Cash Can’t Fix the Dems’ Problems

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The Democratic National Committee is pushing a USA Today story this morning, which reports that in toss-up House races, Dems generally have a cash advantage:

In 22 of the 31 House seats rated as tossups by the non-partisan Cook Political Report, vulnerable Democratic candidates had more cash available at the end of June than their GOP rivals, according to a USA TODAY analysis of reports covering activity from April 1 through June 30.

This is pretty weak tea. You can’t run (or win) a House race without raising a bunch of money. Still, fundraising is a necessary but not sufficient prerequisite for winning elections. Steve Singiser had a good post on Daily Kos on Sunday pointing out that in wave elections, incumbents who outraise their challengers often lose anyway:

In the most recent wave election (2006), where the Democrats rode a 30-seat gain into the House majority, a total of twenty-two Republican incumbents tasted electoral defeat. Only three of those Democratic challengers (Joe Sestak, Paul Hodes and Brad Ellsworth) raised more than the incumbents they cast from office. Indeed, only four of the 22 (18%) Democratic winners raised anything close (defined as 85% of the incumbents take) to their Republican incumbents.

The most recent Republican wave election (1994) showed a somewhat similar pattern…In both cases, a significant number of challengers managed to attain victory despite raising 65% or less of the total raised by the incumbents they ejected from office. In the 1994 Republican wave, fifteen of the 34 (44%) GOP victors fell into that category. In the 2006 Democratic wave, ten of the 22 (45%) Democratic victors were outraised to that degree.

Bottom line: Dem incumbents with decent fundraising shouldn’t think that makes them safe. It doesn’t. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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