• NE-02: There are a couple warning signs on the road ahead for freshman Rep. Brad Ashford, who will be a top GOP target in a seat that Romney won 53-46. For one thing, his fundraising is off to a slow start — he says he’s raised about $150,000 this year, short of his $250,000 goal for the (almost over) first quarter. That’s apparently generating a lot of heartburn at the DCCC, who’ve named him to their Frontline program for vulnerable incumbents. Ashford’s stance on fundraising, per the article, is admirable, if quaint and reeking of loser-speak:
“If I don’t get re-elected because I don’t toe the party line, or I don’t raise enough money by the first quarter, then I don’t,” Ashford said. “But I don’t think that’s going to make a difference. I think I’ll be graded on how I do.”
Perhaps more importantly, though, the tension over fundraising also seems to be generating a lot of turmoil within the office. Ashford has already lost a chief of staff and two communications directors after just two-and-a-half months in office. Roll Call‘s article draws an apt comparison to Nancy Boyda, who won a similarly-red Midwestern district in 2006 thanks to an unpopular incumbent, proceeded to run a laid-back, 20th-century style “grade me on my accomplishments” type-campaign, and promptly lost re-election. Ashford is going to have a tough fight next year no matter what, but if he doesn’t pick up the slack, he may very well meet the same fate as Boyda.