House GOPers Will Not Heed Boehner's Call for Cash

More tough times over at the National Republican Congressional Committee. Here's The Hill's Alex Bolton:

Senior Republicans have ignored the impassioned plea of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) that they help the party raise more money for the November election.

While the ranking Republicans of several committees have given tens of thousands of dollars to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), others have given nothing or very little.  

[...]

Boehner's impatience with his colleagues may be explained in part by the enthusiastic response Democratic leaders have received from members of their caucus. This year alone, many rank-and-file Democrats have given significantly more money than some ranking Republicans.

This isn't a new problem for House Republicans. As long back as five months ago, and even earlier than that likely, House GOP Leader Boehner has been futilely asking his members to pony up their campaign cash, which they have refused to do. With effectively no prospect of regaining the majority this cycle and little hope of retaking the House any time soon, Republicans in the chamber feel little drive to contribute to their combined effort (a fact that actually compounds the problem as it makes it even less likely that the party will be able to take back seats from the Democrats). Indeed, as of the end of February, the last point through which we have numbers on all of the parties' campaign committees, the NRCC faced more than a $34 million hole in relation to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee when debts and obligations are taken into account. So with an inability to get their own members to contribute and a depressed base, these remain dire days for the House Republicans.

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Rothenberg: Democrats Favored in At Least 4 GOP-Held Districts

The folks over at The Rothenberg Political Report are out with its latest House race ratings, and the numbers look awfully good for the Democrats.

Going through the list overall, 40 Republican-held districts are listed as being vulnerable at this point, as compared with just 23 for the Democrats. Even more problematic for the GOP than the overall numbers are those districts most likely to flip -- those ranked toss-up/tilt retention, tossup, tossup/tilt loss, and leans loss. Among this group, there are 19 Republican districts and just nine for the Democrats. Even within this group for the Democrats, I'd question some of the placements -- for instance, it's hard for me to see Oregon's fifth, which is being vacated by Democratic Rep. Darlene Hooley and which has a Cook PVI of D+1, as being a tossup at this juncture, particularly considering that the more likely GOP nominee, Kevin Mannix, has lost four statewide races since 1996 (two for Attorney General and two for Governor) and is generally widely unpopular while the more likely Democratic nominee, state Sen. Kurt Schrader, has a proven track record of winning elections in the district and has the ability to self-fund, to a degree; Kansas 2, where Democrat Nancy Boyda is running for a second term, features a very bitter and potentially divisive GOP primary, which should make it fairly difficult for the party to pick up the seat.

Perhaps even more importantly, Rothenberg rates four races in districts currently held by the GOP as tossup/tilts Democratic (1) or leans Democratic (3), and just one race in a district currently held by the Democrats as tossup/tilts Republican. Specifically, Rothenberg gives the Democrats a slight advantage to pick up the seat left open by Jim Saxon in New Jersey, and gives the Democrats a slightly greater advantage to pick up the seats left open by Jerry Weller in Illinois, Jim Walsh in New York and Tom Davis in Virginia. The only district in which Rothenberg sees the Republicans as having a better than even shot at picking up a seat is Texas 22nd district, where Nick Lampson is running for reelection.

I'm not going to run down the whole list of races -- you can read them over at Rothenberg's blog. But suffice it to say that Rothenberg is on to something: The Democrats have a much better shot at picking up seats and are less vulnerable to losing seats than are the Republicans, a reality that will make it darn near impossible for the GOP to retake its majority in the House in 2008.

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TX-07: Michael Skelly Interview on Texas Blue

Last week we called out Michael Skelly, the Democratic congressional candidate in the dark red district in Texas who shocked the political world this month by announcing that he had raised a jaw-dropping $750,000 in the first quarter of this year. Now the folks over at Texas Blue have posted the audio of an extended interview they recently conducted with him on topics ranging from renewable energy (where he made his money) to how he got into politics to his stellar fundraising.

In other related news, IVR Polls (via Swing State Project) today released polling on the race between Skelly and underwhelming incumbent Republican John Culberson. According to the survey, the race now stands at 57 percent for the incumbent and 39 percent for the challenger. While this isn't terribly tight at this point, given the fact that the district tends to lean about 16 points more Republican than the nation as a whole in presidential elections, this spread actually indicates that Skelly starts off in a relatively strong position seven months out from election day.

Make no mistake, this isn't going to be an easy race to win -- but it is a winnable race. And at the least, Skelly is forcing Republicans to spend money in and pay attention to a district they otherwise generally take for granted. If you'd like to learn more about him, head over to his campaign website today.

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LA-06 Special: Cook Now Rates Race as "Leans Democrat"

Internal polling from both the Republicans and the Democrats shows that Democrat Don Cazayoux leads Republican Woody Jenkins in a head-to-head matchup one month out from the special election in Louisiana's sixth congressional district. In light of these numbers, as well as other factors, the Cook Political Report has done something rather astonishing: Rated this contest, which takes place in a district that tends to lean about 7 points more Republican than the nation as a whole (or at least did before Hurricane Katrina hit), as "leans Democrat."David Wasserman's fine analysis is behind a subscription wall, but I will pass this insightful graf along:

As in the recent race in Illinois's 14 th CD, the district's GOP lean - it has a PVI of R+7 - is Republicans' last best hope of saving the seat. The fact that the GOP is attempting to hold its own turf will also keep pressure on the NRCC to spend resources here in the coming weeks, even if some insiders increasingly view it as a lost cause. Indeed, the only good news for Republicans may be that advertising in the Baton Rouge market costs about a tenth of what it costs in Chicago.

If you want to help keep the pressure on the National Republican Congressional Committee at a time that House Republicans really can't afford it -- the NRCC has a net $34 million less in the bank than the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee -- head over to Cazayoux's campaign site or Act Blue page to get involved.

Update [2008-4-10 18:0:22 by Jonathan Singer]: By the way, you can follow this race, and much more, over at The Daily Kingfish.

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LA-06 Special: Democrat Cazayouz Leads in Second Internal Poll

Louisiana's sixth congressional district may tend to lean about 7 points more Republican than the nation as a whole in presidential elections (or at least did before Hurricane Katrina hit), but that doesn't appear to be stopping voters in the district from leaning (however slightly) towards electing a Democrat in a special election in the district next month.

Internal GOP polling already puts Democrat Don Cazayoux up 3 points in his race against Republican Woody Jenkins. Now internal Democratic polling shows largely the same result:

State Rep. Don Cazayoux (D) leads former Senate candidate Woody Jenkins (R) 49-44 in an internal poll released by Cazayoux's campaign Monday.

[...]

Cazayoux's lead in the poll closely mirrors other previously released polling on the head-to-head race. His poll was conducted in mid-March by Anzalone Liszt, which surveyed 500 likely special-election voters.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Cazayoux wouldn't be the most progressive member of the Democratic caucus in the House if he's elected next month. In fact, he'd likely be one of the more conservative members of the caucus. However, he'd certainly vote better than Jenkins, who is extremely far to the right, and he'd be another vote to ensure the vitality of the Democratic majority in the House. So if you'd like to help out his campaign, head over to his campaign website or his ActBlue page today to show your support.

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