Despite the concerns of some Democratic operatives and a series of glaring missteps, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is convinced Domenic Recchia Jr. is “well-positioned” to unseat Republican Congressman Michael Grimm.
The DCCC, which is heavily invested in Mr. Recchia’s campaign, released a memo to reporters today explaining why Mr. Recchia will still prevail. They cited his significant fund-raising advantage, his strong get-out-the-vote apparatus and Mr. Grimm’s 20-count federal indictment as reasons for why Mr. Recchia will defeat Mr. Grimm on Tuesday.
“Headed into election day, Democratic candidate Domenic Recchia has a clear financial advantage, an unprecedented field operation on the ground, and is running against an indicted incumbent who has been mired in scandal since the day he took office,” the memo read. “He is well-positioned to win.”
The DCCC noted, as it has many times in attack ads blanketing the Staten Island and Brooklyn-based district, that Mr. Grimm’s indictment on wire and mail fraud charges related to his management of a Manhattan restaurant before he was elected to Congress means he does not have the “character” to serve in Congress. The DCCC also said Mr. Grimm’s indictment, which alienated him from national Republicans, made him “powerless” to deliver for his constituents.
“His upcoming criminal trial in February will prevent him from serving the people of this district in a meaningful way, as he focuses more on keeping himself out of jail than keeping good-paying jobs,” the DCCC said.
The chair of the DCCC, Congressman Steve Israel, told the Observer in August the race would be a “toss-up” despite initial predictions that Mr. Grimm’s indictment would make Mr. Recchia a favorite to win. Mr. Recchia’s field operation remains robust, but after a round of gaffes in September, a skewering on the Daily Show and a subsequent aversion to press coverage, Democrats in the district worry that Mr. Recchia, a former city councilman, does not appear competent enough to voters.
Mr. Recchia also has other factors going against him. Lower turnout midterm elections benefit Republicans, President Obama is unpopular nationally and most pundits expect Republicans to add to their majority in the House. Mr. Recchia is a Brooklyn resident and past Brooklynites seeking the seat struggled to win.
But the DCCC is hoping Mr. Recchia “unprecedented” field operation and strong financial advantage will be enough to overcome those hurdles.
“Recchia raised $417,000 for his campaign during the Q3 fundraising period and has raised over $2.24 million in total,” the memo read. “During that same period, Congressman Grimm raised an anemic $89,000. Recchia was able begin airing television advertisements as early as August and communicate his strengths while Grimm has had extremely limited resources to communicate his message.”
The DCCC said the Recchia camp has parlayed this advantage into nearly half a million targeted phone calls, registered about 7,500 voters and knocked on more than 200,000 doors.
“With the election less than a week away, the momentum is building behind Domenic Recchia his contrast against Congressman Michael Grimm could not be more clear. Recchia is focused on the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn while Congressman Grimm is focused on keeping himself out of prison in the face of his 20-count indictment,” the DCCC said.
The DCCC added: “Recchia’s financial advantage, unprecedented ground game, and steady focus on his the district’s priorities – unlike Michael Grimm, who is focused on his indictment – put Domenic Recchia in a strong position for success on election day.”
Mr. Grimm did not immediately return a request for comment.