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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Super PACs and Orphans

At The Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes notes that Super PACs are especially important this year for three reasons: their fundraising success, their coordination with one another, and their leadership. They know what they need to do, and they divide their labor efficiently. Barnes adds that they give the GOP an island-hopping capability:
Besides, outside groups can take on political tasks the official campaign outfits are unable to afford. In the past, candidates in “orphan” states​—​where the Republican party is weak and which the presidential candidate is writing off​—​had to fend largely for themselves. But not in 2012. The AAN plans to boost Republican House candidates in roughly 40 orphan races, as many as 25 of them in California, Illinois, and New York, all Democratic strongholds. A number of them are freshmen elected in the 2010 GOP wave, with some facing the added burden of running for reelection in a district altered by reapportionment. “You have a unique set of circumstances,” [AAN's Brian] Walsh says, that triggered “a bright flashing light.” The AAN is committed to preserving the Republican majority in the House​—​with John Boehner as speaker​—​and the orphan seats represent a “potential risk.” Yet there’s also “a great opportunity” to capture orphan Democratic seats in states​—​Utah and Georgia, for instance​—​which President Obama is unlikely to contest, Walsh says.