The NRCC did such a great job that it’s hard to criticize. Obviously, President Obama gave them a favorable environment, and they took full advantage. If you look at The New York Times map of House districts by Republican party committee money spent, you can see that they won wherever they they spent big.
Still, you have to think they’re looking at the map right now and cursing over a couple of districts where their finger on the scale could have made the difference, but they didn’t see it in time or lacked the resources. Here are a few seats where they might have been able to tip the scales:
- Rocky Raczkowski came very, very close to defeating Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., with just a tad of NRCC help. (MI-9)
- John Koster could probably have used a boost against Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash. (WA-2)
- Jesse Kelly came very, very close to beating Rep. Gabbie Giffords, D-Ariz. (AZ-8)
- Joe Walsh leads Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill., right now. If he loses on absentees, the NRCC might wonder whether it should have put something on the board in IL-8.
- Same for Ann Marie Buerkle in NY-25, whose race against Rep. Dan Maffei, D, has come down to absentees.
- If Andy Vidak defeats Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., he will have done so with no party help.
- And yes, he does happen to by my personal friend, but George Phillips came within a whisker of Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y. Of course, the NRCC might have laid off this one because George was getting some big help from outside groups. (NY-22).
Of course, let’s not forget that the NRCC created several good problems for themselves to have — one was too many vulnerable Democrats for their money. It’s only natural that there would be surprisingly close races that got away.