Conservative group to keep early pressure on House Dems

"I expect we'll raise substantially more than we did last cycle," Law said. "That's certainly our goal." 

The group has already gone after a dozen House Democrats, along with spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend freshmen Republicans in Democratic-leaning districts, many of whom will likely be 2012 targets as Democrats look to retake the House majority next year.   

"I think it's vital that Republicans in swing districts continue to see favorable advocacy that emboldens them to follow through on what we fought for last year," Law said, conceding that 2012 will likely be a tougher year for the GOP, given the presidential dynamic.  

Crossroads GPS and the DCCC are locked in an early messaging battle with Democrats using the group's ad buys to attack House GOP freshmen. 

After the group went up with radio ads in the districts of 10 House Republicans last week, thanking them for backing the GOP majority's proposed spending cuts, the DCCC hit those same members in news releases, labeling Crossroads GPS "a national special interest group funded by Big Oil."  

It's an attack the committee thinks will help it counter the dollars dropped by Crossroads GPS in defense of House Republicans. 

Crossroads and other outside groups on the right will also have some tougher competition in 2012 with Democrats already forming outside structures to compete with their spending. 

Media Matters founder David Brock and former Maryland Lieutenant Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend have organized a new group titled American Bridge. Democrats are also forming a new Super PAC, headed by a former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), which will focus on competitive Senate contests. 

Far from dismissing the competition, Law says he expects those organizations to prove formidable, but argues that the presence of those new groups in 2012 "completely removes any moral authority" Democrats claimed last cycle in criticizing the right for utilizing structures that aren't required to disclose their donors. 

Another change for 2012, Law said, is that his group expects to have more flexibility to spend on media efforts, anticipating that the Republican National Committee will be in better shape to carry out its "traditional functions."

The RNC is still under a mountain of debt after the departure of former Chairman Michael Steele, but Law expressed confidence that it will be in a position to focus on the all-important ground game next year, meaning better-funded get-out-the-vote operations.  

"I think it means that some of the emergency measures that we had to take last cycle, investing heavily on turnout, for example, will be less of a priority," he said.