House Democrats reserve $49 million in ad time
1. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved television time in 56 districts at a cost of $49 million, the first tangible sign of how the majority party views the playing field this fall.
Of the 56 districts in which the DCCC has reserved time, 50 are currently controlled by Democrats. The six Republican-held seat targeted are Delaware's at-large, Florida's 25th Hawaii's 1st, Illinois' 10th, Louisiana's 2nd and Pennsylvania's 15th. President Barack Obama carried all but the Florida seat, which he lost by a single percentage point, in 2008.
Nearly 20 percent of the districts where Democrats have reserved air time are located in Ohio (1st, 13th, 15th, 16th and 18th) and Pennsylvania (3rd, 7th, 10th, 11th and 15th).
As interesting as the districts that are included in the DCCC ad buy are, those that aren't are equally noteworthy. Among the seats left off the list are Tennessee's 6th district, Louisiana's 3rd and New York's 29th -- all of which are viewed as prime Republican takeover chances. Another race not on the DCCC list is Rep. Alan Grayson's 8th district although Grayson's massive fundraising and personal wealth make him something short of a good investment for the House campaign arm. (Make sure to check out the Fix's latest House Line for a look at the top 30 pickup chances for both parties in the fall.)
While the DCCC ad buy suggests the contours of the playing field this fall, it's important to remember that in the next 97 days money will be moved into and out of myriad seats as they become more and less competitive. (Reserving air time is not the same thing as buying and paying for that time; the committee can cancel ad buys up until almost the moment the commercials run.)
As of the end of last month, the DCCC had $34 million on hand while the National Republican Congressional Committee, which has yet to place any major part of its television buy for the fall, had $17 million.
House Democrats are hoping that while their ad buy makes clear they are playing defense this fall that their financial edge can insulate their members and limit party losses on Nov. 2.
2. Oklahoma will have the first female governor in state history in 2011 as Rep. Mary Fallin (R) and Lt. Gov. Jari Askins (D) won their respective party primaries last night.
Fallin, who was the favorite heading into the primary, easily bested a four-way field that included state Sen. Randy Brogdon with 57 percent. Askins -- considered an underdog coming into election day -- narrowly defeated state Attorney General Drew Edmondson for the Democratic nod.
The general election is Fallin's to lose although a recent poll conducted for the Tulsa World showed both Democrats trailing by single digits.
In the race to succeed Fallin in the 5th district, former state Rep. Kevin Calvey and professor James Lankford are headed for an Aug. 24 runoff for the Republican nomination. Whichever candidate wins the runoff is favored to win the heavily-Republican district centered in Oklahoma City in the fall.
In Oklahoma's 2nd district, Democratic Rep. Dan Boren easily fended off a primary challenge from his ideological left -- crushing state Sen. Jim Wilson.
3. President Barack Obama will be hitting the road to support another 2010 candidate next month when he travels to Ohio to raise money for Gov. Ted Strickland's (D) re-election bid.
The August 18 trip, during which Obama will also make an address on the economy, marks Obama's ninth visit to the Buckeye State as president. Strickland is locked in a tight race with former Rep. John Kasich (R), and both national party committees are spending heavily on the race.
Obama has been hitting the trail for a slew of statewide candidates this cycle. This month alone, Obama held events for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Las Vegas and Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan; he is also slated to hold a dinner fundraiser tonight at the home of Vogue editor Anna Wintour in New York City and last night collected cash for the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C..
August is shaping up to be President Obama's biggest month yet on the fundraising circuit with at least five events already on his schedule in addition to the Strickland event.
On August 2, Obama is scheduled to attend a DNC fundraiser in Atlanta. Two days later - on his 49th birthday -- he stars at another DNC fundraiser in Chicago, followed by a fundraiser for Democratic Senate nominee and Illinois state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias the next day. And on Aug. 9, the president raises money for the DNC and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee at events in Austin and Dallas.
While the president's low approval rating in certain states runs the risk of dragging down Democratic candidates, his busy schedule is a testament to his power as fundraiser-in-chief.
4. Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has closed the gap to four points against wealthy former health care executive Rick Scott in the state's GOP governor primary, according to a new poll for a McCollum ally.
The poll was conducted by McLaughlin and Associates, who is also McCollum's pollster, for the Florida Medical Association. It shows Scott leading McCollum 37 percent to 33 percent and was conducted three days after a McLaughlin poll for McCollum's campaign showed the gap at 37 percent to 31 percent.
Scott's unfavorable rating has risen from 32 percent to 37 percent over that span, as the ad wars have heated up. Pollster John McLaughlin also points out that Scott's favorability among undecided primary voters is 16 percent favorable and 43 percent unfavorable. If accurate, that suggests McCollum could make up a lot of ground with those voters.
Of course, the fact that McCollum supporters are releasing polls to reassert the competitive nature of the race speaks volumes about how much ground Scott has gained thanks to a saturation television ad buy fueled by better than $20 million in personal spending.
State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is the near-certain Democratic nominee. Bud Chiles, the son of former Gov. Lawton Chiles (D), is running as an independent.
5. New Mexico Democratic Rep. Martin Heinrich trails in a newly released independent poll -- although his campaign was quick to release its own poll the puts him in a much more comfortable position.
SurveyUSA first released an automated poll showing businessman Jon Barela (R) leading Heinrich 51 percent to 45 percent. Heinrich fought back with his own poll, which showed him ahead 53 percent to 41 percent.
In the SurveyUSA poll, Heinrich trails 55 percent to 41 among white voters. In his own poll, he leads that group 49 percent to 45 percent. Among independent voters, Barela leads 54 percent to 36 percent in the SurveyUSA poll. Heinrich's poll did not detail his standing among independents.
Heinrich's seat, which is based in Albuquerque, is not considered one of the GOP's top targets. Though Republicans initially touted Barela as a top candidate, Heinrich's district has trended towards Democrats in recent years and went for President Barack Obama with 60 percent in 2008.
In fact, the seat isn't even considered the most vulnerable in the state. That honorific goes to the southern New Mexico 2nd district, which is currently held by freshman Rep. Harry Teague (D). Former Rep. Steve Pearce (R) is running to re-claim his old seat.
With Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake
July 28, 2010; 7:52 AM ET
Categories: Morning Fix
Save & Share: Previous: Fallin, Askins to face off in battle to become Oklahoma's first woman governor
Next: Updated Governor and Senate ratings!
Posted by: Wildthing1 | July 28, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ceflynline | July 28, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: leapin | July 28, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kenpasadena | July 28, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: YouCanPostThis | July 28, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: paul65 | July 28, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | July 28, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: leapin | July 28, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rharring | July 28, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | July 28, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: YouCanPostThis | July 28, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ignoranceisbliss | July 28, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ignoranceisbliss | July 28, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: samwoods77 | July 28, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: reason5 | July 28, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: reason5 | July 28, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: shrink2 | July 28, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Moonbat | July 28, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | July 28, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: DDAWD | July 28, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: shrink2 | July 28, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: AnnieP1 | July 28, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: DDAWD | July 28, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Moonbat | July 28, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 28, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: wheeljc | July 28, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 28, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 28, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: newbeeboy | July 28, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | July 28, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | July 28, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: TripMcNeely | July 28, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | July 28, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.