Earlier, we looked at the impact of the cash advantage on the United States Senate. Now we’ll look at the other house.
U.S. House of Representatives
Democrats currently hold a 236-199 advantage in Congress. Cook Political Report House Editor David Wasserman believes they will pick up “12 to 17” more seats this year.
Rather than analyze where they could be across the country, let’s focus here on the Sunshine State.
Currently, Congressmen Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Ric Keller, and Tom Feeney – who should be strong incumbents – are barely “leaning Republican.” Add to the list Mario Diaz-Balart, Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, and Dave Weldon’s seat which are still likely Republican, but should be strong. Seven seats that are threatened.
Now, I don’t know that all seven will lose, but consider how much help the national parties can provide. According to recent reports, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has $54.7 million cash on hand. Meanwhile, the National Republican Congressional Committee has only $8.5 million cash on hand — barely one-seventh of the Democratic total.
It doesn’t help when the two Diaz-Balart brothers’ Democratic opponents are outraising the incumbents, according to the Miami Herald’s Naked Politics blog:
Former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez reported taking in $603,318 and closing the quarter with $1.1 million cash on hand. Republican Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart raised $481,558 and closed with $1.75 million.
Challenger Joe Garcia raised $531,049 to Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart’s $392,103, though Garcia, too, trails in cash on hand, $700,000 to Diaz-Balart’s $1 million.
The DCCC has even started buying television airtime in Florida’s TV markets, but as the Tampa Tribune’s William March reported on his blog, not in the Tampa Bay area:
The Bilirakis and Buchanan seats aren’t included, even though the Buchanan seat is listed in the party’s “Red to Blue” program to take over GOP seats, and even though party leaders have said Democrat John Dicks in District 9 is one of 20 “emerging” candidates who could seriously challenge a GOP incumbent.
These races will bear watching as the election grows closer.