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Club for Growth wades into competitive House races

Outside groups are ramping up for the fall. We saw EMILY's List anti-Sarah Palin fundraising campaign, now on the other end of the political spectrum, the conservative Club for Growth is wading into competitive House races in TN-8, AR-2, SC-5, and IN-9. The races are all rated in First Read's Field of 64 (in rank order by likelihood they will switch parties): No. 5 AR-2, No. 32 TN-8, No. 39 SC-5, No. 48 IN-9.

CQ Politics reports:

"The club is backing farmer Stephen Fincher in Tennessee's open 8th district and attorney Tim Griffin in Arkansas open 2nd district. It also endorsed state Sen. Mick Mulvaney in his fight against House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt in South Carolina's 5th district and attorney Todd Young against Rep. Barron Hill in Indiana's 9th district. The club has endorsed 21 candidates so far this cycle but before now its House endorsements have been in safely Republican districts where the only competition was in GOP primaries. Club spokesman Mike Connolly acknowledged Thursday that the latest endorsements are the result of the group turning its attention to the general election. ... Last cycle, the club dropped about $24 million supporting candidates it had endorsed. Club officials have said they expect to exceed that spending total this cycle."

The club has been criticized in past elections (by First Read included) for backing more conservative candidates in primaries than more moderate ones who would have a better chance at winning in some districts like in NY-23 in 2009. In these cases, these are the candidates who have already won primaries.