Politics Money, Money, Money (and Calls)
posted by October 19 at 12:20 PMon
There’s a strong sense developing in Democratic circles that money could be the difference between a narrow Democratic takeover of the House and a blowout Democratic takeover of both the House and Senate.
Rahm Emanuel, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, says conditions are ripe for his party to grab more than 40 seats in Congress on Nov. 7.
If true, that’s an astounding reversal of fortune for the Democrats, who only need 15 seats to get a one-vote majority in the House (and until recently haven’t been sure they would even get that).
But with Republicans imploding and Iraq exlpoding, picking up more than 15 House seats doesn’t seem unrealistic. The problem, Democrats are saying, is money. There are suddenly more House races up for grabs than the party ever expected, and way more than it has resources to fund. There’s talk of national Democrats taking out a huge loan to cover a bigger bet on a House victory, and in the blogosphere, there are increasing demands that Democrats with safe seats part with some of their stored-up cash.
I just did a quick tallying using Open Secrets, and calculated that the 45 Democrats who are not facing a Republican opponent this November have $26,288,418 in their campaign bank accounts as of September 30th, 2006. I put together a web page that details the cash on hand for each of the forty-five unopposed Democrats.
For the sake of comparison, the DCCC currently has $34,867,692 cash on hand, and the NRCC has $36,019,485 cash on hand. Further, Rahm Emmanuel apparently believes that Democrats are ahead, tied or competitive in 58 Republican held seats. The amount of money unopposed House Democrats are currently sitting on would equal $453,248.59 to each of those 58 districts.
There are also demands that Senators like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton funnel some of their enourmous cash reserves to the Democratic effort to take back both houses of Congress. (See here, here, here, and here.)
There’s even a “Hey, John!” site demanding that Kerry “let our money go.”
In 2004, over 171,154 Americans donated $328,479,245 and countless hours of time to help John Kerry get elected President. Now, two years later, Democrats have a real opportunity to regain a majority in both chambers of Congress.
John Kerry? He’s still hanging on to $8,352,685 of our money, while Democratic candidates in competitive districts are short on funds, and the DNC, DCCC, and DSCC are out of money.
Tell John Kerry to “let our money go” and help take back Congress by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the netroots can shake millions out of the campaign coffers of these safe Democrats, the achievement will dwarf anything the blogosphere could achieve on its own. As MyDD admits:
There is no way that the blogosphere can raise $26.3 million dollars in the next three weeks, but we might be able to persuade unopposed House incumbents to do just that.
Hence the coordinated pressure campaign. It’ll be interesting to see if it works.
Meanwhile, here’s another way that Democrats are employing technology to up their competitive advantage this election: After using the Lamont-Lieberman race as a test case, MoveOn has apparently figured out a way to successfully turn the web into one giant phone bank.