The DCCC has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to competitive races to help fund this year and the playing field seems to keep growing every day. Conventional wisdom is now that Democrats will net 20+ seats in the House on November 4th, an unheard of post-wave wave.
Two years ago, in order to help flip as many seats as possible in the final weeks leading up to election day, The DCCC took out an $11.5 million loan; this year they've upped that to $15 million, a total that gives the DCCC an even greater financial advantage over their Republican counterpart.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, seeing an irresistible opportunity to make big gains on Election Day, has secured a $15 million loan from Bank of America that it will use to splurge on tight races during the last three weeks of the campaign season.
The $15 million loan is nearly twice the $8 million that the National Republican Congressional Committee was able to borrow recently and adds to the huge financial advantage that Democrats already hold over the GOP.
When combined with the cash-on-hand advantage that the DCCC has over the National Republican Congressional Committee -- $54 million to $14.4 million as of Aug. 31 -- the loan leaves House Democratic leaders with $47 million more than their GOP counterparts to pour into contested districts.
We seem to have hit upon a perfect storm of recruitment, organization and money this year. Take a look at what the committee and Dem campaigns have accomplished so far.
The DCCC "independent expenditure" campaign, technically a separate unit within the committee, has spent more than $33 million so far and is currently advertising in more than 50 districts, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission through Wednesday.
Democrats also said that their campaigns have made calls or knocked on the doors of more than 10 million voters nationwide, an unprecedented ground effort that resembles the one being waged by the Obama-Biden campaign. And Democratic allies in the labor movement and other outside groups have targeted millions more voters as they try to get Barack Obama into the White House.
You know it's a watershed year when even California has 3 or 4 possible Dem takeovers (our last redistricting was notorious for the extent to which its primary goal was incumbent protection.) Are you seeing a similar phenomenon where you are? What are the sleeper races in your area and what's your wishlist of races you'd like the DCCC to spend that $15m on?
As her Republican opponent files the biggest single quarter fundraising report from a Kansas congressional candidate in the state's history, Congresswoman Nancy Boyda (D-KS) actually finds herself increasingly more secure in her first re-election bid.
We are now in the final month of the 2008 election campaign. On the House side of the equation, our field of battle is changing with pickup opportunities expanding, not contracting. More and more Republican seats are becoming vulnerable, be the DCCC does not have the funds needed to take full advantage. Making matters worse is the $14 million in dues unpaid by members of Congress to the DCCC, according to the subscription-only Roll Call.
The DCCC has launched its Red Alert program to solicit support online for races that have immediate fundraising needs. The first challenger to be featured in the program is Larry Kissell in NC-08.
Remember how close Kissell came two years ago to ousting Robin Hayes and remember how we'd wished the DCCC had realized earlier that this race was winnable and helped him out? Well, this year the DCCC isn't making that same mistake. So far, they have been on the air in the 8th, keeping pace with Hayes' media, who, as Washington's 5th richest member of Congress and as one of Big Oil's favorite sons, has a limitless supply of money. With a ridiculous number of competitive races this year, the DCCC is not so lucky, so they're asking for our help.
Here's DCCC chair Rep. Chris Van Hollen over at HuffPo today:
Who could forget two years ago when Larry Kissell, a mill worker and public school teacher, came within 330 votes of unseating the Big Oil-funded Republican Congressman Robin Hayes in North Carolina's 8th District?
Here we are two years later and Larry is even closer now. He recently won the DCCC's 2008 Mobilize for Change: A National Day of Action award. On that single day, his campaign recruited a record 1,700 grassroots volunteers.
Larry is real grassroots success story, which is why he needs your urgent help. Robin Hayes just reached deeper into Big Oil's pocket to try and hold off Larry's surging momentum.
Robin Hayes has already taken more than $176,000 in Big Oil contributions and owns up to $23 million in Big Oil stock. But we just learned that Robin pumped an additional $100,000 worth of Big Oil money into TV ads to attack Larry Kissell.
Larry Kissell doesn't have millions of dollars in Big Oil money. He has something even more valuable -- you.
One of the great things about contributing to Kissell at the Red Alert ActBlue page is just how far not a lot of money will go.
Your contribution will be matched by Democratic Members of Congress.
That means if 5 people give just $22, grassroots candidate Larry Kissell can put TV ads on the air to fight back against Robin Hayes' Big Oil-funded Karl Rove style attacks.
Right now, Kissell has an ad up in a limited cable buy, but you can help him expand the buy by giving at the Red Alert page. You can see the ad your donation will help keep on the air in his district below:
On Friday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced that Josh Zeitz, the Democratic nominee for Congress in New Jersey's 4th Congressional District, was added to their targeted Races to Watch list. It's alphabetical, so you'll have to scroll to the bottom to see Josh. :)
The targeting demonstrates that the DCCC believes this race is competitive and worth investment. Demographic shifts have created the unique conditions for beating 28 year incumbent Chris Smith. Democrats now enjoy a voter registration edge in the 4th District and consistently win the district at the Presidential, Gubernatorial and Senate levels. With boosted turnout and registration expected from urban areas like Trenton, Zeitz is poised for one of the biggest upsets of the cycle.
"We're excited to have the DCCC engaged in the race," said Zeitz campaign manager Steve D'Amico. "With our economy struggling and a representative like Chris Smith, who is more interested in introducing legislation to abolishing common, everyday birth control than he is in helping middle-class families, voters in the 4th District are realizing it's time for change."
The campaign has produced a video outlining Smith's attempt to criminalize birth control, and you can view it by clicking below.
In late September, we hope to unleash a massive wave of direct mail and paid media targeted at swing voters in the district. We have almost raised enough money to begin that effort, but we remain a bit shy of our target. Please contribute what you are able at Josh's ActBlue page. If you'd like to volunteer, please contact ian_at_joshzeitz_dot_com. Please visit Josh's website to learn more about why we need to elect Josh to Congress.