Much of the election news this week has focused on the DSCC being essentially in disarray and pulling money out of the races for Senate seats where they’d previously thought they would be competitive. (See Ms. Grimes, for one example.) But the sense of panic seems to be spreading and it’s now infected the DCCC as well. Money is shifting away from House seats where the Democrats were looking to make their stand and it’s being replaced by conservative funds which are suddenly sensing some blood in the water.
Three weeks out from an election that could give Republicans a historic majority, House Democrats are resorting to the painful strategy of retreat.
Faced with a perilous midterm environment and a sudden gush of Republican money, Democrats are shifting cash from blue-chip recruits to prop up teetering incumbents. The goal is to minimize losses and keep Republicans from their most dominant hold on the House since Harry Truman’s presidency — potentially expelling Democrats from the speaker’s chair for years to come.
In recent days, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has scrapped spending on behalf of two prominent candidates in districts the party had high hopes of snatching from the GOP: Colorado Democrat Andrew Romanoff, a former state House speaker once seen as the party’s best 2014 prospect; and Virginia Democrat John Foust, who is trying to defeat Republican Barbara Comstock, a hard-nosed former operative who played a key role in the investigations of President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.
In addition to those listed above, two more races – in California and Georgia – have shifted from Off The Radar status into subjects of interest. The American Future Fund is moving some serious cash around.
American Future Fund] is making a late foray into two big House races. They’ll spend $830,000 in California’s 26th district, where Rep. Julia Brownley (D) faces Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R), and $970,000 in Georgia’s 12th district, where Rep. John Barrow (D) faces businessman Rick Allen (R). It’s AFF’s first play in either district.
These truly are eleventh hour moves, as anyone who has worked on a House or Senate race will tell you. While it’s heartening for any candidate to suddenly see nearly a million dollars in media buys show up in their district, there are limits as to how late in the game such resources can be effectively deployed. Media teams sell out their available air time fairly well in advance, and barring a sudden cancellation and ensuing vacuum, buyers can find themselves with cash in hand but nowhere to spend it. But there are a few weeks left, so AFF will probably still be able to make some buys.
There wasn’t much doubt that the GOP was not only going to hold, but expand their lead in the lower chamber. The question on everyone’s mind at this point seems to be by how much? If the Democrats can staunch the bleeding to only having five seats flip away from them, they’ll probably chalk it up as a victory in the current climate. But if the Republican gains go into double digits it will be largest House majority seen in a very, very long time.