Roundup of news on U.S. House races

Congratulations to Judy Chu, the newly elected member of Congress from California's 32nd district. On Tuesday Chu easily defeated Republican Betty Chu by 61.7 percent to 33.1 percent in this strongly Democratic district. She will replace Hilda Solis, who left Congress to become Barack Obama's secretary of labor.

Over at Swing State Project, James L. posted a big chart containing second quarter fundraising and cash-on-hand numbers for most U.S. House incumbents and major challengers. Click over to read about some names and numbers that jumped out for him. Among the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's 41 Frontline incumbents, Jim Hines (CT-04) raised the most money last quarter, and Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) raised the least.

James L.'s overall conclusion:

I'm struck by the lackluster sums from many highly-touted candidates on both sides of the aisle. For the Dems, Michael Bond (IL-10), Charlie Justice (FL-10), Paula Flowers (TN-03), and Bill Hedrick (CA-44) in particular will need to step up their game. But many GOP candidates had pretty underwhelming quarters, too: Charles Djou (HI-01), Sid Leiken (OR-04), Jon Barela (NM-01) and Frank Guinta (NH-01) were all well south of $100K this quarter. (If you can't out-raise Carol Shea-Porter, something is wrong with you.) No doubt the crappy economy is tightening the cash flow for many candidates right now, but these candidates will have to start finding the money sooner rather than later.

In other House fundraising news, fans of Congressman Tom Perriello (VA-05) will be pleased to know that Republican Virgil Goode, whom Perriello defeated last November, raised just $154 during the second quarter. That's one hundred and fifty-four dollars. Sounds to me like Goode isn't eager for a rematch, although he does still have around $139,000 cash on hand from last year's campaign. Perriello raised about $213,000 during the second quarter and has about $381,000 on hand.

In other bad news for Republicans hoping to make gains in the House next year, incumbent Jim Gerlach (PA-06) announced plans to run for governor of Pennsylvania, forcing the GOP to defend his seat in the Philadelphia suburbs. Also, Congressman Mark Kirk (IL-10) appears likely to run for Barack Obama's old Senate seat in 2010 instead of for re-election to his House seat. Taniel noted at Campaign Diaries,

IL-10 and PA-06 are two of only six districts that voted for John Kerry in 2004 but that are still represented by Republicans. Both men somehow survived the blue waves of the past two cycles but their situation was simply not tenable and it is not surprising seeing either of them flee their district.

If Mike Castle decides to run for Joe Biden's old Senate seat in Delaware, Republicans will also have to defend the at-large House seat Castle has held for a long time. That seat has the second-highest Democratic voting performance of all Republican-held House districts (after LA-02). Incidentally, why do journalists let Republicans like Castle take credit for stimulus spending they voted against?

With the economy likely to get worse before it gets better, Democrats could still be in for a rough election cycle next year. However, every tough district Republicans have to defend will siphon money away from districts the GOP is trying to pick up.

Tags: 2010 elections, ca-32, Congress, CT-04, Fundraising, House, IL-10, Jim Gerlach, judy chu, Mark Kirk, NH-01, pa-06, VA-05 (all tags)



The key for Dems is retirements/open seats

If Democrats can keep their own open seats in tough districts to almost nothing, they can probably hold their losses to single digits.  For instance, if Charlie Melancon decides to stay in LA-03, he would likely win fairly easily, but without him, we have little chance of holding the seat.  

by Kent 2009-07-16 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Roundup of news on U.S. House races

Freshman Gary Peters (MI-09) has raised nearly 1M and no strong GOP challenger has emerged as yet.  This seat was in Republican hands for well over 50 years and it will be very nice to hold onto.

by Steve M 2009-07-16 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Roundup of news on U.S. House races

I haven't heard anything about potential challengers to BVrad Ellsworth (IN-8), either. In 1994, I think there were fie Republicans running for the right to take on Frank McLoskey (John Hostettler's first election). There was already one GOP hopeful (Jeff Devine) campaigning this time in 1993.

by spirowasright 2009-07-16 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Roundup of news on U.S. House races

Brian Davis is repeating his run against Tim Walz (MN-01) this cycle.  Hopefully the NRCC will be stupid enough to target Tim again.

Tarryl Clark is running against Bachman in MN-06.  Clark is going to be a strong contender.  I forsee Bachman going down.

by lojasmo 2009-07-16 01:47PM | 0 recs
Am I the Only One Who Thinks Michele Bachmann...

... is really Glenn Beck in drag? Why else would she have such difficulty spelling her own name?

Off topic I know, but just curious.

by RecoveringRepublican 2009-07-16 03:44PM | 0 recs


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