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Monday, April 17, 2006

NH-02: Hodes (D) Outraises Incumbent Bass

Posted by DavidNYC

Man, I love it when this kind of thing happens, on multiple levels. Just the other day, I suggested that Paul Hodes, the Democrat running in New Hampshire's second Congressional District, might be someone to keep an eye on. Well, Paul did us all a solid by out-raising the incumbent, Charlie Bass, in the most recent quarter. So I get to look smart and we have another competitive race on the radar:

Hodes (D) 1Q Raised: $146K
Bass (R, inc.) 1Q Raised: $102K

Hodes Cash-on-Hand: $232K
Bass Cash-on-Hand: $301K

(Sources: Hodes | Bass)

Hodes beat Bass by almost 50%. Not too shabby. Even in the CoH department, Bass doesn't exactly have a huge lead - and if the fundraising trends continue, that gap will vanish shortly.

Now, to be forthright, Hodes did get spanked last time around, losing to Bass 58-38. As it happens, though, that's exactly one point better than Francine Busby's tally the first time she ran for CA-50 - and Busby might very well win this time. Melissa Bean, meanwhile, improved nine points between 2002 and 2004, in a much more conservative district. My point is that a first run against an incumbent can serve as a sort of trial, a way to hone your skills and strategies, a way to probe for weaknesses. Smart challengers use those lessons the second time out, and from what I can tell, Paul Hodes is no slacker. And the word on the ground is that he's running a much better, more tightly-managed campaign than last time.

Moreover, there's the macro situation. I don't mean national polls showing Bush and Congress in the dumpster - I think people read too much into those. Rather, I'm talking about what's happened in New Hampshire over the past two decades. It's one of the few states you can confidently say has trended blue. A state that almost always voted Republican, New Hampshire voted for Clinton twice in the 90s. Then, in 2000, the Gore + Nader vote exceeded the Bush vote. In case there was any doubt about the direction of this trend (perhaps, you think, it's not fair to lump the Nader vote in with the Gore vote), NH was the only state in the nation to switch from Bush in 2000 to Kerry in 2004.

It's certainly true that this trend is lagging on the Congressional front. But I don't expect it to lag much longer. New Hampshire is a growing state - indeed, in the first half of the decade, it grew faster than the nation as a whole. Many of these migrants are from more liberal states, particular Massachusetts. But it actually turns out that newcomers from all regions (PDF) are less Republican than native-born New Hampshirites (scroll down to page 13). The state is changing, and there's no avoiding it.

Let me put things another way: In the 90s, NH-02 had a PVI of D+1.0. It's now up to D+2.7. The state's other CD has also followed suit, going from R+1.6 to an almost dead-even R+0.1. What's happening here is an inverse of what happened in the South to members of our party. Republicans who once were right at home in their districts are now being left behind by demographics. It's not just that Charlie Bass represents a Dem-leaning CD - it's that he's getting more out-of-step with his constituents every passing year. According to CQ, Bass voted with the Republicans 87% of the time in 2005. NH-02 is not that conservative.

And perhaps that all points to why he did so abysmally this quarter in fundraising. Whenever an incumbent rakes in so little cash, and especially when he gets beat by a challenger, you've got to ask yourself: Is his heart really in it? Does he really want to stay in office? NRCC Chair Tom Reynolds has been putting vise-like pressure on his caucus-members not to retire. But for a guy like Bass - whose re-election campaigns will only get harder and harder each cycle - party loyalty may not trump personal convenience. Certainly if Bass's fundraising continues to lag, people will start asking if he's going to quit, and he's gonna have to answer `em.

In the meantime, Paul Hodes can keep kicking ass.

P.S. If you know of any other races where the challenger outraised the incumbent this past quarter, please post `em in comments.

Posted at 12:27 PM in 2006 Elections - House, New Hampshire | Technorati

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In MN-01, Teacher & Fightin' Dem Tim Walz outraised incumbent Gil Gutknecht:

Walz: $127,024
Gutknecht: $105,101

Gutknecht holds a 6 to 1 CoH advantage, but the Walz campaign is gaining HUGE momentum. This is a race to watch!

Posted by: DFLer22 [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 17, 2006 02:05 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Bass had unbelievably poor fundraising for an Incumbent. Go Hodes Go.

Posted by: Democraticavenger [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 17, 2006 02:18 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Why does CQPolitics still consider NH-02 a safe Republican seat (http://www.cqpolitics.com/risk_rating_house.html#republicans) ?

Posted by: CarolinaBlue [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 17, 2006 05:09 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Charlie Cook, for one, disagrees. He rates NH-02 (and NH-01, for that matter) as likely Republican, not safe Republican.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 17, 2006 05:30 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

As I stated in another comment before Tessa Hafen practically outraised incumbent Jon Porter NV 3. She raised $369,000 after entering on Feb 20. Porter raised $410,000 in the entire quarter. So this is really one to watch out for in the next quarter.

Posted by: jedinecny [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 17, 2006 05:37 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Patrick Murphy in PA08 outraised Fitzgerald the incumbent

Posted by: Atrios [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 17, 2006 05:49 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Two of the Connecticut seats had incumbents get outraised.

2nd CD:
Courtney (D): $274,688
Simmons (R): 222,500 (est.)

4th CD:
Farrell (D): $514,595
Shays (R): $372,000

Posted by: Matthew Gertz [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 17, 2006 06:21 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I did a big Senate fundraising diary on Kos and my own blog, covering about 20+ of the races.

But just like your Charlie Bass scenario, Lincoln Chafee ($300k in Q1) also happened to lag behind two people this quarter -- Sheldon Whitehouse ($530k) and Steve Laffey ($328k). When your primary challenger is able to out-earn you, your days are severely numbered.

Posted by: AnthonySF [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 17, 2006 06:44 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

But what political experience does Hodes have to offer. Is he the Minority Whip in the house, or is that the guy running against Bradley. We have our own poor fundraisers too you know. Boswell raised just 160,000 dollars again, despite that this time around campaigns are heating up, and he didn't spend half of this quarter in a hospital. His opponet, Senate President Lamberti raised 341,000, this a Farrell Like whipping for Boswell. But, thankfully due to the fact he had pathetic challnegers in 2002 and 2004, he still has a 200,000 dollars cash on hand advantage. Marshall also got outraised again, thought by not as much as Boswell. Marshall really surprised me, I thought he'd be doing better. I've Barrow blew Burns away though, can't verify that, but heard. That at least is good news if it's true. Also, what's the deal in New York. Both Sweeney and Kuhl raised barely a hundred thousand dollars last semester, now they're both at about half a million dollars for this Semester. This is beginning to tick me off. How do Republicans have seemingly unending resources. Both Kuhl and Sweeney's districts started to look competetive so they poured money in them. Massa continues to spend more money than Kuhl, but he's raised a lot of money so far this quarter, 311,000 his best yet.

Posted by: ArkDem [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 17, 2006 07:02 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Charlie Malancon got outraised too. Which coloumn do you read on the FEC reports toi find out how much money a candidate raised. Becasue unless I'm mistaken, Barrow pulled 1,100,000 for the quarter, with Burns at 989,000 for the quarter, everything Elese I saw looked to be too small for their quarterly numbers.

Posted by: ArkDem [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 17, 2006 07:20 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Stakeholder has a few today;

Eric Massa (D) $92,948
Rep. Kuhl $82,851

Massa COH $121,212
Kuhl COH $440,018

NY-24 (Boehlert retiring)
District Attorney Arcuri $186,507
state Senator Meier (R) $176,090

Posted by: jonahinnyc [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 18, 2006 08:47 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Charlie Bass was also the Republican co-sponsor of the alternate proposal on regulating political speech on the Internet which we strongly opposed.

Posted by: Adam B [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 18, 2006 11:38 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

As a NH voter I am thankful you pointed out Paul Hodes successful Q1 fundraising numbers. May I also point out Democrat Jim Craig who is running for NH other house seat. Mr. Craig is the NH Democrat House leader in Concord, NH & although he has only been in the race since late February, he outraised Republican incumbent Jeb Bradley 156k to 104k for Q1! Great job Jim Craig!


Posted by: AndTun1 [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 18, 2006 12:14 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

CO-05 [Rep. Hefley (R) retiring], from the Stakeholder;

Fawcett (D) raised $80,191 for first quarter of 2006, which is more than any of the Republican candidates, according to the FEC website.

Posted by: jonahinnyc [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 18, 2006 02:00 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment