Tepid fundraising, underperforming candidates and a lousy party brand are threatening to deprive House Republicans of the sweeping 2014 gains that some top party officials have been predicting this year.That's the lede from a Politico overview of the House electoral picture, and it's pretty spot on, with strategists from both parties predicting a 5-6-seat Republican gain—far short of what Republicans originally hoped. So what's going on? We'll take a look below the fold.
Money: Open Secrets data shows a stark fundraising disparity between the parties, with House Democrats outraising their counterparts $136 million to $109 million. Democratic candidates are also outperforming their Republican opponents.
A Wall Street Journal analysis of fundraising reports due at the Federal Election Commission Tuesday of the top candidates in the 54 House contests considered to be the most competitive, as determined by the Rothenberg Political Report, shows that Democrats had $41.8 million in the bank, compared with $30.1 million for the Republican candidates.Outside money is focused on the Senate.
Candidates. Republicans are fretting over some of their crappy candidates.
Many are worried about Southerland, who’s trying to beat back a ferocious challenge from Democrat Gwen Graham, the daughter of ex-Florida Sen. Bob Graham [...]The GOP brand. Yup, those candidates (and many more) suck. They're Republicans, so by definition they suck. America certainly thinks so. That's why both CBS and NBC/WSJ polling found the GOP's favorability rating at 29 percent. Not even a third of America likes those assholes! Sure, Fox pegged the GOP's faves at a much better 42-50, but no one else is anywhere near as optimistic about the GOP's current status. (They had the Democratic Party at 47-45 favorabilities, also much higher than anyone else, so maybe they just found a happy sample.)
There is also concern about Terry, an eight-term Nebraska congressman with a long history as an underwhelming campaigner. [...] A Republican group that recently polled the race, and provided POLITICO with its data, found Terry tied with Democratic state Sen. Brad Ashford at 41 percent — distressing for a longtime incumbent.
Others say there is growing consternation over Comstock, the Clinton investigator-turned state legislator who is seeking an open Virginia seat being vacated by a Republican. Privately, some GOP strategists are miffed that Comstock’s political team is composed of some of the operatives who guided ex-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s losing primary campaign.
But when Republican polling shows that women (a majority of the electorate) think they are "stuck in the past," "lacking in compassion," and "intolerant," then perhaps your electoral upside is severely limited. And when your top issue is "Obamacare will destroy America! Oh wait, never mind about that, how about we impeach Obama instead DEPORT THE CHILDREN AT THE BORDER," then perhaps you shouldn't expect much upside at all.
Which brings us back to the issue of core Democratic base voter turnout. The only reason Republicans can even think of gaining any seats is because our people don't vote. If we do, we win. And that's the big drama this fall.
Pew has the generic congressional ballot at +5 Democrats which would indicate Democratic gains. But that's among registered voters. November will hinge on how many of those voters we get to the polls.