Rep. Dan Benishek reported raising $510,000 in the third quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
If freshman Republican Rep. Dan Benishek is losing his grasp on Michigan’s 1st district, his campaign coffers don’t show it.
His campaign announced its best fundraising quarter ever today, raising a total of $510,000 from July 1 to Sept. 30 to close the period with more than $570,000 in cash on hand.
His opponent, former state Rep. Gary McDowell (D), reported raising just $400,000. But heading into the final weeks of the campaign, he is sitting on $600,000.
Recent polls suggest McDowell has gained ground on Benishek, a tea-party-backed physician who rode the 2010 Republican wave to Congress and is one of his party’s most vulnerable lawmakers. The Detroit Free Press endorsed McDowell on Sunday.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee outraised the National Republican Congressional Committee in September. The DCCC raised $15.3 million to the NRCC’s $12.4 million. The DCCC ended September with $26.4 million in cash on hand, while the NRCC had $29.5 million in the bank.
Both committees, tasked with winning or keeping control of the House, have spent heavily over the last month as TV ad spending has ratcheted into top gear. Republicans are poised to maintain control of the House, but the margin remains unclear with just over 20 days to go before Election Day.
Former California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado (R) speaks during his debate with Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) at the Carsey-Wolf Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara on Tuesday. The NRCC went on the air Friday in the 24th district with a television ad attacking Capps. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
The independent expenditure arm of the National Republican Congressional Committee launched 16 new ads Friday backed by a combined total of more than $6 million.
Republicans are poised to comfortably keep control of the House, but how much the chamber’s margin shifts will largely depend on the way competitive races swing over the next 23 days.
The NRCC is on television — playing both offense and defense — in the following districts: Full story
The National Republican Congressional Committee raised $12.4 million in September and ended last month with $29.5 million in cash on hand.
The NRCC ended August with $49.8 million in the bank, meaning it spent much of its money in September working to defend its majority in the House. The GOP is widely expected to hold the chamber but net a loss of a handful of seats.
The independent expenditure arm of the National Republican Congressional Committee has canceled three weeks of television in the Buffalo media market that would have been aimed at vulnerable Rep. Kathy Hochul (D) after the GOP-aligned American Action Network came into the district with $600,000 worth of television time from Oct. 12 through Election Day.
The NRCC has canceled time from Oct. 16 to Nov. 6 worth about $375,000.
Freshman Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.) recently led his Democratic challenger by a little or a lot, depending on which pollster did the asking.
A new poll commissioned for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee found Gibson leading Julian Schreibman 43 percent to 41 percent with 16 percent of those likely voters surveyed undecided. The president led Mitt Romney by 7 points in the poll conducted by Democratic firm Grove Insight.
But a new poll commissioned for the independent expenditure arm of the National Republican Congressional Committee and obtained by Roll Call found Gibson leading Schreibman 47 percent to 39 percent, with 16 percent of those likely voters surveyed undecided. The president led Romney by 3 points in the poll conducted by Republican firm On Message Inc.
The breakdown of those surveyed in the Republican poll: 36 percent Republican, 36 percent Democratic and 25 percent other. The breakdown of those surveyed in the Democratic poll: 32 percent Democratic; 35 percent Republican; 33 percent other.
In 2008, the president would have beaten Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by about 8 points in the district.
The 6th district race has become one of the most competitive House races in Ohio, next to the Member-vs.-Member race in the 16th district. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dedicated additional resources to the 6th district race two weeks ago. Full story
House Democrats are confident they can put a dent in the Republican majority and perhaps flip the chamber in November.
But are they willing to bet the House on it?
In the month before Election Day, the Congressional campaign committees are set to spend millions of dollars each week on targeted races. And if past is precedent, they will exhaust more resources than they will raise before Nov. 6.
It’s a gamble: The resulting debt could mean winning more seats but also put a committee eight figures in the red for the next cycle.
“It’s always a tough decision to borrow money, but you have to weigh that decision against your opportunities and whether you’re going to have those opportunities again,” said Brian Smoot, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s political director in 2008. Full story
Thanks to a slew of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Majority PAC ads, Ad Track has been fairly Democratic-heavy. But today, the National Republican Congressional Committee returned the favor with a burst of new spots.
Add Rep. Dave Loebsack (D) to the category of victims of the idiot doppelganger.
A common theme over the last month or so has been to illustrate a criticism of one’s opponent with an actor portraying the candidate in an unflattering light. In a new NRCC ad, he is portrayed as sleeping on the job. Loebsack faces a challenge from Republican attorney John Archer.
And a Republican operative explained a DCCC ad in New Hampshire’s 2nd district that was initially puzzling. That DCCC spot sought to tie Rep. Charles Bass (R) to various prominent Republicans. But one face in the parade of conservative notables was freshman Rep. Chip Cravaack (R). It is hard to believe that many New Hampshire voters would know who Cravaack is, let alone have a visceral distaste for him.
So why Cravaack? Like Bass, Cravaack is vulnerable, and the DCCC has hammered Cravaack over the last year over the fact that his wife and children relocated to New Hampshire.
Former Rep. Rick Nolan (D) is challenging Cravaack in Minnesota’s 8th, while Kuster is running against Bass. Roll Call rates both races as Tossup.
Forget vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and his budget, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) or President Barack Obama. The NRCC has a new spot that ties veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) to one of the lowest figures in American politics — incarcerated former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Duckworth is challenging Rep. Joe Walsh (R).
Another new NRCC ad does something rarely seen from Republicans — it rails on Rep. Jim Matheson (D) for at one time supporting the privatization of Social Security. Former President George W. Bush unsuccessfully pushed that policy in his second term. Republican Mia Love is challenging Matheson for this seat.
National Republicans are buying ad time to boost Martha McSally in an Arizona race that is currently not seen as that competitive. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The National Republican Congressional Campaign is going up on TV in Arizona’s 2nd district, making a play for the seat Rep. Ron Barber (D) won in a special election earlier this year.
The NRCC has placed a six-figure buy in the Tucson media market in support of retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally (R), according to several sources who monitor media buys. The broadcast buy is $255,000 and will last from October 5-18.
The House Majority PAC spot was a negative spot that links McSally to Wall Street. The NRCC ad is expected to be a negative portrayal of the incumbent. Barber has already been through the ringer with negative ads from the special election race, so it will be interesting to see how, or whether, these numbers move over the next couple of weeks.Full story
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched an ad buy targeting GOP nominee John Koster. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
As in many races around the country, female voters are being fought over in Washington state’s 1st district, where the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this week launched a $250,000 ad buy targeting GOP nominee John Koster’s strong opposition to abortion.
Koster “wanted to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood entirely,” warns a lab-coated female doctor identified as “Dr. Susan Harvey” in the DCCC ad, which hit the airwaves Oct. 2. “He’d make all forms of abortion illegal, including cases of incest and rape, even when the mother’s life is in danger.”
The ad, which concludes, “John Koster’s just too extreme for me,” comes on the heels of a similar $380,000 ad run by House Majority PAC, a pro-Democrat super PAC. Launched on Sept. 28, the House Majority PAC ad features wistful images of women and a voice-over that spotlights Koster’s abortion stance and assails him for supporting “an agenda so radical it’s hard to believe.” Full story
The National Republican Congressional Committee’s independent expenditure arm will soon begin airing ads in Florida’s 2nd district, the Panhandle seat of freshman Republican Rep. Steve Southerland.
The Democratic nominee in the district is former state Sen. Al Lawson, a folksy and affable candidate who beat the party’s choice in the primary. Lawson was originally written off but appears poised to at least have a shot — if still quite long — at coming to Congress.
The NRCC has bought about $85,000 of airtime on broadcast television in the Panama City media market and about $75,000 on broadcast television in the Tallahassee media market from Oct. 5-18. Full story
The National Republican Congressional Committee ceased its advertisements in the 1st district last week, according to two Democratic sources monitoring ad buys in the state.
The ads had targeted Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley.
“We believe Ben Lange is in a strong position, and we are watching this race very closely,” NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek said. “Make no mistake, Braley is a gamble Iowans can’t afford.”
The GOP campaign committee has invested $400,000 in the race since it started airing spots there in September. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has not spent any funds there on Braley’s behalf.
The northeastern Iowa district is the most Democratic in the state. Roll Call rates the race as Likely Democratic.
National Republicans are reserving TV airtime to help freshman Rep. Joe Walsh. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
So much for the National Republican Congressional Committee leaving Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) out to dry.
The committee reserved about $457,800 on cable stations in Illinois’ 8th district for spots to run Oct. 5 through Election Day, multiple sources confirmed to Roll Call. It’s a significant buy, but it doesn’t reach saturation level.
For months, national GOP operatives privately conceded Walsh would lose his re-election bid against Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) in the suburban Chicago, Democratic-leaning district. Duckworth is still favored to win, but there are signs the race has become more competitive. Full story
House Majority PAC, a third-party group supporting Democrats in Congressional races, today released an attack ad against Republican Congressional candidate Chris Collins, who is taking on Rep. Kathy Hochul (D) in New York’s 27th district.
The 30-second spot hits Collins, the former Erie County executive, for his tenure. “As county executive, Collins gave jobs to his friends,” a male narrator says. “Collins awarded his own company a lucrative county contract and had products manufactured overseas, creating jobs in Korea and China. Jobs we could really use in Western New York.”