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(From the diaries -- kos)

So far, it seems to me there are 14 highly competitive House races shaping up in 2006:

Colorado 7 - Bob Beauprez (R) running for Governor

This seat was created in 2002 to be highly competitive, and it is. Nestled in the suburbs around Denver, Beauprez squeaked out a win in 2002 (and only after a recount). While he faced an easy reelection in 2004, he has chosen to seek the open governor's mansion in 2006, which basically guarantees a hotly contested race for his seat (it is of note that both Al Gore and John Kerry narrowly won CO-07). The Democratic nominee will be either former State Sen. Ed Perlmutter or former State Rep. Peggy Lamm; the GOP nominee either Colorado Higher Education Commission Chair Rick O'Donnell or Jefferson County Treasurer Mark Paschall.

The other 13 below the fold...

Connecticut 2 - Rob Simmons (R)

Ever since Simmons upset 10-term veteran Sam Gejdenson in 2000, Democrats have been eager to return the favor. Simmons' seat in eastern Connecticut is the most Democratic held by a GOP Congressman in the entire nation. And 2002 nominee Joe Courtney, who got 46% against Simmons, is vying for a rematch. Expect another very hot race here.

Connecticut 4 - Chris Shays (R)

Shays should be stronger than Simmons - he has served since 1987 and is widely portrayed as a moderate in southwest Connecticut. But he is not strong. In 2004 Diane Farrell got 48% against the 9-term "moderate". And in 2006 she is running again. With a political climate more favorable to Democrats, she could well be able to topple Shays, given how close she came in Republican-friendly 2004.

Georgia 8 - Jim Marshall (D)

Republicans decided to redistrict Georgia before the 2006 elections, in a move directly based on 2003's Texas remap. Granted, the Georgia map is not as aggressive as the Texas map was, but it still spells trouble for Marshall. His old, slightly Democratic-leaning 3rd District was redrawn as the strongly Republican-leaning 8th running from the Atlanta suburbs deep into South Georgia. To make matters worse, former Rep. Mac Collins (1992-2004), whose house was placed in Marshall's 8th under the new map, is taking on Marshall. Expect a bloody, expensive race here.

Illinois 8 - Melissa Bean (D)

There is mixed news for Bean. On the one hand, the wealthy suburbs north of Chicago are Republican-leaning, and Bean's vote for CAFTA lost her a lot of support in progressive and labor circles (causing her to lose the support of many Democrats). On the other hand, she is raising money on a scale so rabid only Tom DeLay can outdo her. Also, her GOP opposition is rather weak. Still, she is going to need to win back progressives if she wants to be reelected.

Indiana 8 - John Hostettler (R)

The Bloody Eighth looks set to once again host a nationally-watched contest. Hostettler's vote against the Katrina aid package has not gone over well, and the local media in Southwest Indiana has given it heavy coverage. Hostettler's opponent, meanwhile, is an excellent recruit: Vanderburgh County Sheriff Brad Ellsworth, who is widely viewed as moderate and popular with voters in this region. To make matters worse for Hostettler, Ellsworth is outraising him...and by a lot. Despite IN-08's conservative trends, expect a highly competitive race here, and don't be surprised if Ellsworth pulls the upset.

Indiana 9 - Mike Sodrel (R)

If IN-08 was hot, IN-09 in Southeast Indiana, is smokin'. Former Rep. Baron Hill, who was barely defeated by Sodrel in a 2004 upset (probably thanks to Bush coattails), wants back. Hill's entry into the race provides for the third consecutive Hill/Sodrel race here. In 2002, without President Bush at the top of the ballot, Hill won. In 2004, even with Bush strongly winning the district Sodrel could barely make it. Hill's chances should be 50/50.

Iowa 1 - Jim Nussle (R) running for Governor

In a situation similar to CO-07, a Republican holding a competitive district has created a free-for-all by deciding to run for governor. IA-01, which is basically Northeast Iowa, actually leans more Democratic than does CO-07 (John Kerry got 53% in this district). The strongest candidates are State Rep. Bill Dix on the Republican side and attorney Bruce Braley on the Democratic side.

Louisiana 3 - Charlie Melancon (D)

Melancon eked out a 50-50 win in the 2004 runoff but was looking stronger for least, before Katrina ravaged his district. Now, with the Katrina effect and with State Sen. Craig Romero taking him on, all bets are off. Melancon has raised a lot of money, and is supposedly taking strong steps to shore up his reelection, but every district in Louisiana has to be considered a question mark until we see some polls.

New Mexico 1 - Heather Wilson (R)

A star recruit was found in State Attorney General Patricia Madrid. Wilson has always narrowly survived in this competitive (but Kerry-won) district centered around Albuquerque, but always with the aid of the Green Party and never with someone as high-profile as Madrid. I won't call it for Madrid yet, as Wilson has shown a capability to over-perform, but it's certainly going to be a headliner.

North Carolina 11 - Charles Taylor (R)

The scandal-ridden Taylor should be a shoo-in in this conservative Appalachian seat, but after his closer-than-expected 2004 victory, conventional wisdom is not enough. And there's even more ominous news for Rep. Taylor: the Democrats are running, of all people, a former NFL quarterback, Heath Shuler. If Shuler can't win over the "beer and football" voters (aka middle- and lower-class white males), nobody can. This is exactly the kind of district that would elect someone like Shuler. Watch this one.

Ohio 6 - Ted Strickland (D) running for Governor

After GA-08 and LA-03, this should be the toughest seat to hold. Strickland would have easily won a sixth term, but he would rather be Governor of Ohio, and his chances at that are looking pretty okay right now. While OH-06, in the hills of Eastern Ohio, leans Republican, it's closely divided, and the climate in Ohio could be anti-GOP enough to elect State Sen. Charlie Wilson, the leading Democrat in the race. And of course, Strickland should carry the area in his gubernatorial run. Nevertheless, just the slightest laurel-resting here will mean a GOP victory, so fight for Wilson!

Pennsylvania 6 - Jim Gerlach (R)

Gerlach had this competitive seat in the Philadelphia suburbs drawn for him in 2002, but he has not yet managed more than a 51-49 win. And 2004 nominee Lois Murphy is ready for a rematch. She is raising money at a good pace, and is expected to compete at least as well as she did last year. Watch PA-06 closely, and give give give to Lois Murphy. Victory is an inch away here.

Texas 17 - Chet Edwards (D)

Edwards is considered highly vulnerable as the last Democrat holding a heavily GOP seat in Texas, but his opposition is...well...third-tier. True, he only managed a 51-48 victory in 2004 (after the DeLaymander), but what do you expect in this rural, Waco-based district that is nearly 65% Republican? Edwards has never had big reelection victories, at least not in recent years. I predict yet another narrow Edwards victory. But as soon as he retires, you can put TX-17 in the GOP column.

So, those are, in my estimation, the 14 highly competitive seats in 2006. 9 Republican-held, 5 Democratic-held. There are other races, like CA-50, IL-06, WI-08, CO-03, KS-03, UT-02, VT-AL, NC-08, GA-12, etc. that could be competitive, but all of them clearly lean to one party or the other. How these 14 swing will indicate the national mood, and therefore they are truly "ground zero" contests.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:11 AM PST.


How many seats do we gain in 2006?

3%82 votes
34%797 votes
39%920 votes
22%515 votes

| 2315 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  David Dreier (CA-26) (4.00)
    is...uh...extremely hot.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Visit and follow every 2006 Senate race.

    by AnthonySF on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 09:44:37 AM PST

    •  he chills at (none)
      "a moderate bar" after work.

      Oh dear, I love Barney so much.

      Momma, who are we voting for? Big momma gon' vote for Rod Blagojevich.

      by your friend steve on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:22:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I remember reading that... (none)
        The "moderate pride parade."  Isn't that where Lincoln Chafee hangs out?

        Visit and follow every 2006 Senate race.

        by AnthonySF on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:26:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  God, yes. (none)
        I laughed till I cried when I heard that remark.

        -8.25,-8.36 As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

        by sidnora on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:26:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey.... (none)
          The diarist totally left out one of the most competitive districts in the country....WA-08. Darcy Burner is running to bury Dave Reichert into the ground.
          •  that would be (none)
            Randy Gordon and Darcy Burner.  Either would be a fine Democrat to supplant the sheriff.

            You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen

            by N in Seattle on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:46:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Better than competetive, I think (none)
            I don't think it's going to be as competetive as people are thinking.

            There was no reason for Republican Jennifer Dunn to give up this seat except the fact that the district is turning blue. I think she felt she would have lost to a good candidate. The WA State DP's selection of an extremely weak candidate is all that allowed Reichart to sneak in. And his extremely cautious avoidance of extreme right-wing positions indicates that he knows he's vulnerable. He goes as hard right as he can when nobody's paying attention, but on the big publicized votes, he tries very hard to look moderate.

            I think that Reichart can be beaten by any reasonably well-spoken, decent-sounding Democrat that has the fight to hang George Bush, Tom Delay and the RW Republican agenda around Reichart's neck like an albatross. It's just how the district is going. The cantakerous old red-neck/American Legion crowd has largely moved east fleeing curry and dim sum. Hipsters and techies are moving from Seattle and Silicon Valley to work at Microsoft, Nintendo and the like.

            Certainly, I don't want to discourage attention to the race, but I think we're in better shape than "very competetive". If we can avoid nastiness in the primary, it looks quite good.

            The Wilson thing was almost mosquitoesque. - Mizz Carville

            by PhilK on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:33:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ummm.... (none)
     laurel-resting, remember?

              I think Reichert can be beaten, but the guy already has over $1 Million in his coffers, and the last go-round, he played his cards well (or at least they were played for him well).  

              He had his head handed to him in the first of what were supposed to be a series of debates against his previous opponent in 2004.  Then he hid while the NRCC accused our Democratic candidate of everything except devouring newborn puppies on the White House lawn if elected.  (Although I may have missed that robocall...)

              However things work out in the primary, we need to be very well organized and ready to beat the living !$&@#!* out of Reichert and his minions.  

              This just-past election cycle, the Republicans in Washington state lost most of their statewide issues, they lost a bid for King County Executive (including Seattle and its suburbs, one of the most powerful posts in the state after Governor), and gains were even made in traditionally Republican-to-swing suburbs.

              Given the most recent election cycle's results, and given the anger that Republicans still have statewide over Dino Rossi's narrow loss to Governor Christine Gregoire, I'm fully expecting replays of people with baseball bats and rifles trying to pull the threatening stunts they pulled on Mike Kreidler when he was at public events, helping to ensure a win for Randy Tate by intimidating Mike and his supporters back in 1994, in Washington's 9th Congressional District.

              Bottom line - even under the most optimistic circumstances, the more we appear to be winning, the uglier this race will get - count on it.  The Republicans simply cannot afford to lose their last seat west of the Washington state Cascades.  The Democrats know that ousting Reichert will become much, much harder if he wins his first re-election battle.

              This will be war in WA-8, folks - list or no list.  Make no mistake about it.  

              "Nothing is as difficult as not deceiving oneself" - Ludwing Wittgenstein

              by Palamedes on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 04:56:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  WA-04 (none)
            Is something going on with Doc Hastings (R) in the fourth. I noticed that reciently two of his staff have left.

            Joyce DeFelice Olsonn 1995 she resigned her at-large seat on Passco city council to work for local constituents as district director for Hastings, R-Wash. She gave up that job after 10 years and now wishes to return to the city council.

            Jon DeVaney to take a position with USDA. DeVaney served as Deputy District Director in the Yakima, Wash., office of U.S. Representative Doc Hastings, a position he has held since 2003. He previously served on Congressman Hastings' staff as a legislative assistant and field representative.

            •  Dunno... (none)
              ...although I suspect Congressman Hastings has received a bit more heat than usual because of his closer-than-party-afiliation relationship to DeLay. Stress, perhaps?

              All I know for sure is that the likely Dem candidate is someone who ran in the 2004 Dem primary and lost.  The person that won in 2004 doesn't want to run in 2006, but the guy that does is a pro-life Mormon, which is likely to lead to mixed feelings as to his level of support from the state pary (for his stand on women's privacy issues, not his religon).

              "Nothing is as difficult as not deceiving oneself" - Ludwing Wittgenstein

              by Palamedes on Sun Nov 20, 2005 at 11:43:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, that was a classic quote (none)
        David Dreier is not a very good congressman and he needs to go.
    •  Check out Russ Warner... (none)
      ...He's running against Dryer.  I was at his announcement and he looks good.

      His son is just back from Iraq.  As can be expected of a soldier, the young man wouldn't talk about the "Rightness" or "Wrongness" of the war.  He instead left it at, "I came back; and after what I saw, I said, 'Dad, you have to run.'"

      He's not exactly a "Fighting Dem," but as a father of one of our brave Iraq veterans, I'd nominate him as an Honorary F.D.

      Check out his site, Russ Warner for Congress

      by jdthompson on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:40:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So you are defining competitive (none)
    In terms of chances of winning? I ask because I believe others use fundraising as the criteria for their use of the term competitive.

    I love reading this stuff and I'm in awe of those who can keep up with all of these races.  Thanks for the hard work!

    •  I think both matter. (none)
      I can't speak for Nathaniel, but per my comment above, I would consider Dreier's seat "hot" because he won 56%-43% againbst an underfunded candidate in a Republican-leaning district.  That's pretty close in this day and age of insane gerrymanders.  If 2006 is going to be a "Dem year," seats as close as that and closer (many of which are listed in the diary) are "hot."

      Visit and follow every 2006 Senate race.

      by AnthonySF on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 09:57:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  the way I define competitive (none)
      is political balance, not money.

      I'll give you two good examples of why. First example is GA-06 in 1990. Democrat Worley was hugely outspent by Newt Gingrich. He got no help from the DCCC or Speaker Foley. He ended up losing by like 300 votes (it was Gingrich's closest race ever).

      Second example is OH-14 last year. Even though Democrat Cafaro had mucho dinero, she lost hugely.

      So, I go by political balance, not $$$.

      Yeah yeah, I know, the Rapture is coming.

      by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:33:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  good point (none)
        As Kerry raised more money than Bush..and other candidates have raised more money and spent more money than their opponents only to end up losing.
        ( granted there is the argument the Kerry campaign did not spend all their money and hung back)..but nevertheless, there are cases where opponents raising more money and using that money have lost despite it. It is important but not the final factor.

        America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

        by wishingwell on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:45:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What's close (none)
        Capri Cafaro put in $1.9 million including $1.7 million of family money and got whomped 63-37 by Steve LaTourette in OH-14 (LaTourette raised $2 million or sluightly more.  Capri comes off on her web site (my only contact) as a copy of Elle from Legally Blonde: smart, young, blonde, and a little ditzy but in a nice way,

        My comparison to her is Christine Cegellis who gave Henry Hyde fits and got 44% of the vote on $186 K.  I think that seat and the race against a Tom deLay prototype should make the list.

        Indiana 2 (Chris Chocola who got 54% in a republican year also looks iffy to me, at least potentially as does NY 29, Kuhl (51-43 over Samantha Bahrend and a first term rep now).

        •  History sank her run (none)
          Capri Cafaro put in $1.9 million including $1.7 million of family money and got whomped 63-37 by Steve LaTourette in OH-14

          Capri could have spent twice as much, and the result would have been the same. It wasn't that LaTourette was such a great guy (in my opinion, he's overdue for "whomping" himself) but that Capri's family had an inauspicious history with James Traficant out of Youngstown.

          USA Today article

          The political balance was not in her favor from day one, and completely irrespective of the $$$.

  •  Ohio 6th (none)
    Charlie Wilson is popular, and should be able to raise more than enough money.  This district used to be Bob (Representative No. 1) Ney's district, but the more reliably Republican areas (away from the industrial Ohio Valley) were gerrymandered out for Ney's benefit.  The remaining Sixth is more Democratic than it was in the past.  The GOP candidate will have the stinking, rotting, feculent political corpse of Bob Ney hanging around his/her neck.  I haven't heard anyone clamoring for that golden opportunity.....Strickland will be back to campaign for governor, too.  I think it's a fairly easy save.

    "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." -- H. L. Mencken

    by roxtar on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:22:35 AM PST

  •  I would hope we can get more than 14 (none)
    because we'll need 15 pickups to take the House and I think that's attainable.

    Ohio should have some good races in Republican seats. Ohio isn't totally gerrymandered. A lot of the districts voted for Kerry. It's the incumbency that made Ohio Republicans so tough.

    John Kerry won four districts in Pennsylvania which are held by Republicans (6, 7, 8, and 15). We would be stupid not to put someone strong against Gerlach, Weldon, Fitzpatrick, and Dent. In fact, we have good opponents for 3 of the 4. We need someone to stand up and run against Dent.

    Hopefully Paloma Capanna is someone who can raise and spend money, because Jim Walsh's district (NY-25) went for Kerry

    We're all ignoring Jack Davis in NY-26. He won 44% last time and he's running again. Davis is running as a Democrat and as the founder of the "Save Jobs Party". He mainly talks about how he opposes the WTO, opposes new trade agreements, and opposes privitizing social security. He has to be in a better spot for 2006.

    As for Melancon, he's the one who released the e-mails from Michael Brown. As long as he doesn't fuck up on some important vote, he's going to be in better shape than a lot of you suspect.

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:22:50 AM PST

    •  More on Jack Davis (none)
      He's a businessman and a former Republican.
      He spent $1.25M and got little help from the DNC.
      He lost 56-44 in 2004.

      If we can't get at least 15 seats in 2006, heads should roll in the DCCC and the DNC. There is no excuse for failing to take the House. We can't just blame it on gerrymandering either. We can take out a lot of these incumbents.

      "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

      by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:30:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also in NYS (none)
      Eric Massa takes on "Shotgun Randy" Kuhl (R-NY-29). Massa's got a military background, and Kuhl's been known to liven up dinner parties by aiming loaded shotguns (yes, plural) at his wife.

      -8.25,-8.36 As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

      by sidnora on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:31:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, Massa too (none)
        I would hope that Massa can make up for the fact that NY-29 is the most Republican of all the New York Republican districts.

        If anybody could do it, I hope he could.

        "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

        by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:32:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think we have the right candidate there. (none)
          I wish we could come up with one as good to take on Fossella or King, in far more vulnerable territory.

          -8.25,-8.36 As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

          by sidnora on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:44:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I wish that (none)
            someone in NY-13 would get off of the fence and run. We have good candidates considering that race.

            As for King, somebody good has to be in that district. Is Suozzi in that district? Someone else?

            The New York Republican Party is melting down, and as long as we get good candidates and good alternatives, we can beat a lot of them.

            "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

            by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:45:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Suozzi is (none)
              Nassau County Exec, and the first Dem to hold the position in my (long) memory. Not sure I'd want to move him from that. I suspect he's got his eye on statewide office in the future, too.

              -8.25,-8.36 As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

              by sidnora on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:04:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I heard rumors of (none)
                Suozzi challenging Spitzer for the Governor's office. Which seems purely crazy.

                Anyways, with the flipping of seats to the Dems in Long Island, somebody should want to go after King

                "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

                by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:07:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I heard that rumor too. (none)
                  I'm sure somebody has sat him down and talked sense to him by now!

                  -8.25,-8.36 As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

                  by sidnora on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:12:34 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That just (none)
                    isn't going to happen.  Spitzer has it all but tied up and has been raising $$$ for a year.  Tom isn't going to go against that.

                    As for King (NY-3) I've been eying that race and have been toying with running.  It's a hard race (King won 63% in 2004) and has the natural advantage.  But, King has been a loyal Republican in his voting.  A challenger must display the right character and position as well as get a decent organization together in less than a year.

                    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. - John F. Kennedy

                    by jpeskoff on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 04:37:40 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If you decide to do it, (none)
                      be sure to let me know. The group I work with does endorsements, and we also have a good rep for putting feet on the ground for candidates we back. If there's a primary, of course that would complicate things, but still let me know!

                      -8.25,-8.36 As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

                      by sidnora on Sun Nov 20, 2005 at 08:06:30 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Suozzi's home is Glen Cove (none)
              On the North Shore, probably Gary Ackerman's district.
              •  Glen Cove is in the NY-3 (none)
                Actually, redistricting put Glen Cove in King's district. In an attempt to defeat him, they gave King strongly Democratic areas such as West Babylon, Glen Cove and Long Beach. So far, it hasn't worked.

                I worked for Suozzi's reelection campaign as Nassau County Executive. He has his eyes on Governor.

                •  He sure does. (none)
                  I heard him on the radio yesterday, and it sounds like he's really planning to do this. I so wish he wouldn't.

                  Not only because I think he's committing political suicide going up against Spitzer, but I think he could do so much more to strengthen the party in Nassau if he'd stay on where he is for another term; even if he didn't want to challenge King, for whatever reason (prefers exec to legislative? doesn't want to move to DC?), his presence and backing would be a big help to whoever does run against him (King). Nassau's not so solidly blue that he can afford to take it for granted, especially if he's been damaged by (losing) a primary.

                  -8.25,-8.36 As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

                  by sidnora on Wed Nov 23, 2005 at 06:19:13 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  "The most Republican district in NY" (none)
          It's not like "the most Republican district" in, say, Missouri.

          The 29th and the 20th have partisan indexes of just +6 Republican. Compare that with the ones in Western Ohio and central Pennsylvania with indexes of +12 or more Republican, and the ones in the solid red states which are in the high 20s.  Meanwhile, most of the others (NY-3, 13, 25, etc.) actually have partisan indexes that favor the Democrats. Honestly, we're at the point where EVERY GOP-held district in New York, New Jersey and New England is tenuous for them at best, and only remain in their hands due to the individual popularity of a Sherry Boehlert or an Olympia Snowe, not due to any enthusiasm for the Republican party.

          Upstate NY as a GOP stronghold died about the time Hillary Clinton carried it solidly in 2000.

          "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 Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:01:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bush carried NY-29 by 14 points (none)
            and Kuhl won by 9 points and the Conservative party candidate got 9% too.

            I don't mean to compare Kuhl's district to a district in another state, but it's a stronger district for the GOP than any other New York district.

            Which means that Massa will have to put up a good effort to win the district.

            "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

            by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:06:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Strongly agree (none)
            I'm working with a grassroots group (downstate) and they are firmly convinced that every R district in NYS is up for grabs. I'm not sure we have the resources to target them all, but with the right candidates I can't imagine Fossella or King surviving.

            We made serious headway against Fossella last year with a 76-year-old candidate and zero $$ from DCCC. If they do that to us again next year, not only should they be ashamed of themselves, but they are fools, because we can take that district. Fossella is a Bush boy all the way, not a Northern "moderate".

            -8.25,-8.36 As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

            by sidnora on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:09:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Give NY a Democratic Senate (none)
              And the next round of redistricting will take care of NY-13.

              Instead of leaving Staten Island whole and consolidating it with Bensonhurst, they can bisect it into two districts, the halves of which follow the Staten Island ferry path and include lower Manhattan.  That leaves Nadler representing the 13th, Maloney in the 14th, and just enough of Manhattan left to make up Rangel's district.

              "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 Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:31:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm all for that (none)
                We need to elect more D's in the NYS senate!
              •  We're working on that, too! (none)
                Just last week, we had Eric Schneiderman, the Senate Deputy Minority Leader, as our guest speaker. He tore up the house, and he also made clear to us exactly how close we are to accomplishing just that. I believe we picked up 4 seats last time around, with one very narrow loss that went to a recount, and should be low-hanging fruit next time around. The GOP majority is wafer thin, they can't really govern on it now, but I'd so looooove to make it a Dem majority for real - bye bye, Bruno!

                -8.25,-8.36 As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

                by sidnora on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 03:46:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  NJ-5 and NJ-7 are competitive, but that's about it (none)
            "EVERY GOP-held district in New York, New Jersey and New England is tenuous for them at best, and only remain in their hands due to the individual popularity..."

            Only two Congressman in New Jersey are beatable next year and fortunately they're both Republicrooks.

            Scott Garrett represents the 5th district, the northern, upside-down V-shaped tier of the state. He's a reichwing nutjob with low name recognition. When people there are asked about his record, most haven't a clue and are appalled to hear it. He already has several challengers, including Ann Wolfe, who ran against him last time.

            Mike Ferguson represents the 7th, which cuts a wide swath across the central part of the state. He's the #1 recipient of drug company money in the House (3rd or 4th overall in Congress) and is one of Bush's favorite pets. He doesn't have any strong competition yet, but whomever gets the nomination will undoubtedly link him with Bush at every opportunity. Of the 4 counties in his district, 2 lean Republican and 2 lean Democrat.

            See for info on Fergie.

            •  Any hope against Chris Smith? (none)
              I'd imagine he's very entrenched and safe, even if his district gave Bush a lower percentage than Bush got in NJ-5.

              I would hope a candidate files too

              "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

              by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:49:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Chris Smith (none)
                Every year some state legislator runs against Chris Smith and loses by 20 points or more. Those races never get off the ground.

                The strongly anti-abortion and anti-gay message is out of step with New Jersey, but everything else about him plays well, so I'm afraid we'll have to wait for him to get bored with getting kicked around and ignored by the Dixiecrats who run his party and move on to other things. Just like Marge Roukema, he failed the litmus test for the southerners running the House and was denied the chairmanship of the Veterans' Affairs committee he'd earned.

            •  2nd District (none)
              If Van Drew runs against LoBiondo I will bet money now that we pick up that seat.

              There's a lot of time between now and November 2006 but if Republicans keep imploding the way they are now I think there are a lot of seats they may be in play.  

              •  Indeed (none)
                The Democrats picked up two legislative seats in south Jersey this year and nearly picked off a third. Gormley's Atlantic County GOP machine is looking mighty rusty, and since Van Drew appears to be more popular than God in Cape May County, you have to wonder what he's waiting for.

                He should so run against Frank LoBiondo next year. Cape May and Atlantic Counties are the most Republican parts of the district and Van Drew has the advantage there. Come on! Do it!

            •  I don't know if they are competitive.... (none)
              ...but for now, us Jersey Dems have to fight for them and support the democratic candidates.

              As background, after the 2000 census, the NJ Congressmen agreed on reapportioning seats to basically protect everyone.  There have been no competitive races in the past two cycles.

              Still, unless you work in advance to gain ground in these seats, you have a self fulfilling prophecy.

              In 1994, the Reeps didn't say "let's focus on the 30 most competitive races."  They ran an all out assault on Clinton and the Dems, and perhaps targeted races closer to the end.

              Even in non "landslide" years, you can have the occasional surprise flip.  NJ-04 was represented by Frank Thompson, a classic old school democrat, who was considered unbeatable.  He ended up getting implicated in the Abscam scandal, and a 29 year old conservative, Chris Smith, took his seat.  Smith was considered the "accidental congressman," but he is still there 25 years later.  He won comfortably, even when his district included heavily democratic Trenton.

              Similarly, LoBiondo's seat was held by a long term Democrat before him.  Now, the 2nd is considered safe.  Although if Van Drew runs, that would be a GREAT race.

              Anyway, even though I don't see NJ-05, for example, as competitive, I am thrilled that Anne Wolfe and Paul Aronsohn are gearing up for strong runs.  Make that punk Scott Garrett justify his outrageous vote to deny relief funds for Katrina victims.  Make him spend money, make him work his ass off, make the RNC devote attention to this race.  At the very least, make Garrett wear out the soles on his shoes a bit.  And if we can get a flip, all the better.

            •  Garrett and Ferguson (none)
              Garrett's district is more GOP than Ferguson but Garrett is so extreme wingnut that there is hope there to take him out. If the Dem. tide is as big as I suspect it will be next November,both of these clowns will be taken out.
  •  A huge amount, in a reverse of 1994 (none)
    I am officially lobbying for this option in this diaries poll. I don't care if you think it will happen or not. I want you to vote for it to get your mental environment in gear. We have to believe it can happen if we expect to put our hearts into it. I want to see 50%+ voting for A Huge Amount.

    Maybe I'm just supersticious, but then again, I believe in this:

    •  I vote for a hugh amount, unless... (none)
      ...we continue to go on as if fixing elections is just unthinkable. All the tools are in place, a fact confirmed by the recent GOA report of election fraud. Now it's just a matter of believing that the Republicans desire to skew the vote. That, too, is a no brainer. If you give any credance at all to exit polls, then you already know the last two presidential elections were stolen.

      If we don't bring this to the public's attention, through the corporate Media, then we will gain a few seats in both the House and Senate, but not enough to lose control of either.

      Amidst the ruling elite, evil is spelled g-r-e-e-d.
      Amidst the people they lead, evil is spelled f-e-a-r.

      by Dan Hrkman on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:43:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So what do you want to do? (none)
        Stopping the diebolding isn't what grassroots bloggers do best. Our job is to turn out the vote and stir the pot.

        It's up to the Democratic establishment to stop the diebolding. They're the ones with the power to do it, not us. And if they're at all interested in keeping office, they have a vested interest in doing it--which is not often the case with any particular element of the progressive agenda.

        The best defense against diebolding is to CATCH THEM AT IT. And to do that takes an election monitor, or an algorithm of the kind used in "Freakonomics" to catch the Chicago teachers who rigged test results in their classrooms.  If you're that kind of specialist, go to it. Otherwise, just work to bring out the vote at high enough levels that GOP cheating becomes more desperate and hard to conceal.

        "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 Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:06:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Fair elections are a must, of course. (none)
        And the kind of attitude I'm promoting will be just as effective at achieving that goal.

        I just tired of the mealy-mouthed pundits that can't  percieve the rage build-up in this country. They talk about modest gains by Dems. Don't listen to them. Are position is stronger than it's been in years and we must not allow the CW to demoralize us.

        I joked above about being superstitious, but I'm serious about approaching this election year with a belief, and a will, to take it all - House and Senate!

  •  I'd add KY-2 (none)
    and wish that KY-3 was on there.

    Evan Bayh 2008
    Miller for KY Governor 2007

    by dsolzman on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:27:16 AM PST

    •  well... (none)
      it would have been if Jack Conway (the 2002 nominee) hadn't bowed out the other day.

      We need somebody to take out Anne Northup, but Conway was considered the best hope.

      BTW, anybody hear whether Chris John is running in LA-07? If so, that will immediately become a toss-up, if not lean Dem. If not, Boustany is safe.

      Yeah yeah, I know, the Rapture is coming.

      by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:28:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  CT-2 is very competitive (none)
    I grew up in CT and in the early 90s went to UConn, which is in the heart of the 2nd. Every congressional election in that district was ridiculously tight, even though it is heavily Democratic by registration.

    I have no idea why. But after watching Simmons defend the Hunter resolution last night, I think its going back to the Dems.

  •  I think... (none)'ll probably want to add Congressman Murtha's district to that list pretty soon.  It doesn't take a Nostradamus to predict that the GOP will throw a swiftboat-load of money against him in the next election.

    "...the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

    by Roddy McCorley on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:29:11 AM PST

    •  maybe, but (none)
      Murtha is loved. I mean loved. His district is very working-class, blue-collar, military, and that's Murtha's base. Plus Kerry did pretty well there.

      I can't imagine Murtha losing, even if they attempt a swift-boating.

      Yeah yeah, I know, the Rapture is coming.

      by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:30:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (none)
        Murtha is very loved and respected.
        Independents, Democrats and Moderate Republicans love him. Despite the Swift Boat machine, I think he has a lot of support.

        America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

        by wishingwell on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:37:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Let them try (none)
      While they dump money into a district where they have no candidate right now, we'll dump money into districts we will win.

      Dumping money into Murtha's district would be like spitting into the wind.

      "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

      by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:31:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just the opposit (none)
      I feel the voters of Penn will surely retaliate against all the Republicans in 06 and 08. Can't you see the adds now where repigs are shown calling their representtative a Coward. Penn is going to be a true blue state.

      Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

      by eddieb061345 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:40:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with all of the above... (none)
        ...but you're looking at this through the lens of logic.  We're talking about the GOP.  They look at things in terms of revenge.  So they will look to get even with Murtha any way they can.  Right now, it's an ethics probe.  In 2006, it will be a lot of money.  If those fail, he'll wake up next to a horse's head one morning.

        In between, I wouldn't rule out some sort of pissant criminal investigation being announced -- I'm sure the man must have crossed a street against a traffic light sometime in his life, or failed to signal for a turn.

        We're not talking about politics anymore.  Politics is dead in this country for the moment.  Now we are engaged in a great civil war -- albeit one without shooting.  

        For the moment...

        "...the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

        by Roddy McCorley on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:54:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No. (none)
      The Goopers took all the Republicans out of Murtha's district and put them in the 18th.  

      The one silver lining about all their desperate gerrymandering is that the few Dem districts we have left have Dems concentrated at 60% or above, and are safe.

      Let them try and kick Murtha. Unlike Kerry, Murtha knows how to fight back, and the public seems to be finally, finally getting tired of war heroes getting spat on by Republican traitors who never served.

      "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 Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:24:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Murtha (none)
      I searched this page for his name and am glad to see it came up.  I wondered what his status was earlier and googled and found a campaign site.

      I'm sending him some money, just as a show of support. I hope lots of you will do the same.

      Donate here: Murtha for Congress Committee

      Where to mail donations:

      Murtha for Congress Committee
      P.O. Box 1091
      Johnstown, PA 15907-1091

      His District Congressional Office address for mail is:
      (I printed my comments for the Dean Web form with a few additional remarks and mailed them)

      District Office
      P.O. Box 780
      Johnstown, PA 15907

      I also expect him to be hit hard.

      "Is the President concerned that there's a stench of corruption around the Republican establishment in Washington?" -- Terry Moran to Scotty, 9/28/05

      by OLinda on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:38:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lois Murphy PA-06 (none)
    You can contribute to Lois' campaign at

    "My job is to protect the American people." George W. Bush. Did he?

    by PAprogressive on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:29:25 AM PST

  •  Feast or Famine (none)
    IMHO we are either going to win big or loose big! We as a nation are to polarized. The repigs are going to pull out all the Swiftie boaters. It will either work or it won't. The only wild card will be Iraq and the withdrawl of troops the the REPIGS in 06 and if it will be seen as a purely political move.

    Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

    by eddieb061345 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:35:34 AM PST

    •  Yes as Republicans (none)
      Are losing some of the support they had a year ago at this time. It is a different climate politically.

      We can compare what districts went for Bush or Kerry but 2 years after the 04 election, all could turn topsy turvy. This is especially true if the Republicans continue to screw up and mouth off and Bush's poll numbers stay the same or go down even lower.

      America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

      by wishingwell on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:43:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  CO-4 is huge too (4.00)
    Musgrave's seat, vs. current State Rep Angie Pacionne.  Musgrave got 51% of the vote in 2004, I think, so she is very vulnerable.  She also isn't running away from Bush, with a fundraiser with Dubya the week after Turkey Day.

    Visit Angie's site and send her some turkee if you can.

    •  I know (none)
      it just missed the list. Same goes for TX-22, WI-08, and IL-06. Just short of "highly competitive". All of them I consider "somewhat competitive".

      Yeah yeah, I know, the Rapture is coming.

      by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:42:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hear good things about CO-6 (none)
        well, at least the guy running against Tancredo seems pretty good.

        His name is Bill Winter.

        "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

        by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:44:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And Colorado (none)
          Seems to be one of those states that is gradually trending pinker..purple and could be blue someday. I think that is one of those red states is trending blue. Actually I think Democrats have the best chances of wins in states like Colorado, Iowa, even South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and perhaps even Arizona someday. I think it will be easier to get those states to gradually go blue before the Southeast. Many talk about getting back the south and while Virginia, and Tennessee would be a good starting point..and entirely possible..I see states like Colorado turning more towards the Democrats before other southern states.

          America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

          by wishingwell on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:51:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  it's generally believed (none)
            that after a state experiences rapid growth, and then begins to cool, it starts to trend Dem.

            Exhibit A: California.

            When California was red hot with growth (1950's, 60's, and 70's) it was Republican-leaning but trending Dem. When the growth started to cool (late 80's and early 90's) California suddenly became a blue state.

            Colorado seems to be following the same pattern. In the 70's, 80's, and 90's it was hot hot hot, and now it's slowing down, and true to form it's rapidly turning blue.

            So maybe once Nevada and Florida slow down they'll do the same thing. Arizona too...

            Yeah yeah, I know, the Rapture is coming.

            by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:55:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes (none)
              Republican policies, especially the recent ones, usually have no hope of working unless there is rapid growth. They are too often justified by "a rising tide lifts all boats," or "don't worry about the bill because we'll all be rich soon," or other such rubbish that looks like a Ponzi scheme. Once the miracles don't happen as promised, the voters come back to their senses. Amazing how this cycle keeps repeating itself.

              Colorado Dems have huge momentum. We hope to retain CO-1, CO-2, and CO-3, and win CO-4, CO-6, and CO-7 next year, as well as Governor. We'll be a bona-fide blue state then.

          •  State Dems control State House and Senate (none)
            We have one helluva group of Dems here in Colorado.  Our state leaders are kick-ass Dems.  Ken Gordon, Joan Fitz-Gerald, and Andrew Romanoff--the Senate Majority Leader, Senate President, and Speaker of the House, respectively.  God, it feels good to have Democrats in power!

            Dems swept to power winning both chambers at the State House in 2004, for the first time in 35 years.

            So while Bush was being re-elected, Colorado elected a Dem State House and Senate, and sent Ken Salazar to DC as their junior Senator.

            I'd call that a blue streak.  If the State Dems maintain control of the House and Senate and somehow manage to win the Gov's mansion in 2006, the whole country should take a look at what we're doing and copy it.  

        •  Read Bill Winter (none)
          CLICK HERE to read Bill Winter saying he's throwing his hat in the ring.
    •  Angie needs turkee bad (none)
      Musgrave's war chest in HUGE in comparison, isn't it? Something like $140,000 to $15,000?

      Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

      by bumblebums on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:44:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Musgrave needs to go... (none)
      That woman is a menace. Here's hoping Pacionne can take her out of office.
  •  Ah that explains why Gerlach (none)
    Was one of the 14 who voted with the Democrats against the House Budget Proposal. Ah, I see. ..that makes it clear. He knows PA is second only to Florida in the number of senior citizens.
    Also voting for cuts in Medicaid, Student Loans, and Food stamps in this state is suicide.

    America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

    by wishingwell on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:39:37 AM PST

    •  Particularly (none)
      If Gerlach represents a district with a huge Senior population or an area here in this state which has been hemorrhaging jobs and students are tapped out tring to pay for college, etc.

      America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

      by wishingwell on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:40:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gerlach's district went for Kerry (none)
        Enough said

        "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

        by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:41:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Gotcha (none)
          Yes!It is all is so clear now. If his district went for Kerry, Gerlach is in trouble especially because the Republicans are losing favor.

          America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

          by wishingwell on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:53:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The good news about OH-6 (none)
    is that it contains Athens (home of Ohio University) which is as blue as can be. Still it is a pretty big district with a lot of rural areas, including many Amish that are being targeted by Republicans.
    •  Right (none)
      Also Steubenville and Zanesville, am I right?

      Really, OH-6 was gerrymandered to concentrate Democrats and make Ney safer in the 18th, not to make the district tough for Dems.  Those counties along Ohio's western border have more in common with Pittsburgh than with rural Appalachia, and those were stuck onto Strickland's old district on the theory that, as long as the GOP was stuck with a very popular incumbent Dem from South Ohio, they might as well put the factory towns south of Youngstown into his area and out of the 18th.

      Seems to me OH-6 is safer than people think. Not to take it for granted, but it should be safe to put some of the resources to work in nearby competitive districts like OH-18, PA-18 and WV-2.

      "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 Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:12:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And BTW (none)
        I can't help giggling at the idea of the Republicans targeting the Amish. Their phone banking efforts must be sooo frustrating.

        Besides, the Amish are such devout pacifists that they actually turn the other cheek when physically attacked, and so set in their ways that they shun technology. Why on earth would they support the party of pre-emptive war and globalization?

        "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 Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:21:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I 'm not sure about Steubenville (home of ... (none)
          Dean Martin -- really) but OH-06 does also have Portsmouth in it.

          I don't know how efforts to convert the Amish to GOP-bots are going either. I've heard, as you suggest, that their dislike of killing people is an unfortunate inconvenience in this regard.

          When I lived in Cincy, a friend of mine used to sell industrial staples to a lot of Amish in the area. So he often went out to their communities. They didn't sound like the kind of people to just let Ricky Redstate walk into their living rooms and preach the wonders of Bushism (or any -ism, for that matter).

          BTW did you know that Dean Martin's real name was Dino Crocetti and his family always spoke Italian in the home? A very underrated rat pack member IMO.

  •  Bush/Kerry breakdowns in GOP districts (4.00)
    NY-03 (King): 52-48 Bush
    NY-13 (Fossella): 55-45 Bush
    NY-19 (Kelly): 54-46 Bush
    NY-20 (Sweeney): 54-46 Bush
    NY-23 (McHugh): 52-48 Bush
    NY-24 (Boehlert: 53-47 Kerry
    NY-25 (Walsh): 51-49 Kerry
    NY-26 (Reynolds): 56-44 Bush
    NY-29 (Kuhl): 57-43 Bush

    OH-01 (Chabot): 51-49 Bush
    OH-02 (Wicked Witch): 64-36 Bush
    OH-03 (Turner): 54-46 Bush
    OH-04 (Oxley): 65-35 Bush
    OH-05 (Gillmor): 61-39 Bush
    OH-07 (Hobson): 57-43 Bush
    OH-08 (Boehner): 65-35 Bush
    OH-12 (Tiberi): 51-49 Bush
    OH-14 (LaTourette): 53-47 Bush
    OH-15 (Pryce): 50.4-49.6 Bush
    OH-16 (Regula): 54-46 Bush
    OH-18 (Ney): 57-43 Bush

    PA-03 (English): 53-47 Bush
    PA-04 (Hart): 55-45 Bush
    PA-05 (Peterson): 61-39 Bush
    PA-06 (Gerlach): 52-48 Kerry
    PA-07 (Weldon): 53-47 Kerry
    PA-08 (Fitzpatrick): 52-48 Kerry
    PA-09 (Shuster): 67-33 Bush
    PA-10 (Sherwood): 60-40 Bush
    PA-15 (Dent): 50.1-49.9 Kerry
    PA-16 (Pitts): 62-38 Bush
    PA-18 (Murphy): 54-46 Bush
    PA-19 (Platts): 64-36 Bush

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:40:49 AM PST

    •  Excellent (none)
      Let me say that additional qualifications on these numbers can be found in how local elections went this year.

      For instance, across NY 20 (and I think 19 too) Democrats won all sorts of elections they never win. We're not just talking a town councilman or dog catcher here or there but in some cases whole towns or counties that turned over control to Democrats. In my county (in NY-20) we swept in one town, turned over control to Democrats in one city and two other towns, retained all but one of our seats and increased our seats at town, city and county levels virtually across the board.

      So that 54-46 in NY-20 isn't looking anywhere near as strong right now. This district is definitely winnable.

    •  We really need to challenge (none)
      NY-24 and NY-25. We need two good candidates and two good field organizations and we can turn those seats over.
    •  We need to challenger NY-19 (none)
      This is my district, and I am sick of having Sue Kelly represent me. She can be beaten, but the local Dems only throw token opponents against her. She has taken the second-largest amount of Tom DeLay contributions in this state (I can't remember who the other Republican Congressman was who was the recipient of the largest amount.) I think she also voted for this travesty of a budget. The problem with people I know (I live in northern Westchester County, which is the most liberal part of her district and only voted for her in the low-mid 50's) is that they don't associate her with Bush and the national Republicans. They think that she is moderate and believe that she is not with the Republicans in every case. It is time that we inform votes in the New York 19 that Kelly is a BushBot and a DeLay lackey. I am sick of her getting away with pretending she is not behold to these thugs.
      •  Sue can be beat! (none)
        While you're correct that Sue Kelly has only attracted token opponents in the past, that's not the case this year. So far, five Dems have thrown their hats into the ring and at least one has managed to raise nearly $200K so far to take Sue on. That's more than anyone has raised in the past three elections against Sue. Last time around, for example, Sue's challenger raised around $65K and still managed to get nearly 30% of the vote.

        But money shouldn't be the only indicator here. A group of people from across the 19th -- some who are party regulars and others who are more grassroots oriented -- have formed a group called Take19 and we've been talking about ways to win the district and have been blogging about Sue Kelly since last spring. As a group, we've met with all five of the people who are planning to challenge Sue on the Democratic line and we'll be working hard as a group to make sure Sue has a real challenger this year. Here they are (in alphabetical order) and with links to their respective sites:

        Judy Aydelott
        John Hall
        Jim Martorano
        Darren Rigger
        Ben Shuldiner

        As a group, we're not taking a position on which person is the best candidate, though that could change as we get closer to the election.

        Of course, to win this district, we're going to need to tap into people from across the district and also those who live in safe districts in NYC who are willing to take Metro North and volunteer their time on weekends to get the word out about Sue. Check out our site  or send us email here and learn how you can help.

    •  Just goes to show... (none)

      It does look like 2006 is going to be deadly for the repubs in the NE. For a long time moderate repubs could hang out there by claiming fiscal responsibility and such, but I think those days are coming to an end. What happened to the Dems in the south in 2004 is (I think) about to happen to the repubs in the NE in 2006.

      It is not terribly hard to believe that the Dems (especially with Spitzer going for Gov.) will damn near wipe out the GOP in New York in 2006. They just destroyed the GOP in 2005, for pretty much everything that was on the ballot. We could gain 5 seats in NY alone, and another 5 between Ohio and Penn.

      This is, of course all made possible by long time gerrymanders that made a lot of 55-45 districts that won't be enough to withstand the worst president in history in territory that decidedly hates him.

    •  Pryce (OH-15) should be vulnerable (none)
      Franklin County Commissioner, Mary Jo Kilroy (D) may  be interested in running against Deborah Pryce. Pryce needs to be shown for the Bush lackey she is and for her votes that hurt Ohioans especially the CAFTA vote.
  •  Did a diary myself on this (none)
    Mine was focused mainly on GOP seats that we could take.  Good focusing too on the possibly vulnerable Democrat seats.

    All your vote are belong to us

    by Harkov311 on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:44:39 AM PST

  •  What about freshman Republicans ... (none)
    like Mike Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania's 8th district?  He's been corn-fed on DeLay payroll, and his ties to Bush don't help him.  The military base closing commission recommended closing the Willow Grove Naval Airbase (and National Guard units) in Fitzpatrick's district.  It's suburban Philadelphia.  You tell me; is "Mikey" vulnerable?

    Greenspan is "one of the biggest political hacks we have in Washington." -- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

    by slip kid no more on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:47:37 AM PST

  •  Add the Iowa-03 (none)
    The Iowa-03 CD (includes Des Moines and surrounding area) is bound to become quite competitive.  Rep. Leonard Boswell has been out of the House for the past two months or so after recovering from a major abdominal surgery and is now undergoing chemotherapy.  He's facing a tough challenge from State Senator Jeff Lamberti, a man with a large personal wealth to run on.  Plus, Boswell's not exactly the greatest Dem candidate.
  •  Open thread on new candidates (none)
    Bill Winter is running in CO-6

    Who else has announced their candidacy recently? (preferably candidates which are not on politics1 yet)

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:51:06 AM PST

  •  Let's not forget Pombo! (none)
    The motherfucker should be our numero uno on our target list.
    •  don't hold your breath (none)
      if Prop 77 had gone through, maybe, but now, I doubt it unless there's a huge sweep.

      Although for the record, there is a Dem running (endorsed by the DCCC already) - Steve Filson.

      And even more interestingly, former Rep. Pete McCloskey (the moderate Republican who challenged Nixon in '72) is challenging Pombo in the GOP primary.

      Yeah yeah, I know, the Rapture is coming.

      by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:57:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It could happen (none)
        Between Bush and Arnie the Girly-Man, California is set up for a big purge of Republicans. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Dems with a 2/3 majority in their Congressional delegation and both houses of the legislature.  Heck, they're not too far from that now.

        Besides, Pombo's the only Gooper left in the Bay Area. The local progressive community has no one better to go after in their back yard than 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 Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:17:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Northern and Central Calif. Dist & Abramoff (none)
          Do not count these districts out because several of the Congressman in these traditionally Red districts are tied up with Abramoff.As this scandal unfolds this could cause them big problems. Pombo and Doolittle are heavily involved with Abramoff.
      •  Filson's Not the Only One Running Against Pombo (none)
        Filson is backed by the DCCC, but he has no support within the district.  There are two other candidates running in the district, Margee Ensign (see also this different take from my co-author) and Jerry McNerney.  In my estimation, both of them would be better candidates than Filson.

        Also, I think Pombo is vulnerable.  His re-elect was only at 35% in 2004 and 20% of his district didn't know his record well-enough to form an opinion.  He's been flying under the radar for awhile, but now there is tremendous grassroots energy to get him out of office.  Also, since 2004 there has been an emergence of significant grassroots infrastructure within the San Joaquin County portion of the district.

  •  Another Jack Davis note (none)
    Don't get too anxious that he doesn't have any money raised. He only raised $44K for 2004, got $100 from a PAC, and $200 from a party committee, and he spent over a million of his own money.

    Granted, it would be a setback if he went broke during his campaign

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 10:58:26 AM PST

  •  Peggy Lamm (none)
    ...Is she not the wife of "Governor Gloom?"
    •  yep (none)
      Gov. Dick Lamm, 1978-1986

      Yeah yeah, I know, the Rapture is coming.

      by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:06:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ex sister in law...and great candidate (none)
      Peggy Lamm was married to Dick Lamm's brother, so she is is ex-sister-in-law.

      She is a former state legislator, and she is a great candidate.  I don't trust her opponent, Ed Perlmutter, to stand up and really fight Buschco and the Rethug's -- he is too much of a go-along to get-along guy.

      Peggy is a real figther; dynamic person.  And, I heard her call Bush to the carpet for his Iraq debacle last week.  

      •  CO-7 Perlmutter (none)
          I am a CO-7 constituent, and have been following this race closely.
          Ed Perlmutter is a local Democratic hero. He helped take back the State legislature for the first time in umpteen years, has several unions endorsing him, and is out ahead in fundraising.
          Lamm, while I have a lot of respect for her, has some hurdles to clear before I am convinced she is on our side of the center. Republican Governor Owens used her name in two press releases in '02 as an example of a Democrat who supported him, and it seems she did nothing to refute that until recently.
          Both of the last two Democrats to try for CO-7 are supporting Ed, and were at his HQ opening party. They both said he did a lot to help their campaigns, and apparently Peggy did little.
          I wrote Peggy's campaign with some questions about this almost a week ago, and have not heard back. I will try again, and in a couple more days I will post my questions in my diary. If she answers, I will share her replies as well.
  •  Glad to see you think Tim Bishop's (D-NY-1) (none)
    seat is safe.
  •  15! (none)
    New York's 20th Congressional District where lawyer Kirsten Gillibrand is taking on Republican thug John Sweeney.

    This race is a real sign of all the trouble the Republicans have gotten themselves in. This district should not be a contest yet Kirsten has a great opportunity to remove a real bush/delay thug from congress.

  •  The Skinny on NC-11 (4.00)
    NC-11 always looks more Republican on paper than it probably is in reality.  After hitting a high-water mark in 1994, Charles Taylor has seen his reelection margins slowly tick downward at rate of about 1% each election cycle.  After being stung by their 1994 loss when Taylor won 60% against beloved local TV reporter Maggie Lauterer (right candidate in the wrong year) the Democrats rolled over and played dead for Taylor in '96 and '98 but still saw their weak, underfunded candidates break 40% both times.  This lead to a 2000 and 2002 challenge from well funded UNC Board member Sam Neil who used Taylor's ethic's problems to helped soften him up for a 2004 from Buncombe County Commissioner Patsy Keever.

    Keever, a truly exceptional public servant and a gem of a human being, was attacked as being too liberal for the district (and, truth be told she really kind of was) but she charmed and impressed her way to pulling 45% of the vote against Taylor, which is no mean feat in a Presidential year when Repugs usually do best in NC.

    The district is centered around Asheville, a small city of about 70,000 that is popular as an arts center.  John Kerry won the city by a 2-1 margin.  Asheville is located in Buncombe County which, together, makes up just under 1/3 of the district's overall vote, but since the areas of Buncombe County outside the city limits are generally Republican Buncombe is about as purple as a county can get.  Bush carried the county by  in 2004 by about 600 votes out of more than 104,000 cast even as Keever, and Senate Candidate Erskine Bowls won it in a virtual walk.  In his 2002 race against Elizabeth Dole, Bowels lost Buncombe by exactly one vote.

    Unfortunately, any margin a Democrat wins out of Buncombe County gets wiped out by neighboring Henderson County which is dominated by wealthy retirees who move there from around the nation and bring their John Birch Society politics with them.  As a result, Repugs carry Henderson County, which makes up about 16% of the district's population, by landslides that often approach 70%.

    So, with Buncombe and Henderson, which combined make up about half of the district's population, this race will be won or lost largely in the counties in the central part of the district -- counties like Haywood, Swain, (Schuler's native county and the home of the bulk of the Cherokke Indian Reservation) Madison, Jackson (which is the home of Western Carolina University and arguably the bluest county in the district) and, to a lesser extent Yancey county in the extreme northwestern section of the district.  These counties have traditionally been Democratic and still retain a bluish streak below the Presidential level.  Centrists Democrats usually do well here, although Taylor's power of incumbency has won them over in all of the recent elections (with the exception of Jackson).

    Generally speaking the counties that border SC, and GA, are Republican strongholds thanks to the wealthy retiree factor, but the district has long had a sizable Repug presence due to strong Unionist sympathies during the Civil War.  It elected nothing but Democrats for years until the Regan landlisde of 1980 and incumbents were tossed out of its House seat in the elections of 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, and 1990.  Taylor has held the seat since 1990.  

    Taylor's failure to vote against CAFTA, and his breathtakingly lame excuses as to why, aren't likely to peel many wealthy, right wing retirees away from him, but a Democrat  atune to the more conservitive cultural stances of the blue collar workers antsy about free trade could at least win enough of that demographic cut the margins in those heavily Repug counties, such as Cherokee, Macon, Clay, and Translyvania.

    Taylor is strong, but has never been quite as invincible as it appears on the surface.  The anti-Taylor vote seems to have an absolute floor of 40% meaning that the right candidate in the right year could finally knock him off.  It is going to take all of the planets aligned up at the right moment for that to happen, but with Bush's popularity in free fall mode, and with no statewide races in NC in 2006, this could be the year although we must keep in mind the old cliche about how a year in politics is an eternieternity.

    •  If you take out Taylor... (none)
      ...D-5 will take out Foxx!


      Lets do it! Asheville is so pissed, and they just kicked some serious ass in their locals. Make no bones about it, with the  base mobilized in 2006, Taylor is toast!

      Don't you know I would never fucking say fuck?!

      by faithfull on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 02:27:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  NY-11 (none)
    We won't lose it, but the primary should be interesting.

    Rep. Major Owens is retiring and the five major candidates to replace him are..

    Carl Andrews - State Senator
    Yvette Clarke - NYC Councilwoman, ran against Owens in 2004
    Chris Owens - Major Owens' son
    Nick Perry - State Assemblyman
    David Yassky - NYC Councilman

    Money so far..

    Andrews - $119K raised, $117K on hand
    Clarke - Nothing reported
    Owens - $49K raised, $3K on hand
    Perry - $17K raised, $60K on hand
    Yassky - $200K raised, $170 on hand

    Out of the five candidates, Yassky is White and all the others are African-American (the district is 21% white). And Owens refered to Yassky as a "colonizer"..

    so at the very least, it's going to get very nasty and Yassky's only hope is a win by a plurality in the primary. I would put Andrews as having a good change too, from what I know now.

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:15:01 AM PST

    •  This race is going to split the left. (none)
      And it's going to hurt us. I wish this weren't happening. I suspect, from the way your post is worded, that you're backing, or planning to back, Yassky. And while he's a worthy candidate, there are lots of people in the progressive wing of the party, myself included, who will be working for Chris Owens. I've known him for over a year, he worked for Dean, and I'll be proud to have him represent me.

      I just wish there were some way we could have them both.

      -8.25,-8.36 As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

      by sidnora on Fri Nov 25, 2005 at 12:00:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't forget that CA-48 is NOW (none)
    While everyone is talking about 2006, we are "knee deep" in the final days of CA-48.  The special election is December 6 and we need your help.

    This is all about GOTV.  Turnout is expected to be very low and the Republican vote will be split by American Independant (the party of George Wallace) Gilcrest (minuteman founder).  This is a great opportunity for Democrats to make a statement that no red district is safe.

    If you are in Southern California, we are walking neighborhood now (literally).  If you are outside of Southern California, we have setup a web application to "virtual phonebank" so you can call CA-48 voters from anywhere.

    Go to Steve's website and select "GET INVOLVED" on the left hand side.

    This is real.  We are working to win.  We need your help.  We can make a difference.

    •  Took awhile (none)
      I should have known a Young-backer would show up.

      Young appears to be going for a very smart turnout strategy. But, this just doesn't feel like OH-2 did over the summer.

      I hope Steve finishes well and then prepares for 2006.

      "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

      by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:19:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Democratic Contract for America (none)
    I think it is pitiful there are so few competitive House seats. That's why I think the Democrats need to have in their Contract for America - "Democracy in America". Let's not worry so much about democracy in Iraq - let's expand democracy here at home.

    It's a disgrace Soviet style to have 95 + % of our Representatives win elections.

    To address the flaws in American democracy and how we can fix it. In my opinion, the crucial components of a functioning democracy:
    *    Free flow of ideas.
    *    A competitive electoral system.
    *    Every vote counts
    Our system seems more like the former Soviet Union where few elections are competitive. In addition, the Supreme Court made a silly ruling that money ($) equals (=) speech thus rendering most American's "speechless". We have also placed unnecessary roadblocks around the act of voting.
    Democrats need to be courageous and propose:
    *    Nation-wide nonpartisan created US House districts like Iowa and Maine.
    *    Public funding of Federal elections with campaign limits.
    *    Free or significantly reduced media rates for politicians to get their respective messages (ideas) out to the public.
    *    Weekend elections starting and stopping at the same time to prevent premature announcing of electoral results while others are still voting.
    *    Auditable voting results for recounts.
    *    Possible mandatory voting like Australia
    Democrats will show sacrifice that they are willing to lose House seats to save American democracy.

  •  Colorado - Bob Beauprez (none)
    Thank you so much for highlighting this race. I nearly cry with anger and disgust when I think of Beauprez being governor. I think I would actually finally leave this state if he wins.

    He is a complete Bush rubber stamp and I hope we can use that effectively against him in this race.

    I wrote to him recently about the fact that Bush canceled that pay scale deal for workers in New Orleans (forgive me for not having anything handy to refer to). He wrote back about how supportive he was of it, and Bush was sooooo right. Then, I believe Bush changed and canceled it! Hahahaha! I plan to write back and ask him if he now disagrees with Bush! hahahaha. No way. But, it will be interesting to see how he flip flops and goes against all he said in order to still be with Bush. He makes me ill.

    I have heard Perlmutter has raised more money and is the choice of the party - whatever. I don't know much about him, but I will work to defeat Beauprez.

    "Is the President concerned that there's a stench of corruption around the Republican establishment in Washington?" -- Terry Moran to Scotty, 9/28/05

    by OLinda on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:33:10 AM PST

  •  2006 is not 1994 (none)
    I'm afraid a lot of wishful thinking is going on here.  Thanks to aggressive gerrymandering by both parties, there are simply many fewer competitive districts than there were in 1994.  This is not just bad for the minority party, it's bad for American democracy.  But both parties have brought us to this point.  Read this excellent NYTimes article for more info on this.

    GreenSooner is the Rufus T. Firefly Chair in Freedonian Studies at the Poorman Institute for Freedom and Democracy and Palmer

    by GreenSooner on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:33:30 AM PST

    •  It's not the Gerrymandering (none)
      it's the incumbent advantage.

      In Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan, Republicans hold quite a few districts which gave Bush less than 55% of the vote.

      This isn't a gerrymandering that makes Bush win a lot of districts easily.

      The reason why incumbents win so easily is not gerrymandering, it's because they're incumbents. They don't win because of having preferable district lines, they win because they have preferable connections to all sorts of lobbyists who will give them money.

      Most Republicans, despite not having a challenge, will still spend over $1M per campaign.

      For example, Tom Cole spent $750,550 while defeating independent candidate Charlene Bradshaw by a 78-22 margin.

      "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

      by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:40:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not either/or (none)
        It's both.  The factors you identify are important.  But gerrymandering is also a huge factor in some states -- especially California.  Keep in mind that margins need not be 70-30 to be safe in the era of precise computer gerrymandering.  The incumbency advantage has been with us for decades -- but the 98% incumbency reelection rate in the last 3 cycles is unusual.
        •  California seems more gerrymandered (none)
          than Ohio.

          And the fact that guys like Dreier and Doolittle (I think) were opposing 77 shows that they would prefer not having more Dems in their districts.

          There's only so much water you can get from a sponge. The Dem voters have to go somewhere.

          (And when it comes to redistricting, I think the minority/majority requirement may end sometime in 2007, but I would think the GOP wouldn't automatically go for carving up heavily Dem districts, they would prefer to keep Dem voters in concentrated areas)

          but you can get the Voting Rights Act renewed if you help the Dems take the House.

          "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

          by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:53:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  If there is no trend favoring either party (none)
      the Republicans keep their majority. But if there is a strong trend against them (which there seems to be) they will lose. No majority is permanent and the Republicans will find that out to their sorrow in 2006.
    •  Don't forget that article says... (none)
      "There are several caveats to this view: It is early in the campaign season, and both parties still have months to recruit candidates, raise money and expand the competitive battlefield. Experts also say that some political waves, like that in 1994, are so strong they can knock anything down - even the structural advantages of incumbents."

      35 percent Bush approval
      29 percent approval for Congress
      12 point Democratic advantage

      That sounds like a big political tide

      •  I'm Not Disputing the Tide (none)
        I'm suggesting that the two parties have done everything possible to eliminate the importance of such tides.  

        Now it's of course possible that the tide will grow so large that it will overwhelm even gerrymandered districts. But the point remains that the tide will need to be much, much larger than it was in 1994, when a shift of something like 4 points in national congressional preference brought in a GOP majority.

        And whoever wins in 2006, this level of gerrymandering is terrible. Democrats, as well as Republicans, who come out of gerrymandered districts simply do not need to be as responsive to their constituents as congresspeople from competitive districts.

        GreenSooner is the Rufus T. Firefly Chair in Freedonian Studies at the Poorman Institute for Freedom and Democracy and Palmer

        by GreenSooner on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:00:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (none)
          If I'm not mistaken, the best expert estimates are that the Dems would need to pick up around 58% of the 2-party national vote to take over the House.

          It's not unattainable -- but it's a hell of a tidal wave.  Still, as others have pointed out, it inches closer to being a self-fulfilling prophecy if we convince the public, the press, and especially potential Republican challengers that such a tidal wave is likely.

          •  I'm not sure I really believe this... (none)

            Gerrymandered votes have to go somewhere. Furthermore, the country doesn't vote as a block. For instance, Spitzer in NY is probably going to pull in some congressional seats that don't look very competitive, especially considering the total disssolution of the GOP here that we saw in the recent elections.

            A few serious victories for senate/gov in the Northeast could net us a huge number of seats, perhaps 10 or more. A lot of those districts are Kerry districts already, or within 4 points repub advantage (52-48). There are (if I counted correctly) 17 seats in NY, Penn, and OH that are better than 52-48 against for the Dems, and these three states all HATE bush. In addition, there are high profile statewide races in each one where the repubs are going to be CREAMED. Gov of NY, Gov of OH, and Senator in Penn, all of which are likely  to go Dem. by double digit margins. That alone could net us 15 seats.

            The funny thing is that Bush doesn't piss off people equally, and there is no national democrat on the stage to galvanize opposition agains democratic congressmen. Democrats are seen on their own merits, where repubs are compared to bush. There are swaths of the country that HATE bush because he has been so divisive, and I think this is going to have an effect.

            I would not be surprised to see some very blue states pretty much wipe out their GOP congressional delegations. In NY especially, there is just nowhere to go now. The whole state has so many Dems that it's damn near impossible to carve out a district that will have a significant republican advantage, especially in a year with a popular Dem. governor canidate, and an unpopular Repub president.

            A similar (though to a much less degree) thing can be said for Callifornia. Between the two of them, they hold around 30 republican seats (if my count is right), and many of those will be  in real danger.

            •  Unfortunately, California's not totally blue. (none)
              There are plenty of GOP strongholds left here in California, and Ahnold is not totally dead in the water. If he gets his infrastructure bill passed, and continues to do what he does best: showboat (this time in China) and raise truckloads of money, he might pull of a dreadful comeback and pull along some strong GOP turnout. I think removing Pombo is realistic since the DCCC is backing Filson in the 11th, but I doubt there's anything else left worth diverting money away from the Governor's race for, especially since Wesley and Angelides have uphill races for name recognition (assuming someone like Warren Beatty doesn't jump in).
              •  Filson... (none)
                I posted a comment above about Filson.  I think it's unwise to think that Filson will necessarily be the candidate.  So far, I have not met a single politically active person within the district who supports Filson.  The DCCC cannot give him money before the primary, and he does not yet have the volunteer base he needs to win.  

                When Ellen Tauscher ran against Bill Baker in the neighboring CD, she had tremendous support from people who were ideologically to her left.  Filson does not have such support at this time, and as far as I can tell, he doesn't even have the support of more moderate or conservative Dems.  

                If Filson can out-fundraise his two primary opponents and somehow get important endorsements, he can win.  But there's no guarantee that he'll get past the primary, the DCCC notwithstanding.

  •  Please save me - I'm in NM-02 (none)
    In the name of all that is decent and good, would the Dems please put up a decent, VIABLE candidate to go against Steve Pearce?  This Bushevik need to go back to Hobbes or wherever it is he comes from.

    On his website, he is bragging that he voted in favor of the HR4241, that awful reconciliation bill, stating:

    "Deficit reduction is never an easy task, particularly when the savings we achieve are subject to distortion and misinterpretation," Rep. Pearce said. "Nevertheless, these difficult times call for steady leadership and choices among priorities based upon hard facts."

    This same schmuck also voted in favor of repealing the Estate Tax.

    We know where your priorities lie, asshole.

    What the hell is it NOW?

    by TigerMom on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:42:13 AM PST

    •  Are you over 25 (none)
      Granted, it would probably be very hard to run yourself.

      But I hope someone would be willing to run, and not fold after attacks of "Voting for the Dems will make Pelosi speaker"

      What happened to the 2002 candidate?

      "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

      by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:46:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If I didn't have two toddlers (none)
        I would run against him myself.  I would probably lose, but I would at least speak out loud and clear just how much in lockstep he is with Bush, DeLay and the rest of the neocons, and how much he is hurting the constituents of this district.

        The 2004 Dem candidate didn't run the most aggressive campaign and lost in my county which went for Kerry and is mostly democrat.  The 2002 Dem candidate won in my county but lost the race.

        The problem with NM-02 is that it encompasses SE New Mexico, which is sometimes called "Little West Texas."  I think that explains alot.

        I'm hoping with the shifting winds, the Dems can take the House seat, but unless they put up a Dem in the style of Paul Hackett, I don't see things changing.

        What the hell is it NOW?

        by TigerMom on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:59:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yep (none)
          I understand that it would be a really tough race. Although from what I know, NM-2 is much more Dem-friendly than West Texas (which went 3 to 1 for Bush)

          There's 4 months left until the filing deadline in New Mexico, so hopefully somebody good shows up and says "enough"

          "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

          by RBH on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:04:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  CT-02 (none)
    Thanks for profiling all these races--very good timing--NOW is time to start on these campaigns. As one of the Democrats in the CT-02, I can confirm that we are working hard to gain this seat back.  One comment--many of these Democrats in close races are actively fundraising, with their own sites or via Act Blue.  Whenever possible, put in a plug for a donation or a link to the candidate or Act Blue account--money is what will matter as these races pull closer.  We in the blogosphere can help in this way!
  •  Melissa Bean (none)
    is going down, either in the primary (god willing) or in the general. She may be getting big money, but she needs labor for GOTV. And  no, nothing she can do will win them back.
    •  And she won't get other progressive support (none)
      She's alienated much of the ground troops who worked hard on GOTV on her campaign.  Who does she think is going to do the work?  People who worked for her before because Obama said to help her won't again, I don't think any DFA people will work for her, and I agree no labor groups will touch her except to work against her in the primaries.  

      You think the credit card companies are going to put people on the ground to do GOTV?

    •  Agree on this (none)
      Bean is going down -- she blew it on CAFTA. Who is standing in the primary? Because that is where the discipline has to happen.
  •  We need to triple that # (none)
    If we need to NET 15 seats, then, among competitive seats, we need to hold every single Democratic seat and win 15 GOP seats (or lose 1 Dem seat and win 16 GOP seats, etc.).  To do that, we had better identify at least 40-50 competitive seats.

    I'm actually a bit discouraged by this analysis regarding 2006.  But of course we need not win the House in 2006 to have a successful year.  Any degree to which we narrow their margin is one fewer we'll need to pick up in 2008.  We should always aim for the big prize, and scare potential GOP candidates out of running in this climate -- but we also need to do some careful thinking as to how not to let the GOP/press spin a Dem gain of 5 seats as a "failure" for us.

  •  OH-06 Charlie Wilson (none)
    I've known Charlie Wilson for a long time. His family founded and still manages Wilson Furniture Store in Bridgeport, OH. He was a hell of a state representative and is a well-meaning, passionate Democrat. However, there is one problem that I can see in his campaign for the US House --- State Senator Wilson has only been a State Senator for about two years (in November 2006!). He served four, two-year terms in the State House, but I think his possibly quick departure from the State Senate could be a hinderance in the mind of voters. I will work for Wilson's campaign, but I do concede the criticisms.
  •  CT-05! (none)
    CT-05 has a better chance of swinging than CT-04, I think, as Nancy Johnson has stayed in the Bush camp while Chris Shays has done a good job of speaking out against the admin.  Also, Chris Murphy (young, smart, appealing) is a stronger candidate than Diane Farrell (who snuck under the radar to do exceptionally well in '04).  I do agree that Courtney will win CT-02.  

    There is a great chance for all three to swing blue, but I'd say -05 is a better bet than -04.    

    •  I don't really want to get into a thing about this (none)
      I mean, honestly, there's no reason we shouldn't be able to knock off all all three of the Connecticut Republicans in 06.

      But I gotta say, swinging the fourth is much easier than the fifth. Kerry won the fifth by about 1100 votes out of 311,445 ballots cast; he had 49.3% of the vote. Kerry won the fourth by over 20,000 votes, with 52.3% of the total.

      I'd be interested to hear why Murphy is a better candidate than Farrell. Diane is by far the best Democrat to run in this district since Shays' election. She really energized the local party. Running for the first time out of her hometown with minimal support from the national party, Diane won 48% of the vote against an 18-year incumbent. That was by far the strongest challenge Shays has had in his career. That was also, I believe, the closest margin of any Democrat running against a Republican incumbent who did not win. In the last quarter, she outraised Shays 3 to 2. I don't really know Murphy; what has he done?

      As to party independence, let's face it, at the end of the day, both of these Republicans back their party more often than not. Shays does a great job of looking moderate; he talks a good game. But let's not forget, he was the only member of the CT delegation to support the health and education bill that failed last Thursday.

      I'd say that the 04 is a better bet than the 05. Not that it really matters. At the end of the day, Connecticut Dems are going to run the table next year.

      "I think [Tom Delay]'s been a great majority leader." ~Chris Shays, October 7, 2004.

      by Matthew Gertz on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 01:22:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cool! (none)
        Glad to have someone well-informed to debate this with...

        Let me make two (arguable contradictory) points about the Kerry numbers in '04.  One, they're not vastly different.  Two, they suggest that Farrell may have been riding coat tails that won't exist in the midterm.

        Farrell also caught Shays by surprise in '04, which won't happen again.  Just as Nancy Johnson won in a recount vote in '96, then crushed the same opponent 2 years later.

        What is comes down to for me is that Murphy is just more politically astute and dynamic than Farrell.  I don't mean to take anything away from her--she's a solid candidate--but Murphy is a  rising star, and Nancy Johnson has been lazy the past two years (though she does have a ton of cash in the bank).  

        Basically, on paper, you're right: CT-04 is a better bet.  But--knowing the candidates--I would put my money on -05.  

        •  Agree to disagree then. (none)
          I don't know Murphy, so I obviously can't comment on his talents. I can say that Diane won two terms as first selectwoman by huge margins in a traditionally Republican town, and helped her successor to a 60-40 win this year. In my experience with her, she has always seemed extremely astute in both policy and politics, and has also been referred to as a "rising star".

          Hopefully, a year from now we'll be arguing about which will make a better congressperson, and whether either will be able to compete with Larson or DeLauro when Lieberman and Dodd eventually retire.

          I think we can both agree, though, on hoping that the DCCC doesn't put all their financial eggs in the CT-02 basket again. Almost a million dollars in independent expenditures to help Jim Sullivan, only to lose by eight points! What a joke!

          Visit [My Left Nutmeg], the open Soapbox blog for Connecticut Democrats.

          by Matthew Gertz on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 03:08:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Farrell lost in Westport, her hometown (none)
            the last go round.

            People should look at that closely.

            I understand this because I live in Westport.

            Even though I voted for her twice to be first selectwoman, I'd never vote her into Congress.

            •  Farrell (none)
              If she isn't hated in Westport she will be.  Westport is going through a property re-valuation which typically means property taxes will likely go up for a good amount of people.  Last time there was a re-valuation there she rubbed many people the wrong way because she tried to suppress the impact so as not to get a backlash from property owners(Tax Assessor was forced out).  This time she wasn't able to do that.  All she can hope for is that by next November people will forget the reassessment letters they just got or should be getting.

              With that said, she has a better shot than we in CT-05 have of toppling Johnson.  Johnson's opponent is invisible in the western CT-05 which is a highly Democratic (Danbury).  Farrell is very visible in CT-04 well known and well respected outside of Westport (who all think she's a mega bitch).  Shays is respected but so many people are turning away from Bush they may vote for Farrell for some checks and balances in Washington.  I was with a Bush voter yesterday in Wilton (part of CT-04) who told me he deeply regretted voting him because he's done nothing domestically and this country is in shambles.  He also voiced deep disappointment withthe Congress.  He's the type of guy who will likely vote for Farrell in 06.

              Between Sue Kelly, Nancy Johnson and Chris Shays this region is ripe for some Republican heavyweights to be toppled, but it will take alot of effort.  If 2 of those three go down it bodes ill for the Republican party.  If all three along with Simmons in CT-02 (who is the most likely )go down the Republican party is finished in 06.  It would take a gigantic wave to sweep them all out at once.

              -7.38, -5.74 This is your world. These are your people. You can live for yourself today, or help build tomorrow for everyone.

              by DisNoir36 on Sun Nov 20, 2005 at 04:53:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Enlightening, if true... (none)
              But alas, it isn't.

              Diane won Westport in 2004.


              Visit My Left Nutmeg, the open Soapbox blog for Connecticut Democrats.

              by Matthew Gertz on Sun Nov 20, 2005 at 01:12:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  My Error - (none)
                I hadn't checked the final count.  The absentee ballots must have sent her over to victory.

                In any case, she's a terrible leader - amoral and excessively goal oriented.

                Her ambition blinds her.

              •  I Went to (none)
                the CT Secretary of State's website to look at the 2004 vote count in CT CD #4.

                Diane Farrell's campaign against Chris Shays in 2004 is widely advertised as some sort of victory without winning.  

                In fact, Farrell won the vote in only 4 out of 17 towns in CT CD 4.  Her only overwhelming win was in Bridgeport, where she won 70% of the vote.  

                In the other three towns in which she won Farrell squeaked by with close margins, winning Norwalk with 53% percent, Stamford with 52%, and in her hometown, where she has led as First Selectwoman for eight years, Farrell took 51%, winning by only 302 votes.

                Overall, she took 138,333 votes out of 290,826 cast in the 2004 election in her district.  That is 47% of the total vote cast.  She lost to Chris Shays by 6 percentage points.

  •  Is there a Wisconsin Democrat page that analyses (none)
    the races?

    Pop-gun president lying with impunity, soundbyte policies and photo opportunities

    by Dave the Wave on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:58:21 AM PST

  •  A few Southerners left out in this list (none)
    While this list is a good start, there a few seats in the South that were left out, including District 8 in North Carolina, District 12 in Georgia, and Districts 13 and 22 in Florida. And we can't forget District 22 in Texas, home to Tom DeLay, who will face a tough challenge if it's not forced out. For more, read the blog:

  •  Dave Bruderly in FL-06... (none)
    ... has no chance of winning without Democrats supporting him. We have a poachable District here in North Central Florida. We have a winning message, we are getting contributions and endorsements are on their way. We need more help though, to make the DCCC realize this District CAN BE WON.

    I challenge every Kossack who reads this comment to click here:

    and donate TWENTY dollars. Leave your KOS name in the 2d address line, and I will put them all up in two weeks on my diary, on the campaign blog, and on the front page of the website.

    CERTAINLY, you can afford the price of a couple pizzas to help turn a swing state district bright blue!

  •  As Dems stand up the GOP will stand down (none)

    Support the Troops - Demand the Truth!

    by annefrank on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:14:02 PM PST

  •  MI - 08 Jim Marcinkowski (none)
    Currently held by (gag me with a spoon) Mike Rogers, a partisan straight ticket voter with DeLay and Bush. Supposedly a candidate for Floor Leader - the underdog/black horse white male. Major fund raiser for the Repug party and never has to spend any money running here in a traditional conservative gerrymandered district. HOWEVER - the local dems are working hard and have courted Jim to run. Jim testified before a congressional committee on Valerie Plame. She was a classmate of his at the CIA. He is retired, now a deputy attorney for the City of Royal Oak, MI. He is pissed that she got outted. Former Republican, but not a DINO, I dont think. This could be a good race and when he wins, it will bust down the wall for other dems to come out of the closet. I am going to work my skinny fanny off for him. Hopefully he will post/advertise etc on here. He is going against a huge war chest and could use any and all help he can get.
  •  WA-08 (none)
    Should be a competitive play. It's held by Dave Reichert, a first term incumbent, who only won by 2%. Strong ties to Delay, As in huge amounts of his PAC money, and a district that voted for Kerry. It's gonna be an expensive play, tho, as Reichert been raising money like there's no tommorow. There are two Democrats looking, Darcy Burner and Randy Gordon. I've heard Darcy speak, and she's got the right pitch, and makes it well. (As a former Microsoft Marketing wiz kid, she knows how to sell) This should be a district we can win in a Democrat trending year.

    - David

    •  Agreed (none)
      Reichert has become just another puppet of the right, voting against his districts wishes.  Tom Delay might as well be representing the 8th District as many times as Reichert has voted like Delay.

      Burner is the probable Dem candidate and we need to start the campaign to defeat Reichert now.

      On The Road To 2008: Commentary on issues as we countdown to the next opportunity to change the direction of Ameri

      by Daniel K on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 01:31:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  IA-01 (none)
    I haven't been following this race closely, but this part of the state is likely to be the big battleground in the governor's race. Generally Dems need to rack up the votes in the Dubuque area to win statewide, but Nussle, the likely GOP candidate for governor, is very strong in the Dubuque area (which is old-fashioned Catholic Democrat-leaning, but socially conservative).

    If the anti-choice pro-business Michael Blouin is the Dem nominee for governor, he's a Dubuque native, and is likely to have strong GOTV in this area, which would obviously help whoever is the Dem nominee for the 1st CD. There are a lot of anti-choice Dems in Dubuque.

    I think the other Dem candidates running for governor would not have coattails in this part of the state (and I say that with regret as a passionate supporter of Ed Fallon for governor).

  •  who is running in the OH 2nd against Schmidt (none)
    I know Hacket is running for Senate....but someone who has a chance has to take on that witch.

    Especially after yesterday

  •  It's a team sport (none)
    We have to hang the Bush albatross around the neck of every GOP candidate. We must convince voters that a vote for ANY GOP member is a vote for fiscal irresponsibility, torture and more terrorism. Americans have to understand that to the extent we are subject to acts of terrorism, it is a direct result of GOP policies. GOP is the party of incompetence and corruption, and it makes no difference what the individual characteristics of a candidate are (unless they can be used to destroy them).
    The attack must be relentless, and we have to get off our high horses and do whatever it takes to defeat the evil forces. We are not going to play nice in 2006! Winning is essential to preserving what is left our nation.

    I'm a linguist, licensed to use words any way I want to!

    by MakeChessNotWar on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:47:21 PM PST

  •  No one has mentioned (none)
    Steve Young for Congress Ca 48th on Dec 6th and assume it's because everyone has written Dems off in this heavily Republican District.

    But, let me say it here and hope that a lot of people read it even if they don't comment or rate: on Dec 7th there are going to be a lot of surprised people after they see how well Steve will have done

    The campaign has just started robo-calls and phones are ringing off the hook with people wanting more information. The atmosphere around headquarters is on fire with the energy and excitement the callers are expressing.

    This campaign is getting virtually no recognition and in a sense that is good because it allows for a sneak attack. But that will be changing over the course of the next 2 1/2 weeks.

    The tide is rising for Dems and this race will give us a glimpse of 2006 and 2008.

    -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 12:54:13 PM PST

  •  Gerlach (none)
    Wofford almost beat him in 2002. At 11pm Wofford was still projected the winner. I think Downingtown, PA, a heaviy Republican town in Chester Co., did him in. And he rode on Dubya's coattails to victory last year. I'm expecting a Murphy win.
  •  TX 17 (none)
    So far, I believe there's 3 announced GOP candidates.  Zero to no name recognition at all; just trial lawyers trying to get elected because they're Republican.  I don't want to call Chet's seat 'safe' but so far there's token opposition.  The 2004 race was tough because Wohlgemuth had name recognition (state legistator) and she was a Club for Growth candidate, but as of yet, nothing even close to the 2004 race is shaping up.
  •  Congress Needs Courage (none)
    Just wanted to put a mention in for the DFA Grassroots All-Star, John Courage.

    John is an Air Force Veteran, Teacher, DFT Meetup Host, Father, Husband and Coach.

    He is running against Lamar Smith who has been called "Tom Delay's best friend"...

    The district is still Republican, but only about 55%, and JC is an incredible candidate. I can honestly say that when I look for candidates, I am not always thrilled, but with John, I have a lot of hope, and to be honest, I haven't been as inspired by a race as much since the Dean campaign.

    I know in Texas (by the way John is in CD21) the kos community tends to Texas-bash and generally doesn't believe it til they see it...but we are hoping to open a lot of eyes.

    Give John Courage a chance, and remember-George W. Bush needs a brain, Dick Cheney needs a heart..and Congress needs Courage!

    "Dissent is the truest form of patriotism." -Thomas Jefferson

    by nickDFT on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 02:16:20 PM PST

  •  Great post (none)
    Thanks for the information.
  •  CT-02 - Second Congressional District Watch (none)
    Great to see Connnecticut's Second District on the list!  I maintain Connecticut's Second Congressional District Watch blog, which is dedicated to returning this seat back to the Dems.  

    We're at  Visitor submissions always welcome!

    by nishka on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 02:56:11 PM PST

  •  IA-01 (none)
    Rick Dickinson for the Dems and Mike Whalen for the republicans are both challengers at the same level of the ones you list as the strongest.  Both the Dem and Repub primaries for the spot should be tough.
  •  Illinios (none)
    A lot more races will be competitive in Illinois than Melissa Bean's . . . IL-06th, Cegelis vs. Roskam (assuming no surprises happen between now and the primary, I think Cegelis is the favorite to win the primary, and the general should be VERY interesting, as Roskam is linked to DeLay, and is uber-conservative . . .), and I hear rumors about viable candidates running against Mark Kirk and Denny Hastert, not to mention against Weller.  And Lipiniski may fall to a real Democrat this year . . .

    Here's hoping for some major changes in the Illinois Congressional Delegation in 2006.  I think it just may happen.

  •  Sensenbrenner (none)
    Is there any way to get rid of this big asshat?  There seems to be so much ammunition to use against him.  Why not paint him as an obstructionist, which is what he really is?

    Im from NYC but I would love to help this campaign.  Since he is Chairman of the Judiciary Committee I consider him an important guy to take out, not just a local race.  

    •  I Wouldn't Get My Hopes Up.... (none)
      ...Sensenbrenner represents the northern and western suburbs of Milwaukee, and Milwaukee's suburbs are every bit as Republican as Cincinnati's suburbs (the places that voted for the noxious Jean Schmidt this summer).  Democratic Senator Russ Feingold won re-election by double digits in Wisconsin last year, but LOST by double digits in Sensenbrenner's district.  House race analyst Superribbie mentioned that there's a strong challenger to Sensenbrenner this year (last name Kennedy), but he conceded that this is one of the most favorable GOP districts in the country.  If the Dem tide is so strong that it wipes out Sensenbrenner, figure we'll have at least 350 Democrats in the House next year.
  •  We are just past... (none)
    half way to the 06 elections, and a lot of water is left to go under the bridge.  The GOP is going to try EVERYTHING to right the ship.  I am hopeful that the harder they try, the more transparent their attempts to "swift boat" opposition become.

    If things break just right for us, we could have a really big result in 11/06.  Knock on wood!

  •  What about VA11th? Tom Davis is getting nervous (none)
    It seems to me that VA11th is rapidly getting very blue.  This district contains parts of Fairfax  and Prince William county.  It was gerrymandered to give Davis a more solid GOP district but it very nearly went for Kerry in 2004 and strongly went for Kaine/Byrne/Deeds this month as well as easily electing a democrat to an open legislative seat in what was considered a "swing" district (that used to be considered solid red as recently as 2001).

    Many seem to think that Davis will continue to get crossover votes from Democrats who love him and think he's a moderate but in the past few years he's had to toe the GOP line a line that is NOT popular with civil servants who make up a big part of his constituents.

    Rumor is that County Chairman Gerry Connelly is seriously considering challenging Davis.  Connelly easily won his Chairmanship in 2003 and ironically Davis was county Chair when he won his congressional seat back in the landslide of 1994.

  •  NM-1 (none)
    Gonna be tough to replace Heather Wilson, NM-1. I worked the 2004 cycle in ALBQ -- the place is very finely balanced between the parties. Her last opponent (Romero) was a nice guy who didn't have a politician's instinct for the jugular. Hope Madrid does. Any locals got comments?
    •  Heather Wilson survives (none)
      Somehow, every time, when she looks to be backed into a corner, she survives.  I'm not betting against her, as many voters seem to vote for her out of habit more than anything else.  I would like nothing better than for Wilson to be booted out, but I'm not optimistic about it.
    •  Madrid (none)
      Has won elections . . . I think what they need to do is go after the veterans vote in a big way -- really attack Wilson on her votes against veterans benefits.  There's a large block of veterans in NM . . . time to swing them over to the Dems.  
  •  NY-13 these are possible candidates vs Fossella (none)
    My Dem friends here in Bay Ridge at Brooklyn Democrats for Change say that meetings are going on now with District leaders to decide who will run for NY-13.  They mentioned three possibilities, North Shore City Councilman Michael McMahon, State Assemblyman Michael Cusick, and State Senator Diane Savino.  Can anyone tell me what they know about these people so I and others can be more informed and suggest a better candidate if necessary?  I can gather a lot of support for the Democratic candidate here.  I am sure we can beat Fossella!  This area has changed a lot, and it can counterbalance the Republican Staten Island stronghold.  
  •  4 of the GOP Reps you list voted no on budget (none)
    Those being:
    CT-02   Simmons
    CT-04   Shays
    NM-01   Wilson
    PA-06   Gerlach

    Presumably, some of the back-room machinations took their vulnerable status into account.

    I grew up in CT-04, and still have family there.  Everyone who was a Repub in my childhood has either died or switched party.  My personal history (great-grandfather an abolitionist who campaigned for Lincoln) tells me that GOP has virtually nothing to do with its proud and admirable roots.  But old habits die hard.  I may do a little GOTV myself on this one.

    Nostalgia isn't a good enough reason to stay with them anymore.  Not when you look at the national & international scenes.

  •  Another poachable district in NC (none)
    NC-9 is my home district, represented by Gingrich Gang member and Shrub/DeLay shill Sue Myrick.  While it may look deep red on paper, something like two-thirds of its vote is cast in Mecklenburg County (Charlotte).  Most of the Repubs here are fairly moderate, and Mecklenburg has split the last four elections.  We flip over the moderate Repubs in Charlotte, and this district goes blue.

    And we've got the perfect candidate--Senior Chief Petty Officer Jack Flynn, an Iraq War I vet.  He's the perfect Dem for this district--just get him the money to advertise (Charlotte is a fairly expensive market--27th), and we can make Sue campaign for the first time in a long while.  A repeat of Paul Hackett for sure.

    Speaking of Hackett--NC-9 is far less Repub than OH-2.  In fact, NC-9's demographics are the reverse of OH-2.  Here in NC-9, the true wingnuts are in the burbs, but in OH-2 it seems that the closer you get to Cincy, the redder it gets.

  •  Pay attention to Nevada (none)
    I went to a training workshop for the Democratic Party in Reno this morning and, I gotta say, I think there's a winnable house seat in the second congressional district.  Here's my reasoning:

    1. NV has no Democratic primary.  There are three candidates who are already getting pretty nasty on each other and will continue to do so until the late republican primary next August.  They're going to spend a lot of resources trying to beat one another.  Meanwhile, our Democratic candidate will be building support.  

    2. Jill Derby ( is the candidate for this seat.  She's been a Regent (elected official overseeing the university system) for 17 years - so she's politically experienced.  She's raised a considerable amount of money already.  There's already a "Republicans for Derby" group established.  And she's cool.  From what I hear, she's handled some really difficult situations with complete grace.  Personally, she's a great friend of mine and, to the extent that I can judge character, a great woman.  

    3. This morning, I went to a training workshop for Reno/Sparks democrats.  The focus was to start organization for the midterms.  125 people showed up at 8:30 on a Saturday morning.  The workshop was beautifully organized.  After a brief intro we broke into our respective (state) districts, and started planning.  Though the results varied, each group came out with clear objectives for "what next."  This is in deep contrast to the last election where no one wanting to volunteer could get a return call from the local Democratic chapter.  There are a lot of people out there willing to work and this time around they are being well organized.  

    So - I say throw NV's second congressional onto your list.  We've got a great candidate, a head start on the competition, and a lot of people ready to throw their spare time into making this country work again.  
  •  My dream... (none)
    The rest of the House splits 217-217 and NM 1 goes Green.

    "There is no god, and I am his prophet." SocraticGadfly

    by steverino on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at 11:10:25 PM PST

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