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View Diary: Did Dems Unilaterally Cost Ourselves the House Through Candidates, Redistricting, The DCCC? Probably (47 comments)

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  •  DCCC (7+ / 0-)

    While I think it is fair to say that the DCCC missed opportunities, we have to remember that we have the benefit of looking at this after the fact. Are there seats that were clear possibilities prior to the election that the DCCC did nothing in? I'm not sure. The factors that they probably take in to account on where to get involved include: 1) Partisan lean of district. 2) Strength of our candidate (fundraising is a subset of this). 3) Strength of the Republican. 4) Polling.

    (Not necessarily in that order)

    Candidate recruitment is also tough. It's easy to say that the DCCC dropped the ball on recruitment somewhere, but it is possible to put the hard sell to every good potential candidate and still come up empty-handed. There are a lot of reasons why someone might choose not to run for office.

    But, in the spirit of this list, I think we could add MN-06 and Jim Graves as a missed opportunity. He lost by 1.2% without DCCC or HMP spending while being outspent by Bachmann 12-1. Graves' released three internal polls that had him down by low single-digits. The one non-partisan poll of the race had him down by 9 but was from Survey USA which has a very dubious track record in Minnesota. His fundraising wasn't amazing, but it was decent, he had a good profile for the district, his opponent was weak, the available polling was close. The only thing to say against going after the seat is how red it is and the amount of money we've seemingly wasted in it over the previous three elections.

    •  Oh very true, I absolutely agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalLiberal, JanL

      I considered adding Graves before I published, I'm not quite sure he could have pulled it out. Yes he could have self funded more (he spent all of $2.2 million to Bachmann's $22 million; high burn rate but still...) but once you've hit that level the marginal return isn't all that great and it isn't like he didn't have ample resources to attack her with. I don't know, maybe I'll add it. I'm trying to look up the total spending over time but opensecrets.org won't bring up the race...

      I think overall the DCCC does a good job with the nature of being an incumbent protection organization. It is easy though to criticize them with hindsight, but as I said the people who work there are human and everyone makes mistakes. That being said, I do think there were some obvious mistakes on their part, such as spending on races like CO-03 when Pace turned out to be a dud and not spending on NE-02 when we came so close after getting heavily outspent. I know they have polling, but I'd sure love to hear a justification for their decisions. If I could work anywhere it would be as a top strategist for the DCCC or some organization like that.

      Anyway, this diary of course assumes we get the best candidate within reason (no Schweitzer for MT-AL, SHS for SD-AL, etc.). For example, Michael Rubio was certainly a top potential recruit until his daughter was born with Down Syndrome and for a time it looked like Dean Florez was going to run.

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