Shifting Sands - Follow the Money

Friday, September 29, 2006
PoliticalMoneyLine now has a report on spending up which covers party, PAC and 527 spending for the month of September by race. The numbers do not include spending by the candidate's election committees so the totals reflect party (and surrogate) effort in each race. The total spent in September by both parties and surrogates was $19.5M with $12.6 spent by the Republicans and $6.9M spent by the Democrats. The money spent is a drop in the bucket compared with the approximately $500M that will have been spent between September 1st and November 7th but it does give some idea as to the races that will be real dog fights.

The chart below lists the top 25 races (representing 89% of the total spent) in descending order:

Pink represents a Republican open seat with red and blue indicating incumbents party affiliation. Both parties are being very circumspect regarding their spending on districts not on the list. LA-03 and TX-17 are definitely in play and the Republicans will not give up TX-22 without a fight. GA-08 and GA-12 will also be getting a lot more attention from the Republicans during October.

The chart below comes from Coldheartedtruth where Indy Voter does as nice a job on unprejudiced poll dissection as anyone I've read. He updates the chart regularly and I'm hopeful that we'll be seeing some of those 'Lean Dem' races start moving into the 'No Clear Leader' column on their way to the 'Lean Republican' column.

One way to look at this is that three states - Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio hold the key to the Republicans retaining control in both the House and the Senate. That's why they are pouring money ($3.7M in September) into the Ohio Senate race - if they hold either DeWine or Santorum's seat then they retain control. If they can hold six of the nine top 25 races from those states they will hold the House.

We've already seen a little fruit from opposition research with the Menendez problem exposed and today's exposure of the Florida congressman. I'm betting that the next two weeks will see quite a bit more of the same. Nothing like a nice six week mud fight to try and force down turnout.

That's why ignoring the 'issues' saves time. They don't mean much in most elections and this one is going to go in the 'most' category except for the amount of mud slung.


chuck said...

I don't know that I would call the Menendez and Foley revelations "mud". OTH, the Allen/Webb contest does seem to fall in that category. I suppose I should be thankful for living in a non-competitive district.

The amazing thing about Utah is that it was Democratic when I first got here. My senator (Moss), representative (McKay), and governor (Rampton) were all Democrats. That all started to change in 1972 with the Nixon/McGovern matchup. By the time Reagan ran in 1982 the state was pretty solidly Republican. Matheson hung on as a popular Democratic governor, but he was the last of a dying breed. Just shows how much things can change in a decade.

Rick Ballard said...


It's mud when it's known, held and leaked at the right time. Both of them deserve whatever is handed to them. Both sides undoubtedly have information on quite a few other members - it's just a matter of deciding how far they'll go with a scorched earth policy.

David Thomson said...

Gas prices continue to drop. One should never underestimate the importance of the typical American saving money at the pump. This is something they can easily comprehend. Most issues are too abstract. Republicans will vote on election day. Only the hard core Democrats will bother. The GOP will continue to hold onto both houses of Congress---and there remains a decent chance of a pick up of two seats in the U.S. Senate.

Foly is a jerk and should have resigned. Still, I suspect that nothing would have happened if he were a Democrat. The timing of these disclosures are suspicious to say the least.

Rick Ballard said...


The Dems are planning extraordinary knock and drags in the Section 8 housing in Philly and St. Louis, both states still don't have voter ID requirements and we can anticipate fairly extensive voter fraud based upon past experience. I don't think pickups in the Senate are likely unless some real dirt comes out on Casey and McCaskill with McCaskill being the more likely although Casey is doing a damn fine job of hiding from Santorum - and his day job.

Fresh Air said...

My crystal ball says Santorum and Menendez lose, Burns hangs on. Outside possibility of Stabenow losing. Kennedy won't quite get it done. No change in the Senate makeup unless Steele has some magic beans in his pocket.

Always consider that states dominated by one city are going to be subject to immense voter fraud by the Mediacrats. This is why Santorum will lose and why Stabenow will probably hang on. I don't think, however, the population of St. Louis is big enough anymore to do in Jim Talent.

A wild card would be Washington state. Perhaps you can comment, Rick?

Rick Ballard said...


Kennedy needs some help with Klobuchar - something like Beauprez is getting with Ritter for the CO governor but maybe a little stronger. Bouchard needs somethng a little different with Stabenow and the Michigan Republicans are trying the registration route. I don't know if it can be done. PA is kind of interesting because the Reps actually did much better in all three categories (House, Senate and President) in gaining voters in '04. It's just that the gain on the Presidential ticket wasn't enough to offset the knock and drag in Philly. The jail sentences handed out for voter fraud in St. Louis will definitely help Talent - if voters are reminded of it.

McGavick is pretty far back in WA. Unless Cantwell picks up a nice glob of stinky mud I think she'll hold. Steele is running good ads and has the name recognition - that one depends on how the black vote splits. I've seen one poll that showed 33% of blacks getting behind Steele - if he could hold that he has a fair chance. He has a much higher 'Q' than Cardin.