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** A 50 State Page update brought to you by Barry Welsh (now git over there and give him some lovin and some cash (but not for the lovin)).**

Yep 425 congressional House races will have Democratic candidates in 2006. And yep it's a record! The GOP managed 419 in 1994 and our best was 403 in 2000. This is a fantastic achievement and WAY ahead of the GOP for this cycle too.

Below the fold for details (including the number of GOP house candidates).........

Chris Bowers blogged this call to arms on November 5th 2004 decrying the fact that we only contested 400 districts in 2004.

Aspiring candidate for Congress Barry Welsh and his team (in particular this means you Rex Freedom) responded to the call and set up the 50 State Page.

House guru's Superribbie, RBH, Nathaniel Ament Stone, David NYC, David Kowalski, NeuvoLiberal, and Lucas O'Connor all responded to the cause and I started emailing candidate updates to the Welsh campaign and then started writing house filing diaries myself when the 50 State Page wasn't being updated often enough. A second Chris Bowers diary  in February helped convince me to pick up editing the 50 State Page in April after some campaign shuffling in the Welsh camp. I must admit it has been a buzz being able to contribute from the other side of the world (I'm Australian).

So some 51.84375 states later (5 districts in Texas still to go, all have Dem candidates) we have a record number of Dems filed in what promises to be a stellar year for us at all levels. This is a massive confirmation of Howard Dean's 50 State Strategy and means that there is only a handful of uncontested repubs who can throw money at heavily contested races.

And since my last update we now have a candidate in  LA 5.

So in Summary:
435 Races to be filled -

1) 425 Races filled.

2) 10 Uncontested Races as follows:


- We had no sign of a potential candidate and this race has been uncontested since redistricting in mid 2002.


- Our candidate Glenn Fuller was kicked off the ballot for signature snafus. This district was uncontested in 2004.


- Mark Hull-Richter ran a very late but spirited write in campaign that fell well short. Try again in 08 please Mark!


- Our candidate James Davis filed all of his paperwork on time and forked over all of the correct filing fees but apparently faxed one signed document instead of presenting a signed original so he got bounced off the ballot. This district was uncontested in 2002. Have another go next time please James!

LA 6

 - We had no sign of a potential candidate.


- We had no sign of a potential candidate and this race was uncontested in 2004.


- We had no sign of a potential candidate.


- Murmurs abounded but no one stepped up. This district was uncontested in 2004.


- Viriginia Dems gave up on this district about a month before filing closed. This district has been uncontested since redistricting in mid 2002.


- Our candidate filed the first half of his filing paperwork but then had a change of heart that he didn't tell anyone about!  This district was uncontested in 2002.

It's interesting to note that 7 of these 10 have been uncontested in either or both of the last two elections.

So for this 2006 Election cycle there are 425 Democrats and only 390 GOP candidates including the write ins in TX 21 and assuming they find candidates in the two Texas districts where they don't currently have candidates.

425 V 390 - A fantastic outcome.

Originally posted to BENAWU on Sat Aug 12, 2006 at 11:25 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  425 races filled (4+ / 0-)

    Fantastic job getting to 425 team!

    •  excellent (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Good work, Dems. Let's make it 435 in '08.

      Hey, so anyone wanna make some predictions on the House Freshman Class of '06? We already know that that class will almost certainly include:

      • Jim Jordan, R-Ohio
      • Adrian Smith, R-Nebraska
      • Bill Sali, R-Idaho
      • Kevin McCarthy, R-California
      • Albio Sires, D-New Jersey
      • David Davis, R-Tennessee
      • Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee
      • Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado
      • Hank Johnson, D-Georgia
      • Tim Walberg, R-Michigan

      There will be many more of course, who win competitive races, and of course there are still primaries to be had that will decide the winner in safe one-party districts.

      I expect we'll see as well:

      • Betty Sutton, D-Ohio
      • Charlie Wilson, D-Ohio
      • Phil Hare, D-Illinois
      • Joy Padgett, R-Ohio

      And we'll have to see who wins the hot open contests: Perlmutter/O'Donnell, Braley/Whalen, Lampson/GOP write-in, etc. Plus the great Dems who defeat GOP incumbents.

      But anyway...thoughts on the freshman class? And any early predictions on retirements in '08?

      •  Appropriate, no? :0) (0+ / 0-)

        Opened an email on Thursday from the Insider. Love their subject line:  "Fresh faces in new places as races to the finish begin"

        I was thinking Lamont at the time, but it works here too.

        "Guilty or not guilty?" "What else have you got?" ~Carl Sandburg, The People Yes

        by Bugsby on Sun Aug 13, 2006 at 01:22:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Three Cheers, BENAWU! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, BENAWU

      for keeping up with candidate filings for this cycle relentlessly, and helping set the record 425 filings.

      If these is a Most Persistently Diligent Blogger award out there, I'd nominte and campaign for you :)

      Great job and Kudos!

      Barry and his team had helped enourmously as well.

      (now git over there and give him some lovin and some cash (but not for the lovin))

      hehe. lol.

  •  Well (0+ / 0-)

    I can state that most of these districts are very hopelessly Republican. Finding candidates for these races was always going to be hard. I can address why Democrats couldn't find candidates in a few of these districts.

    AL-6 is a very, very white, conservative, and Republican district. It snakes around the suburbs of both Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, taking every white and Republican precincts around the city.

    See these three links:




    Notice how the 7th impacts Alabama's districts. Basically it extends and takes in every black part of Birminghan and Tuscaloosa. This, in turn, makes the 6th extremely hostile to the Democrats. Notice also how the 7th's design affects the 1st district. It snakes in to take black parts of Clarke County, which makes the 1st district more friendly to the Republicans.

    I'm not here to say that minority-majority distircts shouldn't exist, but the boundaries in Alabama help black Democrats at the expense of their white counterparts. The seventh basicallly also strengthens white Republicans' control of the 1st and the 6th district. Perhaps, if the 7th were drawn in a more compact fashion without snaking into take every black precinct in Southeastern Alabama, it could make the 1st and the 6th less hostile to Democrats. True, it might mean that a black Democrat might have more difficulty winning a less-black 7th; but it might make it possible for the Democrats to win the two neighboring districts.

    Anyway, though, the larger point is that finding a Democratic candidate for the 6th was going to be all but impossible because the district is just too hostile. The boundaries of thid district purposely exclude friednly precincts. No one was going to be a sacrificial lamb for this district.


    Like AL-6 this district is very punishing territory for the Democrats. The LA County part of the district takes in Republican cities. Rowland Heights and Diamond Bar, while probably somewhat friendly to the Democrats, are Republican-leaning. GOP registration outnumbers the Democrats there.

    In Orange County most of the towns there are heavily Republican. Yorba Linda, the hometown of Richard Nixon, has a 3-1 Republican registration advantage. Brea and La Habra also are heavily Republican. Rancho Santa Margarita is Republican-dominated. Not a friendly Democratic Precinct to find.

    The San Bernardino parts fit the same categories. Chino Hills is very Republican. I think Chino might be somewhat friendly toward the Democrats, but the other towns there are Republican dominated. No chance in hell to find a candidate. Another hopeless district.


    This district is more competetive. Louise Lucas (D) ran here when Norm Sisisky (D) died. She ran against Randy Forbes (R) in 2001 and lost 52-45%. She was an African-American running in a district that was marginal. The 2002 redistricting made the district more Republican-frinedly. But there is no reason why the Democrats couldn't find a top-tier challenge for this district. This district could be swung or at least a challenger could build a name for future runs.

    •  Links (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The links don't seem to be working or are they maps of the districts?

      BTW all 10 of these districts are dem unfriendly but if we can find candidates in idaho and utah we should be able to fill all of these, particularly those in states with competitive up ticket races.

    •  AL-6 is said to be the nation's most conservative (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And as a Californian, I can vouch that basically every California district has been designed to be fairly safe for the incumbent party. Every CD in the state is currently held by the party that holds a voter registration advantage in the CD. And CA-42 is one of those conservative SoCal seats that is entirely hopeless, again partially due to the creation of Hispanic-majority seats nearby (CA-47, CA-43, CA-38, etc.).

      Majority-minority districts are good, obviously. The VRA required them for a reason. Minorities need representation in Congress. But maybe instead of creating snakes that are 70% minority, we should create simple, compact 55-60% minority districts and make both them and their neighboring Anglo seats more competitive.

      •  I kind of disagree (0+ / 0-)

        Majority-minority districts have basically enabled white Republicans to dominate the Congressional delegations of many southern states. For example, Florida, which provided Kerry with 47% of the vote, sends an overwhelming number of Republicans to Congress. Republicans account for 72% of the House members from Florida. This is due to minority-majority districts.

        For example, in Florida, Corrnie Brown, Kendrick Meek, and Alcee Hastings all have overwhelmingly black districts. They basically take in the majority of African-American precincts in the state. Corrine Brown's district basically ensures that every other district between the northern part of the state and South Florida is Republican. Hastings and Meek's districts also ensure that non-Jewish, majority white district in Florida is Republican. Even though a more fair redistricting process could make a few districts in the state more comeptetive, the fact that the VRA mandates majority-minority districts helps white Republicans who are more likely than not hostile to the concerns of minorities.

        I am not saying that these districts should be eliminated. But I do think that it is possible for minorities to win majority-white districts. Also, while you may have more black and Latino faces in Congress, it is also counterproductive to minority interests when these districts basically ensure the election of more politicians hostile to their issues.

        Perhaps there could be districts that are only 52-55% minority. But unfortunately this leads often to black Democrats, who have a vested interest in having their 70% black districts because they might otherwise be vulnerable to a white primary challenger, teaming up with conservative Republicans to maintain the status quo. And honestly this is a problem.

        AL-6 could probably be made much more competetive if it included the urban parts of Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. If Davis's district didn't snag out the black precincts, it probably could be a more competetive district. Indeed I belive that a Democrat represented the 6th until 1992, when the new 7th was created. The new 7th basically ended his career because Earl Hillard (D), who was Davis's predecessor, won it.

        •  redistricting (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Majority/minority districts aren't the problem, partisan redistricting is eg florida. Fix that and the problem is sorted.

          IMHO all ten of the uncontested districts should have had dem candidates. va 4 and 6 will impact on the senate race, ca 42 in the gov race, fl 12 in the gov race etc.

        •  only counterproductive to minority interests (0+ / 0-)

          assuming that a democratic party with ra higher proportion of white reps would take theor communities' interests as seriously as those current minority dem reps do.

          given white dems' obsession with making white conservative "swing voters" happy by declaring their independence from minorities special interests, i'm not so sure it would be a good bet for those communities. it's a pty, because there's no reason why white dems shouldn't do right by the most loyal democrats in the party, or why minority dem candidates should have to run in a majority-minority district to get elected in the first place.

          crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

          by wu ming on Sun Aug 13, 2006 at 01:08:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well (0+ / 0-)

            The problem is that these districts basically help Republicans. In the process it makes it harder for the Democrats to win the House. In theory that makes it harder for politicans to take minority interests more seriously. On top of that it kind of creats an aparthied-like system where minorities are thrown into two or three Congressoinal districts.

      •  Disagree (0+ / 0-)

        (probably the first time). You are very good on election predictions and political geography, and can easily count - how many districts Democrats won and how many lost after introduction of this notion. In my opinion - it's one of the worst political ideas of last 20 years..

  •  Like I said at MyDD (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The next step for this endeavor is to figure out how to retain the candidates that are more than placesavers and how to recruit better ones for the next round in '08.

  •  Great job, BENAWU (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The previous version of the site was an Excel file, and was a nightmare to update. The revamped version allowed more people to get in there and do the work, and you certainly stepped up and did the job. You deserve the credit for keeping this going. I hardly even mind never getting credit for my role in the site. I was happy to rework the 50 State site for you to update.

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