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The Line: Generic Ballot Distress for House GOP

A single question in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll says all you need to know about the problems facing Republicans in the fall election.

Asked if the election were held today which party's candidate would they vote for in their own congressional district, 53 percent of registered voters said they would back the Democratic candidate, compared with just 38 percent said they would support the Republican candidate.

That 15-point bulge for Democrats on the so-called generic ballot question matches the party's largest margin in more than two years in the Post-ABC poll. A survey done in April 2006 showed Democrats with a 55 percent to 40 percent generic ballot edge, and one done in late January of that year put the spread at 16 points. The gap closed to 53 percent Democrats/43 percent Republicans in the last Post-ABC poll before the midterm election, but Democrats still managed to win 30 seats and take back the House.

Democrats have now led in the generic congressional ballot in a Post-ABC survey for the better part of five-and-a-half years. (The Post-ABC partnership did not ask the question in 2004.) The last time the generic was even was in November 2002, when Democrats and Republicans each received 48 percent.

While the generic ballot is regarded as an imperfect measure, such a wide -- and sustained -- lead for one side suggests the national playing field will be heavily tilted toward Democrats.

That tilt means that Republican lawmakers who managed to skate by in cycles past -- Reps. Chris Shays (Conn.), Dave Reichert (Wash.) and Mark Kirk (Ill.) among others -- will now be in considerable peril.

It also means that incumbents who have not faced serious challenges in the past will have to defend themselves against able candidates with significant financial backing from the national party. Few of those incumbents appear on our list of the 20 most-endangered seats this time, but there is reason to believe that people like Reps. Phil English (Pa.), Shelley Moore Capito (W. Va.), John Shadegg (Ariz.), and Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.) will face very competitive reelection races.

In short, the playing field is going to get far larger over the next few months. Unlike in past election where we had to struggle to get the House Line anywhere beyond 10 seats, it's a HUGE undertaking to limit it to 20 seats now.

As always, this list is meant to spark conversation. What seats did we miss? What seats were on The Line that shouldn't be? The comments section is open for your thoughts.

To the Line!

TIE -- 20. California's 11th (Currently held by a Democrat): Last month, The Fix referred to former state Assemblyman Dean Andal (R) as "impressive", a comment that angered some Democratic strategists who pointed to the likely GOP nominee's meager fundraising as anything but. Fair point. Andal seems to be in some sort of cash-raising funk, having collected just $123,000 between Jan. 1 and May 14; that's a poor figure for any challenger, especially one as highly touted as Andal. Still, Rep. Jerry McNerney won in 2006 largely because voters were sick of Rep. Richard Pombo (R). He needs to show he can hold the seat when the race isn't a referendum on an unpopular incumbent. (Previous ranking: 18)

TIE -- 20. Nevada's 3rd (Currently held by a Republican): Having just spent a few days in Sin City, there was a surprising amount of talk about the chances of state Sen. Dina Titus, who stepped in to the Democratic void to take on Rep. Jon Porter (R). Titus is coming off a four-point statewide loss to Gov. Jim Gibbons (R) in 2006 and is sure to receive considerable help from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), who sees a chance to knock off his most potent potential Republican opponent before the 2010 reelection race even begins. (Previous ranking: N/A)

19. Pennsylvania's 11th (D): At first glance, Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D) has no business on this list. He had held the east-central 11th District since 1984 and won reelection in 2006 with 72 percent of the vote. The district gave Democrat John Kerry a solid -- if not huge -- 53 percent to 47 percent win in 2004. And yet, even Democrats admit that Kanjorski is in serious danger -- the result of years of inattention to his political operation and lingering ethical questions. A new poll for Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta (R), who took 42 percent against Kanjorski in 2002, shows the challenger with a 47 percent to 42 percent edge. Kanjorski disputes the numbers but is up with what amounts to a biographical campaign ad -- never a good sign for a guy who has represented the district for more than two decades. (Previous ranking: N/A)

18. Alabama's 5th (D): The results of the June 3 primary in this open seat being vacated by Rep. Bud Cramer (D) seemed to suggest that Democrats might have an easier time than expected holding the seat. State Sen. Parker Griffith, whom Cramer has endorsed, cruised through the Democratic primary with 90 percent of the vote. Republicans, meanwhile, are headed to a July 15 runoff, as heavily favored Wayne Parker, who ran unsuccessfully against Cramer in 1994 and 1996, came up just short of the 50 percent needed to win the nomination outright. Parker faces lawyer Cheryl Baswell Guthrie, who has already spent nearly a half million dollars of her own money on the contest. (Previous ranking: 15)

17. Washington's 8th (R): Every Republican strategist we talk to insists on the one hand that Rep. Dave Reichert is the only GOPer who could possibly hold this Seattle-area seat but on the other acknowledges that Reichert's time may be up. Barack Obama at the top of the national ticket is bad news for Reichert, as the Democrats' presidential candidate will roll up the vote in metropolitan Seattle. Darcy Burner, who took 49 percent of the vote in 2006 against Reichert, is, by all accounts, an improved candidate. The political environment is everything in this district. If Obama wins big in the 8th, he is likely to carry Burner along with him. (Previous ranking: 19)

16. New Hampshire's 1st (D): Rep. Carol Shea Porter (D) came to Congress in the unlikeliest of ways. She ousted a candidate backed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the 2006 primary and then beat Rep. Jeb Bradley (R), who was not seen as particularly vulnerable, in the general. Those wins probably taught her the wrong lessons, as she initially refused entreaties to join the DCCC's Frontline program, which helps raise money for vulnerable incumbents. Last month Shea Porter reversed herself and is now part of Frontline. Bradley is running again and is already on television with ads that seek to play into a sense of buyer's remorse among voters for ousting him. (Previous ranking: N/A)

15. Minnesota's 3rd (Open seat, R): There's no tougher grader of candidates for Congress than Stu Rothenberg. So when Stu praises a candidate, we listen. Of Republican Erik Paulsen, Stu wrote: "I wouldn't say my interview with Erik Paulsen went well. I'd say it was spectacular." (Stu's column at Roll Call is subscriber-only.) WOW. Paulsen, a sitting state senator, has drawn similar reviews from Republican strategists who believe he is one of the most able candidates they have fielded this cycle. (The Fix has not yet met him -- hint, hint.) Democrats nominated Ashwin Madia, an Iraq vet and first-time candidate. (Previous ranking: 12)

14. Ohio's 1st (R): Barack Obama at the top of the Democratic ticket presents real problems for Rep. Steve Chabot (R) in this Cincinnati-area district. African Americans make up more than one in every four residents in the 1st and, if the primaries are any indication, turnout among black voters will eclipse historic highs in November. Democrats also have a candidate in state Sen. Steve Driehaus who should be able to cut into Chabot's traditional edge in the western, suburban portion of the district. All that spells major trouble for Chabot. (Previous ranking: 17)

13. Ohio's 15th (Open seat, R): Like Paulsen in Minnesota's 3rd, state Sen. Steve Stivers (R) is one of the few blue chip recruits running on the Republican side this year. And although it's easy to forget in a year like this, candidates still matter. Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy, who came within 1,000 or so votes of ousting Rep. Deborah Pryce (R) in 2006, is a solid but from far spectacular candidate for Democrats. Kilroy released polling last month that shows her up 47 percent to 37 percent, and that seems right. But even Democrats worry about Stivers's fundraising ability and popularity within the district. This race will surely tighten. (Previous ranking: 13)

12. Florida's 16th (D): This south Florida seat held by Rep. Tim Mahoney (D) was a notable omission from last month's Line. Although Republicans have a three-way primary that won't resolve itself until late August, Democratic strategists are very worried about holding onto the seat. Mahoney barely won in 2006 (50 percent), despite the fact that Rep. Mark Foley (R) had been forced out of office due to a sex scandal six weeks before the November vote and Republicans were unable to replace his name on the ballot. No matter who emerges from the GOP primary, the party will be far better positioned this time around to make a run at the freshman Democrat. (Previous ranking: N/A)

11. Pennsylvania's 10th (D): The demographics of this northeastern Pennsylvania district ensure that Rep. Chris Carney (D), who ousted scandal-tarred Don Sherwood (R) in 2006, will have a tough race every election. President Bush won the district with 60 percent in 2004, and Obama isn't likely to help Carney much here. Recognizing the partisanship of the district, Carney introduced out a group of Republicans supporting him and touted his bipartisan record in his first two years in Congress. It's a savvy strategy but still might not be enough against wealthy businessman Chris Hackett (R). (Previous ranking: 11)

10. New York's 13th (Open seat, R): Rep. Vito Fossella's (R) decision to retire after this term (in the face of quite the scandal) creates yet another competitive open seat in the Empire State. The national and local (Staten Island) Democratic political establishment have lined up behind City Councilman Mike McMahon, who has represented the North Shore of Staten Island since 2002. McMahon must get through a September primary against Steve Harrison but is heavily favored. Republicans have lined up behind former Wall Street executive Frank Powers after unsuccessfully wooing several more high profile candidates to run. Democrats have reason to be optimistic here given their gains in the Northeast over the last few cycles and the lingering taint of Fossella. (Previous ranking: 16)

9. New Mexico's 1st (Open seat, R): As expected, Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White (R) and former Albuquerque City Councilman Martin Heinrich (D) won their respective party primaries on June 3. White's chances were struck something of a blow, however, when Rep. Heather Wilson (R), who has held the 1st District since 1998, lost in the Senate primary. That means White won't have the advantage of Wilson driving turnout in her political base come the fall. Still, this is a race to watch as it features two quality candidates in a district that is as evenly split along partisan lines as any in the country. (Previous ranking: 10)

8. Illinois's 11th (Open seat, R): The rocky road for state Sen. Debbie Halvorson (D) continues, as in recent week she has come under fire from some fellow Democrats -- including Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. -- for a bill she introduced that would give Will County officials operating control over a proposed airport south of Chicago. Democrats insist the fight is actually good news for Halvorson, since it shows voters in the sprawling 11th District that she is standing up for them and not caving to Chicago's political power brokers. Maybe, but a public, internecine feud is almost never good for business. Republicans acknowledge that concrete magnate Martin Ozinga got a very late start but insist he is a surprisingly strong candidate. (Previous ranking: 6)

7. New Jersey's 7th (Open seat, R): State Sen. Leonard Lance's convincing victory in the June 3 primary gives Republicans some hope in this north-central New Jersey district. Lance is a quality candidate, but Democrats still feel reasonably confident about their chances for two reason. First, state Assemblywoman Linda Stender came within 3,000 votes of ousting Rep. Mike Ferguson (R) in 2006 and is back for a second run. Second, in a district where it is very expensive to advertise (it is entirely covered by the New York City media market), the massive financial edge the DCCC enjoys over the National Republican Congressional Committee will likely be a major factor in Stender's favor. (Previous ranking: 9)

6. Texas's 22nd (D): Demographics are often destiny. In this Houston-area District that Bush carried by 28 points in 2004, it's hard to see Rep. Nick Lampson (D) winning reelection. Lampson's slim hopes got even slimmer when Republicans avoided potential disaster by choosing Pete Olson, a former chief of staff to Sen. John Cornyn (R), over politically troubled former Rep. Shelley Sekula Gibbs. Republicans know an opportunity when they see one and dispatched Vice President Dick Cheney to the district -- one of the few in the country he can go to without causing major controversy -- for a fundraiser for Olson earlier this month. (Previous ranking: 8)

5. New Jersey's 3rd (Open seat, R): There is no candidate more highly touted in the country than state Assemblyman Senator John Adler (D). And judging from his fundraising totals, the reputation is well deserved. Through mid May, Adler had raised $1.4 million and had a whopping $1.1 million in the bank. Republicans got their preferred candidate when Lockheed Martin executive Chris Myers beat back a more-serious-than-expected primary challenge earlier this month, but the swing nature of the district (Bush won with 51 percent in 2004, Al Gore carried it with 54 percent in 2000) combined with Adler's demonstrated strengths as a candidate will make this a very tough hold for the GOP. (Previous ranking: 7)

4. Ohio's 16th (Open seat, R): The Fix has said before that state Sen. Kirk Schuring (R) was not the strongest candidate for Republicans. And man did he prove us right. In an introduction for Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in Ashland County, Schuring said: "We could never have a rally like this in the center of Canton. If we did, we might be shot at." (The moment, unfortunately for Shuring, was captured on YouTube.) Yeesh. Did we mention Canton is the biggest city in the district? It's good to be state Sen. John Boccieri (D) right about now. (Previous ranking: 2)

3. Arizona's 1st (Open seat, R): This race just keeps getting worse for Republicans. They failed to recruit any of their preferred candidates and are now left with Arizona Mining Association President Sydney Hay, a conservative who ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary for the seat in 2002. Meanwhile, national Democrats have just added former state Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick to their "Red to Blue" program, which should provide a significant financial boost for her campaign. Republicans are not optimistic here and there is little evidence that they should be. (Previous ranking: 5)

2. Virginia's 11th (Open seat, R): In the days leading up to the June 10 Democratic primary between Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly and former Rep. Leslie Byrne, there was a real sense that Byrne had the momentum to pull off the upset. Um, no. Connolly, a hard-nosed but effective pol, demolished Byrne -- winning 58 percent to her 33 percent. Connolly's impressive showing and his high profile in the most populous part of the district make him a formidable force in the fall. Republicans are optimistic about businessman Keith Fimian, who had $768,000 in the bank as of May 21, but Connolly is a solid favorite (Previous ranking: 3)

1. New York's 25th (Open seat, R): It's a sign of how both parties feel about this race that neither side talks about it much. After losing to Rep. Jim Walsh (R) by just over 3,000 votes in 2006, former congressional aide Dan Maffei (D) is the odds-on favorite to win the upstate New York seat in the fall. Republicans have finally settled on a candidate in former Ononaga County Legislature Chairman Dale Sweetland, but there doesn't seem to be much energy behind his candidacy. The most exciting thing that has happened in this race of late is that Sweetland's pollster, who also happens to be a professor at Syracuse University, has stepped aside after Maffei made an issue of the pollster's dual roles. (Previous ranking: 1)

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 20, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  House , The Line  
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Next: Woodhouse to DNC

Comments

The link to "Mike McMahon" in #10 goes to Steve Harrison's website.

Posted by: FLC | June 24, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

RE NM 1st: It is only because of a number of Democrats puzzling willingness to vote Republican that makes this district look evenly divided - that and the kooky Greens who regularly jump in as spoliers.

Also, Sheriff White has a lot to answer for. His fingerprints are all over the firing of US ATTY. David Iglesias. Also, he's so busy getting himself on TV that he failed to arrest a suspect on a murder warrant. Said suspect was therefore on the street and took advantage of his freedom to assassinate one of White's Deputies two years ago. Heinrich's probably too classy to go with that angle but people remember.

Posted by: NM DEM | June 23, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The Robin Hayes-Larry Kissell race is NC-8, folks, not NC-11. Heath Shuler has that district.

Bradcpa, Colorado has 7 districts, not 6. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO-7) can attest to that.

Further Democratic gains in state legislatures this year are going to lead to a 2011 redistricting more favorable to Dems. The GOP is in for a long time in the woods.

Posted by: Jon Morgan | June 22, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Both Dan Maffei and Linda Stender fell just 3000 votes short of unseating GOP incumbents in 2006 who are retiring this year. Advertising costs far more in NJ-7 than NY-25, so a big difference in total expenditures (candidate, party committees, outside groups) should make more difference in the NJ district. And that would be in the Democrats' favor as Chris noted the DCCC's huge cash on hand lead. So given all this, why is NY-25 ranked 1st and NJ-7 just 7th? Is Leonard Lance that good (or Stewart that bad)??

AK-AL seems like a noteable omission here. Is Nancy Boyda safer now? What about LA-4? FL-13? NC-8?

Posted by: Jon Morgan | June 22, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Obama is basing his entire campaign on CALLING PEOPLE RACIST WHO ARE NOT RACIST. OBAMA IS RUNNING A TERRORIST INTIMIDATION CAMPAIGN WHICH IS A DISGRACE.


Obama has got to be kidding.


This guy Obama is a joke. He is turning the Presidential campaign into an affirmative action program which he thinks he should win whether he is more qualified or not.


Obama is not even close to being more qualified.


Please save this country. Please act now to rid this country of this Inexperienced Flip Flopping Empty Suit Slime Fish Obama - Please act to save this country today.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Virginia 10. Frank Wolf. NOVA is going to be tough for the R's, with African American turnout spiking and a possible VA VP pick. No Republican is safe in NOVA and the gas/commute/highway issue doesn't play well for Wolf right now. Wolf is something of a loose cannon on a good day. This race could pop. Should be on the list.

Posted by: Fracis | June 21, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

After giving up on The Fix a couple months ago (because of the sour obsessives who had changed it to the equivalent of graffiti on a freeway bridge), decided to check back on the Friday Line, and see see if those folks had quieted down a little

And what do I see first thing? The former Clinton supporter (yeah, right), '37th&Rush' with the day's RNC talking points (and, btw, posting completely off-topic of course...though I have no doubt the same thing is posted on all The Fix entries).

Oh well...see y'all after the conventions.

Posted by: malis | June 21, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

NEWS FLASH . NEWS FLASH


Obama really did it now - he is FALSELY ACCUSING the Republican party of racism BEFORE THEY SAY ANYTHING - Obama does not have an actual quote or instance of racism - so he is going with the "Republicans are GOING TO BE RACIST" line instead. The Constitution states one is innocent until proven guilty - Obama's new version of the Bill of Rights is "one is a racist before one says or does anything." Is this Obama's version of a post-racial campaign ? Give the country a break.


Obama is a disgrace to the Bill of Rights.


This is actually a new version of twisting someone's words around and "FALSELY PRETENDING TO BE OFFENDED." Or the FALSE ACCUSATIONS OF "OFFENSIVE COMMENTS."


This time, Obama has nothing to go on. He has nothing.

So Obama says the Republicans are "GOING TO SAY SOMETHING WHICH MIGHT BE TWISTED INTO SOMETHING THAT COULD BE CONSIDERED RACIST IF ONE REALLY REALLY REALLY TRIED." THESE REMARKS BY OBAMA ARE SO ANTI-AMERICAN AND SO OFFENSIVE TO EUROPEAN AMERCANS THAT Obama should RESIGN FROM THE SENATE IMMEDIATELY AND WITHDRAW FROM THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE.


****************************************


JACKSONVILLE, Florida (CNN) - Barack Obama told supporters that Republicans will "try to make you afraid of me" in remarks he made Friday at a Florida fundraiser.

"The choice is clear. Most of all we can choose between hope and fear. It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy.

"We know what kind of campaign they're going to run," said the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. "They're going to try to make you afraid. They're going to try to make you afraid of me. 'He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?'"

In similar comments at a Chicago fundraiser last Thursday, Obama told supporters that Republicans would try to portray both him and his wife Michelle as "scary."

"They're going to try to make me into a scary guy," he said last week. "They're even trying to make Michelle into a scary person. Right?" And so that drumbeat - 'we're not sure if he's patriotic or not; we're not sure if he is too black.'


"I don't know, before I wasn't black enough," said Obama. "'Now he might be too black. We don't know whether he's going to socialize - well, who knows what.'"

.

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | June 21, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

NEWS FLASH . NEWS FLASH


Obama really did it now - he is FALSELY ACCUSING the Republican party of racism BEFORE THEY SAY ANYTHING - Obama does not have an actual quote or instance of racism - so he is going with the "Republicans are GOING TO BE RACIST" line instead. The Constitution states one is innocent until proven guilty - Obama's new version of the Bill of Rights is "one is a racist before one says or does anything." Is this Obama's version of a post-racial campaign ? Give the country a break.


Obama is a disgrace to the Bill of Rights.


****************************************


JACKSONVILLE, Florida (CNN) - Barack Obama told supporters that Republicans will "try to make you afraid of me" in remarks he made Friday at a Florida fundraiser.

"The choice is clear. Most of all we can choose between hope and fear. It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy.

"We know what kind of campaign they're going to run," said the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. "They're going to try to make you afraid. They're going to try to make you afraid of me. 'He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?'"

In similar comments at a Chicago fundraiser last Thursday, Obama told supporters that Republicans would try to portray both him and his wife Michelle as "scary."

"They're going to try to make me into a scary guy," he said last week. "They're even trying to make Michelle into a scary person. Right?" And so that drumbeat - 'we're not sure if he's patriotic or not; we're not sure if he is too black.'


"I don't know, before I wasn't black enough," said Obama. "'Now he might be too black. We don't know whether he's going to socialize - well, who knows what.'"

.

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | June 21, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

NEWS FLASH NEWS FLASH


Obama really did it now - he is FALSELY ACCUSING the Republican party of racism BEFORE THEY SAY ANYTHING - Obama does not have an actual quote or instance of racism - so he is going with the "Republicans are GOING TO BE RACIST" line instead. The Constitution states one is innocent until proven guilty - Obama's new version of the Bill of Rights is "one is a racist before one says or does anything." Is this Obama's version of a post-racial campaign ? Give the country a break.


Obama is a disgrace to the Bill of Rights.


****************************************


JACKSONVILLE, Florida (CNN) - Barack Obama told supporters that Republicans will "try to make you afraid of me" in remarks he made Friday at a Florida fundraiser.

"The choice is clear. Most of all we can choose between hope and fear. It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy.

"We know what kind of campaign they're going to run," said the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. "They're going to try to make you afraid. They're going to try to make you afraid of me. 'He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?'"

In similar comments at a Chicago fundraiser last Thursday, Obama told supporters that Republicans would try to portray both him and his wife Michelle as "scary."

"They're going to try to make me into a scary guy," he said last week. "They're even trying to make Michelle into a scary person. Right?" And so that drumbeat - 'we're not sure if he's patriotic or not; we're not sure if he is too black.'


"I don't know, before I wasn't black enough," said Obama. "'Now he might be too black. We don't know whether he's going to socialize - well, who knows what.'"

.

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | June 21, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Obama will win this going away and it won't even be close. McCain will be Bush III and everyone knows it. He couldn't find a podium without Lieberman steering him and whispering in his ear. A pathetic candidate with no coherent message and no new ideas. McCain is DOA.

To whomever posted at 5:19. At least have the courage to put a moniker on your post so that people can respond to your silly insults, "Einstein."

Posted by: maxfli | June 21, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Lets not count the GOP out just yet.

It is a very long time from now to November.

McCain is doing well and will WIN.

Voters are going to take a hard look at the Democ"rats" and how the ran congress for two years.

They may feel they made a big mistake in turning over control to Nancy Polise.

Better not count your Democ"rat"s before the election

VJ Machiavelli
http://www.vjmachiavelli.blogspot.com
ps Is Obama the Neville Chamberlain of our time ?

Posted by: VJ Machiavelli | June 21, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

To all stupid Republicans who can't read history or really do anything other than imitate what they hear from Hannity or Limbaugh.

This list is just a sample of how one can not possibly know about house races if you do not spend enough time. Yes some DEMOCRATIC Congress people are in danger because of their district's makeups. But there are four or five Republican seats which are not on the list and are probably just plain gone CT-4 for example no way Shays makes it through a Presidential Year while being out fund raised.
The reason for this is simple. Your illiterate moronic mongoloid President has so damaged this country that it will take at least three good Presidents to undo the damage. The sixty five percent majority who disapprove of his job have learned this. The reason Democrats aren't doing better. 1. The party has not fully described the damage done. 2. Some of the sixty five percent are delusional enough to believe that McCain will do better.
As for the opening of my post. Andrew Jackson was the first DemocratIC President elected in 1828. It has been the Democratic party since then. If you can not bring yourself to show the small piece of respect that using the party's full name entails please refrain from mentioning us. As for the name of your party can we cut this GOP crap. The Republicans were established as a one issue abolitionist party in 1854. From Abraham Lincoln forward the only great President produced was Theodore Roosevelt. The rest were corrupt slaves of the corporations who allowed three men to acquire fortunes so vast they could have possessed a small European nation while the wage of their workers was flat and kept them destitute. Sound Familar.

In conclusion
Great Republican Presidents
Lincoln
Roosevelt
and I will listen to your Reagan worship.
Great Democratic Presidents
Jackson
Roosevelt
Truman
Wilson.
So lets talk once conservatives in this country realize that the Democratic party has been around longer and has a grander history than the alleged Grand old Party.

Posted by: DeminMA | June 21, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Al Musico,

What are you trying to say? That you're voting for Bob Barr? LOL!!!!!

As for me, and just about every duty officer on base, we are going with Barack Obama BIG TIME!

Posted by: PFC M. Vandermere | June 21, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

King2641 said, "Although Darcy Burner in WA 8th will surely have more $$$$ (Microsoft+Pelosi+DNC targeted race she is still too far to the left for (Bellevue, WA and the Eastside of King Cty). The business community and the indepedents will decide this race."

That's a falicy to describe Burner as "too far to the left". She's actually quite centrist and her views on most issues fit with the vast majority of voters in the 8th. She has a business background (Reichert's never worked in the private sector), and she has a responsible plan to end the war in Iraq. Those are qualities the business community and independents will like. It further helps that she's tech savvy for a district that's full of techies.

Posted by: Daniel K | June 20, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Um, one problem with that poll from PA-11 ... it was taken in March, almost three months ago.

Posted by: Darrell | June 20, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Chris, WHERE IS MISSISSIPPI 1? Do you honestly believe that the seat is not likely to go back into the R colum?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Banged-up John McCain and what was left of plane splashed into Truc Bach Lake. A compassionate Vietnamese civilian left his air raid shelter and swam out to McCain. McCain's arm and leg were fractured and he was tangled up in his parachute underwater. He was drowning. The Vietnamese man saved McCain's sorry ass, and yet McCain has nothing but hatred for "the gooks" who allegedly tortured him.

John McCain: War Hero or North Vietnam's Go-To Collaborator ... According to Fernando Barral, a Cuban psychologist who questioned McCain in January 1970, "McCain was "boastful" during their interview and "without ...
dissentmag.wordpress.com/2008/06/15/john-mccain-war-hero-or-north-vietnams-go-to-collaborator/ - 6 hours ago -

When will we, "the people", get a look at this proposed agreement? Of course the number of casualties is a great concern, but it sure hasn't been a concern to McCain until now.

Here is his voting record on veterans' issues (that is, when he bothered to show up 40% of the time to vote):

22 May 2008 - expressed opposition and did not bother to show up to vote on Webb's GI Bill

September 2007 - voted against another bill that would have mandated adequate rest for troops between combat deployments

On a needed $1.5 billion increase for vets medical services for FY 2007 (to be funded through closing corporate tax loopholes) he voted no - also voted no on a trust fund to bolster under-budgeted vets hospitals

May 2006 - voted against a $20 billion allotment for expanding swamped veterans medical facilities

April 2006 - he was one of 13 Senate Republicans who voted against an amendment to provide $430 million for veterans outpatient care

March 2004 - voted against and helped defeat on a party-line vote a $1.8 billion reserve for veterans medical care (also funded by closing tax loopholes)
MAD (McCain Assured Destructions)
The only things I'm angry about right now is the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, and the price of gasoline. I don't see John "The Beer Man" McCain doing anything to help me with that trifecta. My sense is the women who are real Democrats will gravitate back to Obama because they pay the bills and they've had enough of Republican "trickle up" economics

Posted by: maxfli | June 20, 2008 4:12 PM READ:
Vietnam War -- Infoplease.com- 2:36pmPresident Johnson orders halt to U.S. bombardment of North Vietnam (Oct. 31). ... South Vietnamese government surrenders to North Vietnam; U.S. Marine ...
www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001292.html - 36k -

Posted by: Katerina Deligiannis | June 20, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

kingofzouk: Our understanding of history is never static, even if people try to make it so. I'm an Independent voter, which means I have an open mind and don't particularly like dogmatic liberals or conservatives. Right now I'm supporting Obama with my feet and my wallet because he gets it. Keep banging your head on your old 1970s pile of books and stay uninformed about Vietnam. Ignorance is a choice.

Posted by: maxfli | June 20, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

""To the nameless history genius who posted at 3:04:"

Nobody posted at 3:04, Einstein, but if you're referring to my post at 3:24, no one cares if you were in Vietnam or not. If that were true -- and of course you can't prove it -- you'd know as well as anyone how little the ARVNs wanted to fight.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I would like to hear more about McCain. He is the only candidate that I believe will keep his word. He is for all the people.
I am for the most conservative candidate.
God bless America!

Posted by: sinceretexan | June 20, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Also check Campaign Diaries's House ratings, with recently-updated descriptions and ratings for all 87 of the most competitive seats: www.campaigndiaries.com/houserankings

Posted by: Dan | June 20, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"To the nameless history genius who posted at 3:04:"

those are your people. no amount of fact or figure can alter their delusions.

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 20, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

So Erik Paulsen gets moved up because Stu Rothenberg - who didn't even think a 50 state strategy was a good idea - likes him? That's some criteria.

I can't help feeling that you wanted to put a lot of Democrats on the List this time just to look "fair and balanced."

If Jeb Bradley really is running buyers remorse ads, then he deserves to lose again. That type of condescending-to-voters strategy seems very odd to me.

Posted by: Carl | June 20, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I had no idea that all Libs were so deficient in history and military affairs. I thought it was only your candidate.

funny thing is, you Libs have not learned your lesson and are willing to abandon Iraq too.

Obama - ?
McCain - ?

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 20, 2008 2:45 PM
+++++++++++++++++

I can't believe they allowed you to graduate from elementary school to middle school. You don't sound as intelligent as my brother was, when he was in 3rd grade.

Of course, you don't know my little brother skipped 4th grade, because the little tyke was smart as heck. (But do you believe they denied him a spot at Berkeley?, because Liberals and Asians there number over 50 percent while Whites hover around 30 percent, and so they probably had to allow in a few appalachia type from gun totin' parents...)

Librrral don't know history. Librrrals don't know history! LOL

For someone who barely made it out of elementary and middle schools, you should not be talkin' about war and history...

Posted by: Her Lao | June 20, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

To the nameless history genius who posted at 3:04: Read Lewis Sorley's "A Better War" and about a dozen other books that revisit the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1972. You sound like one of those people who think the war ended with the 1968 TET Offensive. I was in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969 and I know of what I speak.

Posted by: maxfli | June 20, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"That war was essentially won in 1972 by Creighton Abrams and the South Vietnamese could have defended themselves in 1975 if they only had enough bombs and bullets."

Utter rot. RVN was NEVER going to win the war by itself. We knew that as early as 1963 (Battle of Ap Bac). Do some reading.

When a country's heart isn't in it, it's not going to win.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"Bush - he kept us safe"

Other than on 9/11, that is. Mrs. Lincoln, any thoughts on that?

Posted by: zouk is confused. again. | June 20, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

kingofzouk - It's true, the Democrats decision to cut off military funding to the South Vietnamese government resulted in their defeat. That war was essentially won in 1972 by Creighton Abrams and the South Vietnamese could have defended themselves in 1975 if they only had enough bombs and bullets. After that, your reply falls apart. Reagan didn't win the Cold War alone. The re-armament program he continued began during Carter's term. Poppy Bush was a forgettable president, an Ivy League oil baron pretending to be a Texan. Clinton was a DLC tax and spend nitwit until someone (Rubin?) explained to him the bond market drives everything. The rest of his administration was about surviving the news cycles. His legacy is the tech boom. Without it he would be remembered as a total disaster. Bush is a complete idiot; easily the worst President in modern history. His preventive (as opposed to preemptive) war in Iraq is our biggest foreign policy disaster. Obama was the only major Presidential cnadidate to see through the BS. He will be a great President, unlike the last several from both parties. The only people who need to learn from history are the neocon Republicans who attacked Iraq without provocation, without enough troops and then failed to do anything (until Petreaus) that remotely resembled the successful Abrams strategy in Vietnam. All of this is in a library near you.

Posted by: maxfli | June 20, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Chris: I think you might be striving for a little too much "Ballance" again. Alaska is not on the list but CA-11 is? NC-11 is not on the list but Shea-Porter is?

Posted by: AdamT | June 20, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Actually vietnam ended, despite the begging of the Republican Gerald Ford for additional funds for the S. vietnamese government, because the Democrat congress refused to live up to the treaty.
the world got the message, that the US, especially the Lib US, was not good for its word and had no spine.

what ensued was the beginning of the collapse of US foreign policy under Carter, which resulted in a year long occupation of our embassy in Iran, ended only by the election (finally)of a Repub President.

I had no idea that all Libs were so deficient in history and military affairs. I thought it was only your candidate.

funny thing is, you Libs have not learned your lesson and are willing to abandon Iraq too. We can expect another 20 or more years of a demoralized military, world ridicule and ineffective foreign policy if Obama gets his way. not to mention all the little guys who will want to make their bones by attacking us. Just like during the clinton years, when we refused to respond.

the police analogy ignores the fact that the police are called after the crime. so every time the bad guys blow up an airport or shopping mall, Obama can send in the Justice department to find out how it happened.

Legacy time:
Carter - badly bumbled just about everything
Reagan - won the cold war
Bush - broke pledge, raised taxes, served one term
Clinton - interns run amok
Bush - he kept us safe

Obama - ?
McCain - ?

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 20, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Don't leave out the Texas 7th. While the R's look good in the 22nd, the 7th is looking for a R to D flip for the first time in it's current borders.

The Dems have put up Michael Skelly, a former executive for horizon wind energy. He has put up impressive fund raising numbers and will give John Culberson, the incumbent since 2001 a good race. Keep in mind this district has NEVER voted democrat since 1966 and was once represented by G. H. W. Bush

Posted by: novadoug | June 20, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"For example - if challenged - surrender."

Our last surrender was by Republicans in Vietnam.

Posted by: zouk is confused. again. | June 20, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Although Darcy Burner in WA 8th will surely have more $$$$ (Microsoft+Pelosi+DNC targeted race she is still too far to the left for (Bellevue, WA and the Eastside of King Cty). The business community and the indepedents will decide this race.

Dave Reichert is in trouble but he has worked across the aisle w/ Democrats on envtl. issues and understands that the best way to win in Iraq is stability so that we give the Iraqis the "best chance possible" to secure their own democratic government.

I believe that the independents and the business community help Reichert squeak by Burner by a nose length.

Posted by: King2641 | June 20, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"innovative approach to everything from international relations to campaign finance "

For example - if challenged - surrender.

If money gets big, abandon reform.

What is so innovative about that? Libs have been weak on foreign policy for decades and willing to look the other way for money always.

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 20, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

The top 5 or so are right, but after that there's a bucket of maybe 60 seats that could easily flip, mostly R to D. And even beyond that there's about 40 or so that might be interesting. That's a lot for any cycle.

Might be interesting to speculate about what impact Obama-fied turnout might have on House races and what impact the DCCC's sizable money advantage will have. Both the NRCC and the NRSC are going to have to concede some races they might have won in different circumstances.

Posted by: novamatt | June 20, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"On the one hand, there is Dr. Barack, the high-minded, Niebuhr-quoting speechifier who spent this past winter thrilling the Scarlett Johansson set and feeling the fierce urgency of now. But then on the other side, there's Fast Eddie Obama, the promise-breaking, tough-minded Chicago pol who'd throw you under the truck for votes."

Sounds good to me. He can give eloquent speeches and b*tch-slap Congress around at the same time.

Obama's got my vote!

Posted by: Doug in NYC | June 20, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

It's even worse than you project.

Some local Northwest numbers show that Washington, Oregon, and Montana are now solidly in the Blue camp.

It's a Blue Tidal Wave.

There are no red states anymore.

Nowhere to run - nowhere to hide.

Forty Years in the Wilderness - this is your fate, Red Bushies, you apostate traitors!

Posted by: Will in Seattle | June 20, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Check your numbers Chris. New Mexico's 1st is not "as evenly divided" along partisan lines as any in the country. In fact, Democrats solidly outnumber Republicans there.

Posted by: Russell | June 20, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

bondjedi-

If you were from Seattle you would know that the only reason Reichert got elected was because he was the "hero" that "caught" the Green River Killer. Burner did well in 2006 and will do better in 2008 because of the Iraq War and the strength of Obama in Washington. The Eastside might go Republican locally but even that is changing. Just look at this year's state legislature races to see that the Seattle suburbs are getting a decidedly blue tint. These people aren't defense-oriented, so McCain has no appeal for them. They are worried about their kids, after all.

Posted by: Jim | June 20, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Your list certainly doesn't seem to bode well for the Democratic Party. You lead the story with how well Democrats are faring in the generic polls, yet when you start identifying the races, its pretty much a 50-50 toss-up in the top 20, with the only real Democratic advantage occurring in the top 5.

What gives?

Posted by: GoAwayMcCainNuts | June 20, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Although portents are good right now, Democrats should work strenously to avoid complacency. This election is not a slam-dunk. Barack Obama at the head of the ticket is a strong advantage: his boldness, eloquence, and innovative approach to everything from international relations to campaign finance will be of huge assistance to candidates up and down the ticket.

But the GOP is prepared to slouch its way to another victory in November if the Dems let down their guard. Obama's stragegic decision to forego public campaign financing is an excellent start toward ensuring a win in November. He is not willing to concede any state and will bend every effort to raise enough funds to defeat the Republican slime-machine.

I gave 25 dollars to the Obama campaign last night and will do so at least once a month until he is elected in November. If he needs it, I can go as high as 50 dollars a month. This election is too important to let it slip from our fingers again.

Posted by: dee | June 20, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Titus-Porter in NV CD-3 will slowly make its way up this list. Titus has a strong base in the district, (she won it by 2 points in her 2006 gubernatorial run) and there are now 20,000 more registered Democrats in this "swing" district. She is a fierce campaigner, and if Hastert's seat can go D in this cycle, a wishy washy pro-Bush guy like Porter is toast.

Posted by: Dave | June 20, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

But as recent weeks have made clear, Barack Obama is the most split-personality politician in the country today. On the one hand, there is Dr. Barack, the high-minded, Niebuhr-quoting speechifier who spent this past winter thrilling the Scarlett Johansson set and feeling the fierce urgency of now. But then on the other side, there's Fast Eddie Obama, the promise-breaking, tough-minded Chicago pol who'd throw you under the truck for votes.


Back when he was in the Illinois State Senate, Dr. Barack could have taken positions on politically uncomfortable issues. But Fast Eddie Obama voted "present" nearly 130 times. From time to time, he threw his voting power under the truck.

Dr. Barack said he could no more disown the Rev. Jeremiah Wright than disown his own grandmother. Then the political costs of Rev. Wright escalated and Fast Eddie Obama threw Wright under the truck.

Dr. Barack could have been a workhorse senator. But primary candidates don't do tough votes, so Fast Eddie Obama threw the workhorse duties under the truck.

Dr. Barack could have changed the way presidential campaigning works. John McCain offered to have a series of extended town-hall meetings around the country. But favored candidates don't go in for unscripted free-range conversations. Fast Eddie Obama threw the new-politics mantra under the truck.

And then on Thursday, Fast Eddie Obama had his finest hour. Barack Obama has worked on political reform more than any other issue. He aspires to be to political reform what Bono is to fighting disease in Africa. He's spent much of his career talking about how much he believes in public financing. In January 2007, he told Larry King that the public-financing system works. In February 2007, he challenged Republicans to limit their spending and vowed to do so along with them if he were the nominee. In February 2008, he said he would aggressively pursue spending limits. He answered a Midwest Democracy Network questionnaire by reminding everyone that he has been a longtime advocate of the public-financing system.

But Thursday, at the first breath of political inconvenience, Fast Eddie Obama threw public financing under the truck. In so doing, he probably dealt a death-blow to the cause of campaign-finance reform. And the only thing that changed between Thursday and when he lauded the system is that Obama's got more money now.

And Fast Eddie Obama didn't just sell out the primary cause of his life. He did it with style. He did it with a video so risibly insincere that somewhere down in the shadow world, Lee Atwater is gaping and applauding. Obama blamed the (so far marginal) Republican 527s. He claimed that private donations are really public financing. He made a cut-throat political calculation seem like Mother Teresa's final steps to sainthood.

The media and the activists won't care (they were only interested in campaign-finance reform only when the Republicans had more money).

On the one hand, Obama did sell out the primary cause of his professional life, all for a tiny political advantage. If he'll sell that out, what won't he sell out?

Posted by: NYTimes | June 20, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Obama doesn't do difficult decisions - he votes ``present'' most of the time and devotes his energies to planning the next move up the ladder. Whatever Obama wants, it's for himself. The good of the country doesn't even enter into it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"Burner is a Harvard grad and Microsoft alum. She whip smart and the author of the hugely endorsed and well respected 'Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq' (http://www.responsibleplan.com/).

The only 'dopey' candidate in this race is the dullard Reichert who could be played by movie-goof Leslie Neilsen on the big screen - which is where he'd rather be anyway with his shiny Sheriff medals."

Bondjedi stands by his comments. Darcy Burner's sole qualification is her ability to fund her campaign with Microsoft loot. As for Harvard - the Unabomber went there, too.

Reichert came to Congress and kept his seat while refusing to go the ideologue route. He's done a fine job of representing his district.

Darcy Burner is dopey. Get over it.

Posted by: bondjedi | June 20, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

My cabinet level department of family values, with Madonna as Secretary, has insisted I get a whole new image. the old me, just wasn't selling. Anyway, Madonna has suggested my wife and me sell ourselves to the public in a whole new way. there will be no pictures, speeches, statements or ideas released without going through an entire vetting process from the Carter administration.

and all that meanness and spite that lured in the leftist wackos in the primaries is being shelved for now. We have them in our pocket but don't want normal people to realize how utterly socialist we are.

Look for the new me coming soon.

Posted by: snObama | June 20, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

The only thing more ironic than this pair of comments is if Loseable Type does it to me! LMAO!

Could the idiot McSame hacks who hijack every thread in WaPo please learn how to post a comment without hitting submit over and over?

I appreciate that McSame enthusiasts may find "the internets" daunting and confusing, but spare the rest of us and figure it out!

Posted by: SWB | June 20, 2008 9:49 AM

Could the idiot McSame hacks who hijack every thread in WaPo please learn how to post a comment without hitting submit over and over?

I appreciate that McSame enthusiasts may find "the internets" daunting and confusing, but spare the rest of us and figure it out!

Posted by: SWB | June 20, 2008 9:49 AM

Posted by: c&d | June 20, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Somehow I'm going to have to find a way to get total primary results for all 435 Congressional Districts, and the 35 Senate districts up for election, to compare partisan turnouts to general election votes.

It does seem to me that, given that most primaries also have local issues contended, and many times have some quixotic, or exotic, challenger to the incumbent, that there really will be a correlation between primary results and general election results.

A twenty name list probably doesn't mean a lot below the first ten names, except to point to some of the other contenders. Based on Presidential Primary results, where Dems and independents turned out in incredible numbers, especially in the later primaries, another 30 seats changing hands doesn't seem all that far fetched. Would indictments of ex high level Bush Cabinet people have any particular effect on the General Election? How about a failed attempt to stampede us into war with Iran? (Some leak from the pentagon saying that bomber crews were being pulled together and being dispatched to Diego Garcia, the only remotely possible staging base for a bombing campaign against Iran, for instance)

On the other hand, back in September I suggested that a new scandal every other week (and that has been about the timing) and a resignation or indictment of an administration official every month or so (ditto) would certainly drag on the party after a while. As they seem to be holding to that time table, what will THAT do to Republican chances in November?

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | June 20, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I can see alot of research went into this piece but the subject is wasted. For American voters the big question is; Do any incumbents deserve to retain their seat in Congress?"

It doesn't matter what party the incumbent belongs to, it just seems like none of them place the welfare of the country above the welfare of their political party. The only time any of them get off their fat butts is when an issue threatens their incumbency. Republicans and Democrats might as well meld into one party and call it the "Self Interest Party." I'd truly like to see voters show a little courage and vote every incumbent out of office. The chances of that happening are about as realistic as the Congress enacting a term limits amendment to the Constitution.

As a side note: Some of you bloggers need to tone down the hate and anger. It accomplishes nothing and takes away from the discussion. You certainly destroy yur credibility when you rant. In a debate, the first one who raises his voice loses.

Posted by: Capt. Howard | June 20, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

bondjedi - Burner is a Harvard grad and Microsoft alum. She whip smart and the author of the hugely endorsed and well respected "Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq" (http://www.responsibleplan.com/).

The only "dopey" candidate in this race is the dullard Reichert who could be played by movie-goof Leslie Neilsen on the big screen - which is where he'd rather be anyway with his shiny Sheriff medals.

Posted by: Daniel K | June 20, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Just a quick note for NJ-3, John Adler is a State Senator not an Assemblyman.

Posted by: NJ | June 20, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I think some of the Democrats on this list are a bit of a stretch. The GOP races all have the polls against them, where as the democrats you mention are mostly ahead in the polls. In particular, TX-22 isn't as solid red as you would think. When they redrew the map Delay put democrats into his district because he knew it didn't matter for him. Now that might have come and bit him in the rear.
And BTW, there isn't a place in the country where Dick Cheney helps you in an election, period. He wouldn't win mayor of his hometown in Wyoming.

Posted by: Andy R | June 20, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

A tiny correction - Washington's 8th is not metropolitan Seattle (that's Jim McDermott's district). The 8th is the eastern suburbs of Seattle (Redmond and Bellevue) and the rural parts of King and Pierce counties, and that is the dichotomy in the race. This was a solid Republican district for many years, but since Dave Reichert took it over from Jennifer Dunn, growth has mushroomed and the stereotypical Subaru-driving, macchiato-sippers have moved in, trimming Reichert's advantage. He squeaked by the dopey Darcy Burner in 2006, and some more than Chris and his sources think his number is up.

Regardless of where it's located, Obamamania will probably be Reichert's undoing, in the end.

Posted by: bondjedi | June 20, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

mjames2-

The WaPo is by far the worst at what you so accurately note. Every blog they have here, exc. Froomkin, is 7 x 24 spinning and framing for McCain.

Posted by: Big Un | June 20, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

This week's Line makes me think that Frank Rich was right in his NYT editorial on Sunday: the media will do anything to sell this election as a horserace, even at the Congressional level. CC leaves out two very vulnerable Republican districts, those held by the retiring Tom Reynolds and incumbent Randy Kuhl. The Dems have a military man running in each district, one a former Republican naval officer (Massa, contesting Kuhl), another an Iraq war vet (John Powers). How these two seats could be left off the line, while PA 11, with a 20 year incumbent makes it, is beyond me. I live in PA 10, and I can see how Carey would be in some trouble, but Kanjorski is as safe as could be.

Posted by: mjames2 | June 20, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

What happened to 'The Case Against Tim Pawlenty'?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Level of voter overall dissatification with politicians x level of turnout = amount republicans lose in seats.

Incumbents everywhere have a lot of explaining to do about why so little has gotten done. It seems voters are in no mood for the usual BS.

Posted by: nclwtk | June 20, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

So like another poster put it very well,

"Obama Lies And Campaign Financial Reform Dies!"

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | June 20, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

So Obama decided to go with the money, duh? Big deal (not!). The one time in recent memory that a Democrat has gobs of money at his disposal to use to get elected President and McCain supporters start wringing their hands and crying like babies. Boo hoo! Republicans have scammed the political system for years by using 527's to raise boatloads of money in order to tilt the playing field. Now that the tide has turned Republicans start crying foul. Too bad, get over it! So Obama changed his position, just like McCain has changed his position on so many issues it's hard to keep count. If I hear one more reader spout off about McCain's principled positions I'm going to scream. He and Romney are like two peas in a pod, saying anything to get a vote, regardless of whether it contradicts their previous "principled" position.

Posted by: redstar1 | June 20, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

How pathetic that the knuckle draggers are
going after Obama for reneging on his pledge to "work with the presumtive Republican nominee" to change the culture
regarding money and politics. He and his
advisors clearly see the disadvantage in
opting into public financing and then facing the unlimited 527's on the Red side.
I applaud him for opting out so as to balance the scales for the fall campaign.

Posted by: Habib Haddad | June 20, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I am not sure how this is good news for the Democrats - Chris seems to indicate that over half of the races should go the Republicans - the post was about how good the atmosphere is for democrats - anyway - maybe I am missong something?

Posted by: goodwater1 | June 20, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Still no acknowledgment by the hack Cilizza that he lied about the pro-McCain 527 "Vets For Freedom"

Posted by: Big Un | June 20, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Could the idiot McSame hacks who hijack every thread in WaPo please learn how to post a comment without hitting submit over and over?

I appreciate that McSame enthusiasts may find "the internets" daunting and confusing, but spare the rest of us and figure it out!

Posted by: SWB | June 20, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Could the idiot McSame hacks who hijack every thread in WaPo please learn how to post a comment without hitting submit over and over?

I appreciate that McSame enthusiasts may find "the internets" daunting and confusing, but spare the rest of us and figure it out!

Posted by: SWB | June 20, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Interesting, especially the backgrounds of the challengers. I think the most telling statistic is the 2004 vote: having GWB carry a district by 10 or more points in 04, yet having a Democrat elected in 06 shows how huge the swing in 04 really was.

I do have a question: what is this cycle going to do to the Republican Party? Drive it to the center or back into the arms of the social conservatives? It's entertaining to watch John McCain try to balance what was his own positions with appealing to the "base". Reminds me of a guy with one foot on a boat, another on the dock as the boat slowly drifts into the stream. Will he end up on the boat, the dock, or in the water? Time will tell.

Also interesting that most of your list is in the NE.

Posted by: DanPatrick | June 20, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Don't overestimate Ozinga's chances in IL-11. He doesn't live in the district, he and his company have been big donors to Democrat Gov. Rod Blagojevich and he was investigated for setting up a puppet minority company with the intent of gaining minority contracts in the City of Chicago.

Your piece makes it sound like Will County being in charge of a future Will County airport is a bad thing. Jackson's 2nd CD is in Cook County and he has long been Daley's ally in the battle for Chicago control of the Will County airport which is well outside their jurisdiction.

And, let's not forget the Ozinga company lawsuit against an 83-year-old downstate farmer forcing him to sell to the Chicago concrete company.

Posted by: ValleyGal | June 20, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, why not Larry Kissell over Robin Hayes in NC-08? He just released an internal showing him with a lead over Hayes. This is one of the only polls apparently in the country that has the challenger leading - and the poll was conducted by Anzalone, who is one of the best, and while Hayes was running a negative ad.

Nobody gave him credit in 2006 and nobody wants to give him credit now. Stop focusing so much on suburbia and the Northeast and you'll realize how many other opportunities are out there for Democrats.

Posted by: North Carolinian | June 20, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

don't forget about Glenn Nye in Virginia's 2nd!

Posted by: jd | June 20, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

So think about this you young Obamafools,

Obama = Liar!

McCain = Straight Talk!

Obama = Loser

McCain = Winner

Obama = Yellow Coward

McCain = War Hero!

So now who in the right mind would vote for
a lying phony like Barack Hussein Obama?

Posted by: Sherry Kay | June 20, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

The reversal of Obama on Campaign Finance is beginning to appear as if Obama is elected, this country is headed for the THIRD NIXON ADMINISTRATION.

Please do not let that happen.

Clearly Obama is advocating OLD POLITICS OVER NEW POLITICS - in fact Obama is supporting going BACKWARDS TO A NIXONIAN ERA IN WHICH CAMPAIGN CASH HAS NO LIMITS.


Remember CREEP and the bagloads of campaign cash all over the place? The TWA situation??? ahhhhh.......

Washington Post please run the old stories to refresh everyone. Obama's support is from the young people who do not remember Watergate or who were born after those scandals.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The reversal of Obama on Campaign Finance is beginning to appear as if Obama is elected, this country is headed for the THIRD NIXON ADMINISTRATION.

Please do not let that happen.

Clearly Obama is advocating OLD POLITICS OVER NEW POLITICS - in fact Obama is supporting going BACKWARDS TO A NIXONIAN ERA IN WHICH CAMPAIGN CASH HAS NO LIMITS.


Remember CREEP and the bagloads of campaign cash all over the place? The TWA situation??? ahhhhh.......

Washington Post please run the old stories to refresh everyone. Obama's support is from the young people who do not remember Watergate or who were born after those scandals.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

This whole thing is beginning to appear as if Obama is elected, this country is headed for the THIRD NIXON ADMINISTRATION.


Please do not let that happen.


Remember CREEP and the bagloads of campaign cash all over the place? The TWA situation??? ahhhhh....... Washington Post please run the old stories to refresh everyone. Obama's support is from the young people who do not remember Watergate or who were born after those scandals.

.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

This whole thing is beginning to appear as if Obama is elected, this country is headed for the THIRD NIXON ADMINISTRATION.


Please do not let that happen.


Remember CREEP and the bagloads of campaign cash all over the place? The TWA situation??? ahhhhh....... Washington Post please run the old stories to refresh everyone. Obama's support is from the young people who do not remember Watergate or who were born after those scandals.

.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Chris -

It's Onondaga County not Ononaga. For that matter we're Central New York not Upstate.

Maffei will win easily and as a loyal Democrat I'll vote for him but I'll do so grudgingly. He comes off as a real jerk. This latest incident with the SU Prof. is petty. His campaign adds last time around were terrible. His speeches lame.

I wish we had another Dem. to run. He was just in the right place at the right time.

Posted by: NY 25th voter | June 20, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

With his reversal on campaign finance, Obama simply proved that he is a LIAR - that the American People can not trust Obama on his word - and Obama has shown that he is weak on campaign finance reform.


What a mess..........


This is very bad. This is serious. The conduct of Obama during this campaign has been so pathetic - like the rules simply do not apply to him. Going back on such a commitment on such a important subject to our democracy as campaign finance reform is a serious transgression. I seriously do not know why the media is not pouncing on Obama over this.


The media either does not understand this situation or is not watching.


McCain is now positioned as the REAL REFORMER - THE REAL CHANGE AGENT. Obama has confirmed that he stands for the same old politics.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

With his reversal on campaign finance, Obama simply proved that he is a LIAR - that the American People can not trust Obama on his word - and Obama has shown that he is weak on campaign finance reform.


What a mess..........


This is very bad. This is serious. The conduct of Obama during this campaign has been so pathetic - like the rules simply do not apply to him. Going back on such a commitment on such a important subject to our democracy as campaign finance reform is a serious transgression. I seriously do not know why the media is not pouncing on Obama over this.


The media either does not understand this situation or is not watching.


McCain is now positioned as the REAL REFORMER - THE REAL CHANGE AGENT. Obama has confirmed that he stands for the same old politics.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Once again Chris has not included the Colorado 4th on this list. Currently Betsy Markley is ahead of Marylyn Musgrave by 6% and that leaves the Republicans with only 2 of 6 house seats in Colorado.

Posted by: Bradcpa | June 20, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Interesting analysis of down-ballot races. Still, don't forget that they're likely to be impacted by the top of the ballot. There, Democrats have nominated a candidate whose aides--according to some media analysts--feel that among his many negatives are his apparent lack of patriotism. So much so that they've even tried to address that in his first TV spot. Not a good thing for someone who would lead a country at war.

-Wm Tate,
http://www.atimelikethis.us/

Posted by: Wm Tate | June 20, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Al Musico has a good point. After 40 years as an active Republican, in the past few years I've been voting Democratic. The reason: disgust at Bush/Cheney, and their cheerleaders in Congress.

The real lesson of 1974 was that Republicans told pollsters they were going to vote, but were so discouraged/disgusted that they just "never got around to going". Told themselves they would, then just managed to forget to vote. That is going to happen again. Big Democratic year, unforseeable to the polls you all live on.

Posted by: Bill | June 20, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I don't know Chris the districts I know something about do not look like they will switch. Sounds like you have been drinking too much kool-aid.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Why should the GOP fret? Even as the minority party, they get what they want.

Posted by: El Sid | June 20, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

ROFLMAO! Hey Cris the Fizzzle WAPO's Own
Democrat Shill,you forget how many voters
have had it with the Do Nothing Promise
Breaking Lousy Lying Democrats In Congress.
And Mr Fizzzle you ignore the coming major
Backlash against Madame Speaker Nutty
Nancy Pelosi for Pelosi "Taking Impeachment
Off The Table" and the Democrats Lies To
The Voters About Bringing Our Troops Home
From Iraq as well! The GOP will kick the
Democrat Mahority Out after the Voters
unleash their Massive Anger Against Pelosi,
Hoyer,Reid and the other Democrat Liars &
Do Nothings like Barack Hussein Obama as
well. Vote Republican in 2008! NOBAMA!

Posted by: Sherry Kay | June 20, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Chris. While the particulars are well-researched as always, this Line suffers from the seeing the forest for the trees problem. 2008 is as much the Democrats' year as 2006. Most of those freshman reps are going to come through, with the possible exception of Nick Lampson. The outlook gets much, much better for Dems and worse for the GOP when you account for the comparative finances of the DCCC and NRCC.

I'd also like to see more attention paid to those three south Florida races...my understanding is that some interesting things have been happening in the Cuban-American community.

Posted by: Saucy Sauce | June 20, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Chris:

Just a small correction, Erik Paulson is a curret state rep. (not sen.) in the race for MN-3. I am really suprised he wowed Stu, he has demonstrated little charisma and even fewer ideas and legislative accomplishments.

I will be a tough race given the Dem trending in that area.

Posted by: FromtheGopherState | June 20, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: MarkInAustin | June 20, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Why is NC 11 off the list? Larry Kissell almost won last time and he is trying again.

Posted by: max | June 20, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Why is NC 11 off the list? Larry Kissell almost won last time and he is trying again.

Posted by: max | June 20, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

I think you under estimate the degree to which upper middle class registered republicans feel they are no longer represented by their own party. I live in Collier county Fla, one of the reddest of the red counties. Republicans I talk to misstrust Obama, and see McCain as a poor choice; but they are really angry at unquestioning support of Bush by the House and Senate for 8 years.

Posted by: Al Musico | June 20, 2008 6:27 AM | Report abuse

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