Monday, November 08, 2010

VA-11 Still Undecided - Could GOP Money Have Helped Keith Fimian Overcome Vote Deficit?

The winner of the Virginia 11th Congressional race is still undecided, though Congressman "Jihad" Gerry Connolly is currently leading the race against Republican Keith Fimian by less than 1,000 votes.

G. Tracy Mehan III at the American Spectator writes that the Fimian campaign has hired election lawyer Chris Ashby to monitor contested and overseas ballots that have not been counted.

But could Fimian have avoided any recount if he'd only had more financial help from the GOP?
Moreover, the national Democratic Party seemed to put more value on the 11th congressional district than the Republicans given the last minute deployment of $1 million in negative advertising against Fimian, bringing the total support to $1.5 million, a substantial sum not matched by the national Republican Party. This was a measure of how Democratic the district has become over the past few years and the desperation with which that party fought to hold on to the seat.

The GOP either did not have the extra cash or thought the race less competitive than it turned out to be.

GOP support could have been helpful in rebutting the last minute smear and scaremongering campaign "Jihad Gerry" ran against Fimian in the closing days. That $1 million bought ads on WMAL (of all places) and mailers sent out by the DCCC saying Fimian opposed abortion under any circumstances (including to save a mother's life) and accused him of being arrested at one time. I talked with someone who lived in the `11th District the weekend before the election, and they said they heard all these things about Fimian, but there was no rebuttal received from the candidate.

We've been seeing this with the national GOP and the NRCC. They refused to help Renee Ellmers and Joe Miller's campaigns in their contested elections until the grassroots raised hell.

Which goes to my assertion the day after the election. The GOP needs to do a better job of fundraising for 2012. A key element to doing better is to not piss off the grassroots conservatives who make up the Republican voting base.

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