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[Promoted from the diaries by DavidNYC. Last week, I had the pleasure of promoting superribbie's excellent diary which detailed the most vulnerable GOP-held House seats. Today's diary is the inverse: The Dem-held seats where we need to play some serious defense.]

I recently completed profiling 74 House races where we have a chance to take a GOP seat.  To form the list, I used the following empiric: 1. any district where the partisan score was at least 45 (meaning generic R beats generic D 55-45 in a neutral year) and the incumbent won with less than 65% of the two party vote in 2004; 2. any district in which the partisan score was under 45, but the incumbent won with less than 60% in 2004; 3. any open seat in which the partisan score is 40 or above.

To compute the district's partisan makeup, I averaged Gore's share of the 2000 2-party vote with Kerry's 2004 share plus one and then averaged that number with Charlie Cook's partisan voting index score.

By flipping that definition on its head, I came up with a list of 42 Dem seats that the GOP could go after in a strong GOP year.  2006 will not be such a year.  Nonetheless, there will be some tough defenses next year.  They will almost certainly come from among these (obviously, retirements can complicate things).  

Given that our task with regard to GOP seats is attack all of them to the best of our abilities, and only ration resources to the extent necessary, it made sense to simply profile each of the 74 targets, point out their advantages, and then rank them by likelihood.

Our task regarding defense is different, however.  We would ideally like to be able to completely ignore all 42 of these races.  Most will be non-competitive when all is said and done.  Therefore, I'm of two minds whether it's worth putting together in-depth profiles of all of these districts.  For the ones that will undoubtedly be competitive, certainly, but the question is how many.  I therefore decided that the best thing to do is to do things in the opposite order from how I did the targets; I'm putting up the ranking of our potentially vulnerable seats and I'm relying on opinions as to how many of these it's worth writing the full profile of.

For the ranking, I used the same method as in my previous list:

The list:

  1. Texas 17 (Chet Edwards)   86.3
  2. Utah 02 (Jim Matheson)   86.8
  3. Georgia 08 (Jim Marshall)   87
  4. Louisiana 03 (Charlie Melancon)   89.5
  5. Ohio 06 (open seat)   89.6
  6. Illinois 08 (Melissa Bean)   90.5
  7. Colorado 03 (John Salazar)   90.8
  8. South Dakota at Large (Stephanie Herseth)   92.3
  9. North Dakota at Large (Earl Pomeroy)   94
  10. Georgia 12 (John Barrow)   97
  11. Pennsylvania 17 (Tim Holden)   99.3
  12. Kansas 03 (Dennis Moore)   100.3
  13. Kentucky 06 (Ben Chandler)   100.5
  14. Tennessee 04 (Lincoln Davis)   101.8
  15. New York 27 (Brian Higgins)   102.3
  16. California 20 (Jim Costa)   102.8
  17. Maryland 03 (open seat)   103.6
  18. Oregon 05 (Darlene Hooley)   105.3
  19. Iowa 03 (Leonard Boswell)   105.5
  20. Virginia 09 (Rick Boucher)   105.5
  21. Missouri 03 (Russ Carnahan)   106.5
  22. New York 01 (Tim Bishop)   106.8
  23. Arkansas 02 (Vic Snyder)   107.5
  24. South Carolina 05 (John Spratt)   108.8
  25. Vermont at Large (open seat)   109
  26. Maine 02 (Mike Michaud)   110.3
  27. Texas 15 (Ruben Hinojosa)   110.5
  28. Pennsylvania 13 (Allyson Schwartz)   110.8
  29. North Carolina 13 (Brad Miller)   110.8
  30. North Carolina 02 (Bob Etheridge)   111.8
  31. Washington 03 (Brian Baird)   111.8
  32. Washington 02 (Rick Larsen)   112
  33. Indiana 07 (Julia Carson)   112.3
  34. Florida 02 (Allen Boyd)   113
  35. Texas 28 (Henry Cuellar)   113.3
  36. Missouri 05 (Emanuel Cleaver)   113.8
  37. Oregon 04 (Pete DeFazio)   114
  38. Texas 27 (Solomon Ortiz)   114.5
  39. Wisconsin 03 (Ron Kind)   114.8
  40. Illinois 17 (Lane Evans)   116
  41. California 47 (Loretta Sanchez)   116.5
  42. Mississippi 02 (Bennie Thompson)   118.3

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 06:59 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Chet (none)
    I'm in the interesting position of living in the Chet Edwards district and voting in the Christine Cegelis district in suburban Chicago. So, I've got two races to keep my eye on come 2006.

    I will say that Chet is vulnerable, but it would take a really good candidate to beat him. The woman they ran against him last time (scary right winger, tried to tie herself to Bush/Cheney at every moment possible) really lacked excitement and charisma and emerged only after a bloody primary process. If the GOP can get behind someone early on, it might get interesting.

    •  My guess is that (4.00)
      had the Rethugs nominated a halfway decent candidate in 2004, Chet Edwards would be a former Congressman.

      But 2006 is a different year, and Edwards probably will be very tough to beat, now that he is the clear incumbent in that district and 2006 seems to be a Democratic year.

    •  Where in Chet's District? (none)
      Where are you living?  I'm in Waco.
    •  Interesting stuff on Chet (none)
      See, he lives in a district that includes Texas A&M (scary right wing college) and Crawford (yes meaning he represents Bush).

      Last time, Bush shilled for the repug and Chet had been redistricted to lose, he was the only one to win re-election.  So, how'd he do it, Chet's policies have gone far to the right (he's still with us on the big ones like CAFTA) but he's moved from where he was.

      I did hear one RUMOR saying Chet did campaign on saying he was voting for W as well.  I dunno if that is true though, but he won in W's backyard.  I get the feeling if George has some cash in 2006 he might send it to the Republican this time (he won't need it) so he can't say I'm represented by a dem.

      •  Ahhhhhh! (none)
        We're not all scary right-wingers here at A&M. I promise! Plus, Chet is a member of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 1974 I believe, and that fact carries a lot of water for him here in Aggieland. Amazing, the things people use in deciding how they will vote...
  •  Remove the Texas Hispanic seats (none)
    W did unusually well among Texas Hispanics, who tend to go strong Democratic in most other races.  So I don't think those are going to be very competitive.  Cuellar may be in trouble, but in the primary.

    These seats, I think will be a tough defense for us,
    I list using your ranking,

    # 1, 3, 4(although much less so thanks to W's reponse to Katrina), 6, 9, 10, 33, 34(thanks' to Boyd's ass kissing of W on Social Security).  Some of the others may be trouble if they become open seats.

    •  Illegal immigration... (none)
      is expected to come up in 2006.  I am sure that Bush doesn't want to harm his Mexican and Cuban supporters who gave him the elections in Florida and Texas.  The GOP are desperately trying to provide illegals rights via "temporary residency."  "Temporary residency" could be bad for Dems in 2006. Residency can lead to additional rights, which can lead to citizenship, and eventually voting for illegal immigrants.  I think this is more of a regional issue -- in the Southwest/Southeast/deep South, but what are the Democrats going to do?  The right wingers hate illegal immigration, but one of the members of their party is supporting illegal immigration (does anyone remember that memo that was on kos a couple a days ago)? Weird.
      •  It really doesn't matter (none)
        that much.  The Hispanic Democrats representing these seats are safe, barring a major scandal.  The only reason they are on this list is because of an unusually strong(for a Rethug) performance by W among Texas Hispanics.

        It is unlikely that a Rethug can win any of these districts against a Hispanic Democratic incumbent, which is why Tom Delay redistricted them as he did.

    •  I think there are only about 10 worth covering (none)
      My list of concerned seats-

      1. Texas 17 (Chet Edwards)   86.3
      2. Utah 02 (Jim Matheson)   86.8
      3. Georgia 08 (Jim Marshall)   87
      4. Louisiana 03 (Charlie Melancon)   89.5
      5. Ohio 06 (open seat)   89.6
      6. Illinois 08 (Melissa Bean)   90.5
      7. Colorado 03 (John Salazar)   90.8
      8. Georgia 12 (John Barrow)   97
      9. Maryland 03 (open seat)   103.6
      10. Vermont at Large (open seat)   109

      And if I'd have to bet which ones we're unsure of on election day, I'd go with the two Georgia seats and Chet's Texas seat
      •  CO 06 John Salazar (none)
        This district is rural-Western Colorado. Ranchers, farmers, mormons and resort/retired. Seems like it would lean harder to the right, but tourism, hispanic-vote and the resort areas pull things back to the left. These are NOT your military-christian yahoos, nor your libertarian-idealogues. Gun nuts maybe, but straight shooter in general.

        Salazar is a good example of the kind of Democrat who can do well in such a district. Grew up on the farm himself, and talks the talk without faking the accent.

        His brother, Ken Salazar, has good coat-tails, and both Salazars are keeping their constituency satisfied.

        So, the upshot is, we can feel fairly hopeful.

      •  Totally agree on VT at large (none)
        The biggest risk on this seat is that one of VT's 3rd parties will run a challenger. In that case, the Repub's may well pick up the seat.

        That's how Howard Dean was replaced by a Republican governor.  The left vote was split between Anthony Pollino (Liberty Union or Socialist, I forget which) and the Dem candidate.
        And once a governor is elected, VTers tend to stay with him until he f's up. (Which is why Howard was governor so long.  He never really f'ed up.  A fine record.)

        Howard knows this state, and he should be working to make deals with the Liberty Union/Socialists to keep the seat left leaning.  He has played one chip already-Dems are not opposing Bernie Sanders' Senate run.  

        It is a fact that VT really dislikes the current administration.  That should help, but only if all the liberals get their act together.

      •  My view is that (none)
        I think Edwards will do better than people expect, as he is rather conservative and is now the clear incumbent.
        Matheson will get through for the same reason, OH-6 is an issue because we don't know how that map is going to be, it is possible that it may be more Rethug than now if the referendum passes.

        I think Melancon may be in better shape due to the Katrina aftermath, but he is still in trouble.  
        Bean will probably win, but she has angered her base.  I think Salazar will win fairly easily.

        Both Georgia seats are in trouble, my gut is that Marshall is in slightly more.  Still, if I had to bet, I would say they keep their seats.

        Why Maryland-03, do the Rethugs have a strong candidate?
        Vermont is a problem in a 3-way race, but only in that scenario with a strong independent.

        I think Pomeroy could be in big trouble, his margins have not been impressive after 12+ years, and ND is truly a Rethug state.  I think Boyd might be an upset victim thanks to his support for W's SS deform proposals.  

        The seats that we lose in 2006, I think will be a couple that we don't expect, and Pomeroy and Boyd are top candidates(as well as open seats in OH-6, MD-3, and VT).  I think we will probably hold all the vulnerable incumbents if 2006 is a Dem years as I expect.

  •  Just my thoughts (none)
        on a few of these races. Any of the first termers will face a serious challenge. i
        In MO, Russ Carnahan won Gephardt's seat, beating out a real wingnut psycho, but he also lost ground, losing to Federer in the suburban county. I worked there in 04, he had solid support in St. Louis but I think his primary victory did him in b/c the suburban county favorite was his chief rival. He has done well to stay in touch with those voters though, and should have a decent time of it this year.

        Matheson took advantage of GOP infighting, and just walloped his opponent in 04. He's a solid Congressman (not for me, but for his constituents). I don't think the GOP can knock him out. They did too much damage to themselves in 04. It's partisan enough that it could be scary, but Matheson I think will be fine.

        Bush has to be embarassed this his hometown in the most GOP state in the country is represented by a Democrat. They'll go after Edwards.

        Henry Cuellar will have a primary challenge from former Congressman Cirio Rodriguez, his one time friend. Cuellar knocked him out in the primary last time after Rodriguez initially won on primary night. That'll be a fight, no doubt about it, but Cuellar's seat is pretty reliably Democratic. That's why he ran for it, instead of his original intention in challenging GOP Congressman Bonilla.

        Stephanie Herseth is safe. Unless she does or says something incredibly stupid, she won't lose. Voters in SD like her, even GOP voters approve of her. She won in November by 7 points, in a state in which Bush wiped Kerry out and Daschle lost to Thune. She's is no danger unless she messes up.

        The race in Allyson Schwartz's district was supposed to be among the most highly competitive in the country. I worked for her on the ground for two weeks in mid summer of 2004. What we saw instead was a GOP opponent who almost knocked off Joe Hoeffel, but could not get her campaign off the ground this time. Congresswoman Schwartz made it look almost too easy, winning some 56% of the vote in this "battleground district." Like Herseth, unless she does something really stupid, she's is no danger. Especially not with Casey and Rendell on the statewide ticket.

       in MS, Bennie Thompson was challenged twice by Clinton B. Leseur, an African American GOP evangelical. He shocked Thompson in 02, winning 44 or 45% of the vote in a GOP year. In an even bigger GOP year in 04, Leseur was barely a blip on the radar. The GOP really has no one to put up against Thompson. They've ignored his district for years, and the voters know it. Thompson is safe.

    •  Matheson (none)
      I agree with you on Matheson. The GOP did their best to take him out twice and failed. Right now his district is probably more progressive than he is. He ought to grow some balls and actually take a stand on some progressive Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson has.

      But no matter. Matheson's seat is safe.

      Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

      by willyr on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 08:26:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  re: matheson, utah politics (none)
        except for salt lake city proper, matheson's 2nd district is nowhere near as liberal or progressive as you might guess from mayor anderson. anderson could never get elected in utah outside the liberal bastion of the capital city.

        following the 2000 census, matheson's district was changed from the the relatively liberal salt lake county (where the bulk of utah resides) to only a portion of it and large chunk of rural utah.

        the greatest safety for matheson's seat right now is that the gop can't find anyone of note to take him on. as far as i know, noone has even declared or starting fundraising. i've heard rumors of some rich businessman self-funding a race, but no gop star wants to risk it.

  •  My take (none)
    Allyson Schwartz should be fine. It's a Kerry district and she won by a larger margin than Joe Hoeffel when he had the seat. Barrow and Marshall will be in trouble since they redrew the maps, but I think in the end both should win. I feel more confident about Barrow than Marshall though.

    So rumor has it that President Bush is drinking again. Sure, why not, he's got everybody else drinking.-Dave Letterman

    by jj32 on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 01:12:37 PM PDT

    •  Schwartz = Safe (none)
      Schwartz will have at least a seven-figure head start on any general challenger in cash on hand.  

      The Republicans in the district have no bench, and their local organization is a joke.  When you're 13 months away from an election, and you still have rumors about Raj from "The Apprentice" running for the seat, you know you've got problems.

  •  what do you think (none)
    is the expected net Dem gain that can realistically be expected?

    74-42 = 32

    Republican 231  --> 199
    Democratic 204  --> 236

    I guess that's the optimistic hedge.

    •  I figure (none)
      that when all is said and done, there will be about 10-15 Dem seats in play and about 30-35 GOP seats.  If the Dems maintain their momentum, they can win 60-65% of the in play seats, which puts the gain at anywhere from 10-20 seats--in other words, control could go either way.
      •  soooooo close (none)
        Using your lower estimate of Dems winning 60% of the in-play seats, we'd lose 4 to 6 seats (40% of 10-15 D seats in play) but gain 18-21 seats (60% of 30-35 R seats in-play).  That's a net gain of 14 seats.  We go from 204 to 218, the R's drop from 231 to .... 217.  So close.
    •  Swing years can be surprising (none)
      Cook Political reports that in transition years, you can have a surpirsingly big sweep either way. In addition, your handicapping doesn't always anticipate the depth and breadth of the change.

      In our present situation external things might make the election swing much farther than we expect: Iraq driving GWB's numbers down, Hurricane aftermath proving to people that GOOD GOVERNMENT might actually be important.

      So, maybe we need to set things up to take advantage of POTENTIAL swings. In other words, let's endorse the Dean strategy of making a play for every seat, even if your rankings might suggest it is not so easy.

  •  Miller and Etheridge (none)
    I'm somewhat surprised to see two NC Congressmen on that list.  Etheridge, for one, has been in the House for almost a decade.  With the state as a whole trending slightly to the left (at least, as I see it--feel free to tell me I'm wrong), how is he in danger?  Has he been redistricted into a tougher district, or what?

    As for Miller, he's my representative in Greensboro, and he doesn't seem to be in much danger.  Who's opposing him?

    •  Neither (none)
      are particularly vulnerable as far as I can tell.  Etheridge occupies the low level spot on the list because his district went for Bush twice and because his winning percentage slipped from 66 to 62%, qualifying him under the criteria set out.  Miller has yet to hit 60%, winning 57% in 2002 and 59% in 2004.  The district is net Dem, but not by that much--it went Bush in 2000 and Kerry in '04.  These are both only vulnerable if Bush and the GOP turn the dynamics around 180 degrees.
      •  moderates in NC... (none)
        Etheridge has been around for ages, and seems well-loved, the best that I can tell.  Given the wackos they tend to be up against, a barely Dem district seems sufficient, especially given that they're incumbents.  I mean, the NC Republican party isn't all that great at finding moderates to run...

        So yes, I'm not too scared unless the Republicans find someone named Helms or the like to run against them.

        In the end, Miller, especially, is a testament to the state Democrats' redistricting powers.  Have you looked at the NC federal Congressional district map recently?

  •  Wow (4.00)
    If those are our vulnerable seats, I'm feeling a lot better about 2006.  Half of those reps will break 60%.  The only one I'm really worried about is Chet, but if he could win in a new district in Bush's home state in an election year, he can surely win in an off-year election.  Expect him to get around 55% against a strong challenger.  The others in heavily red districts have been winning even in bad years (Matheson, Herseth, Pomeroy, Moore, Chandler...) and should do fine.  I feel the Vermont open seat should be higher up because of the volatile nature of small-state races, a prominent GOP figure could enter.

    All in all, I wouldn't be surprised if we hold every single seat in 2006, which would actually be pretty amazing (even in the landslide GOP year of 1994, in which the Republicans took around 60 house seats, they still lost an open one in Maine).

    •  I'm with you (none)
      There's pretty slim pickings.  I particularly worry about Ohio 6 and the three freshment near the top (Bean, Salazar, Boustany).
      •  Salazar should be fine. (none)
        He has over 4 times as much cash on hand as his likely Republican opponent and is respected in his district.  The Republicans won't take him out.

        When this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're gonna see some serious shit.

        by CO Democrat on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 08:02:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bean (none)
        They're going to come after Bean hard. That's a race we need to be ready to go to the mat for.

        Anyone who voted against the patriot act is too good for the Senate

        Feingold for President

        by Goldfish on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 09:47:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would rather the money spent on a (none)
          Bean defense go to help a Christine Cegelis victory in IL-06.  Bean has lost all credability with most of the activists in the area.

          She voted for the bankruptcy bill, the class action bill, Gonzales, etc.  Not much of a Democrat.  Why waste the money.  Spen money on real Democrats and let the GOP waste money retaking IL-08.  Demographics will give it back to us in 2 years.

          We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

          by delver rootnose on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 10:22:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  She's serving her constituents (none)
            She's in one of the reddest districts in the country. Sorry she can't be a bleeding heart liberal all the time, but that's the price we pay to take the government back. If we cast Bean of in favor of Cegelis, then all we're doing is trading. We don't get any closer to control of Congress.

            We do not have the luxury of issuing ideological purity tests. I don't like any of those votes either, but considering what the alternative to someone like Bean would be in that district, I'll accept them with a smile.

            We defend everything we have, I don't care what their voting record is. Right now the only vote from any of our representatives that matters is their vote for Speaker, everything else is secondary.

            Anyone who voted against the patriot act is too good for the Senate

            Feingold for President

            by Goldfish on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:12:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I guess we will disagree on this. (none)
              I see it as a waste of money.

              I grew up in the district and sit in IL-08 as I am typing.  Crane was a lousy congresscritter and didn't even have support of the local Republicans due to his lack of presence in the district.  Any challenger to Bean will have the full support of the GOP.
              Bean has already lost the support of many of the DFA and labor and many other groups she needed to repeat her victory.  I think she should be held to the same standard all other new candidates are held to.  If she can raise money then the DCCC should support her but since she has alienated the Democratic base with her recent votes the money probably won't be coming in.  I would rather have a primary challenger and if the GOP does take the district again then there will be a chance for a real moderate Democrat to run in 08 when the vote will be a referendum on the republican presidency.  That and improving demographics in the district should give a good candidate a Dem. win.

              Thus the GOP can waste a gutload of money while the money spent defending Bean, a lost cause in my opinion, is redirected elsewhere.  My choice for location of the redirected money would be Christine Cegelis in IL-06.  IL-06 has about the same demographics, she has a motivated group of supporters, the seat is open and the likely GOP candidate is a hard right Tom Delay protégée.  This district is full of moderate republicans as shown by a stunning lack of support of Alan Keyes and great support of Obama.

              In summary I feel if we pour money into the Bean campaign to the determent of the IL-06  race we will loose both districts.

              Ps it isn't an idelogical purity test to expect her to vote like a democrat at least once in her short term.  Look at her voting record and tell me she represents The Democratic party or even the working class of her district.

              We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

              by delver rootnose on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 12:22:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  How would she vote on Gonzales? (none)
            Doesn't the Senate vote to confirm AG?
            •  Sorry you are correct. (none)
              It wasn't a vote it was a statment of support she made.  I am confused.

              We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

              by delver rootnose on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:59:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why was she doing that? (none)
                I can see why you were upset, if she was issuing a statement of support. That seems like pandering on something that doesn't involve her.
                •  It's been a long time.. (none)
                  since it happened.  I think it actually came from a campaign worker, paid worker not just a volunteer, when I spoke to him at a local event.  I could be miss-stating her stance but I think it was one of those give the president what he wants type of cop outs.  It has been a while but even if I am completely wrong about that her voting record is quite dim.

                  We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

                  by delver rootnose on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 12:28:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Also Marshall (none)
      that remap is going to put the hurt on.  Especially with former GOP Rep. Mac Collins running against him.
    •  I agree (none)
      I believe Chet will hold around in the 55% range. I also believe he will run against Cornyn is '08 and WIN. Cornyn has to be one of the biggest empty suits in the U.S. Senate!
      •  HA! (none)
        Chet for Senate?  No way.  I have heard two other senate 08 possibilities,

        1.  Radnofsky is running this year just to get her name and policies out (really, no one can beat Kay in Texas) so after '06 she can go straight into '08 against Cornyn.

        2.  Richard Morrison.  He said at DemFest he's running for something in 2008 and he's one of the best progressive voices out there.  He took DeLay to 55% and can hold Cornyn's feet to some serious fire.
  •  KS-03 is very safe (none)
    The RNC has practically acknowledged they are done going after Moore's seat even as red as the district is.  There will always be a local challenger that gets money from the local establishment, but Moore probably has this seat for awhile now.
  •  Higgins should be safe (none)
    Erie County (where most of his district is located) has suffered a fiscal meltdown as a result of a Republican county executive's irresponsible tax cut policy (sound familiar?) This has decimated the GOP bench.

    After the election it was revealed that the spouse of his opponent, former county comptroller Nancy Naples, was delinquent in his taxes.  Doesn't look good for rematch.

    Higgins has been very vocal and politically courageous in championing a fair deal for Erie County with the New York Power Authority in their relicensing of the Niagara Falls power plant. He has also been leading the fight for waterfront development in Buffalo (creating more parkland, creating more waterfront access, tearing down the Buffalo skyway, etc.) Both of these are very popular local issues.

    He hasn't been as progressive as I would like (e.g. yes on the Patriot Act reauthorization, yes on the Flag Desecration Amendment) but his votes are in line with his district, which was drawn for the benefit of former Rep. Jack Quinn (R N.Y.)

    I don't see anyone on the horizon who would give him a serious challenge.

    •  Higgins rocks (none)
      And he had the guts to come out in favor of progressive legilsation within days of taking office.

      Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

      by willyr on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 08:28:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (none)
      Higgins should definitely benefit from being one of the few elected officials people in Erie county aren't pissed at and his visibility in championing local issues is definitely earning him positive press and good will.

      He may not be as progressive as he could be, but hey, I'm in Tom Reynolds district, so he looks pretty good to me.

  •  Your method is flawed (none)
    First of all the idea that Boyd is vulnerable is lauphable on its face, he's called swamp thing in his district.  Spratt isn't vulnerable.  Pomeroy isn't vulnerable.  And Mathessan, good god, there are republicans saying he's turning his district into a safe district.  Chet Edwards won with 51% of the vote in 2004 with bush at the top of the ticket in a heavily republican district, 2006 isn't even a chance.

    Your methodology is flawed because your using Kerry's numbers.  Kerry performed worse than expected in large swathes of the country, his numbers are horribly flawed as a measure of congressional possibilities.  We can consider that Kerry is almost a worst case scenerio for democrats in any place that is remotely rural and therefore cannot be considered in any of those districts.  Rethink how your doing your measurements and come back.

    Our virtues are usually only our vices in disguise. La Rochefoucauld

    by Parmenides on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 07:15:17 PM PDT

    •  Vulnerable (4.00)
      Superribbie is NOT saying that these seats are vulnerable, period, full stop, end of story, let's all get worried about these seats.

      Rather, he is saying they are the most vulnerable we currently hold - which doesn't have to mean that they are very vulnerable at all. In fact, as another poster commented, if these are our most vulnerable, then we're in pretty good shape.

      It is possible that a different methodology could come up with a different list of seats - but truly, this list goes 40 deep. I very much doubt you'd find any genuinely vulnerable Dem Congressmembers who are not on this list.

      •  Kerry (none)
        Also, as the OP explained, he used Kerry's and Gore's numbers, combined. Do you think it would be wiser to leave out Kerry altogether?

        I am sure that the OP could re-run his spreadsheet and change any number of variables. I doubt, however, that knocking out Kerry's numbers entirely would change this list all that much.

        •  I think it might be better (none)
          to run a composite of gore's numbers and senate races in those districts.  That won't be the best but, I just think Kerry's numbers skew things too much because of the ridiculous divide in the urban rural vote totals.  The only incumbant to lose in the last election was Baron P. Hill who was in a psycho conservative district.  If texas hadn't been redistricted we would have picked up seats in the house.  

          I understand the point about most vulnurable but I can't understand the ranking considering that, yes, chet edwards is somewhat vulnurable but Salazaar really isn't at all and is far to high on the list.  

          Maybe I'm just being pedantic but I don't think the model takes into account enough variables.  The list would be far shorter if it took into account the vote totals in those districts for Kerry in comparison to the vote totals for the democrat that won.

          Our virtues are usually only our vices in disguise. La Rochefoucauld

          by Parmenides on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 07:44:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh yea (none)
            Your right I can't think of any that aren't on the list.

            Our virtues are usually only our vices in disguise. La Rochefoucauld

            by Parmenides on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 07:45:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Senate races (none)
            I considered using them as well, but didn't for two reasons:
            1. The district by district data is much harder to come by--especially 2000 Senate results for current districts (post-2002 remap); and
            2. Senate races are largely cult of personality.  Would anyone advocate using Linc Chafee's numbers to suggest that either Rhode Island district is in peril?  Also, too many Senate races are uncontested blowouts.  In my other thread, Bryan Kennedy backers were making the case that Sensenbrenner is vulnerable because Herb Kohl (who took 62% statewide) won the district.  This is not to say that Kennedy isn't a great candidate (he is) or that Sensenbrenner isn't an asshole who is out of touch (he is), but that district is a dog however you cut it.
            As I saw it, there were three options for using the Senate figures: 1. use them straight up, and biases be damned; 2. adjust them to a 50-50 race, which would have the effect of artificially making every state 50-50.  I adjust the presidential figures to a 50-50 race nationally, which doesn't distort, but adjusting each state to 50-50 can't be right; or 3. adjust the figures to whatever the state's presidential split was, which I view as the best option, but then the figure is again tied to Presidential percentages.
            Also, people are more likely to choose a House rep. (who is less familiar to most) based on their self-identification with a party, which in turn is typically reached based on presidential voting.  This is one reason that voting for House races (but not Senate races) tends to track presidential voting (and perceptions of the chief executive in the case of midterms).
          •  Incidentally (none)
            after I nationally adjusted the Kerry numbers for a 50-50 race, his district-by-district numbers were in the vast majority of cases within a point or two of Gore's either way.  
    •  Pomeroy (none)
      If Hoeven runs against Conrad next year, then the GOP could rack up enough margins to eliminate Pomeroy, if a decent candidate runs against him.
  •  Georgia Redistricting (none)
    What's the latest on the Rethug redistricting in Georgia? How will this affect the Marshall & Barrow seats?
  •  I'm supremely confident in Tim Holden. (none)
    He's a conservative Democrat in an area that should be electing conservative Democrats.  His district includes the Penn State University main campus as the only purple spot in all of Pennsyltucky.  He ran a great campaign in 2004 to beat a guy named Paterno - Paterno.  Paterno wasn't even a psycho wingnut Republican, and Holden won the district by a larger margin than expected.  Holden, a blue dog Democrat, is here to stay.  It's hard to believe that any of our incumbents are in any danger.  These days incumbents are always safe unless they're plagued by scandal.  Since Democrats don't even have the power to create scandals, it's hard to believe that even one of our incumbents will lose.
    •  Holden does inspire confidence (none)
      The only incumbent Democrat to beat an incumbent Republican in 2002.  The district was drawn to reelect his opponent and defeat him.  Holden really beat the odds.

      I grew up in that district.  The eastern end (where I'm from) is marginal but the Democrats are blue dog style conservative Dems - pro labor and culturally conservative - and the Republicans have some strength in that neck of the woods.  The western end (except the city of Harrisburg) is very Republican - damn near as Republican as Lancaster and Lebanon counties.

      Holden's showings (even in his old district that included Republican leaning Berks county) really are almost as impressive as Matheson's.  The two of them should give seminars to Dems in Red States.

    •  Oh, one point of dispute--- (none)
      Are you sure Holden's district includes State College?  I doubt it because that district would stretch a very long way to the Nothwest if it did.
    •  Paterno (none)
      Scott Paterno, son of the football coach, was a joke -- a 30ish nonpracticing lawyer who had never held a real job, not set up or financed by his father, in his life.  The Bushies pushed Paterno over some locals who actually had some qualifications, the second time in a row they underestimated Holden and overestimated the power of a familiar name.  I don't think they'll make that mistake again.  I am very impressed with Holden's tenacity and skills, but this is an overwhelmingly Republican district, and Holden will be in a dogfight every two years for the rest of his career.  If the Republicans ran one of their strong candidates -- State Sen. Jeff Piccola for instance --  they would win.  Fortunately the candidates lining up now seem to be second-tier, but I doubt Holden will ever have as easy a target as he did with Baby Paterno.
      •  A touch late to disagree... (none)
        I think Holden can hold this seat for a while.  If he could defeat a Republican incumbent (Gekas) in an overwhelmingly Republican district after the 2000 census, surely he can cruise by on incumbency alone.  Democrats should be taking notes from Holden.
        •  Holden has been blessed (none)
          in his draw of opponents.  The Republicans redistricted the district with the thought that Gekas would easily knock off Holden, which seemed reasonable based on the registration numbers.  They didn't realize that Gekas was like one of those big old trees -- grand and imposing on the outside, soft and rotting on the inside.  They thought he was a winner because he'd never lost, but he hadn't run a competitive race in his career.  The race he ran against Holden was godawful, so bad that it raised doubts even among Republicans as to whether senility had set in.  Holden has had to scrap and fight for every election he has ever been in, so he was much more trim and fit for a tough fight than Gekas, and he won by a comfortable margin.  Then with Scotty Paterno he got the opponent from Heaven.

          I have immense respect for Holden and what he does, other than the fact that he's more conservative than many Republicans.  With each win he gets stronger.  But this is still a terrible district for him, and one of these years the Republicans are going to run a strong candidate -- Jeff Piccola, perhaps -- in a Republican year, and Holden will be gone.  For now I'm very glad to have him.

  •  OH-06 (none)
    What's the latest on OH-06? (Ted Strickland is giving up the seat to run for Governor.) Who will be running on each side?
    •  Charlie Wilson has declared (none)
      I know State Senator Charlie Wilson has announced for the seat.  I've met Charlie.  He's got the kind of rural charm that would appeal well to voters in the 6th district.  He runs a funeral parlor and has held a seat in the Ohio House and Senate for a while.  

      His website needs some work but here it is. . .

      His website

      Don't know of other candidates on either side. . .

      •  More information (none)
        Here's an article on Wilson's declaration to run for the seat.  If Wilson can keep to this message throughout the race, a Democrat will retain the seat.  Republican trade policies are not popular in that part of the state (or much of any part).  The voters in the sixth are culturally conservative but beaten down by current trade policies.  

        Here's an article on the declared candidates.  So far the announced candidates for the GOP seem weak, one county commissioner, a no-name and interestingly a 24-year old African-American who is a National Guard veteran and a "political consultant."  Holt has signed a pledge from Grover Norquist's organization.  Yawn. . .  Holt might get some national press given that he claims he would be the youngest African-American to run for congress but he seems like a wing-nut and at the moment, political consultants aren't very popular in Ohio.  

        Open Secrets lists other candidates, including a Democrat, Diane Murphy, who I've never heard of.  They report that Charlie has raised $55,000 whereas the county commissioner Danny Harmon has $8000.  No other candidate has reported money raised.  

        Websites for Harmon and Holt.

        •  Excellent (none)
          That is one where there is no excuse for the GOP to let us have easily.  I'll take it.
        •  Holt's website is curious... (none)
          "Richard Holt, father of one, was born in Gallipolis..."

          An Ironton paper mentions his wife, Virginia. But a Repug site with no pics of the happy family? No mention of her other than the newspaper?

          Curious...has he just gone thru an ugly divorce?

          Is she white? If so, is he afraid to offend backward-thinking Repugs?

          Or dose she just simply want no part of it all?

          If he can't get the support of his house, can he really expect to take a whole district?

          Like I said...his site was curious.

  •  # 22 (none)
    My representative, NY's Tim Bishop, should fare pretty well. He managed to be one of the few seats we picked up in 2002, though by a small margin- less than 3,000 votes.  He managed to get re-elected in 2004 by a larger margin, with 12.4% of the vote.  This district does have a history of tight races and party turnovers, but Bishop is the few to get re-elected.  All in all, he's been doing a good job- unless the GOP finds a really strong candidate or puts an inordinate amount of money in this race, we won't need to do anything special to keep him in office.  Still, for those of you in our around NY's 1st, it wouldn't help to put in some time with his campaign.  I just might do that later this year.  
    •  Bish (none)
      I think Bishop is safe as well.

      But does NY-1 really have a history of party turnovers? Michael Forbes switched parties (R to D, what a rarity) - and then got creamed the next year. Otherwise, though, I had thought it was pretty Republican for quite some time.

      •  If i would be (none)
        a Republican operative in NY-1 - i would run Assemblyman Fred Thiele against Bishop. Thiele is well-known and would be able to get a lot of "crossover" vote..
      •  NY-1 has been a swing district for years (none)
        This district although traditionally Republican, has a long history of ticket splitting. It began with the election of Otis Pike, a moderate Democrat who served for over 20 years.  He was succeeded by a moderate Republican whose name escapes me (he was the Town of Southold supervisor for a while -- any Long Islanders there who can help me out?) Then George Hochenbrucker (sp?) another moderate Democrat switched the district back for two terms.  Hochenbrucker was succeeded by Forbes who swept in on the early 90's GOP wave.  He got sick of drinking the Gingrich kool aid so he switched parties and lost the Democratic primary to an underfunded progressive (the local GOP was very helpful in sending out mass mailings asking the constituents to vote for the "real Democrat".  Why can't we be play  the same game against our Alexanders, Halls, Goodes and Deals?) Grucci was a loyal DeLay acolyte but only served two terms before Bishop upset him.  The district would be vulnerable in a good GOP year, but I don't see one coming.  
  •  Optimistic (none)
    I see I'm not alone in being cheered by these numbers.  As of right now it looks possible that not a single Dem incumbant will lose.

    Last time that happened to a political party?

    I'll give you one guess.

  •  Potential Problem (none)
    Are you using Gore's district numbers as those districts were configuered in 2000, or how he would have performed in the districts as they are configured today, post-re-districting?

    For instance, Chet Edwards' district is obviously different now than it was in 2000. As a result, how Gore did in Edwards' old district is pretty much irrelevant to Edwards' current district.

    Whatever the case, though, this list represents a pretty good sampling of every Dem member who could reasonably expect to receive a decent challenge.

  •  Oregon (4.00)
    If The Faz is on the top 40 vulnerable Democrats, we must be in amazing shape.  The Faz is representative for life in OR-4. And Eugene-Springfield and the coast give the district a very deep bench.  The word is, county commissioner Pete Sorenson is interested in taking over the seat, should The Faz take on Gordon Smith in 2008.  Yes, Douglas and Linn counties potentially balance out Lane's liberalism, but they're also blue collar, and the local Dems have learned long ago how to deal with that kind of soft conservatism.

    I can see Darlene Hooley being vulnerable against the wrong kind of Republican, but there's no sign so far of any such Gooper coming out yet.  Always said, though, that Oregon Dems should make a special target out of the Salem vote, where we haven't been doing anywhere close to as well as we should.

    "Hit a man with a fish, and he'll have a headache for a day. Teach him to hit himself with a fish, and he'll have headaches all his life!"--Karl Rove

    by AdmiralNaismith on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 07:48:49 PM PDT

    •  I'll second that. (none)
      Darlene was my Rep in SW Portland until I moved a few miles northeast 4 months ago, and she's a fighter.  She does amazingly well given that the district is net Repub, but that's because she draws her base from the 'burbs (West Linn, Lake Oswego) that lean against Dems but still to their local peeps.

      And Defazio is a shoo-in, you've got that right. I love the idea of him taking on Gordon Smith for the Senate in '08, that'll get me over my pipe dream of having Kitzhaber do it (former MD gov, wildly popular for non-Oregonians), even though I got him to say he'd think about it when I managed to corner him a year ago--- I just think he has very little interest in giving up Oregon living and heading to D.C., 'cause he would have creamed Smith in '02 if he'd had the heart to do it.

      The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. Somerset Maugham

      by verasoie on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 10:27:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Former MD Governor (none)
        For those who don't know, that means he's a doctor (like Frist, only a good one without the dead cats), not that he used to be Gov. of Maryland.

        The Faz will need coaxing to go for the Senate. I was around when he tried it in 1995, and he got REALLY discouraged.  Ron Wyden is a friend of his, and the primary spun, totally out of his control, into an ugly fight that neither of them wanted, and that scarred them both.  

        The following year, the other seat--the one Smith eventually won--opened up and Bob Kerrey, in his infinite wisdom, swept over from DC and booted The Faz out of the way so that they could run a colorless millionaire nobody ever heard of, who proceeded to sit on his ass until his chances of victory got bored and went away.  

        After a couple of episodes like that, I don't blame Pete for being reluctant to risk his Congressional seniority any more.  He needs to know the party will actually back him.

        "Hit a man with a fish, and he'll have a headache for a day. Teach him to hit himself with a fish, and he'll have headaches all his life!"--Karl Rove

        by AdmiralNaismith on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 08:46:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I remember the (none)
          1996 disaster of the Kerrey Millionaires' Club.  They went 0 for 7 as I recall, a couple not even making it out of the primary.  The only one with any success was Mark Warner, who parlayed his near miss against John Warner into the governorship.  Of course, extra raspberries go to Tom Strickland, who managed to lose us the Colorado Senate seat in both 1996 AND 2002.
  •  Texas 22 (none)
    Nick Lampson

    We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. -MLK

    by JLFinch on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 07:52:34 PM PDT

    •  List (none)
      TX-22 is a GOP-held seat - this is a list of potentially vulnerable Dem-held seats. TX-22 ranks 59th on the OP's other list.
      •  This will be close (none)
        DeLay was held to only 55% last year, with Bush at the top of the ticket in Texas. Lampson is much better known than Richard Morrison was; he represented about 25% of the district before Delay chopped it up. This should be much higher on the list!
        •  Heh (none)
          my dad works at United space Alliance, he was talking to some folks at work when Delay came by for a photo op.  A friend was saying how DeLay has done nothing for the Space program and has been holding it back (escape pod from International space Station, ever wonder why we can only have 3 people on it?).  as soon as my dad mentioned Nick Lampson was running the other guy instantly became quite. . . uhm, happy.

          When he represented Clear lake's NASA area, Nick Lampson did a GREAT job representing the space program getting it funding.  They got the budget they needed to actually make space our future.

          Kind of a strong NASA supporter considering it's 15 minutes from my house.  :-D

  •  ME-2 Safe (none)
    Glad to see Mike Michaud in the top 40, it bodes well for our incumbents.

    Last race would have been what offed him, they ran a pro-choice Republican against a pro-life Democrat and the Democrat still won.

    I doubt they can find a better candidate in a blue state to beat him, especially with a Democratic stronghold having been drawn into his district in '04.

  •  A Northwest perspective (none)
    In Oregon 4, I think DeFazio could be elected until he retired from the seat.  However, I am hoping he can be persuaded to challenge Repugnut Sen. Gordon Smith.  I think he's the best-positioned to appeal both to the Blue Willamette Valley corridor and to the populilst streak in the Red parts of the state.  But, unlike Smith, he is not idependently wealthy, so Kossians and official funding groups should stand by to help us take out one of the true stains on the U.S. Senate.  If he should make the jump to the Senate race, I think Democrats could have a real challenge in holding on to the seat.

    Brian Baird, in Washington 3, is more vulnerable, but he has become an excellent Congressman for the district.  He has overcome some of his original rough political edges, and he serves his diverse district well while maintaining a moderately liberal voice.  I believe he is now pretty solid in his district.

    Both DeFazio and Baird have become regulars on Thom Hartmann's local drive time radio program, and if you guys could hear him, you too would find yourselves newly proud to be Democrats.  They are both just great.

    Darlene Hooley, Oregon 5, is always listed as the most vulnerable of our Democratic Congressmen, and she is not a high-profile or imaginative politician.  But she knows how to work her district and provide excellent constituent services.  Her background is in county government, so she knows the nitty-gritty well.  

    However, this district does have a well-earned reputation for throwing out established and powerful Congressmen -- Al Ullman (when he was CHAIRMAN of Ways and Means, for godssake), Denny Smith.  So it's always good to look upon her as vulnerable.

    And for those few of you who have read this far, thanks for taking an interest in our Northwest prospects.  Now to do something about all those State of Washington Repubs. . . .

    "Yesterday's news is tomorrow's fish and chips paper." -- Elvis Costello

    by Vico on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 08:04:25 PM PDT

    •  Washington (none)
      Baird and Larsen are safer than safe.  Worry not about Democrats in Washington.  Baird has done nothing to alienate his base.  Despite the fact that Bush won the 3rd district, Baird would have to screw up royally and have a really strong challenger to be in any danger.  Not gonna happen.  Larsen's the one that Washington Republicans always talk about being vulnerable but he isn't.  Everett and Bellingham Dems turn out for him in big numbers and he's won big victories for the district including the SPUD amendment to the energy bill.

      Dave Reichert is the one vulnerable Washington Republican, representing the 8th (Bellevue, Eastside King and Pierce counties).  He can be unseated.  Give up hopes of unseating Hastings or McMorris anytime soon though, unless the shit really hits the fan for them for some reason.  Eastern WA=Idaho.

  •  we may need to work hard in Iowa 03 (none)
    Leonard Boswell had abdominal surgery recently, and rumor is that he is not well. If he steps down, we've got an open seat to defend. The Repugs will have a very well-funded candidates, no doubt. I still think the seat would lean Dem, but it depends on who we nominate. We'd have to work our butts off. A lot of the Dems in the district are blue-collar, socially conservative Reagan Democrat types. In eastern Polk County there were quite a lot of Bush/Boswell voters in 2004.
    •  Does Iowa have buyer's remorse? (none)
      Iowa barely went for GWB last time.  I lived there for a number of years and I know Iowans don't look too kindly on the arrogance of power.  Just wondering if there may be some major regrets about 2004 that could help whatever Dem runs in that district.  I've heard that Nussle is stepping down so that should improve chances for a Dem pickup.

      The Iowa districts may be the most competitively drawn in the nation (Look at the numbers Jim Leach's opponents have been able to garner).  Too bad that the least competitive is the one occupied by wingnut Jim King.

    •  Boswell (none)
      I hope Boswell does step down (assuming he lives).  He has been one of the very worst dems in the House, one of just 18 Dems to vote for the energy bill, the bankruptcy bill, and the repeal of the estate tax.

      The district is classic swing (liberal urban center, conservative 'burbs and rural/farm), but the blue-collar Des Moines vote should carry the day for the dems, assuming the political environment one year from now somewhat resembles what we have today (the rural vote in Iowa leans right slightly, but also generally anti-war).  It might be that Ed Fallon will run; he's actually a real progressive, so if he could win it would be a huge upgrade from DINO Boswell.

  •  Rick Renzi-Arizona (none)
    You should add Rick Renzi of Arizona, who was just named "one of the 13 most corrupt in Congress" by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Democrats and Independents outnumber Republicans here 2 to 1.

    Help us defeat "corrupt" Renzi.
    Go to OUR WEBSITE and contribute or CONTRIBUTE HERE

    Thank you
    Mike Caccioppoli

  •  CA-11 Didn't make the list? (none)
    Richard Pombo is the current congressman here now.  He chairs or is a member of 3 major House committees.  He is the notorious individual that most wants to open the ANWR (Alaskan Oil) initiative.  He also wants to allow National Parks' naming rights to be sold (Sears' Yosemite anyone?).  

    Many opinions have been written that compared him to a Trent Lott or Tom Delay type who has a lot of power behind the scenes.  Someone even called him "further right than Bush".

    He now has a Dem candidate Jerry McNerney running against him.  Jerry has an energy/business background, and is an environmentalist.  He went into the 2004 electiona t the alst minute on a write-in campaing that got 40% of the vote!  Not bad for a last minute write-in campaign.  

    Now, it's time to pull out the big guns and take down Pombo on 2006.

    No one should be a politician if they've never lived paycheck to paycheck.

    by Savvy813 on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 09:17:17 PM PDT

  •  Ron Kind (none)
    I can tell you from living in Ron Kind's district that he'll stay in fine shape.  He did have a closer challenge in 2004, but that was the first time the GOP really tried to challenge him.  If that was a full-court GOP press, then Kind could have that seat for the rest of his life.  BTW, early indications are that Kind won't have the same intensity challenge in 2006, so he'll probably have token opposition next time.  (Dale Schultz, the GOPer who went against Kind in 2004, is now in the State Senate leadership, so I doubt he'd immediately give that up for another run/loss.)

    Of course, Kind will probably run for governor someday, but with the district seemingly trending Democratic over the years, I'm guessing Dems will always have somewhat of an advantage.

  •  I feel that #33 (none)
    Julia Carson is pretty safe. She's my congresswoman and barring unforseen circumstances (her health has been an issue in the past), she should hold the district well. The district is basically the city of Indianapolis. I worked a polling place for her last election ("Hi, there! We'd really appreciate your vote for Ms. Carson and the Democratic team!") and I had strangers coming up to me, telling me stories of why they loved Julia so much. It was really quite uplifting.

    If the other side can make an issue of her health, though, or if she should decide to retire, who knows?

    government policies have real consequences in people's lives

    by Debby on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 10:43:30 PM PDT

  •  It's f ing late, (none)
    And I'm no mathematician.  However, I do feel that one of the strategies in the upcoming election is to isolate any Republican who has:
    Previously prided him or herself on the "I'm a fiscal conservative" Republican ... but now is facing the massive costs of:
    a.  The Iraq War;
    b.  Hurricanes Katrina, Ophelia, and Rita, with more to come before Nov 30 of this year.
    c.  The blatant sops to the richest 1% of the rich.
    d.  Has never emitted a single independent thought whatsoever on Iraq, Defense spending, the deficit, the fact that the Prescription Drug Plan was a lie from start, so far as costs go; how in the fuck the GOP is going to saddle future voters with massive debt.

    I think those of us out here should knock the living fuck out of them in letters to the editor; on Cable Access TV, which is the most underutilized forum for the Left to just kick ass and take names ad infinitum; blogs; and any other forum we can generate.  Keep these folks on the defensive, until the Dems or Greens can mount specific candidates for some of the key states.

    I hope we can also assist any Socialist or Green who can mount an attack and take away at least ONE Republican seat somewhere.  It would be very important to get a Green, Socialist, or Natural Law Candidate in the House.  This is an "oak tree" that may be planted for the first time this year ... the acorn being planted that is.

    Eventually, there may be an opening for one, then two, then perhaps several other Greens or NLPs or, as with Bernie Sanders, Socialist candidates in the House.  We are decades away from a coalition government, but it can start this year.

    Somewhere out there, there must be ONE congressional seat that a Green can take.  Even if that means a Democrat loses.
    In Ohio, in region with Dayton-Springfield, a Natural Law Party candidate was asked by the Dems to run as their candidate ... and they didn't screw with her agenda or message.  She did quite well against Hobson.  It was a start.

    But look at Dave Liep's Presidential Atlas, at the color charts of which counties in Colorado and New Mexico went Dem, and you may see ONE of those districts that can be the first Green. Must be similar for California or Oregon or Washington.

    There is already a fierce counter assault on ANYONE who dares -- DARES -- include (just fucking include) Global Warming as one of the contributors to the intensity of the current hurricane season. Lou Dobbs on CNN ridiculed Barbara Streisand, for making remarks about how Global Warming is causing more hurricanes.

    While there may not be proof that it is causing the more intensified hurricane season, Max Mayfield (quoted by Dobbs) did show a CHART which showed that warming in the Atlantic and Gulf IS absolutely up in close relation to the more intense hurricane cycle of present.

    The question that needs to be drilled out there re: hurricanes: so WHAT if Global Warming is only 1% of the greater intensity of the 2004 & 2005 hurricane seasons?
    What are we going to do about that?
    How many Ivans, Katrinas and Ritas do we need?
    With the War in Iraq, Mr. or Ms. Congressman or woman, what exactly are YOU ... not Bush ... YOU going to do to see that we look into this further?

    I wish I could understand the math on your post, but I don't.  I don't know what the fuck you are talking about in a sense.
    I know that we cannot allow the "defensive positions" to go undefended until there is no viable Republican running against a Dem, Green, or Socialist.  Until then, seems like we have to be prepared to defend what we have ... but marshall resources on those most promising in the House.

    Bush's extravagance in Iraq is going to bite him in the ass.

    If we have ONE more month like April of 2003, 2004, or November (I think, 2004 -- each associated with Fallujah or another major fire fight) OR, one large mass casualty event ... the public will want to toast his nuts over a very small flame.

    Flesh, as the Apaches proved, when they roasted captives very slowly over a fire, as the captive was hung upside down OVER that very small fire ... DOES BURN.  Let us all hope that we can toast Bubba's nuts slowly over these fires as the Congressional elections draw closer.

  •  Personally.... (none)
    I don't see the loss of Melissa Bean as much of a loss.

    Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Well, come on, doesn't anybody know!?!?

    by Erik the Red on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 12:30:28 AM PDT

    •  You all (none)
      rooted for her (and Herseth, and Salazar, and Chandler) last time - and rightfully so. Now you are disappointed thet all of them are not "real progressives". I would say: "and thanks, God" - otherwise all these districts would be represented by ultra-right-Republicans in House. Such districts don't elect "real progressives" - it's not SF or NYC, so these congressmembers are the best you can have in these districts. You want something different? Youw will get next Frist or Musgrave...
    •  Well I don't think she will lose (none)
      whether you like it or not.  The big corporations will probably back her, and so will most of the non crazy Rethugs, and in a Dem year, she will get through.


      •  Well, if she wins, (none)
        that won't be bad, either. I'm jut not enthusiastic about her in general, and won't shed any tears if she gets beat.

        Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Well, come on, doesn't anybody know!?!?

        by Erik the Red on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 03:00:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  No surprise (none)
    That our Upper Midwestern traitor Dems, Ron Kind and Melissa Bean, both made the list. I say let their asses sink or field challengers.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

    by Septic Tank on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 05:13:26 AM PDT

  •  Must Defend... (none)
    Rick Boucher VA--he's a good guy and one of the very few men in Congress that really understands these here Internets.  He's a very intelligent and a passionate defender of fair use (something near and dear to my heart).  Not only that, but he's a Democrat from the wonderful Commonwealth of Virginia, and we need to keep as many of them around as possible.

    whoring my blog like it's my job!

    by jjhare on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 06:09:08 AM PDT

    •  The importance of Boucher in Southwest VA (none)
      can not be understated.  Thankfully Boucher is a strong candidate down here, his main challenge seems to be coming from the religious conservatives, of which we have more than our share.  Economically though Boucher has been a god send for the area, the coal field expressway, and the fiber optic main line, while they may look like pork are incredibly important to building an economic base here that is not entirely in the pocket of big coal.  Boucher's district has the potential to go through a great growth spurt, and become a bright blue jewel in an otherwise very red area.

      "To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing." -Elbert Hubbard

      by Todd42873 on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 08:59:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Southwest VA (none)
        I lived in Farmville (poorly served by the flip-flopping Virgil Goode) for quite a few years and was all around Southern Virginia during those years.  I can agree with 100% that the investments Rick is making in your community are important and will have great dividends.  He's a forward thinker--his policy positions on Internet issues are almost all well-reasoned and he's made himself a fighter for the people against record companies and others that have misused copyrights.  I'm surprised to see his name on the vulnerable list, because people I've talked to down there really like the guy.  Hell, if he really needs a boost, we can just send Mark Warner around--Virginia's really come around with our good Governor's fiscal management.  I think Democrats can make some good gains in VA this election cycle.  The state house probably won't switch, but I think we can at least keep the governor's office and pick up a few seats.  Thank goodness it seems Jerry Kilgore's support is dwindling a bit. I can't see how anyone would vote for that idiot.

        whoring my blog like it's my job!

        by jjhare on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 09:39:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Louisiana 03 (Charlie Melancon) 89.5 (none)
    The Republicans will have Charlie squarely in their crosshairs next year, to an unprecedented degree.  Why?  Because some of the parishes hardest hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are in his district -- St. Bernard, Plaquemines and Terrebonne Parishes.  (Not to mention all the sugarcane farmers, shrimpers, etc. affected in his district; Charlie comes from a family of sugarcane farmers.)

    After all, there can be zero roadblocks (hell, or even a speed bump) to interrupt the flow of $$$$$ from BushCo to his corporate cabal of contractors in the "rebuilding" of the Gulf region (funny how the term "Gulf region" is completely interchangeable...)

    Charlie is a Blue Dog Dem, which puts him on the opposite end of the Bush seesaw on economic issues.  The Republicans will absolutely, by any means necessary of course, try to eliminate any Democratic Rep., Senator, Governor, Parish President, County Sheriff, City Dogcatcher, etc. in the Gulf Region, SW Louisiana, SE Texas who might dare to ASK QUESTIONS regarding the "rebuilding" and who is getting the Billions.  

    Charlie is a 1st termer.  The Republicans made his election very, very ugly last year.  The SwiftBoating of Kerry was child's play by comparison.  So ugly, in fact, that Charlie's Republican opponent in the general election, Billy Tauzin the Kid (who tried to be heir apparent to the seat his daddy held for 2 decades) wrote a lengthy public apology after the election (published in the local newspapers) to disavow the ugly tactics of the Republican machine that swept in to run the pre-election attack ads against Charlie.  So, if their evil tactics got so bad last year that little Billy felt the need to publicly hang his head in shame afterward (lest his fellow Cajuns never give him another chance), then next year's election in the 3rd Congressional District will be......hell, no word I can think of can describe what I think will take place.

    BUT, BUT, BUT -- most of Charlie's constituents adhere to the lessons taught at the Aaron Broussard School of Gator Bait WhoopAss.  So, I hold out a lot of hope that the Republican machine will choke on its own bullshit in La.'s 3rd District. As I said before, in Louisiana, ththey are taking on about 3 million James Carvilles now.  Grab the popcorn and a comfy seat.

    •  remember the Dems are now out of state (none)
      THe big danger is that the urban Dems won't return to Louisiana.  They'll have set down roots by the time the more flooded and destroyed parts get ready for rebuilding.  And don't tell me there might be some politics from the Feds in how things get rebuilt so that the poor areas become parks instead and the Democratic voters get moved out.
      •  Charlie's district is not urban... (none)
        ...and most people who lost everything have not left the state (or gone very far within the state).

        Rep. William Jefferson (Dem-2nd district) represents urban New Orleans and, to some extent, the suburbs of New Orleans.  Rep. Bobby Jindal (Rep-1st district) has part of Orleans Parish in his district, but more of the suburbs of New Orleans and other Parishes severely affected -- St. Tammany, Washington, for example.

        It seems to me the entire country (including the Bushies) just ASSUMES that urban New Orleans was the only place that needs to be "rebuilt" (I use the term loosely because I predict oil/gas facilities as far as the eye can see).  That assumption just ain't so, not by a long shot.  And if the Bushies keep assuming it, well, they are fucking themselves.

  •  Evans yes; Bean no (none)

    In Illinois, Lane Evans got into congress on a message of "Say no to Reagan."

    He's a dependable liberal in a region where his predecessors were conservative. He needs all the help we can give him, especially in '06 -- which looks like a Republican year in IL. (The recent scandals touch the Democratic governor; the ones touching hte Republicans are older.)

    Bean, on the othehr hand, looks like a Dino to me. I'd like to see someone with closer relations to that district speak about this.

  •  On Mississippi 02.... (none)
    I hail from this majority-minority district (BVAP is about 60 percent) and think it's safe to say that Bennie Thompson faces a bigger challenge from within the Democratic Party than from a Republican.

    State Rep. Chuck Espy (D-Clarksdale) is eyeing a run against Thompson.  Espy is the nephew of Mike Espy, who held Thompson's seat until he was appointed secretary of agriculture in 1993 by President Clinton.  

    Whites are much more comfortable with the Espys than with Thompson, who's seen as a radical.  I'd bet that Thompson will hang on by virtue of his incumbency, but Espy will give him a run for his money.

  •  Vermont (none)
    This will actually be the first time in a longtime the Democrats can win the House seat in Vermont, although technically Bernie Sanders is pretty loyal to the progressive/Democratic cause.

    Martha Rainville is running as the Republican, and would have run as a Dem, but the field was too crowded.  So we could lose a vote for our speaker candidate, but on a lot of issues, even if Rainville wins, she's likely to be an incredibly moderate Republican.  Obviously I hope the Dem takes it, but a Republican winning this seat would be far less disasterous than some of the far-right people who might win other seats.

  •  Cleaver (none)
    Emmanuel Cleaver is much more likely to face a challenge from the primary than he is from the Repubs in the urban, blue district of KC.

    Dennis Moore is also pretty safe at this point. Adam Taff (who now looks to be guilty of misappropriating campaign funds) had the best chance and failed. Kris Kobach was a nutbag. I'd guess Moore will win by his largest margin ever next year.

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