So how bad are Democratic House members doing this election? According to the National Journal, pretty bad. They count 60 seats among the most competitive and another 19 very close. Of those 79 House seats in play, 72 are currently held by Democrats.
As for where Democrats are spending their money, six of the seven districts the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is spending money on went for Obama by more that 54%. They say that they’re trying to “nail down” relatively easy seats before moving on to harder ones, but that makes absolutely no sense; if you really want to help the marginal seats, you start helping them out first, because they need the most work. No, this smacks of triage, and suggests that the DCCC considers most districts below that line as good as gone.
There are a number of interesting races and names that should be familiar to regular BattleSwarm readers, either from being in Texas or having been mentioned here before:
- Chet Edwards (TX 17) comes in at #7. (I would say that Edwards is the last remnant of the old Texas Blue Dogs, but I didn’t know that Henry Cueller (TX-28) was an actual member of the Blue Dog Collation, which Edwards is not.) Edwards voted against ObamaCare and Cap-and-Trade, but did vote for the Stimulus and the TARP bank bailout. District is heavily Republican; went for Bush by 68% in 2000, 70% in 2004, and 67% for McCain. His opponent is Bill Flores.
- Suzanne Kosmas (FL 24) comes in at #9 on the list. You may remember this BattleSwarm piece on her back when she was a wavering no vote on ObamaCare; as I predicted, she was easier to flip to a Yes vote that Rep. Jason Altmire (PA 4), who I also profiled, and who stuck to his no vote. Which goes a long way toward explaining why Kosmas is likely to lose her seat, while Altmire isn’t on the list of endangered Democrats. Go figure. She also voted for the Stimulus and Cap-and-Trade. (Kosmos was first elected in 2008, so she didn’t vote on TARP.) District went for Bush in 2000 by 53%, Bush in 2004 by 55%, and McCain by 52%. Her opponent is Sandy Adams.
- Indiana’s open 8th congressional district, held by Brad Ellsworth, who is leaving for a Senate run (which polls show he’s currently losing by 17 points), comes in at #11. The contest is between Democrat Trent Van Haaften and Republican Larry Bucshon. Ellsworth was of the theoretically Pro-Life members of the Bart Stupak bloc that rolled over for Nancy Pelosi on ObamaCare. District went for Bush by 57% in 2000, 62% in 2004, and for McCain by 51%.
- Paul Kanjorski (PA 11) comes in at #15. Another Stupak bloc turncoat. Voted for TARP. Voted in favor of the Stimulus, but evidently decided oversight was so unimportant that he that he only attended three of the ten Pennsylvania Stimulus Oversight Board meetings. Has a reputation as a big spender: “Asking Paul Kanjorski to make sure our tax dollars are being spent wisely is like asking John Dillinger to keep an eye on the bank safe.” (IBID). Yesterday’s LinkSwarm mentioned how he earmarked $10 million for a business run by his own family. District went 54% for Gore, 53% for Kerry, and 57% for Obama. His opponent is Lou Barletta.
- Steve Driehaus (OH 1) comes in at #16. Another Stupak-blocer who rolled over to let Nancy Pelosi rub his furry belly. In addition to ObamaCare, he voted for the Stimulus and Cap-and-Trade. (He was elected in 2008, and so didn’t vote on TARP.) District went 51% for Bush in both 2000 and 2004, but only 44% for McCain. His opponent is Steve Chabot, who held the seat for 12 years before Driehaus edged him 52%-48% in the Obama wave of 2008.
- Kathy Dahlkemper (PA 3) comes in at #20. Yet another turncoat Supak-blocer Pelosi flipped for ObamaCare. Also voted for the Stimulus but against Cap-and-Trade. Wasn’t in Congress when TARP was voted on. District voted 51% for Bush in 2000 and 53% in 2004, and McCain edged Obama by a mere 20 votes in 2008. Her opponent is Mike Kelly.
- Speaking of Stupak, Michigan’s open 1st congressional district comes in at #35. Realizing that his betrayal of his Pro-Life position to pass ObamaCare made him electoral toast, Stupak declined to run for reelection, leaving the battle to Democrat Gary McDowell and Republican doctor Dan Benishek. District went for Bush by 52% in 2000 and 53% in 2004, but 50% for Obama.
- Ciro Rodriguez (TX-23) is off the list of top 60 races, but shows up in the “Knocking on the Door” section. Another Stupak bloc turncoat. In addition to ObammaCare, he voted for the Stimulus, but against Cap-and-trade and TARP. His district went for Bush by 54% in 200 and 57% in 2004, but for Obama by 51%. His opponent is Francisco “Quico” Canseco. Rodriguez came to national attention recently thanks to his defensive tone when constituents asked him to defend his vote on ObamaCare:
Time permitting, I’ll try to do additional posts on each of those races, plus a few others (including some longer shots that just might pay off in a tidal wave year). But if you’re looking for places your campaign contributions might be the most effective at unseating Democrats, the challengers linked to above are certainly worthy of your consideration.
- A list of TARP votes.
- A list of Stimulus votes.
- A list of Cap-and-Trade votes.
- A list of ObamaCare votes.
- Congressional Districts represented by a Democrat who voted for McCain in 2008.
- Open Congress Wiki List of Representatives.
- Real Clear Politics page for competitive House races.
Tags: abortion, Bill Flores, Cap-and-Trade, Chet Edwards, Ciro Rodriguez, Democrats, Elections, Francisco "Quico" Canseco, Henry Cueller, Jason Altmire, Kathy Dahlkemper, Larry Bucshon, Lou Barletta, Mike Kelly, Nancy Pelosi, ObamaCare, Paul Kanjorski, Republicans, Sandy Adams, Steve Driehaus, Stimulus, Suzanne Kosmas, TARP, Texas