UPDATE: We’ve been tipped off that Maxine Waters confirmed today that the DCCC backed off a spend on Richmond’s behalf because they’re terrified of what’s in his closet. Looking to find a published report to that effect, but we haven’t uncovered one yet. Given the day’s events, it’s entirely possible we’re on the edge of this whole thing unraveling.
ORIGINAL STORY: An interesting story in the Times-Picayune today highlights a sign of the times prior to the Nov. 2 election – namely, that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is finding its resources stretched extremely thin, is pulling out of several House races.
Many of those are races where an embattled Democrat incumbent is being left for dead. But one of them is the campaign for the 2nd District of Louisiana seat, where Democrat Cedric Richmond is in the lead against Republican incumbent Joseph Cao.
The Washington Post article the Picayune piece cites says the pullout is based on an expectation of Richmond’s victory…
According to sources, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has canceled all of its remaining reservations for districts held by Reps. Suzanne Kosmas (Fla.), Kathy Dahlkemper (Pa.) and Steve Driehaus (Ohio), as well as open seats in Indiana’s 8th district, Tennessee’s 8th district and Kansas’s 3rd district.
It has also canceled reservations in two districts where it is now confident of victory: Rep. Joseph Cao‘s (R-La.) seat and the open at-large seat in Delaware.
Cao’s seat and the Delaware seat were widely expected to flip to Democrats, so the real news is the other districts where the DCCC is pulling out.
The first six will be tough for Democrats to hold; they have ranked among the party’s most vulnerable districts throughout the year, and the DCCC’s decision to pull out completely suggests doom for the Democrats running.
The Democrats are also likely to lose four open seats that the committee has yet to invest in: Tennessee’s 6th district, Arkansas’s 2nd district, Louisiana’s 3rd district and New York’s 29th district.
Adding those four districts to the six vulnerable ones where the committee has canceled its time suggests the DCCC could be conceding 10 seats at this point. But it is likely to gain two back in Cao’s seat and Delaware.
But there is another side to the story. Both the Picayune piece and WDSU-TV’s story on the media pullout cite an e-mail blast by political consultant and Cao surrogate Cheron Brylski which says the Democrats fear a Richmond implosion:
The truth is when DNC Chair Kaines (sic) was in NOLA over the weekend he was testing the waters to be sure all was okay, to see how far out there the White House should get and they apparently did NOT like what they learned.
It could be that both explanations are true; Richmond is likely to win even without a large third-party DCCC buy, and even though Cao has more money and is buying more media for the final stretch of the campaign it’s not like the Democrat can’t get his message out. And Richmond’s background is a greasy one indeed, so there is risk in a high-profile backing if Richmond does implode.
Either way, Richmond has an advantage at this point and if he loses it would indicate a major collapse.
Cao, meantime, followed up last week’s effective attack spot with a new one yesterday: