DCCC Announces Frontline Program to Protect Dem Incumbents

Over at The Stakeholder, the official blog of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the DCCC's internet guru Brandon English has posted the 29 Democratic Representatives selected for the Frontline program. According to the release, "The Frontline Program is a partnership between the DCCC and Members which lays the ground work for the 2008 cycle by supporting and expanding their fundraising and outreach operations. This competitive program requires members to meet aggressive fundraising goals, accelerate volunteer and recruitment efforts, and increase on-line networking." In other words, Frontline, which is chaired by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, aims to help potentially endangered Democratic incumbents in their quest for reelect.

Below, I have broken down the list into freshmen and non-freshmen. Additionally, I have also listed the Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI) of each of the competitive district, a number that measures, on average, how much more Democratic or Republican a particular district votes than the nation as a whole in presidential elections.

Non-FreshmenFreshmen
DistrictRepresentativePVIDistrictRepresentativePVI
GA-08MarshallR+8AZ-05MitchellR+4
GA-12BarrowD+2AZ-08GiffordsR+1
IA-03BoswellD+1CA-11McNerneyR+4
IL-08BeanR+5CT-02CourtneyD+8
IN-09Hill*R+7CT-05C. MurphyD+4
TX-17EdwardsR+18FL-16MahoneyR+2
TX-22Lampson*R+15FL-22KleinD+4
TX-23Rodriguez*R+4IN-02DonnellyR+4
IN-08EllsworthR+9
KY-03YarmuthD+2
MN-01WalzR+1
NC-11ShulerR+7
NH-02HodesD+3
NY-19HallR+1
NY-20GillibrandR+3
NY-24ArcuriR+1
OH-18SpaceR+6
PA-04AltmireR+3
PA-08P. MurphyD+3
PA-10CarneyR+8
WI-08KagenR+4
* - Denotes someone elected in 2006 who had served previously
in the House but not during the 109th Congress.

Looking through the list, two omissions jumped out at me: Carol Shea-Porter in New Hampshire and Nancy Boyda in Kansas, both of whom ran unexpectedly strong campaigns in 2006 and defeated entrenched Republican incumbents in districts that aren't always so easy for Democrats. So I sent a query to the DCCC regarding why they were not included. Here is the response I received from the DCCC through a spokesman:

Representatives Boyda and Shea-Porter ran strong, independent grassroots campaigns. Should the Republicans target them with misleading or baseless attacks we stand ready to help.

Outside of this, it looks like a pretty solid list that should help put House Democrats in the position to retain control over the chamber through at least the 111th Congress. What are your thoughts? Anyone you think should have been placed on the list? Someone on the list that you don't think merits being or needs to be included?

Update [2007-2-15 15:41:14 by Jonathan Singer]:ActBlue has set up a fundraising page for those in the Frontline program, for those interested in helping out these key Democratic members of the House...

Update [2007-2-15 16:2:2 by Jonathan Singer]: The DCCC has just put up their own fundraising page, too, for those interested.

Tags: dccc, Frontline, House 2008 (all tags)

Comments

30 Comments

Re: DCCC Announces Frontline Program to Protect De

Interesting to see the freshman D's from CT already on that list. Perhaps the DCCC is starting there early to stave off re-matches?

And if they are planning on looking past Boyda and Shea-Porter then they can kiss my ass. Boyda, especially, will need every bit of help we can give her.

by faithfull 2007-02-15 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Announces Frontline Program to Protect De

I remember Boyda atleast saying something to the effect of "I don't want the national party's money or their ideas.  I took them both the first time I ran and got killed."  Wouldn't surprise me if she turned them down point blank.

by HSTruman 2007-02-15 11:39AM | 0 recs
the IA-03 problem

Boswell performed much better than Kerry in 2004, but seriously underperformed this past election. It should not have been that close (I think he won 52-47) given how much the Democrats kicked ass in Iowa, with Culver winning the governor's race 54-44.

A lot of progressives don't like Boswell because he votes for terrible things like the energy bill, repealing the estate tax, and torture. They are unwilling to work for him, give him money, and in some cases leave that line on the ballot blank rather than voting for him.

In an ideal world we'd get a better Democrat for that seat. I don't expect a strong primary challenge, though, because IA is set to lose a district after the 2010 census. Boswell may opt to retire at that time.

by desmoinesdem 2007-02-15 10:25AM | 0 recs
Frontline Dems ActBlue Page

Here at ActBlue we've just created a special 2008 Frontline Democrats Fundraising page as part of this announcement. (Jonathan feel free to add this to your post,  :)

by KTatActBlue 2007-02-15 10:36AM | 0 recs
Carol Shea-Porter

Carol did indeed run a strong grassroots campaign.  It was completely off the radar, no one thought she stood a chance until the week before the elections when she, for the first time,l was statistically tied with Jeb Bradley.  

Carol won with $200k, to Jeb's 1 Million+.  She raised it all in small donor checks, I believe her largest donation was $200.

I would not be surprised if Carol Shea-Porter turned down an offer for help from the DCCC, she seems to be determined not to run a big money campaign.

by nhcollegedem 2007-02-15 10:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Carol Shea-Porter

I hope so.  I still can't help think that the DCCC denied her love in 2006, and is using their own stupidity as an excuse to deny her love again in 2008.

NH-1 is the more Republican of New Hampshire's districts, and she'll be in a tough rematch vs. an opponent she beat by under 2%.  I'll be really pissed off if she loses.

By the way, as a resident of New Hampshire, do you think your state has permanently toggled to Democratic (like VT, which was red until the mid-late 80s, did), or was 2006 a fluke?

by Go Vegetarian 2007-02-15 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Carol Shea-Porter

It depends.

New Hampshire has been on a trend towards blueness over the last two decades; more and more New Hampshireites have registered as Democrats, and there are now about as many registered Democrats as Republicans.

Will NH stay blue in 2008 and beyond?  We're not sure.  Much depends on how the new Democratic Majority in Concord deals with the numerous issues facing the state.  In particular, Education Funding will be a critical issue in this session of the legislature.

Lets hope John Lynch shows good leadership, and keeps the Democratic Party brand strong.

by nhcollegedem 2007-02-15 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Announces Frontline Program

This is just an organizational comment, but I think that that chart you posted here would be more helpful if you arranged the candidates by the PVI, ie from "easiest PVI district" to "toughest PVI district". An alphabetical arrangement by state is nice and all and SEEMS "organized", but in this instance it doesn't really add anything toward what this data was compiled for, as it doesn't really prioritize in an easily accessible way who in the list is most in danger, based on the PVI of their district(and who needs the most help). Sure, you can comb through the list and find this yourself given some time and effort, but a PVI ranked list would make that sort of analysis much more easy to determine at a glance.

by AmericanJedi 2007-02-15 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Announces Frontline Program
I hear you. Unfortunately at this point it would take some serious work to redo the chart -- these things are pretty unwieldy in HTML. There may be a way to do them more efficiently or such that you can change them more easily, but I actually don't know how to.
by Jonathan Singer 2007-02-15 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Announces Frontline Program

If you use IE you can simply highlight the table, then paste it directly into Excel, then Data->Sort.  It can be re-exported (File->Save As) then as HTML.  I just did this in under 2 minutes--the hardest part was that R+15 comes between R+1 and R+2 by the sort (which was pretty easy to fix.)

by Professor Foland 2007-02-15 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Loesback and Shea-Porter

The DCCC gave money to 28 of the 30 Democrats to take seats from Republicans.  The two exceptions, Carol Shea-Porter and David Loesback are not on this list either.  Meanwhile, they fund Boswell (not a dependable vote) to the tune of $800 K in 2006 and probably a million in 2008.  Am I missing something here?  

FWIW, the two smallest spenders among the thirty were the aforementioned Carol Shea-Porter and David Loesback.  Nancy Boyda was the other "cheap date" winning with under a million spent including a nice chunk from the DCCC down the stretch.

Chet Edwards cruised in 2006 with 58% of the vote.

by David Kowalski 2007-02-15 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Loesback and Shea-Porter

Hm, didn't ask about Loebsack. I'd imagine the reasoning behind his omission would be that his district is so Democratic that the GOP will not challenge him next year (they were lucky to be able to hold it with a moderate Republican for as long as they did), but that's just speculation. He also might have turned them down, which does happen from time to time, but again that's only speculation, too.

by Jonathan Singer 2007-02-15 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Loesback and Shea-Porter

My guess is that Carol Shea Porter probably turned down money from DCCC so she can represent her constituents without any ties as best she can. That is one of her goals. If you have a real message, you don't have to spend millions. People are suspicious of a lot of money in NH. That is one of our complaints of Hillary Clinton. Everyone wonders what she has to do, to get so much money in her coffers.

by Money Guy 2007-02-15 05:18PM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC

Is Carol Shea Porter not included because she turned down the help? This is surprising, because I just got an invite to a $250 fundraiser, which means she is intending to do some bigger, early fundraising this time. The Republicans are going to come after her with all guns blazing this time, so I hope she is just saying no to the DCCC, but not saying no to raising money!

by nascardem 2007-02-15 11:06AM | 0 recs
Frontline Program to Protect Dem Incumbents

Months ago when we were asking who the next DCCC chair should be, I suggested a co-chairmanship, with one person responsible for endangered incumbents, and one in charge of challenger campaigns.

I thought Van Hollen and Wasserman-Shulz would be the two perfect people.  Looks like my wish came true.

by Vox Populi 2007-02-15 11:09AM | 0 recs
Interesting

I wonder if there is some institutionalism going on here. The DCCC didn't help Boyda and Shea-Porter much last time, and were probably as surprised as any of us when they won. Because those races were barely on the radar, these two Congresswomen probably were not handpicked by the DCCC. So I wonder if that's creating a bias against them at the DCCC and denying them the funds they need. Although I can also buy the response you got at face value, that they did pretty well on their own the first time around.

by democrattotheend 2007-02-15 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Announces

First, AZ-05 and -08, next up: AZ-01.

Oh, and check this out:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17150019/

by jallen 2007-02-15 11:28AM | 0 recs
Only 3 women?

Seriously, out of all those incumbents that they're most worried about, only three are women?

And Nancy Boyda and Carol Shea-Porter are the most glaring omissions to the list?

by banana republican 2007-02-15 11:44AM | 0 recs
If Water Is Wet

Here is the response I received from the DCCC through a spokesman:

       Representatives Boyda and Shea-Porter ran strong, independent grassroots campaigns. Should the Republicans target them with misleading or baseless attacks we stand ready to help.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-02-15 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Announces Frontline Program to

Kagen is already a dead democrat the people in his district are already pissed off with him

by orin76 2007-02-15 01:26PM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Announces Frontline Program to Protect De

Oh yes Orin... one mistake will doom him for the next two years.

by Nreindl 2007-02-15 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Announces Frontline Program to Protect De

It's a district where a democrat can't make a mistake and survive. The Last Democrat to hold the district Jay Johnson made one mistake and became a one-term congressman.

by orin76 2007-02-15 02:06PM | 0 recs
Chris Carney PA - Disclosure

Posting, I believe it's important to let people know that Chris Carney PA is a pro-war Democrat, he worked with FEITH, and had Richard Perle give him a fundraiser -- check it out!

There is a new pro-war congressman in town...
http://globalparadigms.blogspot.com/2006 _11_28_globalparadigms_archive.html

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2007-02-15 01:39PM | 0 recs
Well, he hasn't yet choked anyone

that I know of.

So I still like him better than Don Sherwood.

by brownsox 2007-02-15 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, he hasn't yet choked anyone

No just helped cook intelligence that's killed oh about 160,000 Iraqi's...

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2007-02-15 08:50PM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Announces Frontline Program

Rumor has it that John Sweeney is thinking about challenging Kirsten Gillibrand again.

He'll have competition before he can get to her. Lots of Republicans are expressing interest. Leading contender is multi-millionaire Sandy Treadwell, former chair of the NYS republican party.

There are several others. It'll be interesting to watch.

by Andrew C White 2007-02-15 03:12PM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Announces Frontline Program to Protect De

I hope TX-17 and TX-22 are considered places to bleed Republicans of cash rather than places to seriously hold onto.

Given that incumbents traditionally pick up about 8 points just for being the incumbent, all the others look very holdable.

by Professor Foland 2007-02-15 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: DCCC Announces Frontline Program to Protect De

Why wouldn't we hold TX-17? Edwards beat the DeLaymander in 2004 when Bush was atop the ticket (the only targeted Dem to do so, unless you count Doggett), and he trounced his opponent in 2006.

It's a GOP district as soon as Edwards hangs it up, but for now, it's very winnable.

by brownsox 2007-02-15 04:22PM | 0 recs
Boyda

I find Boyda's tactics interesting if not flat out hypocritical. She has tried hard to convince the media that her campaigns have been "local" and "without help from the national party or DC money." Thus her statements wishing to be left out of the Frontline program. She can't have it both ways. The DCCC spent almost a million dollars in her race in 2006, yet she and her allies still claim she ran a local campaign that was "underfunded." To top it off, the word on the grapevine is that she's hired a $5,000 a month fund raiser in DC because she feels she needs to raise at least $1 million in PAC dollars for her 2008 race. If nothing else, Boyda is all over the map and KS-2 is going to be one heck of a race to watch.

by rhannay 2007-02-16 02:10AM | 0 recs
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Non-FreshmenFreshmen
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TX-17EdwardsR+18IN-08EllsworthR+9
TX-22Lampson*R+15PA-10CarneyR+8
GA-08MarshallR+8NC-11ShulerR+7
IN-09Hill*R+7OH-18SpaceR+6
IL-08BeanR+5AZ-05MitchellR+4
TX-23Rodriguez*R+4CA-11McNerneyR+4
IA-03BoswellD+1IN-02DonnellyR+4
GA-12BarrowD+2WI-08KagenR+4
NY-20GillibrandR+3
PA-04AltmireR+3
FL-16MahoneyR+2
AZ-08GiffordsR+1
MN-01WalzR+1
NY-19HallR+1
NY-24ArcuriR+1
KY-03YarmuthD+2
NH-02HodesD+3
PA-08P. MurphyD+3
CT-05C. MurphyD+4
FL-22KleinD+4
CT-02CourtneyD+8

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by marcel 2007-02-16 09:13AM | 0 recs

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