In 2006, MoveOn.org spent $4.4 million in contributions and independent expenditures in 33 targeted House and Senate races. At the time, it was considered a large investment by an outside group.
The NRCC will likely spend about $40 million in independent expenditures. But this new money is from a collection of outside groups that are not subject to contribution limits.
Democrats remain confident even though they won’t have their expected spending advantage in key House contests.
“Between the candidate and DCCC dual-tracking in these districts, we believe our message will break through in the final days,” DCCC Executive Director Jon Vogel said. He said he thinks Democratic candidates will have enough money to defend themselves and the committee can deliver any attacks simultaneously if necessary.
GOP strategists said that as races remain competitive, even those with weak fundraising records will see late fundraising boosts.
“Close races beget fundraising,” Todd said. To prove the point he cited the Massachusetts Senate special election and Virginia gubernatorial races where now-Sen. Scott Brown (R) and now-Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), respectively, saw a boost in fundraising as their races grew closer.
The NRCC’s early spending strategy also may have been the most fiscally efficient.
“When you have less money, you can’t wait until the price is higher,” Todd added.
The NRCC spent millions of dollars in September during the third quarter when television rates were lower than in October, the beginning of the fourth.
When the candidates raise enough money to go on television, they are eligible to purchase time at the lowest unit rate, which is not available to the party committees or outside groups.