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Republicans start to pull plug on members
The Hill ^ | 09/26/18 | Melanie Zanona

Posted on 09/26/2018 6:05:07 AM PDT by yesthatjallen

Republicans are performing critical triage to their midterm spending strategy as they seek to hold on to their House majority in a difficult midterm year.

The House GOP’s campaign arm pulled the plug on its remaining ad buys last week for the Pittsburgh media market, where Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.) is desperately fighting to hang on to his seat in a race against Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.).

It’s grim news for Rothfus, who has largely been seen as a dead man walking since redistricting left him with a Democratic-leaning district and a difficult opponent in Lamb.

For the GOP, it’s likely a sign of things to come as the party seeks to target its money toward the races most likely to save its majority. Democrats need 23 seats to take back control of the House, and the GOP is defending dozens of seats that are seen as vulnerable.

“It’s a giant chessboard,” said one longtime GOP operative. “There’s obviously limited resources, and you need to make tough decisions. This is sort of an art form as opposed to a science.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) must decide if it should put energy into competitive and Democratic-leaning districts that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016 — or if the party is better served protecting GOP strongholds that could be in play if a “blue wave” materializes.

If the news turns bad, it will lead to difficult calls between the NRCC and incumbent GOP lawmakers.

“There could be a bunch more. It all depends on the polling. People evaluate these things on an hourly, daily basis,” said one former NRCC staffer. “These decisions aren’t made lightly. If you have a race that’s just not winnable and you have limited resources, you can’t spend just to make somebody feel better.”

Besides Rothfus, the GOP incumbents who are locked in competitive races tilted in Democrats’ favor include Reps. Barbara Comstock (Va.), Erik Paulsen (Minn.), Jason Lewis (Minn.) and Rod Blum (Iowa), according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

“Any time you cut bait, especially on a member of Congress, it’s a hard decision — but one that has to be made,” the former staffer added. “It’s always a stab in the back whenever that happens to a campaign.”

Democrats have better-sounding decisions to make, though the party will be second-guessed if it makes the wrong calls on where to put its money a little more than 40 days before the elections.

On Monday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) canceled all remaining TV spending planned in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Democrats are feeling increasingly confident about their chances of flipping a seat.

“It’s a good problem to have for the Democrats,” the GOP operative said.

Midterm elections are historically tough for the president’s party, which typically loses around 30 seats in the president’s first midterm. President Trump’s low approval ratings and the intense political passions that have stirred over the past two years have Democrats hoping that they’ll ride a large wave to a House majority this fall.

Democrats also have more money, as the DCCC has nearly $70 million in cash on hand, compared to the NRCC’s $65 million, according to the latest data filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Republicans have more than one reason to not want to cut off support to some of their vulnerable members.

The optics of cutting off support to a female lawmaker like Comstock — especially at a time when the GOP is already poised to lose 25 percent of its female elected officeholders — could be detrimental.

And so far, the party is showing no signs of giving up on her suburban, Northern Virginia-area district that Clinton easily carried in 2016.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is slated to attend an October fundraising event for Comstock next month, according to the Washington Examiner, while the NRCC has reserved $5 million in ads for the targeted lawmaker.

“The bad PR of canceling on a woman in a tough race I’m sure will be weighed in this environment,” said the former NRCC staffer. “So we’ll see, but that’s a lot of money. They might have to move some things around. I would definitely keep an eye on her. She might be the one to be next if they don’t see a path to victory.”

The House GOP’s campaign arm already faced criticism this summer for essentially going off the airwaves in August and for allocating funds in districts that some Republicans considered a lost cause.

“Not every decision is going to be met with universal applause. Both parties need to make those tough decisions. It’s not easy,” said the GOP operative. “You expose yourself to criticism both before and after the election.”

On the flip side, Democrats could also face backlash if they blow it this fall.

The DCCC is deciding whether to pull out of races where they feel confident and whether they should start funneling resources to districts that could now be in play, like the districts of indicted Reps. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and Chris Collins (R-N.Y.).

This week, the party’s chief fundraising committee canceled all remaining TV spending reserved in Blum’s district in Iowa. It also canceled ad buys scheduled through the end of October in Phoenix, where Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D) is facing a challenge from Republican Wendy Rogers, though there is an ad reservation through Oct. 8.

O’Halleran’s district, which went for Trump by just 1 point in 2016, is rated “likely Democratic” by the Cook Political Report. But Blum’s race is considered “lean Democratic” and Republicans have been stumping hard to keep the seat in GOP hands.

“We never take anything for granted, but these candidates have run very effective campaigns and put themselves in a solid position,” said one Democratic operative.

The parties consider a whole host of factors when deciding where to spend their money.

That includes poll numbers, whether the candidate is running a good campaign and fundraising on their own, what the opponent is doing in the race, whether outside groups are willing to step in and the level of overall resources that the party has.

Preference is also usually given to an incumbent as opposed to a congressional candidate who is running for an open seat.

And the cost of advertising in a certain media market also factors heavily into the decisionmaking process.

“If I’m looking at a race where we can probably stay in the race or get in the race, but it’s gonna cost us a fortune — could I spend that money in three other races with cheaper markets where we have a better chance?” said the Republican operative.

“It’s a cost-benefit thing. We might be able to get more bang for our buck in three districts.”

TOPICS: Breaking News; News/Current Events; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: 2018midterms; bluewave; comstock; midterms; redwave; swingstates; va2018
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You can't have a Red Wave if Republicans won't fight for each other.
1 posted on 09/26/2018 6:05:07 AM PDT by yesthatjallen
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To: yesthatjallen

The Republicans are not even fielding a contestant in 39 out of the 435 seats for the House. Dems are without a contestant in only 7.

2 posted on 09/26/2018 6:11:39 AM PDT by nwrep
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To: yesthatjallen

I think that’s the plan.

3 posted on 09/26/2018 6:12:13 AM PDT by FrdmLvr (They never thought she would lose.)
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To: yesthatjallen

Well, get out your checkbook and donate to Rothfus et al. They can’t prevent that.

4 posted on 09/26/2018 6:13:32 AM PDT by Eleutheria5 (“If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism.)
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To: nwrep

39 of them are in solid blue states. But the Republicans should go on the offensive in those districts where they have a fighting chance of unseating the incumbent Dem. But again, the rank and file Republicans are still free to donate directly to candidates they think deserve it.

5 posted on 09/26/2018 6:16:26 AM PDT by Eleutheria5 (“If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism.)
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To: yesthatjallen

Why broadcast it? I mean why?

6 posted on 09/26/2018 6:16:56 AM PDT by nikos1121 (“A communist is a dead man on furlough.” Lenin)
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To: nwrep
Republicans are not even fielding a contestant in 39 out of the 435 seats

Why is that I wonder. Are any of those in places like Kali where the two most populous primary candidates go to the general, regardless of party?

7 posted on 09/26/2018 6:17:14 AM PDT by Magnum44 (My comprehensive terrorism plan: Hunt them down and kill them)
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To: yesthatjallen

“”difficult midterm year””


- Unemployment
- Stock Market
- Dems Sabotaging the Supreme Court

So, how??

8 posted on 09/26/2018 6:17:38 AM PDT by LiveFreeOrDie2001 (Good-Bye Deep State.)
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To: All

#RyantheResister will be thrilled to hand his gavel over to Pelosi.

9 posted on 09/26/2018 6:19:20 AM PDT by JonPreston
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To: Magnum44

Most likely because no politician wants a loss on their record by running in a non-winnable district.

10 posted on 09/26/2018 6:26:51 AM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death by cults.)
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To: yesthatjallen

Democrats will not take back the House. There is no reason to believe Americans who love our economy as per Gallup and Harris two left leaning operations and as per Gallup favor Republicans for first time in 10 years will abandon Republicans for an empty bag of socialism. Stay calm.
BTW Republicans are winning the Hispanic vote and doing better and better among Blacks because of #walkaway movement.

The Democrats will show themselves as very unworthy of being given leadership in the next five days.

Want to know what is important? Democrat Senate Campaign Committee has apparently abandoned Menendez in New Jersey and Cox is just 3 behind Newsom.

Don’t panic just go out and donate and work and vote with friends and family.

11 posted on 09/26/2018 6:28:41 AM PDT by jmaroneps37 (Conservatism is truth. Liberal is lies.)
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To: nwrep

Why waste time and resources on districts you can’t win? The 39 uncontested Dem seats are predominantly in urban areas heavily populated by minorities. It is just an inconvenient truth.

12 posted on 09/26/2018 6:29:55 AM PDT by kabar
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To: Magnum44; nwrep

Were those 39 held by democrats previously?

13 posted on 09/26/2018 6:31:24 AM PDT by dynoman (Objectivity is the essence of intelligence. - Marilyn vos Savant)
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To: LiveFreeOrDie2001

Exactly, this propaganda never ceases to run out of steam.

Perhaps the subject is valid, but the wording tips an article like this off as some sort of propaganda/fake news article

14 posted on 09/26/2018 6:39:13 AM PDT by Professional
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To: yesthatjallen

McConnell is also doing nothing to help Braun beat Donnelly while Dems are throwing millions into the race

15 posted on 09/26/2018 6:46:23 AM PDT by digger48
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To: yesthatjallen

It is an open secret that House districts are drawn in order to ensure a majority of single party voters, and it has been that way since at least the 90s, when the GOP accepted “minority districts” in return for drawing the remaining districts to be largely right-leaning. It is why the House never changes: if you don’t like the way the House is, there isn’t anything you can do about it, because your Representative has an over 90% chance of being re-elected as many times as s/he wishes—and term limits won’t fix that, because the party will simply groom the next suit or pantsuit for the position.

16 posted on 09/26/2018 6:51:07 AM PDT by chajin ("There is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12)
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To: nikos1121

Remember FAKE NEWS!! The Hill is right up there with the rest of the lying mediaVOMITS!! They are trying their best to demoralize the base. WE MUST NOT LET THEM!!!

17 posted on 09/26/2018 6:52:46 AM PDT by RoseofTexas
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To: RoseofTexas

The Globalist Hill wants the Republicans to do bad. They would want this info released to help the Dems plan.

18 posted on 09/26/2018 6:55:59 AM PDT by Democrats hate too much
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To: nikos1121

Because this is a liberal article and its written totally from a negative standpoint for the republicans. But it does annoy me hearing that republicans have less money.

19 posted on 09/26/2018 6:59:58 AM PDT by Williams (Stop tolerating the intolerant.)
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To: yesthatjallen

Stupid Party doesn’t even begin to describe them.

20 posted on 09/26/2018 7:00:10 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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