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Robert Novak wrote yesterday that Republicans in Washington last week were urged to take time off of work to raise money for seven R incumbents in need of money.  The solicitation stated that all seven "have a real need for additional resources in the last couple of months before the election."  

Who are these R's who, according to the Repubs, at risk and in need of money?  Here are those R's and our Dem challengers:

(OH-01) Chabot (R)        Cranley (D)
(VA-02) Drake (R)        Kellam (D)
(NE-01) Fortenberry (R)        Moul (D)
(AZ-05) Hayworth (R)        Mitchell (D)
(CO-04) Musgrave (R)        Paccione (D)
(NY-20) Sweeney (R)        Gillibrand (D)
(PA-07) Weldon (R)        Sestak (D)

See some good news?  And a surprise?  More below.

With one exception, these seats are rated almost universally as "lean republican."  Although some are competitive, as a whole, they are our second or even third tier fights.  The R's are clearly fighting to beef up their defenses of seats that are more Repub than most of the close fights.  For example, Chris Bowers rates OH-01 as a "toss up," rates AZ-05, CO-04, PA-07, VA-02 as "toss-up-lean Rep," and rates NY-20 as "lean Rep."  The Cook Political Report rates OH-01 and VA-02 as "toss-up," AZ-05, NY-20, and PA-07 as "lean Rep," and rates CO-04 as "likely Rep."  Sabato and the Hotline are similar.  

Thus, the Rep's are showing concern, seven weeks before the election, for seats not even ranked in their 15 most endangered.  

Now the kicker:  Where did NE-01 come from?  Neither Bowers, Sabato, Cook, or the Hotline rank this seat anywhere.  Is it a sleeper?  As of 6/30/06, Dem Moul has almost as much money as incumbent Rep Fortenberry.  (490,000 to 369,000).  A couple of weeks ago, Dick Cheney came to the district to raise money for Fortenberry.
Can we even take the fight to an unranked Nebraska district?     You bet!

You know, even if we do not ultimately win all of these races, forcing the R's to fight for them has helped our candidates lots of other top races.  Let's keep up the pressure.  Please contribute, or if you can, volunteer for these campaigns.    

Originally posted to hilltopper on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 10:40 AM PDT.

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