$52 million in June. It was his second best month ever, just slightly behind the $55 million he raised in
February. But to fulfill his ambitious plans to compete in all 50 states, he has to raise at least this
amount every month from now on. In contrast, John McCain doesn't have to raise any money for the general
election. Because he chose public financing, he will get $84 million as soon as he is officially nominated.
Thus Obama will have to spend a lot of time fundraising and McCain will not. On the other hand, if Obama
can raise more than $84 million, he is free to spend it all. The average contribution to Obama in June
was $68 and all of these small donors can be hit up again and again.
The Democrats are going to win big in the House this year. There are 35 districts in which the
Republican who won a seat in 2006 is
not running in 2008 vs. only 11
where the 2006 Democratic winner is not running. Combine this with the DCCC's 7-to-1 fundraising advantage
and you begin to see the magnitude of the GOP's problem. In 2006, not a single Democratic incumbent was
defeated in the general election. However, victory often sows the seeds of the winner's destruction.
The Democrats now hold a number of seats in what is basically hostile territory and the Republicans will try
mightily to reclaim them. CQ politics has a
on the Republicans' top five chances.
All five of these are on the
Hot House races page (along with 52 other
competitive races). Here is the low-down on these five.
Bud Cramer (D) is retiring. In theory, an open seat in an R+6 district ought to go to
the Republican, but an open seat in nearby MS-01, which is even more Republican,
just went to the Democrat by 8 points. Two Republicans slugged it out in the primary,
and wealthy insurance executive Wayne Parker won. Lawn signs that say "Parker for Congress"
better have a party logo on them (but see below).
FL-16 is Mark "Pedophile" Foley's district. It leans Republican but
Mahoney won it because Foley's name was still on the ballot. It isn't
in 2008. On the other hand, Mahoney is a conservative Christian and may
be able to hold it under his own steam.
Several Republicans are competing in the Aug. 26 primary, none of them top drawer.
This upset by Democrat Nancy Boyda (D) was completely under the radar. Nobody saw it
coming in this R+7 district. But the Democratic wave was just too strong for
incumbent Jim Ryun. But the Republicans are fighting hard to get it back.
Former incumbent Jim Ryun wants a rematch.
However, he will first have to defeat state treasurer Lynn Jenkins in what is already
a bitter primary fight. The primary is Aug. 5.
Earlier this year Don Cazayoux won this open seat in a special election. In November
he has to defend it. In the special election, the Republicans threw the book at him,
trying to tie him to Barack Obama and calling him "Don Tax-a-you." It didn't work.
Now he is an incumbent. However, the Republican turnout will be stonger in the general
election than it was in the special election.
Also, Cazayoux' special election opponent has dropped out of the race and been
replaced by a far stronger one, state senator Bill Cassidy.
Also, the Republicans got a really lucky break here when Democratic state representative, Michael Jackson,
filed to run as an independent. He is black and although he has no chance to win, he might well pull
enough black voters to defeat Cazayoux.
This is Tom DeLay's district. Nick Lampson won, in part, because in 2006 his
opponent had to run a write-in campaign as a result of a court decision
that did not allow DeLay to change his residence to Virginia and get
off the ballot. This time Lampson will face a serious challenge in this
heavily Republican district from Pete Olson,
chief-of-staff for Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). This is one of the most heavily
Republican districts in the country with a Democratic congressman and is
probably the GOP's best pickup opportunity for 2008.
The race in AL-05 is going to be a battle of the signs. Here are the candidates' signs. Can you tell
which is for the Democrat and which is for the Republican? (Hint: the Democrats' color is blue).
A very hot issue among pollsters is what to do about people who have only a cell phone?
By law, automatic dialing systems (like those used by Rasmussen and SurveyUSA) cannot call them.
The Pew Research Center has now issued a
study on this
subject. Among people who do not have a landline Obama is leading 61% to 32%. Among people with a landline
and a cell phone but who don't use the landline for voice (typically it is used for Internet) Obama's lead is
49% to 43%. Among landline users, the lead is 46% to 41%. As we stated before, don't confused correlation
with causality. Very likely the cell-only people are largely under 30, a group that is strongly for
Obama. Pollsters can easily counter the lack of calls to cell-only voters by weighting their samples to be
sure to include enough 18-29 year olds. But clearly as the number of cell-only users increases, the problem is
only going to get worse.
Three new polls today. Nevada, which is always a swing state, is now a statistical tie, with Obama up by 2 points.
Perhaps more interesting, though, is North Carolina, which is definitely not a swing state. McCain's lead here is
only 5 points. Obama's campaign is going to put a huge amount of effort into voter registration here, so this one
might be closer than expected. Even if Obama does nothing but force McCain to spend money in what should be a freebie,
it will serve his purposes.
Sen. Liddy Dole (R-NC) has a solid lead over Kay Hagan (D) in the North Carolina Senate race.
However, there are reports that DSCC chairman Chuck Schumer has reserved $6 million worth of television time
for Hagan. Seems like bluster though. While Schumer has a lot of money, he doesn't have infinite money.
Still, the DSCC will surely help Hagan here.