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Morning Jay: Dueling Generic Ballots, Finding Bottom, and NRCC Ad Buys!

6:30 AM, Oct 5, 2010 • By JAY COST
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2. Dems Bouncing Back? For the last couple days, mainstream media analysts have been promoting the Democratic line that the party is rebounding (see hereherehere, and here).  Evidence I have seen in favor of this hypothesis includes: candidate-sponsored polls in House districts, the fact that a few statewide candidates in the Midwest have closed their gaps, and even that the DNC raised a record sum last month.  Democrats have suggested that this means they’ve hit bottom, and the “Category 5” hurricane is now just a “Category 4.”

Maybe, but this theory overlooks key data points – for instance, that Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray cannot stay over 50 percent in Democratic states on the Pacific Coast.  It also ignores the fact that the GOP is pulling away in the Colorado Senate race.  In the last week, Republican challenger Ken Buck has increased his lead over incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet by about four points, from 2.5 percent to 6.5 percent. 

Here we have a Democratic incumbent in a state that gave President Obama a nine-point victory, and it’s slipping away.  Likewise, statewide Democratic incumbents are stuck in roughly the same position in Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, and Wisconsin.  These are all states that voted for President Obama - and, in all of them, incumbent Democrats are mired in the low-to-mid 40s (challengers are not faring much better in Pennsylvania or Michigan, either).  The only difference in any of these contests is where the Republican candidate stands.  A few of the Democratic incumbents have managed to pull their Republican opponents down a bit, but they are all still in terrible shape.

Also, Erick Erickson of RedState rightly notes that much the same argument was made by Democrats back in 1994.

3. NRCC Ad BuysThe NRCC is going up with a bunch of ad buys – totaling $4.4 million – in 45 swing districts this week.  The ads follow the same basic script – linking the local incumbent to Nancy Pelosi, usually highlighting the percentage that each of the Democrats has voted with the speaker.  Here’s a full list of the districts where the GOP is playing, organized by region (Democratic incumbent in parentheses).  You’ll see the overwhelming majority of the buys are in the Midwest and the South – with Pennsylvania topping the list for the most districts in play.  I've linked to the NRCC ads as I have found them.

East (8 Seats)
PA 03 (Dahlkemper)
PA 07 (Open)
PA 08 (Murphy)

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