Josh Marshall wonders about the DCCC not spending heavily to support Conor Lamb. Read the whole thing, but the basic question is whether the DCCC should be spending more than $300K in a race where the candidate has said he won’t vote for Pelosi for speaker.
PA-18 is an interesting race, because most of the spending for the Republican, Saccone, has been by third parties, while the Democratic spending has been mostly via the candidate’s campaign. In the first 7 weeks of the year, Lamb raised $3.3 million, while Saccone raised $700K. Most of Lamb’s support comes from small donors. Here’s the rundown of third party spending:
Helping Saccone: $1 million from the Republican National Committee; $2.9 million from the National Republican Congressional Committee; over $3 million from the Paul Ryan-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund; and just over $1 million from the America First Action super PAC, which was formed to promote the Trump administration agenda.
Meanwhile, Lamb has been buttressed by just over $300,000 from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. End Citizens United PAC and Patriot Majority PAC have each committed around $250,000 to the race.
I don’t know much about the PA-18 media market, but my guess is that the money spent by Lamb will be better spent, because it is under his direct control. From what I’ve seen in congressional campaigns in the past, a lot of third party spending pays for endless TV time and Facebook ads, which probably have a point of diminishing return. If Lamb spends his money wisely, he can target GOTV, local events, etc. that aren’t on the radar of big PACs. So, just looking at the numbers, I don’t think that the DCCC’s weak investment here is going to hurt Lamb. I’m not saying that Democrats shouldn’t spend more here (it seems like a relatively cheap way to drive a big win), but I don’t think the Lamb campaign has been crippled by lack of DCCC money. I also think it’s smart to give money to candidates directly, because in this environment a little money goes a long way for candidates who might not be the DCCC’s choice.
Here’s our Conor Lamb fund – I think DougJ stopped posting links for him because of his statements about gun control, so factor that into your decision.