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If you want a cheat sheet on the worst Democrats in the House, just look at who the US Chamber of Commerce is funding:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been a powerful ally for Republican candidates in this year's midterm campaigns, quietly moved across the aisle this week and bought ads touting nearly a dozen Democratic House members.

The "voter education" spots are running on behalf of 10 members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, many of them in the South, including Georgia's Jim Marshall, Virginia's Glenn Nye, Maryland's Frank Kratovil, Mississippi's Travis W. Childers and Alabama's Bobby Bright.

The ads were spotted by political media trackers. A spokesman for the chamber would not confirm the buys, but filings with the Federal Election Commission show that the Chamber spent a total of $1,899,772 to run two separate ads for each candidate.

The Chamber desperately wants to fuel the narrative that the Democrats overreached the last two years, but that'll be a much harder sell if it's obstructionist corporatist Democrats getting the axe. So they spend without abandon against real Democrats, trying desperately to defeat them, while they dump $2 million intro shoring up their best corporatist friends on the Democratic side of the aisle.

It's not a bad strategy, particularly if they've concluded that the Democrats will hold the House.

CNN has learned that Tom Donohue, the powerful president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who has vowed to spend more than $75 million on key House and Senate races, has privately told colleagues in recent weeks he believes Democrats will just barely hold on to the House majority.

Two sources familiar with the conversations said Donohue has privately said he's gone over every single key race in the House, and he believes Republicans will lose a few seats -- losses he believes they don't see coming -- because it is more of an anti-establishment election than an anti-Democratic election.

The Chamber has more money than god, and has likely polled every single competitive (or potentially competitive) district. If they were confident in a GOP takeover, they'd go all-out in order to pave the way for Speaker Boehner. Instead, they've decided to hedge their bets by currying favor with the Blue Dogs.

That this spending comes this late in the cycle suggests particular pessimism on Donohue's part. Why enrage Republicans by going to the aid of some of the GOP's biggest targets?

Because if he can't get Speaker Boehner, then the next best thing is a functional corporatist majority in the House, that can team up to make Pelosi's life hell, or even make mischief by electing -- with Republican support -- a Speaker Gene Taylor or Sanford Bishop.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 06:18 PM PDT.

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