I've been keeping a close eye on the latest independent expenditure reports over the past week or so to track the action in unresolved races like LA-02 and TX-23. In the Texas run-off race, independent expenditures are especially critical if Democrat Ciro Rodriguez is to have any kind of a shot at knocking off Henry Bonilla: as of November 22, Bonilla enjoyed a 10-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage over Ciro. Here's a chronological rundown of the DCCC's intervention in the 23rd District runoff election:
11/29: $163k (media buy and ad production) 12/01: $43k (direct mail), $9k (media buy and ad production) 12/02: $16k (phonebanking) 12/04: $42k (direct mail), $9k (ad production) 12/06: $497k (media buy), $785 (phonebanking), $91k (direct mail)
This amounts to an $871,000 investment in the district over the past week by the DCCC. That's a very decent show of support for Ciro, but unlike most party committee IEs, the DCCC is doing the heavy lifting for a cash-strapped candidate here. Supposedly, Democratic sources have been leaking the news that Ciro is within three points of Bonilla in the latest internal polling. Can the DCCC help close the gap here? I wouldn't care to wager, especially given Bonilla's superior organization and financial base, but I think we can interpret tonight's expenditures as a signal that victory is not undoable here.