OH-05: What It Was All About

It looks like this one is just about done, with Republican Bob Latta winning by about the same margin by which Paul Gillmor won last fall. What does this mean? I'm with Markos. When we're looking ahead to November 2008, with a relatively small investment the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was able to head fake the National Republican Congressional Committee to spend close to $500,000 to defend a district George W. Bush won by a wide margin in 2004.

In case you think that I'm overstating the issue or spinning or something, take a look at the latest campaign finance filings from the party committees. A lot of folks like to focus on the fact that the more than $400,000 the NRCC invested in the race represented at least a sixth of the committee's available cash-on-hand. Far more important, though, is the fact that still as of the last filing period the NRCC was well in the red -- by more than $1 million, in fact -- and getting duped by the DCCC, which has more than $27 million in the bank even after debts and obligations are considered, into spending a huge chunk of money in a district it didn't really need to spend the money in isn't likely to help out much.

Simply put, regardless of the results of this election, the DCCC thoroughly outmaneuvered the NRCC.

Update [2007-12-11 22:33:35 by Jonathan Singer]: To be clear, would I have liked to see a win? Yes. But the Republicans' victory was definitely a pyrrhic one, hurting them more in the long term than it helped them in the short run.

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NRCC Youtube Video Taken Down for Copyright Violation [updated]

This is hilarious.  

So, I was on the NRCC's website to see what they are up to, and I see this video called "Nancy Pelosi's Swamp Problem." Sounds like a hard-hitting piece of oppo, cleverly put into video format for the interweb, right?

So, I go ahead and click on it, hoping for something amusing, and get this:

If it weren't for those darn laws!

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OH-05: NRCC's Laughable Desperation

OK, I'm not sure what part of this new NRCC web ad attacking Robin Weirauch is my favorite: the dailyKos screencap, the morphing of Robin's face into Hillary Clinton's or the black and white (= scaaaary!) footage of Weirauch appearing with Governor Ted Strickland, you know, the guy who won last year with 60% of the vote, including a victory in the 5th. It's all pretty priceless, a perfect example of the desperation of the NRCC -- throwing every conservative bogeyman/woman at the wall to see what sticks.

Watch it:

What's most amusing is that they think this demonization actually works anymore. Take the recent post over at RedState by Bob Latta, the Republican running against Robin Weirauch in Tuesday's special election. It's a pretty sad post, basically a sort of form fundraising ask except in blog post format, with the scaaary subtitle:

Let's keep this district Republican and one less vote for Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco agenda.

With a lede like that, they had to think they had a winner. But actually the post garnered only 3 comments, one of which was a takedown of the idea that these tactics actually work.

I don't understand what all this fuss about San Francisco is about. Nancy Pelosi may be a liberal and she may represent San Francisco, but associating an entire political movement with one city is, well, disingenuous. New York liberal makes sense, or Cambridge liberal, or South Florida liberal, or wherever it is that liberals tend to live, but I really don't get the point of making everything about San Francisco. Maybe we should also talk about Mississippi conservatives? I don't think any of us would find that this makes sense at all. I'm all for insulting Democrats, but perhaps real insults might work better than associating them with an arbitrary city.

In fact, all three comments were critical of Latta. The RedStaters are reallly starting to resent the expectation that they "carry water" for Republicans who don't represent their values. To them, Latta as a faux conservative.

Unfortunately for the NRCC, this Republican rebellion against Latta appears not to be confined to the blogs. BuckeyeStateBlog has been reporting on rumors (unsubstantiated I should note) of in-district voter suppression tactics being perpetrated by Latta's bitter primary challenger, Steve Buehrer.

I've been hearing more and more blow back over the past day about GOPers working against Bob Latta's in his district. The first news that broke yesterday concerned questions that some of Steve Buehrer's supporters might be urging voters to stay home home on election day. Attached to that sentiment with a big asterisk was the suggestion that Buehrer might even have a hand in that suppression effort himself, either out of spite towards Latta or an interest in running for the district again.

Whether true or not, what's clear is that Republicans appear seriously disenchanted, whereas Democrats are quite the opposite. Hell, so far three of our presidential candidates (Obama, Edwards and Dodd) have sent out fundraising asks on Robin Weirauch's behalf. This is our first serious opportunity to expand on last year's gains and we can hardly wait for next year when by all accounts we're going to be able to finish what we started in 06. A Weirauch victory, or even a close race in the 5th on Tuesday, will serve notice to Republicans all over the country running in 08: no district is safe.

To help send that message, go donate to Weirauch over at ActBlue. Laura Packard, who's working on the ground in Weirauch's campaign office, reports that donations are still being accepted and are greatly appreciated.

Update [2007-12-7 19:43:32 by Todd Beeton]: As BuckeyeStateBlog tells us in Breaking Blue, The Politico is reporting that not even John Boehner, who's from Ohio, is campaigning for Latta. Wow.

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NRCC Online Video Contest Bombs

Remember that sweet web video contest the NRCC launched a month or so ago? The idea was for users to create their own web ads that answered the question "Has The Democratic Congress Worked For You?" and then upload them to YouTube tagged accordingly so the NRCC could locate them. TechRepublican was super pumped about the contest and the NRCC had to think they had a winner on their hands with 13,000 votes for the contest slogan and almost 120,000 views of their launch video.

Turns out, not so much.

Sunday was the deadline for submissions and a search of YouTube (using key phrases such as "has the democratic congress worked for you?,""your direction contest" and "nrcc contest") nets a whopping 7 videos by my count. Watch the best of the bunch, "Cool Dudes on the Democratic Congress" below.

There is a lot of angst on the right about their inability to turn their online base, such as it is, into an army of activists as the left has done. After all, as Chris Bowers reminds us, this is hardly the only online flop they've had recently.

Republicans are clearly facing a massive creativity gap at the grassroots level, one that cannot be easily explained away. In fact, the NRSC recently asked supporters to post videos saying what they were thankful for, and only got one response.

This result will do nothing to quell those concerns, of course, and is a fairly shocking reminder of just how far behind they are. With this in mind, I'm even more intrigued by the fact that the GOP YouTube debate did attract 2,000 more submissions than the Democratic one did. My guess is that a good deal (a majority?) of the submissions were from the left (for example, Marty Kaplan says "An astonishing number of them are heartfelt inquiries about gayness in America.") I wonder if CNN or YouTube can provide statistics on the ideological point of view of submissions to both debates to the extent that that's possible to divine. That would be an interesting statistic to look at.

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Democratic Committees Still Hold Massive CoH Advantage

The November 20 filings from the parties' campaign committees are in (all of which except for the two Senate committees you can see on the FEC's website). It looks like the Republicans were finally able to ramp up their fundraising, cutting a bit of a chunk into the Democrats' overall lead. Nevertheless, in the aggregate the Democratic committees continue to hold an unprecedentedly large advantage over their Republican rivals. Take a look:

CommitteeOctober ReceiptsOctober DisbursementsOctober Cash-on-HandOctober Debts & ObligationsDSCC (est.)$3,100,000$2,600,000$23,400,000$2,500,000NRSC (est.)$2,900,000$1,700,000$9,500,000$0DCCC$4,074,887.88$3,196,607.00$29,212,545.58$2,082,500.00NRCC$3,567,461.32$2,609,400.59$2,556,566.34$3,625,000DNC$5,558,909.70$5,555,225.16$3,257,856.75$1,735,791.67RNC$8,467,022.10$7,376,686.10$17,633,966.94$0Total
Democrats$12,733,797.58$11,351,832.16$55,870,402.33$6,318,291.67Total
Republicans$14,934,483.42$11,686,086.69$29,690,533.28$3,625,000

At this point, the Democratic committees hold a $26,179,869.05 advantage over their Republican rivals in cash-on-hand, about $2 million less than it's lead in last month's reports. When debts and obligations are taken into account, the Democratic committees' advantage is $23,486,577.38, only about $500,000 less than their lead last month (due to Democrats' efforts to pay down debts).

As I noted last night, these numbers cannot be overlooked when thinking about the overall state of the race in 2008, not only for the White House but also for control over both chambers of Congress. For instance, with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee holding a $28.1 million cash-on-hand advantage over the National Republican Congressional Committee when debts and obligations are taken into account, it's awfully difficult to envision House Republicans being able to limit their net losses next fall very successfully. Similarly, with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee holding close to an $11.5 million net cash-on-hand advantage over the National Republican Senatorial Committee, it's hard to see the Republicans being able to defend all of their open seats successfully, let alone defending some of the seats that are vulnerable this cycle, let alone giving any of the Democrats a meaningful challenge. Certainly one would hope that the Democratic National Committee would begin to ramp up its fundraising efforts at some point. That said, given the high likelihood that the Committee will find itself flush with cash once a nominee emerges (as was the case in 2004), I'm not terribly worried.

Overall, very strong numbers for the Democrats.

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