SURROUNDED: Democrats forced to defend home territory as Republicans set sights on Biden House districts
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McLaughlin & Associates President Jim McLaughlin joined ‘Fox & Friends First’ to discuss several key midterm races just one week before voters head to the polls.
The GOP is again on the offensive with the November midterm elections less than a week away, this time targeting House districts deep in territory once considered safely in the hands of Democrats and that handily voted for President Biden in the 2020 election.
Democrats have been forced to increase their spending in six districts, some even into the seven figures, to counter potential Republican gains in what is already a challenging election year for the party as its continued control over the House and Senate is increasingly in doubt.
The fact that each of these districts voted for Biden by double-digit margins furthers Democrats’ fears that the election’s results could prove to be the “red tsunami” Republicans across the country have been hoping for.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is reportedly making three six-figure investments in California’s 26th Congressional District, New York’s 25th Congressional District, and Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, all rated by Fox News’ Power Rankings as “likely Democratic,” an unnamed source from the organization told Axios earlier this week.
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Fox News Digital reached out to the NRCC for comment to ask them about the report, as well as if there were plans to invest money in more districts it wasn’t already spending in prior to Election Day, but did not receive a response.
According to Axios, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the NRCC’s counterpart, said that it was already investing in those races, which it described as “critical to maintaining the majority,” despite them voting for Biden by margins of 20 points or more.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s campaign itself contributed funds directly to the Democratic candidate in New York’s 25th Congressional District and Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, a sign the party may actually be worried about potential losses.
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Fox News Digital also reached out to the DCCC, asking them why there was a need to invest in those races if they truly were considered safe seats for Democrats, and if the money could be better used in more competitive races. Spokesperson Tommy Garcia responded with a statement bashing Republicans’ efforts to flip the seats, but didn’t directly respond to Fox’s questions.
“While Republicans chase windmills and rush their MAGA money into out-of-reach districts hoping to catch a couple headlines, Democrats are investing strategically and taking nothing for granted to maintain the path to 218 – while also forcing national Republicans to spend millions to prop up their extreme candidates,” Garcia said.
“We’re confident the MAGA Republicans that would be a rubber stamp for the GOP’s nationwide abortion ban and gutting of Social Security and Medicare will never see the halls of Congress,” he added.
COLD SPRING, NEW YORK – AUGUST 17: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) speaks during a press conference on the the Inflation Reduction Act at Glynwood Boat House on August 17, 2022 in Cold Spring, New York.
(Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
Democrats have also been shoring up incumbents in three other districts thought to be safely in the party’s hands, including Rep. Josh Gottheimer in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District, Rep. Mikie Sherrill in New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District, and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the DCCC chair, in New York’s 17th Congressional District.
House Majority PAC, the Super PAC associated with House Democrats, recently dumped $2.3 million in the race to help Gottheimer against Republican Frank Pallotta, while VoteVets, a Democratic group focused on veterans’ issues, spent $2 million to help Sherrill in her race against Republican Paul DeGroot. Both parties have been pouring millions into Maloney’s race against Republican Michael Lawler.
Fox News’ Power Rankings has rated each of the New Jersey races as “likely Democratic,” while Maloney’s race is now rated as a toss-up after being favored for Democrats.
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Fox News Digital asked Republican and Democratic political campaign strategists about the increased focus and spending on these districts, and none seemed surprised.
“The stakes are so high and so much money has already been spent, it’s like betting long shots in the last race at the track to get back your earlier losses to stay in the game,” Republican strategist Ed Rollins said. “The Senate is so close and the House could also come down to winning the majority by a few votes.”
Republican strategist Ed Rollins appears on Fox News’ "America’s Newsroom" in 2020.
“I would argue, that any money being spent this late should be devoted totally to get out the vote efforts, such as phone banks and door-to-door operations. The ad market is glutted. Any more ad money is probably wasted because the best ad space is already purchased. Long shot bets at this point are just that, but in this environment who knows. It’s unlikely you’re going to convert new voters. You just need to make sure your voters vote!” he added.
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Democratic strategist and Fox News contributor Leslie Marshall explained that the “11th hour” money going into some of these races was just following the respective projections of those races, citing some of them moving from “safe Democratic” to “likely Democratic.”
“When you have projections showing that Democrats are most likely going to lose the House, and history showing that Democrats are most likely going to lose the House, you want to keep that loss as small as possible,” she said, adding that neither side was going to chance anything so close to Election Day.
Leslie Marshall, Democrat strategist and Fox News contributor
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Marshall echoed Rollins’ argument that any money being poured into races at this late point in the campaign needed to be dedicated to getting out the vote, and that, because you want to get as many seats in your column as possible, if you have the money to spend on some of these more outlying races, then spend it.
Democratic strategist and Fox News contributor Jessica Tarlov confirmed that Democrats’ in these usually safe districts were actually in tighter than expected races, and linked their troubles to Republicans’ ability to capitalize on messaging about crime.
“I don’t think they’re wasting money – Democrats are in real trouble in traditionally very blue areas. The GOP has been able to exploit the issue of crime especially well, and in places like New York, Hochul is hurting down the ballot too. It’s a perfect storm,” she said.