DCCC Alters Strategy
by Chris Bowers, Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 06:16:10 AM EST
The DCCC declined to confirm the names on the list, but numerous sources throughout the caucus, including aides for lawmakers who have been told of their Frontline status, said that Reps. Melissa Bean (Ill.), Leonard Boswell (Iowa), Chet Edwards (Texas), Stephanie Herseth (S.D.), Brian Higgins (N.Y.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Charlie Melancon (La.), Dennis Moore (Kan.), and John Salazar (Colo.) were informed last week that they will receive direct donations from their fellow incumbents, in addition to other campaign assistance.
"The list is not final," said Greg Speed, spokesman for the DCCC.
This year's shortened list could still grow by two or three lawmakers, several caucus sources said, pending redistricting in Georgia, where two marginal Democrats -- freshman Rep. John Barrow and second-term Rep. Jim Marshall -- will likely see their districts become more Republican.(...)
Emanuel's new formula places a greater emphasis on the generic Democratic percentage, instead of the incumbent's numbers, and therefore punishes lawmakers who underperform in their districts.
"The idea is you don't reward members for running bad campaigns. You look at how members are doing compared to other Democrats," said another senior Democratic aide with direct knowledge of Emanuel's thinking.I welcome this change. Since the 2004 election, my preferred strategy has been that the DCCC heavily target ($750K plus) a smaller number of Democratic and Republican held districts (18 or less), and provide seed money (around $50K) to a far greater amount of Republican held seats (80 or more). While is would reduce our chances of taking back the House before 2012, I believe this would both provide Democrats both with a greater chance of gaining seats in any single election, and with a long-term presence in a far greater amount of districts so that a more serious challenge can be mounted in a wider variety of districts sometime in the future. After all, these days it typically takes at least two cycles to defeat all but the most vulnerable incumbents, and so it is on the long term that we need to place our focus.
Another good way of measuring the success of any new strategy is by how much the Republican Noise Machine disapproves of it:Republicans expressed shock that Democrats had trimmed their list of vulnerable members.
"Based on the fact that they've lost seats in the last two cycles, I would think that Democrats would try and protect as many incumbents as possible," said Carl Forti, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.Just like with Dean, I love it when we disobey the advice given to us by Republicans. It is also time that we fight fire with fire and redistrict in Illinois, New Jersey and New Mexico in response to Republican actions in Georgia and Texas.