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2022 Was Destined To Be A Bad Year For House Democrats But The DCCC Is Making It Much WOrse

After the terrible job Cheri Bustos did as DCCC chair, it was hard to find someone worse, but the Democrats managed to

To a national audience, what’s going on in CA-27 looks like just more of the DCCC’s grotesque malpractice. But one could almost defend the DCCC’s decision to not prioritize the district, despite a hawkish McCarthy puppet and Trump asslicker, Mike Garcia, sitting in a nice blue seat, with a partisan lean of D+8 (up from D+5). Perhaps the DCCC will be able to win the seat when the partisan lean is more like the bordering districts, CA-32 (D+38), CA-29 (D+51), CA-30 (D+45), CA-28 (D+30). The DCCC is good at winning districts like that.

But first they’d have to get a plausible candidate instead of the failed retread they’ve been using over and over and over, conservative fake Democrat Christy Smith, who no self-respecting progressive could ever vote for, other than those diligently embracing a lesser-of-two-evils electoral strategy. It hasn’t worked out in any of the elections where Smith has faced Garcia in the past. The last one, in the June primary, Garcia bested Smith again, despite the stronger blue lean:

These are the other times she faced Garcia and flopped:

2020 Special election

  • Mike Garcia- 95,088 (54.9%)

  • Christy Smith- 78,234 (45.1%)

2020 general election

  • Mike Garcia- 169,638 (50.05%)

  • Christy Smith- 169,305 (49.95%)

(Biden beat Trump in the district that day 54.0% to 43.9%)

The Christy Smith problem is the DCCC’s #1 flaw: the powers there— in this case Wall Street whore Sean Patrick Maloney— don’t believe in Democratic Party values; they are frightened little conservatives who identify with the Democrats for one personal reason— in Maloney’s case because he’s gay— but look down their noses at the working class. So, the DCCC, from Rahm on, always recruited and supported Republican-lite candidates, like Smith. In Smith’s case, though, something is malfunctioning now. The 538 forecast actually shows her running slightly ahead of Garcia. The money race is killing her though. Garcia has raised $4,801,024 and has $1,683,115 left for the final stretch. Smith only raised $1,301,853 and only has $305,915 left. While the NRCC has spent $1,321,694 and McCarthy’s SuperPAC has thrown in another $1,507,893, the DCCC showed up with $95— literally-- and Pelosi’s SuperPAC has spent… nuthin’.

That Ally Mutnick-Sarah Ferris report linked above holds that “The decision, according to those involved, was driven by a relative lack of resources: As Republicans’ biggest House super PAC floods the election with hundreds of millions of dollars, their Democratic counterparts have lagged far behind. Some members of the California Democratic delegation were alarmed by the decision to leave Garcia’s district untouched— and they have urged their party’s campaign arm in recent weeks not to abandon a seat that President Joe Biden won by double digits, according to multiple people familiar with the discussions. Similar pleas are coming from Texas, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, as frustrated Democrats bemoan that their party’s outside groups are unable— or, some say privately, unwilling— to devote precious funds toward what they see as winnable seats. The result is a shrinking battlefield for Democrats that has seen leadership and rank-and-file members alike pressuring the rest of their party, including Biden, to pony up more support in a bid to save the House majority. The anxiety is especially acute in southern Arizona, where retiring Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick has been lobbying her party to help Kirsten Engel, the Democratic nominee vying to replace her. ‘I know with every bone in my body that Engel will win this district if we can get DCCC investing sooner,’ Kirkpatrick said of her swing seat where national Republicans have spent over $1.3 million so far on TV. ‘I understand the impossible decisions they have to make each cycle but coming in late and undervaluing this race is a huge mistake. This is a seat we keep blue if we go big now.’”

AZ-06 was gerrymandered to make it more difficult for Democrats to win there. The partisan lean of D+2 that Kirkpatrick won under, is now R+7, next to impossible for a Democrat outside of a wave election. 538 has Republican Juan Ciscomani up by 10 points in their current forecast— 55.0% to 45.0%. He’s raised $1,813,700 to her $1,272,012 but it is the outside money flow that is really catastrophic. Although the far right Democratic group, theDemocratic Majority for Israel spent tens of thousands of dollars attacking Engel, the DCCC and Pelosi’s SuperPaC have spent a combined zero on her behalf. Meanwhile, the NRCC and Kevin McCarthy’s SuperPAC have spent a combined $3 million smearing her and bolstering Ciscomani.

This morning, one of the Democratic Party’s top campaign strategists told me that he’s “been in this game for over a decade. During some electoral cycles, the DCCC is bad. They are arrogant, inefficient, and corrupt. During other cycles, they are not just bad— they are pathetic. Sean Patrick Maloney hired a staff of mediocre (at best) careerists who truly have no track record of EVER winning a campaign. The Executive Director got lucky during one of his races as a manager and lost his others, the Deputy Executive Director has never run a race (let alone won one) but rather worked at Emily's List (the only organization to be more pathetic than the DCCC) as a mid level assistant, and the Political Director famously managed four losing races in ONE cycle (the 2018 Democratic wave) before being promoted to ‘senior advisor’ on two more losing races. Sean Patrick Maloney was a DC hack (who made friends with rich hedge fund managers in order to take their money and use their offices for call time) before becoming a Congressman and hired a staff that reflects his background as such. They use fancy words like algorithm when speaking with candidates to appear smart, but rather they are just mediocre clerks looking to join the DC racket. We'll see the end result of their algorithms in just a few weeks. Unfortunate, but true. I'm hoping donors live long enough to see how wasteful their donations to the DCCC have been.”

Mutnick and Ferris pointed out that “House Democrats’ panic has escalated this month as GOP outside groups continued to smash fundraising records. Despite high candidate fundraising, Democrats have been unable to respond with the same volume of money, and the party has struggled to free up the resources to attack potentially endangered Republican incumbents— a crucial part of their strategy, since they need to offset expected losses in more conservative Democratic-held districts… Republican outside spending is forcing Democrats to divert precious resources to what should be safe blue districts. Democrats’ top super PAC this week slashed a planned TV blitz in Los Angeles, which could have targeted Garcia, and Tucson, where Engel is running, to redeploy the money elsewhere… Top Democrats insist the fight is not over. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has hosted a trio of big fundraisers in California in recent days, with headliners including former President Barack Obama and First Lady Jill Biden. She hosted Biden in Los Angeles on Thursday, as the Democratic National Committee announced transfers of $1 million each to Democrats’ House and Senate campaign arms.”

Another Democratic Party campaign operative told me today that she believes Persico and Maloney will spend the money in “all the wrong places for all the wrong reasons… You can take that million dollars and flush it down the toilet for all the good it will do in the hands of those two clowns.”

Democrats have always known that their campaign chief, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), would be forced to make difficult decisions to prioritize some races over others closer to Nov. 8. Meaningful party spending has not begun— and is unlikely to start— in Rep. Tom O’Halleran’s (D-AZ) district and another three open Democratic-held districts in Wisconsin, Michigan and South Texas trending away from the party.
But some lawmakers and strategists say they’re still worried about not being unable to spend on offense. For instance, Democrats are spending on TV to aid roughly half of the three dozen candidates the DCCC designated as the party’s most formidable challengers. And the lack of investment to target Republicans in Biden-won seats is particularly noticeable.
Even in a good year for Republicans, Garcia, a former Navy pilot, faces strong headwinds in his northern Los Angeles district, which Biden carried by 13 points— a higher margin than almost any other member of the House GOP conference.
National Republicans have spent nearly $1.8 million so far to aid Garcia. No Democratic groups have helped repeat challenger Christy Smith in the exorbitantly expensive Los Angeles media market.
…In nearby Orange County, no help has come for Democrats Jay Chen and Asif Mahmood, underdogs challenging GOP Reps. Michelle Steel and Young Kim, respectively. Biden carried both districts.

Underdogs? Let’s look at those two newly redrawn districts.

Michelle Steel’s Orange County district (formerly CA-48, now CA-45) has a partisan lean of D+5, much bluer than the R+2 it was when she won in 2020. Jay Chen should be able to win this seat but 538 is calling it for Steel already. Their forecast has her taking 52.2% to his 47.8%. Steel has raised $4,688,279 to Chen’s $2,957,556 but they are both even going into the final stretch— about $2.1 million each. The DCCC has spent $95 on Chen’s race and Pelosi’s SuperPAC has spent nothing at all, while McCarthy’s SuperPAC has spent $2,133,326 helping Steel. So… not structurally an underdog; an underdog because Sean Patrick Maloney and his DCCC are especially incompetent.

The story is similar in CA-40 (formerly CA-39), where Young Kim has a slight advantage— an R+4 partisan lean instead of the D+6 it was before the redistricting. 538 shows her beating Mahmood 56.2% to 43.8% in a district Biden carried just 2 years ago. Kim has raised $6,171,065 to his $2,193,494 but, once again, they are evenly matched in the final stretch (about $1.2 million each). Her advantage is that McCarthy’s SuperPAC has spent over a million and a half dollars while the DCCC and Pelosi are sitting this one out.

Perhaps the worst Democrat running in 2022— certainly in the top 5 of conservative shitbags who we’d be better off without— is state Sen. Don Davis (NC-01) who is anti-Choice and more a Republican than a Democrat, easily as bad as Manchin and Sinema. The DCCC is delighted to spend heavily on a piece shit like Davis— $2,476,177 + $715,983 from that champion of women's Choice Nancy Pelosi.

Progressives almost never get that kind of support from the Democratic establishment. Mutnick and Ferris noted that Florida state Sen. Annette Taddeo, a progressive-- running in a district Biden won-- with a slight Democratic partisan advantage (D+1) against a confused Republican incumbent, Maria Elvira Salazar, is in desperateness of financial assistance. Unlike Davis in North Carolina, the DCCC is cold-shouldering Taddeo. She’s getting no help from the DCCC and Pelosi’s SuperPAC while Republican groups have spent around $650,000 helping Salazar. If you’d like to send a contribution to Taddeo, you can do it here. And while, you're on that page, Oregon progressive Jamie McLeod-Skinner isn't getting even close to what she needs from the Democratic establishment-- again in a slightly Democratic-leaning district-- and you might want to think about contributing to her campaign as well.


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