DCCC Swamping the NRCC in Independent Expenditures

The Club for Growth (and believe you me, I don't love linking to them) makes an astonishing find (get the pure numbers here from Swing State Project):

I added up the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) spending for Monday. They spent $14.9 million. $14,498,252.55 to be exact.

To put this number into further perspective, that is more in ONE DAY than the National Republican Campaign Committee has spent the WHOLE election cycle on IEs. $14,463,380 to be exact.

First Read wrote about this earlier this week, and I think it bears repeating in light of the massive spending discrepancies between the Democrats' and the Republicans' House campaign arms: We could potentially see significantly more surprise winners on election night than we did even two years ago, when the Democrats swept into power in the House.

Think about it. In 2006, there were perhaps three surprise winners for the Democrats -- Dave Loebsack in Iowa, Nancy Boyda in Kansas, and Carol Shea-Porter in New Hampshire. Sure, there were some other almost surprise winners that hadn't gotten the full attention of the race watchers, both in the media and on Capitol Hill, candidates like Larry Kissell in North Carolina and Gary Trauner in Wyoming. But for the most part, the Democrats who won in 2006 were candidates on the radar.

Now, however, the race is so wide open, there were so many GOP retirements, and the Democrats have so much more money than the Republicans that we really could see a sea of Carol Shea-Porters. All the more reason, then, to pay heed to the calls from Markos and others not to leave anything anything in reserve but rather to make it a real sprint to the finish line.

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Tinklenberg Jumps to Lead Over Neo-McCarthyite Bachmann

More bad news for Minnesota's freshman Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, whose neo-McCarthyist rant last week on "Hardball" has led to a backlash -- including at least $1.3 million in contributions to her Democratic challenger, Elwyn Tinklenberg -- that has turned her once relatively safe reelection bid into an uphill climb for a second term. SurveyUSA just polled the district and, well, it just doesn't look good for Bachmann.

Michele Bachmann (R-Inc.): 44 percent
Elwyn Tinklenberg (D): 47 percent
Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in the Spotlight -- Can She Hang On After Hardball Interview? In an election for United States House of Representative from Minnesota's 6th Congressional District today, 10/23/08, 12 days until votes are counted, DFL candidate Elwyn Tinklenberg has the nominal lead in an effectively tied race with Republican incumbent Michele Bachmann, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for KSTP-TV in Minneapolis. Today, it's Tinklenberg 47%, Bachmann 44%, Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson 6%. Results are within the survey's 4.0 percentage point margin of sampling error.

The contest is volatile; these numbers freeze-frame a pendulum that may not have yet have swung its full arc. All interviews were conducted after Bachmann made comments on MNSBC that drew national attention. During the field period for this survey, the National Republican Congressional Committee suspended its advertising in the District and the Democratic candidate raised $1 million. The full impact of those events would not yet be reflected in these poll results. Bachmann was elected to her first term in 2006 with 50% of the vote and an 8 point margin of victory, in a race SurveyUSA polled for KSTP-TV. The district, which George W. Bush carried with 57% of the vote in 2004, had been rated "likely Republican" by the Cook Political Report; Cook now ranks it as a toss-up. Here is what changed the race:

Want to turn up the heat? Want to send a signal -- to Bachmann, to the Republican establishment, to the country -- that this type of far-right demagoguery doesn't play any more in this country? Head over to Act Blue and throw a few more dollars Tinklenberg's way. Need to watch Bachmann's disturbing rant first? Here ya go...

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Obama Considers Spreading the Wealth

No, this is not an affirmation of the absurd attacks leveled by John McCain at Barack Obama regarding socialism.

Last month, Josh noted that Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill asked the Obama campaign to share some of its money to help aid the party's efforts to build a larger congressional majority, a request that the campaign denied -- at least at the time. Now, according to The Washington Post's Matthew Mosk, the Obama campaign is considering reversing course in the wake of the greatest grassroots fundraising month in the history of American politics and contributing to growing the Democratic ranks in Congress.

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama announced yesterday that he raised more than $150 million in September, obliterating previous fundraising records and giving him an enormous tactical advantage over Republican Sen. John McCain in the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

With tens of millions more to spend than McCain, Obama has gone on the offensive in dozens of states, including several once considered long shots, such as North Carolina, Virginia and Missouri. He is running three television ads to every one aired by McCain, and he has built a massive operation to reach voters on Election Day.

The campaign has raised so much money that it is considering passing some along to Democratic Party committees to try to help grow the party's majorities in Congress, according to a campaign source. [emphasis added]

To me this seems like a no-brainer. While it was not yet clear a month ago what the trajectory of the election would be, whether Obama would really have enough money to compete everywhere he wanted to or if he would have real limits to his resources, by now it seems apparent that the campaign can afford to allocate some of the large amounts of money contributed by its grassroots supporters towards electing more and better Democrats -- an effort that could result in tangible benefits (larger Democratic majorities, easing the flow of legislation through Congress) in the event of an Obama victory. Though Obama may be post-partisan in some regards, he is certainly a party-builder in others.

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Former GOP Rep Schwartz Endorses Would-Be Dem Successor

Even though this post is about a House race it doesn't mean that the time isn't now to give to help reach a 60-seat Democratic majority in the Senate, too. So head over to MyDD's Road to 60 ActBlue page and help put us over the top.

For the second time this month, a sitting or former Republican member of Congress has endorsed his would-be Democratic successor.

Former U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz is endorsing Democratic challenger Mark Schauer in his former south-central Michigan congressional district, even though he's a Republican.

Schwarz told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he decided to endorse Schauer over Republican Rep. Tim Walberg because the anti-tax Club for Growth began running ads critical of Schauer.

The Club for Growth injected more than $1 million into the 2006 primary, helping Walberg defeat Schwarz, then a first-term congressman. The anti-tax group criticized Schwarz's record on taxes and painted him as too moderate for the district.

Schwarz says he couldn't remain neutral in the race once the group got involved. He says it's "the straw that broke the camel's back."

Earlier this month, sitting Republican Congressman Wayne Gilchrest endorsed Democrat Frank Kratovil over state Sen. Andy Harris, who had defeated him in the Republican primary. But while Maryland's first congressional district, which Gilchrest has represented for 9 terms, tends to lean about 10 points more Republican than the nation as a whole in presidential elections, Michigan's seventh, in which Walberg and Schauer are battling, is significantly closer, leaning only about 2 points towards the Republicans. Suffice it to say, then, that in a tight race, which this has always been destined to be since Schauer jumped in, the Schwartz endorsement could make a real difference in swinging independents and moderate Republicans to the Democratic cause. In other words, this is a big deal.

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100 Days

Ben Smith reminds us just how close we are to election day: 100 days. Let's get to it. What will you be doing between now and November 4 to ensure that Barack Obama wins and is joined by a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and an even more robust majority in the House? What will you be doing to help out in the down-ballot contests in your area, be they for the state legislature or county commission, or key initiatives? How many doors will you knock on and how many calls will you make? This election brings a great opportunity for change -- but only with real grassroots action. So what will you do in the next 100 days?

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