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...

Downballot loose ends

The latest on downballot races:

CA-04: Charlie Brown trails by 709 votes.
MD-01: Kratovil up by 2K votes
VA-05: Periello up by 747 votes
WA-08: Burner down by 5300 votes--trails in King County now.
MN-Sen:  Franken down 239 votes

Mixed news, to be sure, but we'll +21 in the House.

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Immediate Help needed in VA-05; VOTER CAGING; keep our house gains up!

The closest contested election in the country right now is hinging on your help.

Right now, we're in the middle of doing final checks on the counts done last night for the race in VA-05. Sound familiar? The home of the xenophobic Virgil Goode. Currently, he's ahead by six votes... but the word is that all absentee ballots are in, and almost none of the provisional ballots cast have been counted yet. Granny Doc and I both reside in this district, and we can tell you- Virgil needs to GO! Already, Virgil is assembling a team of lawyers, ready to throw out as many "unlawful" provisional votes as he needs to remain in the lead.

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VA-05: Great new ad from Russ Feingold's ad team

Tom Perriello is one of my favorite congressional candidates in the country. He's got a amazing background, he's helped take down Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, was a major player in the peace and reconciliation process in Sierra Leone, helped found the online grassroots people-powered humanitarian movement and many other things. Now he's running against Virgil Goode, a proud bigot and one of the worst if not the worst member of Congress. And he's been running some great ads created by the best ad firm in the country (IMO) Eichenbaum & Associates

Here is another great ad he's running

And what's Goode running ads about? That Tom used to have a scary beard.

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Congressional Elections: Virginia

It is very important that we replace the current congress with some fresh ideas, new attitudes, and a willingness to work with President Obama in the new government in order to get the change we need for our country and our world.  That means targeting elected congress-critters who have been voting with the Bush administration, who are stopping the constructive process of government, and who are opposed by strong, progressive candidates who will serve the public well.

In most congressional elections, Virginia has very few choices to vote for by the general election.  In years past many neanderthals have run unopposed for re-election or only been challenged by fringe candidates without a prayer of winning.  This year (2008) is very, very different.  There are Democrats running for every congressional seat (which is a first I think, for many years).  Some are facing very difficult challenges; but several have a real shot this year because Americans are finally waking up to the lies of the modern Republican party.

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