Two of the first House races that will begin reporting this evening are Indiana’s 3rd District and Kentucky’s 2nd. These are two incredibly tough districts — IN-03 is R+16, and KY-02 is R+13. If Democrats can defeat GOP Rep. Mark Souder in Indiana or pick off the open seat in KY-02, tonight is going to be a huge night. If we fall short in either, well, it still could be big.
Just as Crisitunity did yesterday in his county-by-county baseline analysis of key statewide battlegrounds, let’s take a look at how the Republicans fared in each of these districts in 2006. Here’s IN-03:
As the early returns come in, these baselines should be helpful in order to determine just how strong of a shot Democrats Mike Montagano and David Boswell have. For what it’s worth, I’m expecting a 2006-style defeat in KY-02, but that shouldn’t get us too down — Boswell hasn’t run a particularly impressive race.
SurveyUSA for Roll Call (10/27-28, likely voters, 10/15-16 in parens):
David Boswell (D): 43 (42)
Brett Guthrie (R): 53 (51)
Undecided: 4 (7)
My friends, this does not look good. National money has been pouring into the district at a furious clip in recent weeks, and it doesn’t seem to have done Boswell much good (remember, back when this race was not engaged, Boswell lead by 3 points in late June). A recent DCCC poll may say otherwise, but it’s getting hard to ignore this string of consistently disappointing SurveyUSA polls.
Bonus finding: McCain leads Obama by 62-35 in this district. More details on the poll’s internals are available here (pdf).
The last couple of polls we saw of this race didn’t give us much reason for optimism. SurveyUSA showed Guthrie pulling ahead by nine points after trailing Boswell earlier in the year, while a Boswell internal showed Guthrie erasing Boswell’s seven point lead and replacing it with a dead heat.
Both the DCCC and the NRCC are spending considerably on this R+13 open seat, but I’m gonna remain skeptical about this one, especially given all the blowback surrounding the DCCC’s ads.
SurveyUSA (9/24-25, likely voters, 6/27-29 in parens):
David Boswell (D): 43 (47)
Brett Guthrie (R): 49 (44)
Undecided: 8 (9)
After David Boswell posted leads in the last round of SUSA’s polling and in a Garin Hart Yang internal last month, Republican Brett Guthrie has pulled ahead in the latest poll. Having the airwaves to himself for over a month is a likely cause, but the DCCC didn’t do Boswell any favors after their attack ad was pulled by a local station, allowing Guthrie to crow about “dishonesty” from Democrats. Not a great start out of the gates here by the DCCC.
The DCCC filed $1.37 million worth in media buys in support of Democratic House candidates tonight. Here’s the damage:
Tonight marks the first time that the DCCC has aired ads in AZ-08, FL-16, KY-02, MD-01, and VA-11.
The lone GOP-friendly media buy comes from the bastards at the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which is dropping cash in support of Republican Bill Cassidy (himself an MD) in his race against Don Cazayoux. See you in hell, eye doctors!
But don’t get the impression that this is one-sided affair just because the NRCC is holding its musket fire. Freedom’s Crotch is up with some ad buys of its own smearing Democrats:
The Crotch is also spending an unspecified amount on NM-01 and NV-03. Ugh.
Now, the Democrat has been added to the DCCC’s exploding “Red to Blue” list and estimates he’s taken in another quarter of a million dollars since the May 20 primary. But the best news may be the DCCC reservation of $840,000 worth of ads in the district, with the ads slated to begin at the end of the week.
The DCCC’s ads could be in critical in the expensive Louisville media market, where about three-fifths of the voters reside and where neither Boswell nor Guthrie is particularly well-known. The National Republican Congressional Committee has not reserved time in the district.
Earlier in the summer, Boswell posted a three-point lead over Republican state Sen. Brett Guthrie in a SUSA poll of the race. He followed that up earlier this month with a Garin-Hart-Yang internal showing him leading by eight points. Boswell has been active in Kentucky politics for decades, serving in the state Senate since 1991, and before that, as the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture and five years in the state House.
However, with only $45,000 in the bank at the end of June, Boswell was at risk of getting swamped out by the far superior fundraising of Guthrie. With the DCCC on board, Boswell now has a fighting chance.
This is a real opportunity, no doubt. An earlier poll this summer from SurveyUSA showed Boswell, a longtime state Senator, leading Guthrie by three points for this open seat. While Kentucky’s 2nd has a PVI of R+12.9, it’s an ancestrally Democratic seat and Boswell has a good deal of name recognition from his long stint in Kentucky politics, including serving a term as the state’s Agriculture Commissioner.
However, if Boswell hopes to win this one, he’s gonna need to bundle some money together, and fast. When we last checked in with the Bos at the end of June, he had only $45K in the bank (compared to Guthrie’s $661K). Former Senate candidate (and richie rich) Greg Fischer has stepped forward in recent weeks to help money find Boswell, and other Kentucky Dems were pushing this race hard in Denver. However, Boswell needs to crank it up in order to seize this opportunity.
Well, the political season has gotten pretty hot in Kentucky. With a Senate seat, and four hotly contested House seats here, Democrats here are fired up. Despite what any poll has said to this point, all these races are winnable. We have fielded a surprisingly impressive lineup of candidates and we are ready to fight for them. Meeting some of the delegates, and Jennifer Moore, the KDP chairman has convinced me that our party is ready to fight.
Our Senate campaign is first and foremost. Living in Kentucky, I have seen the terrible Mitch McConnell ads. I will not grace Mitch McConnell with their prescense in my diary, but they should be easlily findable on YouTube.
For his part, Bruce Lunsford has been hitting back:
He also recieved a huge endorsement from a formal rival:
DENVER-Democratic Congressman Ben Chandler of Kentucky’s 6th District officially endorsed Bruce Lunsford in his race for U.S. Senate against Mitch McConnell. Chandler made the announcement this morning during a Kentucky Delegation breakfast at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
“I am delighted that Ben has publicly expressed the support that he’s been expressing to me privately throughout the year,” said Lunsford, who attended the breakfast. “I’m thrilled to have Ben’s endorsement, and very grateful for it. Ben and I are united in the fight to put an end to the Bush-McConnell policies that have damaged Kentucky and the nation this decade. For many years, Ben Chandler has been an important leader in Kentucky, and I know Mitch McConnell and George W. Bush realize that when Democrats are united behind a cause, it spells trouble for them.”
Bruce can still win this race and still needs our help. Defeating Mitch McConnell should be as important as expelling Joe Lieberman, and would should get behind it with as much effort.
Now, in Congressional races, we simply must keep John Yarmuth, incumbent in the 3rd District. Anyone can find his record and easily see why. I got the priviledge of sitting next to him during Kennedy’s speech at the Convention. Here is a video he gave the grassroots Progressives at bluegrassroots.org:
I don’t think he is in trouble, but we must remain vigilent in this race, because Anne Northup is a Republican sweetheart who will raise a ton of cash. Yarmuth is a fine man, and a great Democrat we need to keep in our U.S. House. Please remember him:
David Boswell is in a hot race too. There have been hints of a DCCC investment, and Boswell has polled ahead in this race. You can see him here. As a State Senator, he has high name recognition in his district:
Ah, and finally, we have Heather Ryan!! Yes, this is my home, my race and my friend. Thanks to all who helped us win the Progressive Patriots contest, it was huge for us. Thanks to Jennifer Moore and the KDP for helping us achieve it, and to all the many folks I asked to vote for her that did. You have all our gratitudes.
It seems the Exxon Ed Whitfield people just have something against this fiery grassroots Democrat. Not only do they take money from terrorist, but they hate free speech too. With a million dollars in their campaign account, they continue to rip up our campaign signs, many handpainted ones and two of the fifty printed ones we had donated. With a million dollars in their account they fear us because we speak the truth to power:
The good news is the Feingold money, that many people were kind enough to help us win will keep Whitfield and his cronies plenty busy yanking up yard signs from now until November so we have time to go on the offensive. We need to run T.V., and we need your help to do it.
One T.V. spot on cable here costs about $6. Please, chip in just $6 to buy us one spot here:
While Kentucky’s 2nd CD is ancestrally Democratic, its PVI is a deep red R+12.9, so this is a pretty strong showing for Boswell — one that might turn some heads in DC. Boswell and Guthrie are both state Senators, but Boswell has been around forever (and even served for a term as the state’s Agriculture Commissioner).
Fundraising has been a bit of an issue for Boswell: his legislative duties have distracted him from putting his full energies into campaigning and raising cash until relatively recently. Guthrie held a nearly 4-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage in the latest filings, which is why the DCCC may have been reluctant to award Boswell with “Red To Blue” status and instead slotted KY-02 in the “Emerging Races” slate for the time being.
However, this result should help grab the attention of donors.
SSP currently rates this race as Likely Republican, but it might be due for an upgrade if Boswell continues to perform strongly in the polls and kick his fundraising into a higher gear.