Realtors spend $226,000 to defend totally safe incumbent

Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson’s re-election race is on no one’s radar this year. I had to look up the name of his opponent, who trails him by 18, 19, and 22 points in the last three polls.

But the National Association of Realtors, which is going to bat for seriously endangered Pennsylvania Rep. Paul Kanjorski on the Democratic side, doesn’t seem to care. The group is dropping $226,000 on ads to support Isakson, according to FEC reports made available today. Isakson is the former president of a realty company he founded, so the alliance makes sense, but this is the campaign equivalent of setting Benjamins on fire.

Here’s an important thing to think about when you’re read about how trade groups split their money between the two parties: Not all of those expenditures have equal meaning.

Two other realtor expenditures today: $200,000 apiece for mailers to help Reps. Ken Calvert, R-Calif, and Dave Reichert, R-Wash. Reichert usually has a competitive race, but probably not this year. The group also reports spending $22,000 for a poll of his district.

Calvert’s district is supposedly safe, but his race was unusually close in 2008, and he has drawn the same opponent this time around. He once got in some hot water over his own real estate investments.

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