NRCC Blows Nearly One Third of its CoH on IL-14 Special Election
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:24:45 PM EST
By most measures, the Democrats have a fairly good opportunity to pick up another seat in the House of Representatives this week in the special election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of former Republican House Speaker Denny Hastert. The district tends to lean about 5 points more Republican than the nation as a whole in presidential elections. However, tthe changing demographics of Illinois combined with the general trend in the country towards the Democrats combined with the unpopularity of the Republican nominee combined with the strong profile of the Democratic nominee combined with the ad cut by Barack Obama (who is extremely popular in the state) for the race have really put this contest in play -- so much so, in fact, that the National Republican Congressional Committee is being forced to dump a significant portion of what it has in the bank on the race. Take a look:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) spent more than $300,000 on a media buy on Monday in former Rep. Dennis Hastert's (R) district, bringing its investment in the race close to $1 million.
The NRCC launched an $850,000 ad buy last week, and it added a $180,000 buy on Tuesday. It has now spent more than $1.2 million on the race.
The NRCC simply does not have the kind of money to go toe-to-toe with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. As of the latest filing period, the NRCC finally was able to pull itself out of debt for the first time this cycle, with a net $4.1 million in the bank as of the end of January. Crunching out the math, then, the $1.2 million the NRCC has had to spend defending this Republican seat in a Republican district amounts to 29.2 percent of the committee's net cash-on-hand, or nearly a third. In contrast, the D-trip has spent about 3.0 percent of its net cash-on-hand on the race, not nearly depleting its coffers in the same way.
This one is a real nail-biter at this point, and it would no doubt be very exciting for the Democrats to pick up this seat. But given the larger picture -- the race to elect more and better Democrats for the 111th Congress -- this race has already been a success, with the Democrats forcing the Republicans to spend money they can't afford to be dumping on a seat they otherwise should be able to hold.