The NRCC Chairman is Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The National Republican Congressional Committee has reserved $30 million in television airtime this fall, signaling it is preparing to go on offense in 17 districts and defend nine more.
The NRCC has put its marker down in many of the same House districts as its counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It’s a good indicator of which races both parties think will be most competitive in November.
But there are a few competitive districts not included in the NRCC’s initial reservations, such as Iowa’s 3rd District — an open seat currently held by a Republican that is one of this cycle’s few Tossup races.
Also, the NRCC’s television reservations total $13.5 million less than what the DCCC has already reserved for this fall. The committees will likely shift and add more airtime as individual races develop during the rest of the cycle.
But the DCCC has raised more money than the NRCC this cycle. As of the end of April, the DCCC had $43.3 million in the bank, while the NRCC had $32.3 million.
Here are the districts where the NRCC has already reserved airtime for this fall:
Cochran and his staff make their way to their bus after a tour of City Hall in Olive Branch, Miss. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tuesday is the busiest primary night of 2014, with voters heading to the polls in Alabama, California, Mississippi, Iowa, New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota.
It’s a big night, with the tea party’s last chance to save face in the Mississippi Republican Senate primary, a close contest in Iowa’s Republican Senate primary, plus highly competitive House races in California, New Jersey, Iowa and Alabama.
Israel is the current chairman of the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $43.5 million in television airtime in dozens of targeted House districts this fall — a signal the party is attempting to play defense and offense in a challenging midterm cycle.
The money is split across 36 districts, including 17 pickup opportunities, according to a DCCC aide. More districts and more money could be added to the reservations as the cycle progresses, the aide said.
The DCCC had $43.3 million in the bank at the end of April and has raised more than its Republican counterpart by large margins this cycle. The committee ended April with an $11 million cash-on-hand advantage over the National Republican Congressional Committee.
These ad reservations give insight into which members Democrats see as vulnerable, and which seats the DCCC sees as the best possibility to take in November. They also signal to outside groups where the the party might need help on the airwaves this fall.
However, parties can cancel or change these reservations until shortly before the advertisements air in most cases.
Here are the districts where the DCCC has reserved airtime:
A controversial Republican gubernatorial candidate in California could cause the GOP headaches in down-ballot House races in a state crucial to the party’s hopes of increasing its House majority.
State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly led Neel Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury official and the establishment-preferred candidate, by 5 points in a poll this month from the Public Policy Institute of California. That has top Republican operatives in California and Washington, D.C., concerned that Donnelly’s controversial comments and ties to the California Minutemen, a group that fights illegal immigration on the border, could mobilize Hispanic and other Democratic-base voters who otherwise might fall off in this midterm year.
Their fear is that the increased turnout to oppose Donnelly could boost the re-election hopes of vulnerable House Democrats and perhaps even improve the party’s chances to add to its ranks in the already Democrat-heavy delegation. A consultant with ties to Kashkari is among the Republicans sounding the alarm. Full story
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rolled out the first 35 districts of its “Red to Blue” program Monday, highlighting the GOP-held seats the party believes it can flip and open seats it hopes to keep in the Democratic column in the 2014 midterms.
Needing to net 17 seats to win back the House majority, the announcement makes clear where the party believes its most important fights will take place.
“This is our initial roll out,” DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said Monday morning on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown.” “There will be more, and we will have a very competitive battlefield as we go deeper into the cycle.” Full story
Hernandez is back in California's 21st District race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
California’s Central Valley was home last cycle to a botched open-seat opportunity for Democrats, and the party could be facing a replay in 2014.
After squeaking out of the 2012 top-two primary over the party’s preferred candidate, Democrat John Hernandez was defeated by Republican David Valadao by a 16-point margin for the new 21st District, even as President Barack Obama won there with 55 percent.
But back as a potential spoiler is Hernandez, a former president of the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The issues many say contributed to his 2012 loss — a disorganized campaign and difficulty raising money — seem to be plaguing him once again.
EMILY’s List, a group that boosts female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, has endorsed two candidates in competitive House races in Maine and California.
On Wednesday, the organization offered their support to state Sen. Emily Cain, running in Maine’s 2nd District, and former Capitol Hill aide Amanda Renteria, running in California’s 21st District. Full story
Renteria is running for Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Former Capitol Hill aide Amanda Renteria plans to announce on Sunday her campaign to oust Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., in the 21st District.
Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg Political Report reported earlier this month that Democrats had recruited Renteria to run. An ex-Capitol Hill staffer, she previously worked for Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. Renteria was also the subject of a 2008 Roll Call profile. Full story
Israel is the chairman of the DCCC. (Bill Clark CQ/Roll Call File Photo)
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee plans to target 17 House Republicans with a grass-roots push over the August recess, according to an internal party email obtained by CQ Roll Call.
On Monday, a DCCC aide sent a message to an email list sponsored by Americans United for Change, a liberal organization, describing the committee’s plans for the month-long break and including the warning, “please do not share this list with press.”
“In the majority of these districts we have field staffers on the ground, coordinated through the respective state parties, to define and hold accountable vulnerable Republican incumbents, through earned media tactics, messaging amplification, and community outreach,” wrote Ryan Daniels, the deputy national press secretary and African-American media adviser.
The DCCC’s list includes some of this cycle’s most-often mentioned vulnerable Republicans, but there are some lesser-known targets as well: Full story
Walden is the chairman of the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The House GOP’s campaign arm unveiled the first round of vulnerable incumbents for its Patriot program on Monday morning, suggesting which members it believes could need the most help in 2014.
However, these 11 new members in their incumbent-retention program have also signed a contract pledging they will reach certain communications, fundraising and strategy benchmarks to receive support later in the cycle.
“Our Members in the Patriot Program have proven that they are ready to run aggressive, organized campaigns,” National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon said in a press release.
A couple of names are notably absent from the list below, including Rep. Gary G. Miller, R-Calif., who represents a district that President Barack Obama won with 57 percent last November. House Democrats have already indicated Miller will be one of their top targets in 2014. Full story
John Hernandez, the California Democrat who lost in a competitive Central Valley district by 18 points, may be preparing for another bid for Congress.
Or maybe he’s just trying to retire some leftover debt.
Three local elected officials are hosting a fundraiser for Hernandez on March 14 in Fresno, Calif. According to an invitation to the event — which features a banner of Democratic presidential headshots — $30 “donations” will go toward a 2014 congressional exploratory committee, while suggested “contributions” of $500, $1,000 and $2,500 will go toward retiring the debt from Hernandez’s campaign last year.
Hernandez had $18,000 in cash on hand headed into the final month of the campaign before losing to now-Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif. As of Dec. 11, Hernandez had $40,500 in debt owed to consultants and campaign aides, according to his post-general report filed to the Federal Election Commission.
Democrats view the 21st District as a missed opportunity in 2012 and are likely to target it again next year. For example, here’s one of Hernandez’s television spots that was criticized for its poor production quality:
State Assemblyman David Valadao’s campaign for the new 21st district released a poll last Tuesday that showed the Republican ahead of his Democratic opponent by 20 points.
On Friday, the campaign of John Hernandez, CEO of the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, released its own poll that showed the Democrat much closer, with Valadao ahead 41 percent to 37 percent.
The Valadao poll, conducted Oct. 8-9 by Moore Information, surveyed 400 likely voters and had a 5-point margin of error. The Hernandez poll, conducted Oct. 13-15 by FM3, surveyed 400 likely voters and had a 4.9-point margin of error.
Until recently, the race had attracted little interest from outside groups. The GOP-aligned Crossroads GPS announced a significant buy last week in this
majority-minority district to assist Valadao. Neither national party’s House campaign arm has gone on the air here, though the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched robocalls last week.