News from the Votemaster
Yesterday I had the fundraising totals for the presidential candidates. Today I have the national committees. Each party has three committees: the party itself, the Senate committee and the House committee. The party committees cannot spend money to elect or defeat specific candidates, but they can build party infrastructure, register voters, conduct polls, run get-out-the-vote campaigns and many other useful activities. They also plan and run the national conventions. The Senate and House committees can dump truckloads of money on candidates if they so choose. In 2006, the Democrats success in Congress was in no small part due to the efforts of DSCC chairman Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and DCCC chairman Rahm Emmanuel (D-IL), two extremely driven, foul-mouthed, and pugnacious competitors.
One of the major jobs of the Senate and House committees is finding good candidates. Good candidates don't grow on trees, honest. Case in point. Chuck Schumer undoubtedly spends a lot of time talking to Jeanne Shaheen, former Democratic governor of New Hampshire. Repeated polls have shown that if she enters the Senate race, she will crush incumbent John Sununu (R-NH) by 20% or more and give the Democrats a new Senate seat. How does Schumer woo Shaheen? By sending her flowers and chocolate every day? Maybe? By promising her the sun, moon, and stars? Doubtful. So what does he have to offer? See the box below with the $20 million in it. He could jump start her campaign by giving her, say, half a million dollars. This is how these committees work, and they are extremely important in determining who will control Congress. The data is available at CQ PoliticalMoneyLine.
While the election is still 16 months away, candidate recruiting is now in full swing. If you intend to run for Congress, your bank account should be bulging by January 2008 or you are in trouble. These numbers must look frightening to Ensign and Cole. The Democrats lead in Senate money by 3x and the House committee picture is even worse, with the NRCC having greater debts than it has cash on hand. The only good sign for the Republicans is that the RNC has 5x as much money on hand as the DNC. The reason for this difference is not that Howard Dean is poor at raising money. On the contrary, he is quite good at it, but he wants to have the Democrats compete in all 50 states so he is spending money at a high clip. The Congressional Democrats are extremely angry with Dean for "wasting" money on hopeless states like Montana, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Dean's reply is: "All four of these states have Democratic governors." But even counting the DNC and RNC money, the Democrats hold an almost 2:1 edge, a reversal of historical patterns where the Republicans always led in the money.
This page is the prototype for 2008. The data and map will refer to previous elections until serious polls begin in 2008. The blog will be updated when there is interesting news about the 2008 races.Preview of the 2008 races: President Senate House
This map shows the current governors. Put your mouse on a state for more information.
This map shows the current Senate. Put your mouse on a state for more information.
This map shows the current House. Put your mouse on a state for more information.
-- The Votemaster