From an article in yesterday’s NY Times about Karl Rove’s waning influence in the Republican Party, a tidbit that hints at what we should brace for here in our Washington over the next couple months:
They have determined that control of Congress is likely to be settled in as few as six states and have decided to focus most of the party’s resources there, said Republican officials who did not want to be identified discussing internal deliberations. Those states will likely include Connecticut, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, though officials said the battle lines could shift in coming weeks.
If state Republicans seem blase about the tough races facing first term incumbent Representatives Dave Reichert and Cathy McMorris, and overly confident about their traction-less Senate nominee Mike?™ McGavick, that’s because they assume the RNC’s huge cash advantage will easily overwhelm and smother the electorate’s nascent unrest and distrust. And normally, that might be true.
But even though Democrats will be heavily outspent on both House races, and possibly even the Senate, there is a point of diminishing returns beyond which a blitz of advertising just becomes so much white noise. At least 3 to 4 million dollars will be spent on behalf of 8th CD challenger Darcy Burner, more than enough to get her name and message before voters, and if Peter Goldmark can meet his million dollar fundraising target while drawing in a modest amount of independent expenditures, that could be all he needs to catch fire in the less media saturated 5th CD. And as for the enigmatic Mike?™ McGavick, no amount of money is going to win him a Senate seat unless he manages to persuade voters exactly why they need to turn Sen. Maria Cantwell out… and exactly what legislative agenda he intends to pursue in her stead.
The important thing to take away from this tidbit is that Republicans intend to focus their resources on Washington state because they know their candidates here are vulnerable… they know that both Burner and Goldmark have a good shot at winning, and the RNC intends to crush their chances under a truckload of cash.
But don’t despair, because in this year, in this political climate and with these candidates, WA Dems don’t have to outspend their opponents to win, they just have to keep it relatively close. A challengers dollar simply buys more than that of an incumbent, thus the biggest thing you can do to contribute to Democratic chances to retake the House is to help our candidates get their message out by giving as much as you can afford to Burner and Goldmark.
The Republicans are willing to invest all they can in these races. Shouldn’t you?