The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) may have yanked its air support for endangered Rep. Steve Driehaus (Ohio), but the Democrat isn't backing down, using the party's decision in an attempt to motivate his supporters.
Driehaus, who trails in public polling to former Republican Rep. Steve Chabot, hit the DCCC in a video message posted on his website Thursday, asking supporters to donate to his campaign to "send a message to the DCCC."
The first-termer defended his voting record in Congress, which has been a primary line of attack for Chabot. Driehaus voted for healthcare, cap-and-trade and financial reform and has taken hits from Chabot for aligning with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
In the video appeal, posted on his campaign website, the Democrat noted his "tough votes."
"I've taken those votes because it was the right thing to do for the American people," Driehaus said. "Now the DCCC is walking away. Let's send a message to the DCCC. Let them know that you support candidates who stand up for your principles."
Earlier this week, the DCCC pulled some $500,000 of reservations for television time it had made in the Ohio district — a signal that party strategists are skeptical the race is winnable for Driehaus.
The committee has said it will continue to fund get-out-the-vote efforts and called its decision to pull ad funding the result of a move from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which did the same in Ohio's 1st.
"Help us deliver this race and send a message to the DCCC and to all Americans, that when we voted for change in 2008, we meant it," Driehaus concludes in the video fundraising appeal.
A Cincinnati Enquirer poll released earlier this month had Chabot up double digits over Driehaus. The former congressman led 53 percent to 41 and held a sizable lead with independents.
This district is another example of one where 2008's turnout surge for President Obama helped the Democrat over the finish line — an advantage Driehaus won't have this November. Driehaus ousted Chabot in a tight contest two years ago — 52 percent to 47 — and was undoubtedly aided by a surge in support for Obama in the state.
He is now trying to use Chabot's seven previous terms in Congress against him, arguing that it's the Republican who reflects the Washington political establishment.
Driehaus also finds himself battling the Susan B. Anthony List, a national anti-abortion-rights group that's planning to fund billboards in the district accusing Driehaus of backing taxpayer-funded abortions in his support for the healthcare law.
The Democrat appealed to the state elections commission in an attempt to prevent the SBA List from erecting the billboards, accusing the group of making a "false statement," something the elections commission has the authority to investigate and punish in Ohio.
Elections officials ruled Thursday that the congressman's complaint can move forward — at least one piece of good news for the embattled Democrat.