Tammy Duckworth, ActBlue, and Targeted Donations

Via commentor BGinChI, here’s TPM reporting on the race to throw Joe Walsh out:

… The Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday night that Now or Never, a super PAC that has already spent nearly $2 million on the race, was going to put in another $2.5 million for negative ads against the Democrat. According to its anonymous source, the goal would be “bury Duckworth.”…

One question is whether it would even be possible to buy up that much TV time in the final three weeks of the election.

“I know that the window to buy that kind of media is quickly closing,” Harber said. “But the great thing about a metro area like Chicago, is you’ve got a bunch of broadcast stations and a bunch of cable stations. There is a variety of ways we could spend that money. If we were a couple days out from the election, that would become an impossibility.”…

Obviously re-electing President Obama is job one, but there’s much to be said for giving him a Congress that won’t reflexively oppose his every decision. Sam Wang of the Princeton Electoral Consortium has an ActBlue page where he’s identified “high-leverage target races” — seven in the House, and four in the Senate, as well as the DCCC. (Yes, I understand that not everyone trusts the judgement of the DCCC.) Democracy for America has their “Dean’s Dozen” (same caveat). Not much overlap.

Here at Balloon Juice, we’ve got an ActBlue page for President Obama, and another for Elizabeth Warren. Where else should us Juicers be allocating our donations?

40 replies
  1. 1
    low-tech cyclist says:

    In the Senate:

    Heidi Heitkamp – North Dakota
    Jon Tester – Montana
    Shelley Berkley – Nevada
    Richard Carmona – Arizona
    Joe Donnelly – Indiana

    I’d skip Elizabeth Warren, Tim Kaine, and Tammy Baldwin. I want all three to win, but (a) they’re all looking like comfortable favorites in their races at this point, and (b) they’re all in good shape, moneywise. If any of them lose, it won’t be because they didn’t have enough dough.

  2. 2
    aimai says:

    I’m going to be working for Warren on Saturday and hopefully through to the election. Guess I will kick in some money for Duckworth.


  3. 3
    Warren Terra says:

    I visited DKos last night, for the first time in many months if not more, and I was quite shocked by how anemic their fundraising is (barely a third of ours for President, for example). Four years ago, they were the Great Orange Satan, and bestrode the (Democratic/Progressie political) world like a colossus. Did they just disappear completely up their own navels, or what?

  4. 4
    BGinCHI says:

    Thanks Anne.

    Walsh must be defeated. Duckworth is a war hero and someone who has been serving people since she came home.

    Even if you only give 10 bucks, give. Every little bit helps.

  5. 5
    Taiko says:

    I just gave another $50 to Tim Kaine in Virginia, because, George “Macacca” Allen. Gotta say, Tammy Duckworth is a pretty good cause too!

  6. 6
    Walker says:

    My house race is depressing me. I am getting freakin’ mailers from Tom Reed every day. Shinagawa doesn’t even have a decent web presence.

  7. 7
    Quarks says:

    I know the chances for winning the House aren’t good, but Val Demings (Florida, Democrat) has a credible shot at taking one house seat away from Daniel Webster (Republican), who took it from Alan Grayson (you probably remember), who is running in a different district.


  8. 8
    mai naem says:

    @Quarks: I heard her on an interview on POTUS XM. She sounded like a really good candidate. It’s a pity she’s not running against Allen West. She would demolish that prick.

    The only one I got is Richard Carmona in AZ. All I have to say is you get people coming out for Carmona, you help Obama maybe maybe win AZ and on a long shot you help us get rid of Sheriff Joe Arpaio(Repug-AZ)

    How are Tester, Berkeley, Donnelly and Murphy doing?
    Also too, also on XM POTUS I heard Mary Bono Mack may be in trouble with Robert(?) Ruiz. He’s apparently a physician with a rags to riches story. Kind of like Juan Castro. Migrant worker parents. Went to Harvard Med School.

  9. 9
    mainmati says:

    @low-tech cyclist: I agree with that analysis and would say that Casey in PA is also safe. I think Tammy Baldwin is key. Also the Nevada race.

  10. 10

    In Missouri’s 4th Congressional District, Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley (D) is challenging first term teabagger Vicky Hartzler (r). Redistricting yanked Cole County and added Boone County (Columbia and the University of Missouri, 24% of the population in the district). Teresa Hensley (D) is a great candidate. Vicky Hartzler (r) ain’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  11. 11
    Yutsano says:

    @mai naem: Donnelley is ahead, Berkeley is a couple points back (but may benefit from coattails and big union action in Las Vegas), Tester is in a close race but he’s a tough codger plus he has a strong Dem gov to help him out. Murphy has a slim lead apparently despite himself, but he got really lucky in that Linda McMahon is a total clown. And again coattails may help here as well.

    My favourite lead right now is Heitkamp. She’s very experienced with North Dakota politics plus she got really lucky in her opponent.

  12. 12
    ArchPundit says:

    To emphasize the Duckworth race, the polling is all over the place, but from Friday

    * We Ask America has released a set of new polls today. The surveys were taken Tuesday and Wednesday. All of the polls have margins of error of 3 or less, and all of the races are within the MoE. Check out Joe Walsh’s lead…

    Walsh 47.89
    Duckworth 45.18

  13. 13
    Nancy says:

    Missouri Senate race please!

    The ads are coming fast and furious for Todd “Legitimate Rape” Aiken and I can’t believe how many Aiken yard signs are out in suburban Kansas City.

    Claire isn’t my favorite, but as Lawrence O’Donnell says, the most important votes she’ll cast are for Senate Majority Leader and for Supreme Court Nominees. And she’s not crazy.

    I’m terrified that Aiken is going to somehow pull it off and will be elected.

    Please help save Missourians from ourselves.

  14. 14
    SarahT says:

    Tammys Duckworth and Baldwin are both good choices, and some others IMHO, are Patrick Murphy (FL), Manan Trivedi (PA), Lois Frankel (FL), Bill Nelson (FL), Rob Zerban (WI), and Caroly McCarthy (NY).

  15. 15

    In downstate Illinois, Dr. David Gill’s race against Rodney Davis in the 13th District is one that will have to be won if Nancy Pelosi is going to get her hands on the gavel again. It also offers a valuable opportunity to take a seat from the Republicans and hand it over to a PCCC-endorsed honest-to-god universal-single-payer-supporting liberal.

    This part of the state used to be represented by Tim Johnson, a long-term incumbent who opposed Bush when it became acceptable to do so, but has continuously gone along with the obstructionists in the House during the last three and a half years. Redistricting switched the shape of this district around drastically, and what was R-6 or so is now eminently winnable.

    Although he toes the progressive line generally, he’s most interested in providing universal health care. His ads and yard signs include the “Dr.” to not-so-subtly drive this point home.

    The district is a combination of very conservative countryside and larger towns such as Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington-Normal, Decatur and Springfield. All of these towns except Bloomington-Normal have fairly liberal populations. The University of Illinois and Illinois State University (and several smaller schools) make this a disproportionately young district, which helps make this race more competitive.

    His opponent, Rodney Davis, is a stuffed suit. He hasn’t managed to make the national scene for saying anything unusually crazy, but he would certainly be a good Republican footsoldier in the House. The potential ideological swing in this race is about as wide as it gets.

    Davis is unsurprisingly benefiting from negative ads paid for by outside groups. Ad time is pretty cheap down here, though, so Gill has been able to run a few ads of his own and keep this race a dead heat. John Hartman is an independent candidate, a Simpson-Bowles supporting Sensible Centrist of the type who might get a favorable mention from Tom Friedman.

    This is an eminently winnable race that looks like it will go to the wire. If you’re looking to donate money to help take back the House, Dr. Gill is a good investment.

  16. 16

    How about Ryan’s House opponent? Rob Zerban.

  17. 17
    SarahT says:

    Almost forgot : Jim Graves (MN) and Sherrod Brown (OH) !

  18. 18
    pkdz says:

    It looks like Pat Kreitlow has a chance at beating Sean Duffy in the WI-7 race. This is the seat the Dave Obey held for decades.

  19. 19
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    Lois Capps in California could probably use some help, she’s facing a challenge from Abel Maldonado, a pseudo-moderate former state legislator.

  20. 20
    SarahT says:

    And Chris Murphy in CT, too

  21. 21

    @Americanadian: To Americanadian’s excellent summary, I would add the following.

    – The last poll, a couple of weeks ago, showed Dr. Gill up by 1 point. This may be one of the closest Congressional races in the country.

    The Republicans and outside groups are dumping a ton of money into this race:

    In the 13th District most of the spending has been done by groups opposed to Gill. Four groups — the National Republican Congressional Committee, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Action Network and the New Prosperity Foundation — have spent more than $1.5 million on ads opposing the Democratic candidate.
    The biggest spender among that group is the NRCC at $585,594. […]
    Opponents of Davis, meanwhile, have spent a little more than $940,000 in the 13th District, most of that ($886,000) from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

    That’s just what they’d spent at the time of that article; AAN has committed another $1 million.

    I’ve been canvassing for Gill when I can, and I think WaterGirl’s doing some work for him too. I want this seat. And I think we can get it. I’ve been getting a pretty good response from undecided voters. They particularly perk up when I tell them that Gill wants to re-regulate Wall Street.

  22. 22
    BGinCHI says:

    @TooManyJens: Giving Gill money now.

    Hope others will too. Thanks for the heads-up, as I had no idea about this guy. Tells you a lot about the downstate-city divide.

  23. 23

    @BGinCHI: Thank you!

    The Republicans thought they were just going to roll over Gill because he lost to Tim Johnson three times. Well, this is a completely different district now. The old one was far more rural, and Johnson, while he’s nobody’s idea of a juggernaut, had a big advantage. Plus the Democrats around here are pretty fired up by having a shot to win for a change.

  24. 24
    Corner Store Operator says:

    Definitely a lot more priority House raises to give to from the perspective of Duckworth’s race being the easiest for us to win. If we don’t win that one Romney is probably in the White House. The four others in Illinois alone that I would prioritize over Duckworth in no particular order:


  25. 25
    BGinCHI says:

    @Corner Store Operator: Lots of Dold commercials and a few Biggerts. Mostly negative. They sound desperate, but not sure of the numbers. I thought Judy B was pretty safe….

    Dold seems like a fake centrist dick. But he has north shore, and those people have no fucking principles.

  26. 26
    Americanadian says:

    @BGinCHI: Thank you!

    A few more examples of the Chicago/Illinois gap: the kind of money TooManyJens referenced will get your ads steady time during NFL and Illinois games (some of the locals who aren’t even students actually watch and root for the Illini no matter how unwatchable they get.) They can also buy ads during the Cardinals’ playoff games, always a big deal – the northern fringes of the district are about half Cards fans, and they get more numerous as you go further south.

    Having a fighting chance has really given Gill and his supporters a new energy. In Champaign-Urbana and Bloomington-Normal, the two parts of the district I split my time between, there are more Gill signs out than in either of his earlier defeats. His campaign looks and feels more professional than two years ago.

    The Kirk-Giannoulias Senate race two years ago was competitive, but it was largely fought in the suburbs. Having a competitive Congressional race is something that doesn’t happen too often. The Presidential race is a complete afterthought in these parts. There are more Gill signs than Obama signs out in Champaign/Urbana; likewise there are more Davis signs than Romney signs.

  27. 27


    His campaign looks and feels more professional than two years ago.

    Oh, the thoughts I have on this subject, but I really need to go to bed. The whole enterprise does feel a lot less firebaggy than in previous years, which I appreciate.

  28. 28
    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ says:

    Definitely Carmona in AZ. He is up against Flake, a real douchenozzle. And if you have spare change grow some to Penzone the guy running against Arpaio for Sheriff of Maricopa County, AZ. I know this one isn’t national but it would help to teach the Tea Baggers and Birthers to STFU.

  29. 29
    Corner Store Operator says:

    @BGinCHI: Re: Dold, yeah those are the same folks that went for Kirk for years aren’t they? And it doesn’t help when organizations who clearly do not understand how government works (i.e. the majority party sets the agenda) like the National Education Association decide to endorse ‘moderates’ like Dold. Schneider is definitely running behind where we would assume him to be for a D+8 district.

    Biggert is definitely not safe. She is in a D+5 (previously R+1) and Foster definitely has plenty of name recognition. Only poll I’ve seen recently had it as a toss up.

    And I realized I completely forgot about Bustos who is also in a very winnable race.

  30. 30
    MCA1 says:

    @BGinCHI: Hey! Please exclude MCA1 from said blanket characterization. :^)

    Dold’s not really a vulnerable target. I’ll vote against him, but the only reason I’m doing it without a second thought and without knowing squat about his opponent is because I just can’t with good conscience vote for any Republican in any race until some of the crazy works itself out. He’s really not that bad, by 2012 Republican standards. Not saying much, I know.

    Joe Walsh, on the other hand. Whew! Man, would I love the chance to vote against that Tea Bagging mofo. He gives the phrase No Nothing Blowhard a whole new depth of meaning. Aggressive assholishness combined with an full-throated embrace of his own stupidity is his calling card. Dude’s gotta go. Duckworth is a very worthy candidate who deserves a shot, but I’d vote for a guy who parks in the middle of the block and thinks it’s OK because he put his flashers on before I’d vote for Joe Walsh. That’s loathing, people.

  31. 31
    suzanne says:

    @Ms. D. Ranged in AZ: Yes yes YES. Fuck that Flake prick, and do the same to Arpaio, but this time with something pointy and Ebola-infested.

  32. 32
    Yutsano says:

    @suzanne: How’s about we just drop him off in the middle of Mexico City wearing nothing but his underwear and a tattoo of pendejo on his backside?

  33. 33
    Ellyn says:

    Jose Hernandez running for Congress in CA
    Ami Bera running for Congress in CA
    Rob Zerban running for Paul Ryan’s seat in Wisconsin.
    Raul Ruiz running for Congress in CA.
    Heid Heitkamp running for the Senate in N.D.
    Tammy Baldwin running for Senate in Wisconsin.
    The two Dems running agains Michele Bachmann and Allan West.

  34. 34
    J R in WVa says:


    Rob Zerban is a real mensch! He called me fundraising, and when I told him I was holding off because my wife had been in the hospital and we were worrying about the bills, he immediately spent the next 15 minutes asking about her health.

    Then he called a month later to ask how she was doing.

    Once we understood the magnitude of our out-of-pocket obligation I repaid his friendship with a couple donations, and he called again, in person, to thank me and asked again about Ms J R. A really good person.

    So please, if you can, in any way, do help Mr. Zerban, he really deserves it!


  35. 35
    Fouten says:

    I am in my third month making calls from the Duckworth HQ and I have to say the numbers are starting to turn against her.

    Walsh’s sheer assholery is not turning as many people off as you’d think, and the PAC ads tying Duckworth to out latest imprisoned Governor (Blago) are leaving a mark.

    This is winnable, but we are not getting DCCC help, we need yours instead.

  36. 36
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    I’ve been trying to figure out whether the wingnut who represents the district I grew up in – Michigan’s 3rd – is within reach and could be turned blue for weeks but can’t find any recent polling or anything. Anyone have any suggestions of how to focus on House races that are promising?

  37. 37
    Drew says:

    Patrick Murphy-running against war criminal Allen West

    Jim Graves-running against Michelle Bachmann

  38. 38
    Drew says:

    Patrick Murphy-running against war criminal Allen West

    Jim Graves-running against Michelle Bachmann

  39. 39
    Drew says:

    Patrick Murphy-running against war criminal Allen West

    Jim Graves-running against Michelle Bachmann

    Get on it!

  40. 40
    Drew says:

    Patrick Murphy-running against war criminal Allen West

    Jim Graves-running against Michelle Bachmann

    Get on it!

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