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Some highly curious moves

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012

* The House Majority PAC, a super PAC for US House Democrats, has canceled two very large TV buys for Illinois candidates. The PAC claims it did so because the candidates are doing so well

The House Majority PAC, the Democratic aligned super PAC, has canceled a hefty television buy in two Metro East congressional races.

The PAC had previously announced a $439,864 ad buy for Democrat candidates Bill Enyart (IL-12) and David Gill (IL-13). But that won’t materialize.

“Both Democrats in IL-12 and 13 are leading in the polls and running aggressive, competitive campaigns against their Tea Party opponents,” said Andy Stone, a spokesman for the House Majority PAC. The group released a poll last week showing Enyart leading Plummer in the once solidly Democratic district that has shown conservative trends in recent years.

From what I know, the polling is actually mixed in both of those races.

* Meanwhile, as I told subscribers yesterday, the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee made a big buy for Congressman Joe Walsh

So much for the National Republican Congressional Committee leaving Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) out to dry.

The committee reserved about $457,800 on cable stations in Illinois’ 8th district for spots to run Oct. 5 through Election Day, multiple sources confirmed to Roll Call. It’s a significant buy, but it doesn’t reach saturation level.

For months, national GOP operatives privately conceded Walsh would lose his re-election bid against Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) in the suburban Chicago, Democratic-leaning district. Duckworth is still favored to win, but there are signs the race has become more competitive.

Last week, a super PAC dropped $810,000 on advertisements to boost Walsh. National Republicans have been circulating internal GOP polls showing the race in a statistical dead heat.

Roll Call rates this race as Likely Democratic, but that could change soon.

The closest recent poll I’ve seen (privately) has Walsh losing by ten. A poll last month had it closer, but a recent Democratic poll had this as a blowout.

* The Illinois GOP is spinning both moves as good news for Republicans. From a press release…

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady today released the following statement regarding yesterday’s news that a Democrat Super PAC canceled hefty television buys in two downstate congressional races while the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee (NRCC) purchased its own hefty cable TV buy in one suburban race:

“Democrats are finally realizing that voters are rejecting their message of higher taxes, increased spending and fewer jobs,” Brady said. “Bill Enyart and David Gill preach a radical, liberal tax-and-spend agenda that will kill jobs in the Metro East and in Central and Southern Illinois. Tammy Duckworth thinks people in the 8th District are better off today than they were four years ago. Mike Madigan did his best to give Democrats a hyper-partisan map but no matter where lines are drawn on a map, the people of Illinois will vote for lower taxes, reduced spending and pro-growth policies that create jobs.”

One side or the other, or maybe both, are badly misreading the tea leaves.

* Enyart’s new TV ad

* And perhaps the general should avoid talking to Republican trackers in the future

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - anon - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 9:55 am:

    Some smart campaign person needs to write a playbook on how to deal with trackers. Most trackers are persistent, but wont cross certain lines for risk of hurting their causes. Its in the candidates best interest to have a standard reaction to these people that is neither hostile, nor completely dismissive. I would say that Enyart’s reaction was better than most ive seen, but the staffers need to stop acting as shields.

  2. - Robert the Bruce - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 9:59 am:

    The 8th district was drawn for Duckworth to win, she hasn’t had any missteps while Walsh has put his foot in his mouth several times. And the polling is Duckworth + 10 or more. While Walsh is a tea party favorite, he bucks the establishment a fair bit, so I can’t imagine he is a favorite of republican leadership. Maybe the NRCC is just flush with cash?

  3. - Snark Encouraged - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 10:00 am:

    Did he hit him?

  4. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 10:01 am:

    I think the tracker meant contempt of Congress. It would be a neat trick for a Congressman to vote someone in contempt of court.

    The House vote was back in June. Is that still big news in the Metro East?

    It’s hard to see how the national Dems backing off Enyart and Gill are signs of strength.

  5. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 10:02 am:

    So Gags has stepped away from the half biathalon training to confuse every on the Jason Romney-Plummet and Rapid Rodney races. Facts are GOPies are trailing so why spend. Any dollar spent on DeadbeatJoe is a dollar that is gone FOREVER.
    Bet Billboards Cross is feeling a little gimpy right now since Gags left him out to dry. First the waste all the money on the “Fire —-” trash.
    Now it sits in a garage and Gags is raving about the Congressional losers
    Fire, Aim, Ready!

  6. - unreliable sources - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 10:09 am:

    My guess is that the DCCC is (not) spending its money wisely. Enyart doesn’t need the help in Metro East where he is strongest and Gill is a lost cause. Interesting spin though, to lump both of them as ahead.

  7. - Knome Sane - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 10:09 am:

    Circular — If anyone is confused, it’s me. I have no idea what you are writing about.

    I assume “Gags” is Brady. Can you explain what “Jason Romney-Plummet and Rapid Rodney races” are?

  8. - Knome Sane - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 10:11 am:

    Adding: I know Jason and Rodney are Reoublican candidates for Congress but your writing style is really fractured.

  9. - Knome Sane - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 10:11 am:

    Reoublican = Republican

  10. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 10:18 am:

    My guess is the DCCC is trying to save some dough. Enyart has a better shot at winning than Gill, but St. Louis TV is expensive. The DCCC is probably hoping that Obama has some coattails in Illinois (he does, but not in those districts) and that they can each fend for themselves for a while.

    It doesn’t mean they won’t show up in a couple of weeks with another big check in these districts. It just means, for now, that money is needed elsewhere.

    I wouldn’t read too much into it today, but if they don’t come back, then yeah, Enyart and Gill are on their own.

  11. - Shore - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 10:20 am:

    What’s curious about that investment is that liesel hickey who was mark kirk’s consigliere for awhile is now at the nrcc in charge of incumbent retention. You’d think she’d know that the dold-schneider race which is next door is a lot more winnable for the gop and how important that $500k could be for dold.

  12. - Wensicia - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 10:26 am:

    I can’t believe Dold is actually running commercials aligning himself with Obama.

  13. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 10:26 am:

    ===he does, but not in those districts===

    Actually, that’s starting to change. Fast.

  14. - oosfrw - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 10:28 am:

    Interesting because DCCC just shifted more resources into IL-13

  15. - DowninLilEgypt - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 10:45 am:

    I’m a little confused by Plummer’s messaging. Presenting himself as a conservative Republican in a district that Obama should win (on paper) is not the best way to get the crossover votes he’ll most likely need to win.

  16. - walkinfool - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 10:47 am:

    No need for “spin”. More GOP money in a race is good for the GOP candidate, unless there’s no chance. I think these races are winnable.

    Still the Dold race is more competitive, and I would expect more money to be coming his way shortly.

    More interesting is GOP superPAC money apparently being redirected from Romney, to Congressional races around the country, like our 8th District.

  17. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 10:52 am:

    Is some of the money that was going to go toward Gill/Enyart getting shifted to help Bustos instead?

    From The Hill 9/25
    “In Illinois, the PAC targets Republican Rep. Bobby Schilling for what the ad characterizes as raising money from “special interests” and for supporting outsourcing. The ad is running in Peoria for a week and Rockford for two weeks for $215,000.”

  18. - Shore - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 11:28 am:

    the enyart ad is not very good. A 2 star general is always a great resume story especially running against richie rich and instead they have him in an empty depressing area looking like a stiff gym teacher from a mid 1980s teen movie only missing the high socks, short shorts, whistle and mesh hat. They turn his strength into a weakness and make him look off which takes away from things.

  19. - East Sider - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 2:58 pm:

    Funny that they’re spinning the pull out of ad money as a sign that they’re ahead. With 5 weeks to go in two close races, does anyone think it’s a good strategy to pull ads? Unless their candidates were up by 15 points, it would be idiotic to pull large ad buys.

  20. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 8:14 pm:

    === GOP superPAC money apparently being redirected from Romney ===

    Good point walkinfool.

    Its also quite possible that the House Majority PAC is seeing some new and unexpected opportunities open up in these swing states where Obama is starting to open up leads, opportunities they didn’t expect.

    Its not necessarily that Gill and Enyart are doing badly or aren’t even ahead, but the Dems election model is likely predicting that as we get closer to election day, the Illinois races are going to turn out to be blow-out victories, and they’d rather spend money in battleground states where they think it will be closer, and where it helps ensure an Obama victory.

    According to Nate Silver, 2012 is starting to look more-and-more like 2008 for Obama and Congressional Democrats. Not a landslide, but a near landslide.

  21. - reformedformerlibertarian - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 10:18 pm:

    Yellow Dog, I looked at Nate Silver’s site & I saw where 2012 is beginning to look like 2008 for Obama, but where do you get the idea 2012 will look like 2008 for the House of Representatives?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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