Over the last few weeks, Democratic groups have released two polls showing a tight race between Democrat Shelli Yoder and Republican Trey Hollingsworth in this 57-41 Romney seat. Yoder herself is now out with a Garin-Hart-Yang survey showing the two tied 43-43, while Donald Trump posts a 48-38 lead. Republicans have not released any contradictory polls for Indiana’s 9th Congressional District, but the NRCC’s response speaks louder than any survey could: The group has committed at least $650,000 to an ad buy.
This is first time that either the NRCC or their allies at the Congressional Leadership Fund have gotten involved in this southern Indiana seat. It’s not only notable that national Republicans are investing in a district this red, but that they’re not trusting Hollingsworth to pull his own weight. Hollingsworth is wealthy, and his father has also funded a super PAC to help him. But apparently, the NRCC don’t feel that the Hollingsworth clan is doing enough to keep this district red without some help.
The NRCC is also out with their first ad, which argues that Yoder is weak on national security, with the narrator insisting that Yoder will “slash funding for Homeland Security and national defense, making us vulnerable to attacks by Islamic terrorists.” National Democrats also recently began airing ads here as well, with House Majority PAC launching a $685,000 buy last week.
It’s going to take a lot to turn this district blue: As we’ve noted before, even disastrous 2012 GOP Senate nominee Richard Mourdock narrowly took it while he was losing 50-44 statewide. But Hollingsworth, who only moved to Indiana from Tennessee just before he launched his congressional campaign last year, may just be weak enough to lose it, and Yoder has the resources to take advantage of the situation.