Friday, April 27, 2012

Looking to the fall: Congress

Right now you have to say that the 2 GOP freshman have the upper hand along with the Dem in the open 17th CD.

Democrat Phill Scollo will be taking on Tom Marino in the 10thCD. Scollo has assembled many of the campaign staffers that helped Chris Carney win his 2 improbable victories in 2006 and 2008 but has not done well fundraising. Add in the fact that the district was made more Republican in the latest gerrymander and Mr. Scollo has a big hill to climb. Mr. Marino has had a second bout of cancer recently and some people wanted me to use his illness to score points contrasting his opposition to the Affordable Care Act with the health coverage he receives. I thought that was ghoulish as there will be plenty of time to discuss health care policy before the election. I wish Congressman Marino a full and speedy recovery.

In the 17CD Matt Cartwright will be the overwhelming favorite to defeat Republican Laureen Cummings. Money will be no object for Cartwright in this newly drawn Dem favorable district. Money will also not be a factor in Cummings campaign, she doesn't have any, raising just $305 according to her latest FEC report.Tim Holden ran a terrible campaign that overreached in his attack ads then went back to the Social Security canard when he got called out on it. Cartwright billed himself as the hometown boy and a "Roosevelt Democrat" for those of us who know who FDR was. With Congress polling at a 10% approval rating I think an anti-incumbent sentiment played a part in his win. Holden has been in Washington for 20 years but couldn't point to one piece of significant legislation he authored. A few other incumbents also lost on Tuesday.

Gene Stilp surprised me. He and Bill Vinsko worked hard but Stilp just out hustled him. Neither one had a lot of money but Vinsko pissed his away on consultants. I wasn't too surprised that Stilp won this race but the 10 point margin was a bit of a surprise. His name recognition and the pink pig won the day. The combination of  new district lines and the anti-incumbent mood may make this one competitive. Stilp wants Barletta to sign a pledge to run a clean campaign but even if he does plenty of outside groups could still spend all kinds of money if it starts to look close. The recent unwritten rule is that you need about $1 million to run a competitive congressional race. After the Citizens United ruling that should be modified to say you need about a million to be spent on your behalf .


Stephen Albert said...

In addition to money, Matt Cartwright has one very advantage over Laureen Cummings: he is not insane.

Anonymous said...

Yea, McNulty should give Vinsko his money back. Vinsko paid McNulty over $15 grand. I wonder how much Bufalino paid McNulty to lose. Now take a look at Dave Carusso. He produced a winner with Cartwright!