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Money From GOP Outside Groups Sparse in House Battles

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Outside groups are prohibited from coordinating with the party campaign committees, but they do spend their money based on the moves of the NRCC, led by Rep. Pete Sessions (above), and the DCCC, led by Rep. Steve Israel.

But despite Democrats’ apparent advantage in outside spending, a 25-seat gain does not appear within their reach. The fundamental playing field remains deeply disadvantageous to Democrats’ chances of taking back the House. No partisan wave has formed and, indeed, the broader landscape conditions are neutral: Democrats are likely poised to net only a handful of seats.

“The cement has been poured over the House battlefield,” Todd said.

Still, Democratic operatives argue that the wind is at their back.

“Democrats clearly have momentum and the House is in play,” DCCC Communications Director Jesse Ferguson wrote in a memo on Oct. 1.

But if there is wind — and that’s debatable — it is not currently at Democrats’ back at the speed they would need it to be to take back the majority. Still, there’s always the potential of some cataclysmic late-breaking event that swings the tide in Democrats’ favor.

But even that prospect doesn’t faze Republicans.

“I’d like to know what the last October surprise was that made a difference” in the House landscape, said influential Republican pollster Glen Bolger. “By this point in other major shift cycles like ’06 and ’10, everybody knew what was going to happen, it was just a question of what was the size. I think it’s a little late for that to be happening.”

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