The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee has finally air-dropped into Nebraska on behalf of Jim Esch.
See their first negative ad here:
The DCCC’s ad-buy looks like this:
$521,000 total for three weeks.
That is broken down as $479,000 on broadcast, $42,000 on cable.
As far as the spot itself goes, it is on the busy (and green) side, and frankly Esch’s ad which addressed the exact same issue was better produced.
As we figured, the first ad by the DCCC is a negative ad. Also note that Jim Esch has not run any positive ads introducing himself, his experience, what he can offer to Nebraska. He is simply the empty suit with a “D” next to his name, hoping he can slide in with The One.
And because of Obama’s campaign efforts in Omaha, the chattering politicos in Washington are worried about Terry’s race. Heck, Lee is worried about his race. But then, Lee was also sweating when he won by nearly 10%, so maybe the candidate isn’t the best judge.
But The Politico found the DC Republicans worried about the Terry-Esch race.
Of course as Exhibit A they submit the “Obama-Terry voter” ad that was in The Reader:
“Terry just sent voters a piece of mail with a testimonial from a woman who plans to split her vote between the Republican congressman and the Democratic presidential contender — a sure sign that the GOP brand is lagging along with the economy and McCain’s own prospects for the White House.”
Except that that is wrong. As we noted, this was NOT mailed out. It was in a weekly arts and entertainment mag. And frankly, it is no different than when Democrat Jones runs a “Republicans for Jones” ad. But let’s not let rational thinking get in the way.
Of course what really has the Terry folks and their NRCC brethren uptight is the money that the DCCC is sending in, along with the Obama efforts.
But let us take a closer look at all that:
Just like the enthusiasm over Tony Raimondo’s chances in the Dem primary showed, irrational exuberance can sometimes overshadow sane thinking.
Many DC politico types (like those at The Politico) seem to think that Lee Terry’s campaign is in trouble against Jim Esch.
They are being driven to the cliffs by all the press that Obama is “competing” in Omaha.
But as has been shown in many other red states around the country, Obama is wont to overextend himself.
While many think that voter drives and pouring cash into TV ads will get Obama over the top — and thus let Jim Esch bask in Obama’s glow — they are wrong.
Why? Well because:
- McCain’s poll number have been steady. Up by 13% in the latest.
- Terry’s poll numbers have been steady. Up by 10% in the latest.
- Voter registration number have been steady. Nearly the same as in 2004.
- Republican voter enthusiasm, as evidenced by Palin’s visit, is high. Long lines to get in with less than 24 hours notice.
- Turnout will be huge for all parties. In this contentious Presidential year.
- Terry has plenty of cash to compete. Even if the DCCC adds theirs in.
- Terry will not be out-spent. Even if the DCCC comes in, and if it’s close, expect the NRCC to add theirs.
- Terry has already had the opportunity to define Jim Esch. And has done so since August, and will continue to do so.
- The election is only three weeks away — how Terry defines him will be in the voters’ minds. Too short a time for Esch to turn it around.
- Esch does not have some sort of super resume or campaign juggernaut that will overcome his polling numbers. Unlike Hagel in 1996.
- If the Dems really felt that he would pull it out, they would have supported Esch much sooner than three weeks out. And they haven’t.
Unless some game-changing event occurs that allows Obama to have a tremendous surge in the 2nd District, and thus suppress GOP and Terry supporter turnout, this race is still Terry’s.
But show us a candidate who is sits on his laurels with a 10 point lead and we’ll show you a former Congressman. The Terry campaign will be fighting hard in what may well be a Democrat year. And NRCC input may be necessary to shore things up.
But let’s not get crazy now.