Friday, October 27, 2006

There is still time to make a difference

As a follow-up to my earlier post here, I just spent some time on PoliticalMoneyLine looking at the latest cash on hand figures for the various Republican senators and candidates. First, more bad news about the overall state of the NRSC, from the committee reports:

As I said before, what a disaster. Given the incredible importance and closeness of the election, though, are our existing Republican senators in any position to help out? Here are the latest cash on hand figures for current Republican incumbent senators:

I took the polling data from here. So, we have incumbents who aren't even up for reelection this year sitting on $46 million in cash, and people who are running this year but up by over 30 points sitting on another $19 million. That's $65 million in total.

Think among them they could come up with $10 million or so for the NRSC in about 24 hours? I do.

Think another $10 million or so of ads in two or three key races might be enough to save some seats? I do.

I know that I am ignoring the PACs they run, etc., and that I am also in a way penalizing those who have done a good job raising money. The fact remains, though, that these resources are currently there, and spending down some of them over the next two weeks may be the difference between a majority in the next congress or not.

So, how do we get some pressure on these senators to get their checkbooks out? Dole clearly isn't up to the challenge - the pressure is going to have to come from elsewhere.

[As an aside, I'm sitting here thinking through GOP monetary campaign strategy in a coffee shop in NYC's East Village. If the people around me knew what I was typing away about, they would probably throw me out. Or something worse . . .]

UPDATE: Power Line quotes Charlie Cook on the MD Senate race, which he now thinks is a toss-up:
"One question is whether the national Republican Party will get involved in the race now that polls show a closer-than-expected contest? Advertising in Maryland, particularly in the Washington, DC media market, can be expensive and there are only 11 days left. If the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee or the Republican National Committee does become engaged in the next few days, they could make a difference just by matching what national Democrats have spent and launching some attacks on Cardin."
There's a place for some of that money. NJ would be another good choice. Actually, to hit NJ you need to buy time in NY and Philadelphia. Generic ads in the Philadelphia market would have the added benefit of helping Santorum as well. MO, TN, and VA would seem to be the other candidates for more help.

If you're up by over 30 points, kick in 20% of your cash - you don't need it. If you aren't up for reelection until 2010, kick in 20% of your cash - you'll have plenty of time to get more. If you're up for reelection in 2008, kick in only 10% of your cash in order to be extra cautious. If the existing GOP senators all did that, it would mean an additional $11 million for ads in the coming 10 days.

Don't any of them want to be chairmen next year?


Greg D said...

What is the evidence that the NRSC is competent to spend the money?

Gadfly said...

Sadly, there isn't a lot. That's why I would tell individuals, etc. to donate right to the key senate candidates themselves.

As for the exisiting senators, though, the NRSC is their baby, "established by Republican Members of the United States Senate to help Republican candidates develop the campaign resources they need for 2006 so we can maintain and grow our majority in the United States Senate." (quoted from the NRSC website)

If they can't effectively work through it, then they only have themselves to blame, and deserve to lose their majority.