by Craig Dimitri

In an ominous sign for the campaign of incumbent Rep. Curt Weldon (R), the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Sat., Nov. 4, that the embattled Weldon was substantially scaling back his own campaign’s TV advertising on Philadelphia-area stations, in his bid to retain his seat in the suburbs, a district primarily situated in Delaware County.

Weldon is seeking his 11th term, but has drawn a formidable challenger for the first time in many years, former Vice Admiral Joe Sestak (D). Weldon’s campaign must be viewed, in the context of two other suburban-Philadelphia Republicans, in tough battles with their challengers.  Obviously, the decision earlier this week, of the national party to pull its money out of his contest, was bad news for Weldon in any event.  (Please see my accompanying story – http://www.bloggernews.net/11622 - for more on that decision.)

And today (Sat., Nov. 4) the Inquirer reported that Weldon’s own campaign was now scaling back its TV buys, simply out of necessity.  Weldon’s campaign, as of the most recent FEC reports, had just $300,000 available for crunch time.  As a result, the Inquirer reported that Weldon had already cancelled a total of $84,000 worth of commercials at the Philadelphia NBC and CBS affiliates.

In contrast to the depleted Weldon coffers, Sestak had $1 million remaining, more than triple Weldon’s cash-on-hand.  Ironically, during the campaign as a whole, Weldon has outspent Sestak by a wide margin, $2.6 million to $1.7 million.  It’s just Sestak has a lot more cash left at crunch time, and ultimately will probably be only narrowly outspent by Weldon, based on the above math.

Weldon still does have one powerful weapon left in his political arsenal: the powerful Delaware County Republican organization.  His one hope for survival is that the GOP organization will be able to launch its vaunted get-out-the-vote (GOTV) effort with sufficient success, to save Weldon.  Pa.-7th CD, which is comprised mainly of Delaware County and some of Chester County, is a strongly Republican district, although John F. Kerry did carry it 53%-47% in 2004.  In non-presidential contests, the Delaware County GOP still has dominated the county’s elections.  

Philadelphia Inquirer article – http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/15930226.htm

Weldon official campaign site – http://www.curtweldon.org/

Sestak official campaign site – http://www.sestakforcongress.com/ 

MajorityWatch poll – http://www.majoritywatch.com/

Questions?  Comments?  Information?  You can contact Craig Dimitri at cdimitri1@yahoo.com. 

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