40 House Longshots
by David Kowalski, Tue Aug 29, 2006 at 09:34:34 PM EDT
These are races that Chris Bowers did not include. I can give at least some reason for hope for these races. If this turns out to be another 1974 or 1994, Democrats will actually win some of these seats as ridiculous as it may sound now. So here they are, the Not Ready For Prime Time Players:
NH-1 Bradley Bush got only 50.7% here but Bradley got 63%. Several strong candidates are running for the Democrats but this is a primary situation. NH-1 has made some of the national lists.
NJ-7 Garrett Scott Garrett is a real wingnut. He ran 1 pt. behind Bush at 58%, down from 60% when this was an open seat in 2002. This is a Republican seat but a moderate seat with most of the district located in the affluent northern part of Bergen County. The Club For Growth ran off the long-term moderate Republican Marge Roukema by running two ferocious primary challenges. Garrett has the most extreme voting record in the tri-state area and if the election is about Garrett he should be gone.
NY-26 Reynolds Lots of cash but little attention. Reynolds got 56% in 2004 just 1% above Bush. As head of the RCCC, Reynolds will apparently have other things on his mind.
MI-7 Open Joe Schwarz's primary loss to the CFG candidate gives democrats a shot in a 54% Bush district. The primary split was 53-47, giving Dems lots of encouragement.
MI-9 Knollenberg Nancy Skinner trails by 4 ion a 50-50 district.
MI-9 McCotter 52% Bush. McCotter got 57%, the weakest showing among Michigan Republicans. Talk show host Tony Trupiano has not been able to turn this story into much cash for the Democrats, however.
MI-8 Rogers 53% Bush but Rogers scored 61%. In this year, the district probably leans Democratic.
WA-5 McMorris Frosh Republican in a Democratic year running against a spirited challenger in PhD rancher Peter Goldmark. This is Tom Foley's old district so a comeback would be sweet indeed for Washington state Democrats.
CA-26 Dreier Has $3 million warchest vs. zip for his opponent. Had the money in the same match last time and held on for a 53.6% win, 1.5% below Bush. In a hurricane year, Democratic winds blow Dreier down.
CA-4 Doolittle Scandal. Charlie Brown's supporters have made the case already.
CA-41 Lewis Scandal!! If anyone deserves to be shipped home, it is Lewis. The man was supposed to supervise Duke Cunningham but instead is mired in the same scandal with the same contractors. Still, Lewis got 83% in 2004 in a 65% district. Pray for an indictment?
FL-10 Young Been there for 36 years but this is a 51-49 district. If it truly is time for a change, Young is an obvious symbol. Personally cleaner than a hounds tooth but Young was the Dukester's sub-committee chair. Maybe in his 70s the venerable Young is falling asleep at the wheel.
WV-2 Capito Ran at 57%, just half a point ahead of Bush so she doesn't appear to run ahead of the tide. Daughter of legendary former Governor (for both parties in separate terms) and long-recovering alcoholic Arch Moore. Arch was an entertaining rascal who told stories on the Jack Paar show. His daughter, while solid, appears more bland (but who isn't).
ARK-3 Boozman At 59%, John Boozman ran 3% behind Bush in his district. Nobody's watching, either. That would make a Woody Anderson upset possible but unlikely. The top of the Republican ticket is struggling in Arkansas as well.
MI-6 Upton Only if you like the district which Bush carried with 52.8%. Upton cruised with 65%.
MN-2 Kline Kline got 56.4%, 2.5% ahead of Bush. FBI truth teller Colleen Rowley is running here (and got original bad marks but seems to be improving).
MN-3 Ramstad 51% Bush but Ramstad has positioned himself as a moderate. Several candidates are listed but QWendy Wilde is the favorite.
VA-10 Wolf Judy Feder is running a real campaign in a 55% Bush district. Maybe macaca-gate will bring down some other Republicans.
NY-3 King Making some lists because Bush drew just 51.7% here. KIng ran away with it garnering 63%. This is, admittedly, a terrible year for Republicans and King, as the committee chair for Homeland Security, failed to protect local interests. Dave Mejias is a strong candidate but a late entrant.
NY-13 Fossella Bush drew 54.6% and Fossella 59% in this NY City district based largely on Staten Island. In a district chock-a-block with NYC police and fire personnel, Bush has ignored his promises repeatedly and so had Mayor Bloomberg. Stephen Harrison is making little impact here. Best chance is to frame it as an up-or-down vote on Bush.
PA-15 Dent Bush got 49.7% here and freshman Republican Charlie Dent bettered him with 58.6%. The Lehigh Valley has seen its factories shut down (Bethlehem Steel) and name-brand companies be taken over by foreigners (Mack Truck). Charles Dertinger needed to go the write-in route to qualify but he's on the ballot and maybe his Rocky story will appeal.
PA-4 Hart Melissa outran Bush 63.1-54.5 but lots of area ads for Democrats may spill over and help Jason Altmire.
NJ-2 LoBiondo Kerry got 49% here but all the interest groups have lined up behind Republican congressman Frank LoBiondo. Maybe that's because LoBiondo polled a sturdy 65%. Viola Thomas Hughes has a promising district but a long climb is needed to pull even with LoBiondo.
VA-5 Goode Virgil Goode polled 63.7% last time in a district George Bush took with 55.9%. Al Weed is making a repeat run and is touring energetically.
Neb-1 Fortenberry The GOP frosh polled 54.9% in an open seat race and faces Lt-Gov Maxine Moul. OTOH, Bush drew 62.9% here. It is Nebraska. Moul will benefit from having Ben Nelson heading the Democratic ticket.
CO-6 Tancredo Tom Tancredo may have national dreams stirring in his head but he polled just 59.5% last time and is running into a Democratic buzzsaw in Bill Winter.
KS-2 Ryun Ex-miler Jim was held to 56%, three points behind Bush in this district. Kansas Republicans are splintering with prominent moderates fleeing to the Democrats. Kathleen Sebellius is a strong favorite to repeat as Governor and GOP anti-evolution candidates are finding open opposition not only from Democrats but from Republicans sworn to defeat them. Nancy Boyda makes a repeat run with lower expectations but a great environment (at least for a Kansas Democrat).
IL-11 Weller Weller (58.7%) ran 5 points ahead of Bush (53.7%) but is becoming the issue. His wife is the daughter of an honest-to-God evil dictator and an official in a foreign political party. Strip away the bonus points and John avich has a chance to spring the upset.
OH-16 Regula Old Ralph is in a close district (53.8% Bush) facing a disaster at the head of his ticket (Blackwell down by 25 points). He ran lousy in the primary, too. Maybe Thomas Shaw can show him into retirement (he's in his 80s, isn't he). Uh, the downside, and it is considerable, is that Ralph got 66.6% against Jeff Seeman in 2004.
OH-12 Tiberi OK. 51.4% Bush. Tiberi shows no signs of aging and got a respectable 62% in 2004. Can Robert Shamansky convert the opportunity?
PA-3 English 53.1% Bush but 60% English. Steven Porter tries a re-match under more favorable terms and should benefit from the environment. Will it be enough?
FL-13 Open Katherine Harris got 55% here. Twice. Despite ample funding and universal name recognition. Now Katharine has brough her, ahem, "skills" to the state-wide level and a flock of candidates from each side are aiming for this seat.
GA-11 Gingrey Phil got only 57% the last time but the district has been redrawn for his benefit. The redrawn lines went 73% for Bush. Texas Republicans ran well behind Bush in redrawn areas but that may not be enough for Patrick Pillion to pull the upset. Pillion, btw, is a look-alike for Norm, the pudgy accountamt on Cheers. If he's as funny, he might draw attention.
FL-7 Mica Ran unopposed ina 56.8% Bush district in 2004. This is a textbook case for an upset. Soft district (at least semi-soft). No attention. Incumbent with dormant campaign skills. Maybe John Chagnon can pull the upset. PS- Other than the formula, nothing says Chagnon will, in fact, take down Mica.
TX-2 Ted Poe got 55% last time in one of the new districts. Bush got 63%. Gary Binderim has the slot for the Democrats.
Net dreams: Here are five longshots that the netroots will be rooting for.
IN-6 Barry Welsh Thanks for your communication, spirit, and inspiring grass roots and net roots campaign. This is a tough district and Mike Pence is a national power. That said, if good wishes count, Barry has a bushel basket full.
TX-21 John Courage got early seed money and has proceeded to haunt windbag Lamar Smith. Another bad district but Smith is an awful, if rich, candidate.
WI-5 Bryan Kennedy Nobody needs the loss more than Jim Sensenbrenner. He's prepared for disappointment, too. The substantial family fortune is in kleenex stock (grandpa invented kotex).
AK-At Large Don Young reigns as Transportation Committee chair despite living in a state with few roads. That's why he extorts bridges to nowhere and has this plan to link Juneau by road with the lower 48. One inefficient crook has already been sent packing from Alaska politics (Frank Murkowski). Maybe Young will join the list as Diane Benson sends the old spendthrift into a belated retirement.
TX-6 David Harris Harris has connected with the nets. More important, Joe Barton is an example of all that's wrong with congress. Chair of the Energy and Commerce committe, Barton has slaved faitfully for big oil and the interests of the oil bidness. Want $5 gas: Vote for Barton.NC-8 should be added. Polls show this is a competitive race (see comment below). The NC Democratic party is doing a good job of focusing on trade issues and that bites especially hard here. Republican Robin Hayes was the key vote opn passing CAFTA after vowing publicly to vote against it. Textile execs pushed the bill. Textile workers can push their own agenda by voting out Hayes.