Thursday, November 08, 2007

D-Trip - Not Just an Incumbency Protection Racket

This is good news. Incumbents really don't have trouble raising money if they put the time in (it's grueling horrible awful work, but it's part of the job), and the marginal impact of a few extra surprise dollars for challengers must be higher than for incumbents.

Top House Democrats, sensing an opportunity to pick up additional seats in 2008, are warning some of their more vulnerable incumbents that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee won’t spend money in their districts unless Republican leaders do.

Despite very poor public approval ratings for Congress, House Democrats are increasingly confident they can make solid gains next fall, and they’re willing to take some risks to do it.


With a huge cash advantage over the National Republican Congressional Committee, Van Hollen and Emanuel are cautioning their colleagues that the DCCC wants to have money to put into 40 challenger races next year — and if these vulnerable Democrats are not facing serious races or any effort by the National Republican Congressional Committee to unseat them, the DCCC will spend its resources elsewhere.

In an interview, Van Hollen said it was always the goal of Democratic leaders to “graduate” members from the Frontline program if they were no longer in need of special fundraising help.

Obviously they're not saying that no money will be spent on incumbents, just that they can't assume it will be there.

One thing party organizations can do which no one else really can is suddenly drop a surprise wad of cash onto an election. Committing most of their money to challengers will really keep the poor Goopers on their toes.

And hopefully there won't be just more Democrats, but better ones.