Republicans Have Huge Money Lead In Close House Races

Jeff Birnbaum and Zach Goldfarb report that the Democrats spent their money early, leaving the GOP with an advantage of “more than 2 to 1 in money on hand” to make a last-minute push in several key House races.

This has Matt Yglesias and Scott Lemieux somewhat pessimistic about their side’s chances of taking over. Perhaps rightfully so. It could well be that the Democrats raced off to an early lead partly on the virtue of spending a lot of ad dollars early and that the Republicans decided to hold off until the stretch run since, as the old adage goes, most Americans don’t pay attention to politics until after the World Series. And Joe Gandelman reminds us of another one: “what matters is the first impression — and the last impression.”

Then again, it sure feels like inertia has set in. Survey after survey shows Democrats ahead, even in some seats that were once considered ridiculously safe. More importantly, the Republican base seems depressed, not just because it looks like they might lose but because it’s getting harder to argue that voting Republican is actually worthwhile. (See P.J. O’Rourke’s latest for a particularly pungent version of that view.)

The mathematics still make it hard for the Democrats to take back the Senate and there are just too many variables in the 435 House races to make safe predictions. And no party has ever taken control of the House and not the Senate. Maybe the money advantage will be enough to stem the tide.

Election Night should be interesting, as neither side has any real reason to be confident at this point.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. likely outcome. And in the Senate, every pickup matters a lot if even if you don’t win, especially for threatening filibusters. The reverse-hedge point is true too, of course, but I still say Mets in 6 with Glavine now starting on full rest… …James Joyner says that “neither side has any real reason to be confident at this point.” Seems about right.


    The Democrats have NO NEW STRATEGY, when they are forced to state an idea, it is always an old one, inevitably, one that has failed in the past. They have NO NEW IDEAS….

  3. RatMan says:

    Spam comment in violation of site policies deleted.

  4. anjin-san says:

    So the good news is the GOP might still be able to buy the election?

  5. […] UPDATE: Others: OTB, RWN, TMV, AJ Strata, […]

  6. Steven Plunk says:

    Buying the election in the classic sense would be to purchase individual votes.

    Getting your message out to convince people to vote for you is legitimate. If the Dems spent too early and now will be drowned out by GOP ads that is poor campaigning, nothing more.

  7. anjin-san says:


    Your argument assumes some sort of financial parity going in, which is not the case. The GOP had deeper pockets from the get-go. Corporations who have been given the green light to do basically anything they please did not stiff their benefactors…