Democrats pour money into ‘firewall’ states

The Morning Line

Today in the Morning Line:

  • N.C., Colo., Iowa tops in ad spending for final two months of campaign
  • Democrats have edge on the air in all three
  • Republicans spending more in Ark., Alaska, La.
  • New polls show Roberts in trouble in Kan.

Where the battle for the Senate is being waged: Democrats have said North Carolina, Colorado, and Iowa are their Senate firewall. If they win those, they believe, they will hold the Senate. And they are putting their money behind it. With President Obama’s help, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has outraised its counterpart, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, by $38 million, $111 million to $82.6 million. Democratic outside groups, notably Senate Majority PAC, have stepped up their games this cycle, outspending Republican groups $60 million to $38 million, and outraising them by double the amount, $110 million to $56 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. From Sept. 1 through Election Day, Democrats have reserved $5 million more ad time in North Carolina, $3.3 million more in Colorado, and $1.1 million more in Iowa, according to ad data shared with Morning Line by a campaign operative. Here’s how much the party has spent in ads that have been reserved from Sept. 1 through Election Day, as of Friday – these numbers are only going to increase:

$44 million – North Carolina (D-$24.9 million, R-$19.1 million)
$35 million – Colorado (D-$19m, R-$15.7m)
$28 million – Iowa (D-$14.5m, R-$13.4m)
$20 million – Arkansas (R-$11.2m, D-$9.3m)
$17 million – Michigan (D-$11m, R-$6m)
$16 million – Alaska (R-$8m, D-$7.7m)
$15 million – Louisiana (R-$7.6m, D-$7.3m)
$11 million – Kentucky (D-$6m, D-$5.1m)
$7 million – New Hampshire (D-$4.6m, R-$2.8m)
$7 million – Georgia (D-$3.6m, R-$3.5m)
$5 million – Minnesota (D-$3.4, R-$1.2m)
$5 million – Oregon (R-$3m, D-$2.4m)
$4 million – Virginia (D-$3.7m, R-$361K)
$1 million – Kansas (R-$600K, I-$280K)
$1 million – West Virginia (R-$1.1m, D-$66K)

Roberts in trouble in Kansas: A spate of NBC/Marist polls out this weekend showed Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts in real trouble, down 10 points, 48-38 percent (though just 48 percent of independent Greg Orman’s backers say they are firmly behind him); Democrat Kay Hagan continuing to lead in North Carolina, albeit narrowly, 44-40 percent; and Republican Joni Ernst just edging Democrat Bruce Braley 46-44 percent.

Daily Presidential Trivia: On this day in 1979, President Jimmy Carter hosted Pope John Paul II at the White House; it was the first visit by a pope to the White House. When is the last time the pope visited the White House? Be the first to tweet us the correct answer using #PoliticsTrivia and you’ll get a Morning Line shout-out. Congratulations to Christopher Maehr ‏(@the_maehr) for guessing Friday’s trivia: Which president declared Columbus Day a holiday? The answer was: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.


  • The Supreme Court is back Monday and it could end up being another landmark term. The court begins its term with a case dealing with the validity of a search and seizure by a police officer who did not fully understand North Carolina traffic laws.

  • With polling showing favorable odds for Republicans in addition to the president’s terrible approval ratings, Democrats are relying on a better fundraising effort to edge out the GOP this cycle.

  • House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and ranking member Elijah Cummings are jointly calling for a review of the Secret Service.

  • Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a staunch supporter of President Obama in the past, is leading the pushback on war powers of the president.

  • With less than a month until election day, voting rules in some states are still not set, despite early voting ballots having already been mailed.

  • Former President Bill Clinton is heading back to his home state of Arkansas this week to stump for Democrats, including the vulnerable Sen. Mark Pryor.

  • Kansas Republicans are going after Independent Senate candidate Greg Orman for his mixed success in the business world, including a failed organic fish farm in Las Vegas.

  • North Carolina GOP is asking the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate whether Sen. Kay Hagan’s husband improperly benefited from the passage of the stimulus bill, which she voted to approve.

  • What is the most negative race in all the land this midterm? The Maryland governor’s race.

  • Congressman Ralph Hall, R-Texas, who lost his primary race this year, is recovering from hip surgery, after he was involved in a car accident Saturday.

  • AARP has requested that their name be removed from a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ad attacking Republican Terri Lynn Land.

  • National Journal’s Nora Caplan-Bricker looks at why the bipartisan governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper, is facing a tough re-election, when Americans are calling for politicians like him.

  • Keep an eye on the Rundown blog for breaking news throughout the day, our home page for show segments, and follow @NewsHour for the latest.


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Questions or comments? Email Domenico Montanaro at dmontanaro-at-newshour-dot-org or Rachel Wellford at rwellford-at-newshour-dot-org.

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