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.

There's more...

PA-06; Gerlach and Republicans Desperate

Gerlach and the NRCC are getting more and more desperate in their attempt to smear Lois Murphy.  After running a TV ad criticizing Murphy for being against tax cuts she has clearly supported (see http://www.thehill.com/thehill/export/Th eHill/News/Campaign/092106_82.html), they are also trying to accuse her of being against legislation that she couldn't have voted against since she isn't in Congress.

Today as reported in the Philly Inquirer, Comcast has pulled an NRCC ad saying Murphy was against supplying body armor to our troops in Iraq (see http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/ local/states/pennsylvania/counties/montg omery_county/15664014.htm).  Of course, Murphy was against the particular bill identified in the NRCC ad because a provision for oil drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge was attached.  In fact, she has come out for providing better body armor to troops and has criticized Gerlach for voting to drill in the Refuge.

The NRCC spent (wasted) $63,000 for advertising through Saturday  and now will probably have to dig up some more lies to fill the time.  If they keep blaming Murphy as if she was already in Congress, their lies might become a reality.

There's more...

Unions back key House GOP candidates

A Hillpiece today goes beyond anecdote and innuendo under hed Dem angst as unions split money.

In the lefty sphere, labor is the biggest dog that didn't bark in the night. Compared to Mike McCurry, say, it's got pitifully small space here in the last few months that I've been paying attention.

One reason (I'll put it no higher than that) may be the ambiguous relationship between labor and the Dems today. (It could also have to do with the AFL-CIO/CtW split, the bitter Sweeney/Stern rivalry, the persistance of labor rackeetering, or any number of other things.)

There's more...

PA-06: Murphy outraises Gerlach

Cross-posted at dailykos:

The FEC contribution numbers are in for Q1 and, looking at the Lois Murphy (D) vs. Jim Gerlach (R) in Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District, things are looking very encouraging.  To remind you, this race against the Republican incumbent is usually listed among the top 10 likely turnovers in the House for 2006.  Gerlach is running for a third term.  In 2004, Murphy coming practically from nowhere nearly beat him, losing 49-51%.  If the fundraising figures are any indication, November could be the year.

There's more...

PA Democratic Primaries May 16 Offer Rich Opportunities

Pennsylvania has 19 congressional seats and a U.S. Senate seat in the November election, making it one of the most important battle grounds in the country. Rick Santorum, one of the most narrow-minded, bigoted, extreme right-wing and corrupt of anyone in the entire Congress, is widely thought to be the incumbent senator with the least chance for survival. Currently among the 19 House members 11 are Republicans, all of the rubber-stamp variety. Not a single one ever stands up against the extremist Bush-DeLay-Boehner agenda. Several of these rubber-stamp Republicans are thought to be in as much jeopardy from the voters as is Santorum, particularly Jim Gerlach (PA-06), Curt Weldon (PA-07), and Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08) and possibly Phil English (PA-03).

There's more...

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