By B.J. Reyes
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)