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Monday, October 11, 2010

Congressional Dems Reported Pulling Plug On Driehaus: $275,000 In OH-01 TV Time Said Canceled

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- If the respected Rothenberg Political Report has its facts right, then Steve Driehaus is losing access to the TV cash pipeline of his fellow House Democrats at a critical time. Driehaus is in a tough reelection race against Republican Steve Chabot, who lost the Cincinnati-area congressional seat two years ago. Chabot is looking for a comeback, and the Rothenberg piece says the House Dems -- who should be among Driehaus strongest allies -- have scrapped reserved time at channels 9 and 12 in the Cincinnati market:

"The DCCC has cancelled all of its reserved time at WKRC, the CBS affiliate in the market, for the weeks of October 19 and October 26. The Committee pulled over $200,000 worth of reserved time. The Committee also cancelled its time (over $75,000 worth of time) for those two weeks at WLWT, the NBC affiliate."

OH-01 covers the west side of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. It has a large African American population that usually votes Democratic. Driehaus rode the Obama wave into the House.  If Driehaus falls, and the seat switches back to the GOP, Chabot will vote to make John Boehner the House speaker.

UPDATE: 3:29 pm -- Plunderbund says the Driehaus campaign is still getting field work aid from the DCCC. The TV is gone. Driehaus folks say the reserved ad time on Cincy TV was let go because Chabot is not getting similar help from the House Republicans. Plunderbund suggests that both Chabot and Driehaus are being left to duke it out among themselves. I think this is bad news for Driehaus and a major miscalculation by House Democrats to slash TV spending for OH-01.  If Chabot isn't getting similar aid from the House (John Boehner) Republicans, then anything the Dems used for TV buys could help give Driehaus an upward bump with the electorate. Some $275,000 for TV ads would only strengthen his campaign, especially if Chabot could not match the TV spending. OH-01 is the most closely watched race among voters in SW Ohio. It is generating the highest interest and most sparks. A low turnout by Dems in the district could negatively impact  Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.  Today, the House Dems gave ammunition to the Boehnerites.

UPDATE 2: 4:03 pm -- NBC's Chuck Todd says Driehaus is the first congressional Democrat to lose DCCC support this year. He said the national House Dems view OH-01 as hopeless: "But with the DCCC now out, it's fair to say the national party doesn't have a lot of confidence in its chances of Driehaus holding. In other words, he's being written off. There are a number of Democratic-held House districts the DCCC will be making tough choices about in the next few days because if they want to pull BACK a buy they promised a specific TV station, there's no penalty if they do it in the next few days. It all depends on the market and the specific TV station's rules. In the case of the Cincinnati market, the DCCC had to make its final decision earlier this morning and that's how this news leaked out."

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