Earlier this week I pointed out that the Congressional Democrat's strategy of "Brutal Triage"--in which they concentrate on saving enough districts to maintain a majority while abandoning the weaker districts--would bode badly for Harry Mitchell. After all, Mitchell has always been viewed as on of he most vulnerable Democrats.
There has been some interesting news since I wrote that post. First, the NRCC has pickedfour key races for in which the Democratic incumbent looks to be especially vulnerable.
The National Republican Congressional Committee on Tuesday added more than $2 million in television ad reservations in four Democratic-held districts that are increasingly viewed as vulnerable. The new targets are Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Murphy, Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader (above) and Arizona Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick and Harry Mitchell.
The ad buy is in response to these poll results.
In the 5th district poll, Mitchell trailed David Schweikert, his 2008 opponent, 46 percent to 38 percent. National Research Inc. surveyed 400 likely voters from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, with a 4.9-point margin of error.
Next, we learn that the AFL CIO is engaging in a little of it's own Brutal Triage and has decided not to play in Arizona.
Arizona won’t see any campaign cash or ads from AFL-CIO labor unions this election season. That’s bad news for Democratic U.S. Reps. Harry Mitchell, Gabrielle Giffords and Ann Kirkpatrick well as Dems like Terry Goddard running for statewide offices.
Meanwhile, the Michael Barone's take on the Triage story was similar to mine, however, while I concentrated on Mitchell and Giffords, he had a national perspective that included this assessment.
Republicans need to gain 39 seats for a House majority. The professional analysts see it happening: Larry Sabato puts the number at 47, Stuart Rothenberg at 37 to 42, Charlie Cook at 40. Cook notes that Democratic incumbents are trailing Republican challengers in polls in 32 districts.
Mitchell has limited time to convince the Washington money guys that he's viable. We should expect him to drop at least half of his campaign cash in the next two weeks on negative Schweikert ads. After 10 days or so of Mitchell carpet bombing Schweikert, the DCCC will conduct a poll and see if Harry managed to improve his chances. If he can point to some movement in the polls, then maybe he can move off the Do Not Resuscitate list. It's a desperate gamble because if the move doesn't bring in national support, then it leaves Mitchell without the resources to compete once early balloting starts.
So be prepared for a barrage of negative ads. My guess is that those adds wont' move the polls at all. Then Mitchell will be out of ammo and out of time.
Finally, Independent Groups are starting to weigh in on the race. Here's the "Over 60 coalition's" anti Mitchell ad.