seats and 50 House seats that could take decades to undo.  Even if it becomes clear McCain cannot possibly win, they will have to fight to the end to limit the damages at the top of the ticket.

by NJIndependent 2008-10-10 08:12PM | 0 recs

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