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SSP Cash Power Rankings: 2Q House Edition

by: James L.

Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 12:43 AM EDT


It's time. Just as we did after the first quarter, we've rounded up and ranked the top 75 non-open seat House races according to the SSP Cash Power Index -- a metric designed to measure cash-on-hand competitiveness. We divide a challenger's cash-on-hand by the size of the incumbent's war chest to gauge the financial gap between candidates.

Let's have a look at where we stand after the second quarter. You'll notice that eight of the top ten challengers are Democrats, and the top-ranked Republican is Deborah "The Defrauder" Honeycutt. 47 of the top 75 challengers are Democrats while 27 are Republicans. A lone independent makes the chart for the first time:

Cash
Power
Rank
1Q
Rank
District Challenger Party CoH Incumbent Party CoH Cash
Power
Index
1 (n/a) LA-01 Harlan D $554 Scalise R $211 263%
2 9 GA-13 Honeycutt R $290 Scott D $119 244%
3 2 TX-07 Skelly D $1050 Culberson R $550 191%
4 1 ID-01 Minnick D $444 Sali R $250* 178%
5 4 WA-08 Burner D $1248 Reichert R $916 136%
6 28 IL-14 Oberweis R $547 Foster D $443 123%
7 8 FL-24 Kosmas D $936 Feeney R $795 118%
8 14 IN-03 Montagano D $352 Souder R $323 109%
9 6 MI-07 Schauer D $929 Walberg R $855 109%
10 3 NY-29 Massa D $652 Kuhl R $619 105%
11 16 MO-06 Barnes D $962 Graves R $936 103%
12 7 OH-02 Wulsin D $378 Schmidt R $393 96%
13 11 VA-10 Feder D $812 Wolf R $849 96%
14 31 AK-AL Berkowitz D $399 Young R $461 87%
15 12 CT-04 Himes D $1444 Shays R $1698 85%
16 26 KY-03 Northup R $819 Yarmuth D $1002 82%
17 (n/a) LA-06 Cassidy R $195 Cazayoux D $271 72%
18 21 FL-16 Valeche R $829 Mahoney D $1172 71%
19 23 WI-08 Gard R $649 Kagen D $927 70%
20 38 FL-25 Garcia D $701 M. Diaz-Balart R $1045 67%
21 13 NH-01 Bradley R $475 Shea-Porter D $749 63%
22 (n/a) AK-AL LeDoux R $289 Young R $461 63%
23 15 VA-05 Perriello D $520 Goode R $834 62%
24 39 FL-21 Martinez D $1079 L. Diaz-Balart R $1755 61%
25 44 VA-02 Nye D $409 Drake R $682 60%
26 30 MI-09 Peters D $1082 Knollenberg R $1891 57%
27 (n/a) NY-24 Hanna R $409 Arcuri D $727 56%
28 19 KS-02 Jenkins R $489 Boyda D $892 55%
29 48 KS-03 Jordan R $616 Moore D $1140 54%
30 27 NC-10 Johnson D $219 McHenry R $411 53%
31 42 TX-10 Doherty D $260 McCaul R $489 53%
32 18 AZ-03 Lord D $707 Shadegg R $1354 52%
33 58 PA-15 Bennett D $354 Dent R $687 52%
34 25 CA-50 Leibham D $267 Bilbray R $528 51%
35 20 FL-09 Dicks D $323 Bilirakis R $643 50%
36 46 CO-04 Markey D $580 Musgrave R $1156 50%
37 33 CA-11 Andal R $663 McNerney D $1376 48%
38 29 OH-01 Driehaus D $631 Chabot R $1312 48%
39 45 NY-20 Treadwell R $1269 Gillibrand D $2803 45%
40 (n/a) AK-AL Parnell R $208 Young R $461 45%
41 36 FL-08 Stuart D $415 Keller R $935 44%
42 68 IL-13 Harper D $300 Biggert R $680 44%
43 (n/a) NV-03 Titus D $553 Porter R $1277 43%
44 50 IL-10 Seals D $1176 Kirk R $2857 41%
45 24 NJ-05 Shulman D $258 Garrett R $649 40%
46 57 PA-04 Hart R $625 Altmire D $1574 40%
47 (n/a) PA-12 Russell R $250 Murtha D $644 39%
48 37 FL-16 Rooney R $451 Mahoney D $1172 38%
49 34 AZ-05 Schweikert R $521 Mitchell D $1372 38%
50 59 CT-05 Cappiello R $711 Murphy D $1901 37%
51 (n/a) FL-08 Grayson D $345 Keller R $935 37%
52 41 FL-13 Jennings D $579 Buchanan R $1573 37%
53 64 AL-03 Segall D $411 Rogers R $1120 37%
54 73 NV-02 Derby D $353 Heller R $984 36%
55 49 GA-08 Goddard R $489 Marshall D $1372 36%
56 32 NH-01 Stephen R $257 Shea-Porter D $749 34%
57 63 PA-06 Roggio D $260 Gerlach R $762 34%
58 43 TN-09 Tinker D $247 Cohen D $727 34%
59 (n/a) MS-01 Davis R $54 Childers D $161 34%
60 (n/a) OH-02 Krikorian I $131 Schmidt R $393 33%
61 53 AZ-08 Bee R $688 Giffords D $2078 33%
62 54 IN-09 Sodrel R $379 Hill D $1160 33%
63 (n/a) CO-05 Bidlack D $77 Lamborn R $237 32%
64 (n/a) SC-01 Ketner D $432 Brown R $1340 32%
65 (n/a) MN-01 Davis R $377 Walz D $1211 31%
66 (n/a) CA-03 Durston D $189 Lungren R $615 31%
67 10 TN-04 Lankford R $140 L. Davis D $461 30%
68 56 CA-45 Bornstein D $122 Bono Mack R $421 29%
69 40 FL-08 Smith D $269 Keller R $935 29%
70 51 WV-02 Barth D $353 Moore Capito R $1237 29%
71 55 IN-04 Ackerson D $178 Buyer R $629 28%
72 (n/a) CA-46 Cook D $97 Rohrabacher R $388 25%
73 22 KS-02 Ryun R $223 Boyda D $892 25%
74 69 NJ-04 Zeitz D $125 Smith R $504 25%
75 71 FL-18 Taddeo D $457 Ros-Lehtinen R $1893 24%

*Estimate.

James L. :: SSP Cash Power Rankings: 2Q House Edition
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morbid curiosity...
Hi James, just wondering, who dropped off of the list?

Good question...
IA-04 (Meyer), IA-02 (Miller-Meek), PA-10 (Hackett), OH-03 (Mitakides), FL-16 (Harrell), PA-08 (Manion), NJ-05 (Abate), PA-18 (O'Donnell), NY-13 (Harrison and Recchia), NV-03 (Daskas)... I think that's it, but I'd have to double-check.

[ Parent ]
A couple more
AZ-05 (Ogsbury) and IL-06 (Morgenthaler).

[ Parent ]
Fifteen names dropped off
Several lost primaries or dropped out (in order by district):

District Challenger Party
AZ-05 Ogsbury R
FL-16 Harrell R
IA-02 Miller-Meeks R
IA-04 Meyer D
IL-06 Morgenthaler D
IN-02 Puckett R
NJ-05 Abate D
NV-03 Daskas D
NY-13 Harrison D
NY-13 Recchia D
OH-03 Mitakides D
PA-08 Manion R
PA-10 Hackett R
PA-18 O'Donnell D
SC-02 Miller D


[ Parent ]
Kevin Powell
Did not file an FEC report but claimed to have raised $60,000 in a filing night party with Dave Chapelle (a no show).  Since Democratic incumbent Ed Towns is at $381,605 he is probably close to the 24% cut off point. The filing dealine was July 10.

In NJ, the closest percentage for those not making the cut was 6% (Kurkowski vs. LoBiondo, NJ-2); Tom Wyka (2% in NJ-11) was next.


[ Parent ]
I'm the Internet Director for Kevin Powell's Campaign
And we did file an FEC report, but that party came after the deadline, so it wasn't reported.  However, between that fundraiser and our other efforts (including what was on the FEC reports), I'd estimate that we're at about 25% of Ed Towns' CoH, and we have the advantage of a small-dollar donor base that can donate more compared to Ed Towns' donors, many of whom have already maxed out.

Elect a real Democrat in Brooklyn.  Kevin Powell for Congress.

[ Parent ]
Where'd you get numbers for Sali?
Last report before 6/30 had him sitting on 157K, so 250K is a new number.  Didn't see any new reports on the FEC site.  

Ah, good question.
I'm using numbers that he gave to The Hill until he files his report. Once we get the precise nums, I'll swap out the old ones.

[ Parent ]
William Russell
in PA-12, who's posted impressive fundraising numbers against Jack Murtha, is another client of BMW Direct. TPM broke the story after Michelle Malkin started gushing about this guy's chances.

TX-22
I was surprised to see TX-22 no where on the list given that Lampson is generally viewed as our most vulnerable incumbent.  But, on further reflection, I'd guess it's because the Rs had a hard fought primary and have spent their money.  If so, this list might mislead as to the future monetary competitiveness of any districts where the challenger fought a tough primary battle.

Looking back to 2006
45% (15 of 33) of Democrats who raised 64%+ compared to their Republican incumbent opponents won.

13% (6 of 46) of Democrats who raised between 25% and 63% vs. Republican incumbents won.

0% (0 of 119) of Democrats who raised less than 25% as much as the Republican incumbent won.  

These benchmarks can be used as barometers for success in 2008.

It is interesting that the Cash Power Index cuts off at 24%.  If a challenger does not appear on this list (or get on there by November), he or she has almost no chance of winning.


NC-08?
Out of curiosity, what was the index for NC-08 in 2006?

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
Kissell raised 32% of what Hayes did in 2006
The other factor to consider is the amount the DCCC puts in, because that is not included in the percentages.

[ Parent ]
i thought the DCCC spent nothing here in 2006


party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
I think the size of the wave can throw that off
In normal (pro-incumbent and neutral) election cycles the cutoff is probably much higher.  I'd imagine 50-60% or more is needed to have any chance of a pickup in those sort of years.  

In 2006 due to the Dem wave the bar was lowered to 24%.  2008 could be either higher or lower than 24% depending on the size of the wave.


[ Parent ]
DCCC $$ is the wild card
The $60 million or so that the DCCC is planning to spread around for Democratic candidates will make a lot more Dems competitive than they would be on their own fundraising.


[ Parent ]

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