Cutting the Checks

September 29th, 2010

As reported today in The Fix (by the Washington Post) Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District is among a dozen CDs nationwide where the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is spending without a presence by its counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The DCCC already is on air with its “90 Percent” ad targeting incumbent U.S. Rep. Charles Djou, and you can expect more ads in the near future as Djou faces state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa in the general election.

After reserving $200,000 in August for local TV ad buys for the general election — money which can be moved to a different race at any time before the ads are actually paid for — the DCCC has cut the checks for more than $150,000 in “media buys.” According to Federal Election Commission records, the independent expenditures were made on Sept. 21 for $52,768.06, and on Sept. 28 for $104,568.30.

Although the NRCC has helped Djou’s campaign during the special election and has hosted him for several fundraisers, the organization has not shown its presence in the form of ads in Hawaii.

A note from The Fix on interpreting ad buys:

Remember that ad buys are made in various districts for various reasons. A committee might not feel the need to fund a given race because of the candidate’s financial strength, the cheap nature of the district, or any number of other factors.

While ad buys are a very good indicator of where the most competitive races are, they aren’t always foolproof, and shouldn’t be seen as the end-all, be-all in determining the state of the play in the House.

The DCCC media buys come on the heels of a Washington, D.C., report that says Democrats have a poll showing Djou with a double-digit lead. The non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report rates the Hawaii CD-1 race a “pure toss-up,” with the following analysis:

“Hawaii 1. With only one candidate in the race against GOP Cong. Charles Djou, Democrats are extremely confident that State Sen. Colleen Hanabusa will take this seat back for their party. In fact, this is one of four seats nationally that Democrats count in their column as they assert Republicans actually need to win 43 seats for a majority. But not so fast. There is little evidence that voters are willing to throw Djou out of office after only a couple months on the job. A private Democratic poll showed the congressman leading by double digits. This race is not over, and Djou may even have the advantage.” (Rothenberg Political Report, “2010 House Overview,” 09/24/10)

5 Responses to “Cutting the Checks”

  1. Yoshi1940:

    Considering that Djou has been campaigning while Hanabusa seemed to be pretty absent through the Primary, and considering that people in the Congressional District 1 do not seem to know Hanabusa, it is not surprising that Djou is ahead. The DCCC ad did not help.

  2. Chicken Grease:

    Well, seems the recent bane of the Democratic party for years already has been a return to a “throw money at the problem” tactic. While, say, Aiona’s TV ads have a certain tricky Vanilla Sky or electronic billboard out of Blade Runner (hey, I thought that was Carlisle’s territory? That and The Hunt for Red October; oh, well, he’s won his seat already. But, a Grease digresses) hypnotic flavor to them, they’re effective (did I say “hypnotized”?) and give more of a “of the land” and “see? I’m going green, just LOOK at my ads” and “I’m for the environment; just LOOK at my ads; AND I’m associating all of this with a solution to our schools problem” more than the local Democrats are doing . . . Djou’s ads have him out and about, making more sudden/magical/worm hole segways than you’ll find in an old 5-0 episode; Hanabusa’s in her living room, “what you get is what you see.”

    So, hey . . . the GOP’s doing a better “grass roots” effort, you ask me.

    I find it odd that Hanabusa’s “what you get is what you see ads” have disappeared in favor of attack ads on Djou; have we learned nothing from Mr. Hanneman this election season, locally?

    I usually vote Democrat; and I’m voting for Djou.

  3. Old Diver:

    Djou is just good at messaging. He has people believing that his support of multinational corporation’s who offshore American job’s to China is good for America. He also voted to allow foreign groups to give money to domestic corporations to influence American elections. He called that freedom of speech and it appears a whole bunch of people here believe him.

  4. Djou neighbor:

    Just look at Djou’s voting record. Do you want another republican in congress trying to obstruct progress?
    Get ready for another government shutdown and further dismantling of protections for the middle class if the Republicans take over congress.

  5. WooWoo:

    Larry Sabato has also moved this race from Lean D to toss-up.

    The bottom line: Djou is an unusually good republican candidate, and Hanabusa is an exceptionally bad campaigner.

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