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[Promoted from the diaries with formatting changes by DavidNYC. Tremendous work. No methodology is going to be perfect, but this is very interesting, comprehensive and serves, at the very least, as a great starting point.]

Yesterday, I posted the seventh and final installment in a series of profiles of potentially vulnerable GOP seats. That diary included New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Washington.

Prior installments:

1) New England, NJ

2) NY, PA

3) WV, OH, MI

4) IN, IL, WI, MN

5) The South

6) IA, KS, CO, WY, NV

These diaries gave an in depth look at 74 potential pickups, some more likely than others. I was asked at one point to provide a summary and rank them in terms of likelihood of winning. To do so, I came up with the following rubric: add the district partisan score to the average of the '02 and '04 Dem challengers' vote percentage, add 10 points for open seat, add 5 points for freshman incumbents, add 5 points for Ohio and Kentucky seats (b/c of scandal), add 10 for scandal, add one for Iraq veteran challenger, and add points at my discretion for strong challengers; and I reserved my right to tweak based on my own hunches. That empiric produced the following ranking, which seems pretty plausible to me.

(See the extended entry for the complete list.)

  1. Iowa 01 (open seat)   119.6
  2. Colorado 07 (open seat)   114
  3. Indiana 09 (Mike Sodrel)  104
  4. Washington 08 (Dave Reichert)   104
  5. Connecticut 04 (Chris Shays) 103.8
  6. Illinois 06 (open seat)   103.6
  7. Connecticut 02 (Rob Simmons)   103.3
  8. Pennsylvania 08 (Mike Fitzpatrick)   102
  9. Pennsylvania 06 (Jim Gerlach)   101.8
  10. Wisconsin 08 (open seat)   101.6
  11. Kentucky 03 (Anne Northup)   100.3
  12. Florida 09 (open seat)   100
  13. Iowa 02 (Jim Leach)   100
  14. California 50 (open seat)   99.6
  15. Minnesota 06 (open seat)   99.6
  16. New Mexico 01 (Heather Wilson)   97.3
  17. Pennsylvania 15 (Charlie Dent)   96.5
  18. California 48 (open seat--special election)   95
  19. Connecticut 05 (Nancy Johnson)   95
  20. North Carolina 11 (Charles Taylor)   94.8
  21. Louisiana 07 (Charles Boustany)   94.3
  22. New Hampshire 02 (Charles Bass)   93.8
  23. Ohio 18 (Bob Ney)   93.3
  24. Nevada 02 (open seat)   93
  25. North Carolina 08 (Robin Hayes)   93
  26. Nevada 03 (Jon Porter)   92.3
  27. Colorado 04 (Marilyn Musgrave)   91.8
  28. New York 29 (Randy Kuhl)   91.8
  29. Indiana 02 (Chris Chocola)   91.8
  30. Ohio 01 (Steve Chabot)   91.3
  31. New Jersey 07 (Mike Ferguson)   90.8
  32. Ohio 12 (Pat Tiberi)   90.8  
  33. Arizona 01 (Rick Renzi)   90.8
  34. Michigan 09 (Joe Knollenberg)   90.5
  35. Florida 22 (Clay Shaw)   90.3
  36. Ohio 15 (Deborah Pryce)   90.3
  37. New York 26 (Tom Reynolds)   90.3
  38. Michigan 11 (Thaddeus McCotter)   90
  39. Iowa 04 (Tom Latham)   90
  40. Florida 13 (open seat)   90
  41. Alabama 03 (Mike Rogers)   89.8
  42. Indiana 08 (John Hostettler)   89.5
  43. Minnesota 02 (John Kline)   89.5
  44. Virginia 02 (Thelma Drake)   88.8
  45. Pennsylvania 07 (Curt Weldon)   88.5
  46. New Hampshire 01 (Jeb Bradley)   87.8
  47. Pennsylvania 03 (Phil English)   87.8
  48. Virginia 11 (Tom Davis)   87.5
  49. Illinois 10 (Mark Kirk)   87
  50. Illinois 11 (Jerry Weller)   87
  51. Pennsylvania 18 (Tim Murphy)   86
  52. Ohio 03 (Mike Turner)   86
  53. California 11 (Richard Pombo)   86
  54. New Jersey 03 (Jim Saxton)   86
  55. West Virginia 02 (Shelley Capito)   85.5
  56. New York 13 (Vito Fossella)   85.5
  57. New Jersey 05 (Scott Garrett)   85.5
  58. New Mexico 02 (Steve Pearce)   85.5
  59. Texas 22 (Tom DeLay)   85.5
  60. New York 03 (Peter King)   85.5
  61. Pennsylvania 10 (Don Sherwood)   84.8
  62. Minnesota 01 (Gil Gutknecht)   84.8
  63. California 26 (David Dreier)   84.5
  64. Arizona 08 (Jim Kolbe)   84.3
  65. Michigan 07 (Joe Schwarz)   84.3
  66. Arizona 05 (J.D. Hayworth)   83.5
  67. Florida 08 (Ric Keller)   83.5
  68. Kansas 02 (Jim Ryun)   83.5
  69. Pennsylvania 04 (Melissa Hart)   82.3
  70. Michigan 08 (Mike Rogers)   82
  71. Ohio 14 (Steve LaTourette)   81
  72. New York 24 (Sherwood Boehlert)   80.8
  73. Ohio 04 (Mike Oxley)   78.3
  74. Wyoming at Large (Barbara Cubin)   70.5

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 03:48 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Great work. I live in Calif CD 31, but ... (none)
      ...the work I do outside my own nearby precincts this election cycle will be directed toward kicking ass two districts away. That would be District 26, home to David Dreier, the Congressman I've been eager to see ousted since I editorially endorsed his foe in the 1988 contest.

      Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 04:21:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good work (none)
      Should you post updates to this over the coming year pleace pay attention to New York 20th(John Sweeney). We have an excellent challenger, Kirsten Gillibrand, who has just filed her papers as a candidate. We'll be posting more on her over the coming months. We plan on retiring Mr. Thug (R-NY20).
    •  Forgotten backstabber ? (none)
      So we've forgotten the betrayal in
      the 5th District of Louisiana?

      Back in the spring of 2004, the
      incumbent Democratic Congressman
      waited until the last legal day for
      a candidate to enter the race to
      switch parties to the Dark Side.

      The clever timing of his treacherous
      act meant that no strong Democratic
      challenger could get in the race.

      Against a couple of unknowns this
      flip-flopping traitor to the Democratic
      Party won re-election with 59% of
      the vote and a wide margin. But
      then, he ran essentially unopposed.

      Back when Cong. Rodney Alexander
      turned his coat from blue to red, many
      on this site commented that we would
      get even. We will field and finance a
      strong challenger "next time" to punish
      his perfidy.

      Well, it's almost time for "next time"
      and Louisiana's 5th District does not
      even make your wish list.

      Too soon we forget.

      Meanwhile, you might want to check
      your figures. The partisan share of
      the 2004 vote is a cock-eyed number.
      Because he had swindled Democrats
      out of having a strong opponent,
      the traitor ran ahead of George W.
      Bush's share in the vote. Normally
      a local Democrat would have run far
      ahead of John Kerry's share. If you
      adjust your calculations, a more
      normal election could be much
      more favorable to the Democrat
      "next time".

      •  LA-05 (none)
        Is actually the 2d most GOP district in the state, behind Jindal's LA-01.  It gave Gore 41% in 2000 and Kerry 37%.  It was won easily by John Cooksey as a new district in the 1990s and easily held by him until he left it to challenge Mary Landrieu in 2002.  Alexander won a squeaker in the open seat race against a really crappy opponent (Lee Fletcher) and then bolted.  I realize Alexander's own totals may be inflated because of the bait and switch--and the lingering anger may be enough to put him in hot water.  I'm with you in hoping it is.
  •  Bet the farm on WA 8 (none)
    If we don't win there. . . .

    Pray for a miracle in WA 4 and 5.

    -7.88, -7.74 In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.

    by melvin on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 02:36:35 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for all your work on this. (none)
    I personally am going to be focused on David Dreier. I think he's vulnerable due to his close connection to Tom DeLay, and his refusal to investigate his friend in the House Rules Committee.

    The neocons will not give us our country back. If we want it back, we'll have to take it.
    --Lila Garrett

    by peacemonger on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 02:36:57 PM PDT

  •  PA-7 (4.00)
    Talking Points has a blip about this guy:

    Another Iraq War vet to run for Congress, Bryan Lentz. He's going to run against Rep. Curt "Freelance Spy/International Man of Mystery/Shaken not Stirred" Weldon (R-PA). This is the PA-7 district.

    Lentz is a former Philly prosecutor as well as a vet of the Iraq War. Apparently he's also done a stint in Bosnia and the Sinai.

    "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

    by kredwyn on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 02:37:03 PM PDT

    •  Are ANY Iraq War vets running as Rs? (none)
      Does anyone have any figures on this?

      The public wants what the public gets, but I don't get what this society wants -- Paul Weller

      by jamfan on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 02:39:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The guy challenging (none)
        Robert Byrd for WV Sen, I believe.  As far as I've heard there aren't any on the House side--unless you count the claim made on Mark Kirk's website before he sheepishly changed it.
        •  They finally found someone (none)
          to run against Byrd?

          "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

          by kredwyn on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 02:50:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hiram Lewis (none)
            and I think he was a vet of the first Iraq war.
            •  Ah... (none)
              Well that'll be interesting.

              "Voted Against Your Tax Break.  Continues to Fight to RAISE Taxes."

              I can see it now. Byrd: "I have indeed voted against tax breaks for people who make over X million dollars a year. Wouldn't you, if you were in my place? After all, so long as we continue to face the high costs of a war in Iraq, a war in Afghanistan, fiscal challenges in the Gulf states as well as Texas from Mother Nature, and a growing deficit, where do you think the money should come from? Son, I don't know what your folks taught you, but money doesn't grow on trees."

              Byrd'll bring out all the rhetorical stops...I can see him quoting Aristotle on the character of youth.

              "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

              by kredwyn on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 03:16:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I think it's Hiram Lewis... (none)
            ...and from what I know about him, it will be a run-away for Senator Byrd.  Lewis is not a great candidate, but there was no way that Capito was getting in the race against Byrd (NO idea what Liddy Dole was thinking spending all that money to try to soften up Byrd for nothing, but we'll take the money nonetheless...), so Lewis is all they have.  Hes tried running for office in WV previously and has gotten absolutely nowhere.  

            Sen. Byrd will be making his announcement on the 26th of September in the State Capitol rotunda.  Should make for some lovely campaign commercial footage.  

            "A time comes when silence is betrayal." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

            by ReddHedd on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 05:36:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  btw, no news on a challenger for Shelly Capito... (none)
              If anyone has heard a potential opponent name, please post somewhere in this thread.  I live in a county adjacent ot her district and did some field work for the State Dems. while doing work for the Kerry folks in 2004.  Would like to know if anyone is going to mount any challenge at all to her and what the state party apparatus is doing to help them, if anything, at this stage in the game.  Thanks for any info.  I've heard a rumor or two, but nothing substantive and not from anyone who ever really knows anything that ends up being true.  ;-)  Some solid information would be most welcome for this particular race.

              "A time comes when silence is betrayal." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

              by ReddHedd on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 05:40:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  No Contest (none)
          Replacing Byrd in WV would be like getting former Sen. Jesse Helms outta NC. Unless of course someone cheats...

          If you push something hard enough, it will fall over. Fudds first law of opposition.

          by UhClem on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 03:54:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I haven't seen any... (none)
        but that doesn't mean they aren't there. I did a diary back in August about three other vets that're running. And it looks like David Ashe is making another run for the VA 2nd.

        "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

        by kredwyn on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 02:44:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Bryan Lentz (none)
      For Philly bloggers- Bryan was Seth Williams' campaign manager in his run for DA against ol' Lynne Abraham... A very good guy.

      That said, I think Paul Scoles is running as well, and probably has a fair amount of support.

    •  Lentz is the Right Candidate for PA7 (none)
      This is a district the Democrats should never have ignored.  Bob Edgar (D) held it from 1974 until 1986, when he ran against Arlan Spector.  The district is moderate, whereas Weldon is extremely conservative.  Though the first President Bush soundly beat Michael Dukakis in PA7, Clinton won it twice, Gore won it, Kerry won it, Rendell won it...'s a winnable district, but only with a very strong candidate.  Lentz seems to be the guy.  But he's going to need a lot of grassroots support -- and this early in the game, that means grassroots money.  It's the $25 and $50 contributions that got Paul Hackett so close.  Lentz is going to need the same support.

  •  Wonderful series of diaries. (none)

    He that chooses his own path needs no map. Queen Kristina of Sweden.

    by Boppy on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 02:37:41 PM PDT

  •  Good work! (4.00)
    That must of taken a while to make.
  •  Anybody have a list of the Likely Challengers..... (none)
    For the first 25 or 30 seats?

    Thank you, Superribbie. Your work on these diaries have been awesome.

    •  How about those already running? (none)
      I'm in Texas-21 and we have an excellent challenger in John Courage (great name too) for Lamar Smith's seat. Smith is a DeLay lackey and basic nonentity. He won last time with no challenger except for a file-and-disappear crank.

      Courage is a 50-something military veteran, husband-and-father, teacher who is a very solid progressive on the issues. DeLay's gerrymandering gave TX-21 more conservative suburban and rural voters to dilute the Austin vote, but we still have a big chunk of deep blue Austinites in the district. It won't take a lot of defections from the rest of the district to turn it around.

      Love your work, Superibble. Next step, I think, is to look at the challengers.

      One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. - Plato

      by Janet Strange on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 03:25:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You bet (4.00)
        but the field won't be set for a few months.  In the meantime, I plan to profile our own potentially vulnerable seats--of which there are far fewer.
      •  Agree (4.00)
        First off, John has just posted his first kos diary here.  It's a great start and a fun read.

        Texas seems to be getting pretty ignored this time around, and it's not without good reason it seems. After losing so many Congresmen last year in redistricting by not so small margins, people aren't stepping up so much to go agains them.  But Courage is unique in that this is a seat that wasn't really challenged last year so the base numbers are not that accurate.  He's run before 4 years ago but the district was far more Republican then, like 75/25 but is now 60/40 at best.

        Plus there are underlying state house seats (2 in Austin, one which we lost by only 187 votes last time) that having his campaign activly working will help them as well. That's something that we are often forgetting in these House races is what is underneath them.

        Courage inspired me into politics 4 years ago when he ran.  Because of him rural county parties are now some of the strongest in the state and pushing the TDP towards change.  

    •  Number 9 Gerlack (none)
      Lois Murphy is running against Gerlack again in the PA 6th.

      It was a close race in 2004

  •  What, nobody from Missouri? (none)
    The Republican leadership is tanking in that state.  Blunt's below 30%.  Missourians have a tendency to be staunchly non-partisan.  I remember elections where we voted for the republican for president and the democrat for Governor, or senator.  Without doing any research, I imagine several of their seats would be up for grabs.
    •  Unfortunately (none)
      the nature of the state is that, while it is balanced statewide, the Dem strength is highly concentrated in St. Louis and Kansas City.  This led to a map of 2 super Dem districts, one highly Dem district (all of which we already have), three highly GOP districts, and three super GOP districts (one of which we actually hold).  The closest of the GOP-held seats would be Sam Graves' 6th (which was held by a Dem before he won it in 2000), but even that looks less promising than any of the ones above.
  •  MI-11 (none)
    I know of two candidates running in my district, and neither one is a Paul Hackett-quality challenger.

    What are you going to do about it?--incorrectly attributed to Boss Tweed.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 02:49:31 PM PDT

    •  That's too bad (none)
      I get really annoyed at the McCotters, Gerlachs, Murphys, Tom Feeneys, and Ginny Brown-Waites of the world: state legislators who draw districts for themselves to win.  It is doubly satsfying when we can beat one in their hand-drawn district.  And yes, I know we have a few among the Dems (see Brad Miller, NC-13, for one).
  •  I note that 3 are in Iowa... (none)
    ...which goes to show you that the really big issue is congressional districting.  Iowa has very logical congressional districting, based on geography and not political manipulation by whoever is in power.  The House should have much more turnover than it does - the Senate is supposed to be the deliberative body.

    I wish there was more of a public upswelling of support for logical, non-partisan districting for the House.  Too bad that the current Republican Supreme Court will prevent this from happening until we all retire.  

    •  Absolutely (none)
      I wish there was a way to mandate the Iowa (or Washington) redistricting system nationally.  Without that, it's tough going b/c it's a prisoner's dilemma: while everyone would be better off with a fair process everywhere, the incentive for the dominant party in a state is always to keep the power and use it if for no other reason than the other party in other states is doing it.
      •  Thank God (none)
        Iowa's "non-partisan" redistricting has given us a 4R-1D house delegation in a 50-50 "purple" state. No thanks!
        •  The 4-1 is kind of a fluke (none)
          It is really about 1.5-3.5. Leach (IA-2) is a split personality. He votes against the R's more than any other R in the house, so he's sort of a RINO, but he does suck up for the $$. But I still don't like him. When he retires, this will be a D seat in a rout.

          IA-1 is a great opportunity for a pick up.

          The other R seats are not really in play, alot of the 4th district is in the "Nebraska east" part of Iowa, as is all of the 5th.

          ... and when they came for the liberals, there was no one to stand up for me.

          by UndercoverRxer on Sat Sep 24, 2005 at 09:24:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Retire, hell. I'll be dead. n/t (none)

      I'ts too wet to work. Let's buy a DVD.

      by emmasnacker on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 05:11:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If RON succeeds in Ohio (none)
      which is calling for non partisan districting then you may see that ground swell if it works out
  •  Heather Wilson (none)
    I'm in her district.  I wonder who will run against her?

    Oh, and Steve Pearce is an asshole.  Just thought I'd get that off my chest.

    •  Wow (4.00)
      How many representatives does Holland get?
    •  In the early 90's... (none)
      ...I worked in the computer biz in Albq with an asshole named Steve Pearce; ripped off our employer big time on the way out the door. Wonder if it is the same guy ?

      And Heather; couldn't believe she won last time. Albq should really have a Dem. Good Luck!

    •  I remember watching returns in 2002 (none)
      from my apartment in Abq, during architecture school @ UNM. We congratulated each other for sending the warmongerer Wilson out of her seat when we went to bed. She was down by 4 or 5%. Then the absentees were counted and she won by 3 or 4%. Unbelievable.

      But then again, Richard Romero admitted in the last debate, when asked about a subject, "I haven't read about that, so I can't comment." Gulp. And why did he win the nomination in 04 again?

      There are at least 2 or 3 candidates who can win that seat. I know - I talked to at least 2 of them in 2003. That seat MUST be won and held by a Dem. Just not State Senator Romero.

      "To love G-d is to love justice." - Paul Wellstone

      by JK Minnesota on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 04:06:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Our Green "Friends" (none)
        Screwed us here, as they ALWAYS do.
        See Florida and New Hampshire 2000.
        If I believed in hell, there will be lots of Greens there for this. STupid frakin pot heads.

        ... and when they came for the liberals, there was no one to stand up for me.

        by UndercoverRxer on Sat Sep 24, 2005 at 09:27:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  well-prepared (none)
      Heather Wilson will not be a pushover. She has begun to distance herself a bit from the wingnuts and Bush, and she works very hard for her constituents. I have a friend who has worked with the NM Congressional delegation for many years on rural healthcare policy issues. She says that Wilson is the best prepared and most knowledgable of the bunch. She does her homework.

       Amazing to hear this from this source, because my friend is an effective, hard-working Green, transplanted (30 years ago) Berkeley radical.

      This is, of course, only one anecdote, dealing with one field.

      don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 04:58:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Page: (none)
      You could probably continue to vote in ABQ for years. It shouldn't take much effort to maintain a plausible paper residency, and they don't purge the lists that fast.  I wouldn't be surprised to find I'm still registered there, even though it's been more than a dozen years since I moved out.

      don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 05:04:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anything above 100 we win? (none)
    If this turns out to be presciently accurate, do you want to guess whether we will win everything above what... 90?  95? 100?  How many seats do you think we can pick up?

    And we need, what, 30 to take back the House?

    •  We need 15 (none)
      if we don't lose anything we hold.  As to what number is the cutoff (or even if the races will develop in my order) is hard to say.  We may see some as yet unannounced GOP retirements creating more opportunities as well.  My optimistic prediction is a net plus of 25-30 based on the national dynamics.
      •  Thanks... (none)
        ... While I enjoy the Bush bashing and all the emotion on DailyKos, I really love this blog because of political analyses like the ones you produce.  Please keep up the good work - lots of us out in cyberspace read them.
        •  Diary (none)
          While I enjoy the Bush bashing and all the emotion on DailyKos, I really love this blog because of political analyses like the ones you produce.

          Hear, hear! This is an example of the best that DailyKos has to offer. And it's why I promoted this diary.

      •  For the purpose of committees is true (none)
        we need 15, but with the conservative Democrats who consistently vote Republican you will need a bigger margin of pick ups to have any effect on the agenda. It would be a cover for the Republicans to have a House that is Democratic in name only, but not in effective governance, wouldn't you agree?
        •  Actually, I don't (none)
          The structure of the House is such that once a party has its leadership in place, it can stack the committees with loyalists and so control the agenda.  Sure, roll call votes may be dicey propositions, but even that shouldn't be too terrible.  As much as people here like to rail against lack of unity, there really aren't any Reps. that fundamentally vote with the GOPers all the time now that Ralph Hall has switched parties.  So a moderate agenda could get passed.
      •  WA-04 (none)
        Rumor has it that Rep. "Doc" Hastings will be retiring next year.

        While the district is solid GOP in presidential races I think it is winable for Democrats in the House.

        Inslee used to represent the district until 1994 and Morrison before him was an ultra-moderate Republican.

        Last year an underfunded Democrat who only saw late backing from the State party and none from the DCCC managed to do 45% against him.

        Hastings is up to his eyeballs in the DeLay/Abramoff scandals as well keeping the House ethics committee off DeLay's back. The district may be GOP but they don't like corruption or cronyism.

        Personally I'd like to have my state to send 9 Dem reps to Congress in 2007, but I have to admit that WA-05 will be a tough nut to crack. Though I've heard the state party intends to go after McMorris.

    •  Just (none)
      17 seats for a one seat majority. Or 16 if the congressman from Vermont caucuses with us. Wonder who will be, since Sanders is running for Senate.
  •  NJ 07 (none)
    As much as i'd love to see Mike Ferguson out of a job, it'll be a really tough fight.  In 2004 we had a great candidate in Steve Brozak (an Iraq veteran), but no chance of winning.
  •  Connecticut (none)
    2 in the top ten.

    3 in the top twenty.

    Come on, people. Time to roll up our sleeves and make this happen.

  •  CO-07 (none)
    Who is the leading Dem challenger in CO-07?
  •  Two comments (none)
    DFA is running their instant runoff vote for first endorsement of the 2006 election.   Voting is ongoing, and you can vote now at:

    Current standings so far:
    Live Results

    1. John Courage (TX-21)unranked
    2. Francine Busby (CA-50)you ranked 14
    3. Christine Cegelis (IL-06) you ranked number 6
    4. Lois Murphy (PA-06) you ranked number 9
    5. Patrick Murphy (PA-08) you ranked number 8
    6. David Loebsack (IA-02) you ranked number 13
    7. Bryan Kennedy (WI-05) unranked
    8. Joe Courtney (CT-02) - you ranked number 7
    9. Paul Hodes (NH-02) - you ranked 22
    10. Bruce Braley (IA-01) - you ranked number 1

    Obviously, we aren't voting for the right top 3!
    •  With the exceptions (none)
      of TX-21 and WI-05, though, all of these challengers are in very winnable races.  The WI-05 race is a sentimental favorite because Sensenbrenner is such a douchebag.  I'm not too familiar with the TX-21 race, other than the fact that Lamar Smith is a longtimer in a DeLaymadered district.
      •  TX-21 (none)
        See my comment above (sorry I misspelled your handle in it). The DeLaymandered district (mine) was for a million years, - well, almost - represented by the much-beloved Jake Pickle. When he retired, Lloyd Doggett won his seat, and has been similarly much beloved.

        After DeLay ripped apart our city into three districts with the goal of getting rid of Doggett - didn't work, Doggett won by about 65% - the other two were taken by R's. But the Austinites in them are pissed as hell that they no longer have Doggett as their Rep.

        I think we can take them. We only lost them last time, I think because the D's were caught off guard by the DeLaymandering and didn't challenge.

        The suburban and rural extensions of the districts (stretching to San Antonio, Houston, and the Mexican border) do include a lot of conservative voters. But the Austinites will vote for ANY D who runs (my precinct went for the file-and-disappear crank mentioned above - ABS - anybody but Smith). With more and more ordinary folks, even in rural and suburban areas, getting disgusted with Bush and R's in general, it won't take much of a swing there, together with the solidly D Austinites to turn these around.

        I think it would be some kind of poetic justice if the long-term effect of DeLay's raid on our district map resulted in not just not being able to get rid of Doggett, but ultimately getting three D seats where before there was only one. :-)

        One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. - Plato

        by Janet Strange on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 03:38:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That would be justice indeed (4.00)
          Texas in general may have gotten the short end of the stick in my ratings because they rely heavily on 2000 and 2004 presidential results--both of which involved the home-stater at the top of the GOP ticket.  I have TX-21 as a 36.8% Dem district, making it the 2d most Dem TX district held by a GOPer--after TX-02.
        •  to let people know (4.00)
          (posted this up or maybe downthread, don't know where it is now, heh)

          First off, John has just posted his first kos diary here.  It's a great start and a fun read.

          Texas seems to be getting pretty ignored this time around, and it's not without good reason it seems. After losing so many Congresmen last year in redistricting by not so small margins, people aren't stepping up so much to go agains them.  But Courage is unique in that this is a seat that wasn't really challenged last year so the base numbers are not that accurate.  He's run before 4 years ago but the district was far more Republican then, like 75/25 but is now 60/40 at best.

          Plus there are underlying state house seats (2 in Austin, one which we lost by only 187 votes last time) that having his campaign activly working will help them as well. That's something that we are often forgetting in these House races is what is underneath them.

          Courage inspired me into politics 4 years ago when he ran.  Because of him rural county parties are now some of the strongest in the state and pushing the TDP towards change.  

    •  target for who? (none)
      Who should be using their resources to target these races? Is it a good idea to use a DFA endorsement on seats that are already vulnerable? Isn't the idea behind that specific endorsement to support the 50-state strategy? I didn't see anything in their description of the endorsement suggesting that we should only vote for candidates in races are good targets. Quite the opposite is how I perceived it.
      •  I tend to think (none)
        what the DFA voted endorsement measures is the will of DFA members to support candidates with time or money.  At this point, I regard Howard's efforts with the DNC as the 50 state strategy, now a goal of the national party.

        That leaves DFA to pick races its members are interested in, with the hope of making the most difference.

  •  Hey, this is great (none)
    Would you consider putting it up over at MyDD?
  •  Great to see WI-08 high on the list (none)
    as with Nancy Nusbaum, we really can win this one.

    Democratic women are helping statewide, raising funds for the crucial first deadline coming up, and there is hope for EMILY's List funding -- that's what helped us win with Tammy Baldwin and Gwen Moore.

    "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

    by Cream City on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 03:17:07 PM PDT

    •  Nancy (none)
      is the strongest candidate we could've gotten for this seat -- I'm pumped, especially with this past summer's polling that shows this to be more competitive than a lot of folks anticipated.

      As I've been saying for months now, keep your eye on this one. It'd be a nice pickup indeed.

      •  Agreed! And she has stood firm (none)
        for the good things for years in Green Bay, on the Brown County board, etc. -- so I was so excited to see her in this race.  And then the polls, very promising . . . and now the push is on for the end-of-the-month first fundraising deadline that is so significant to get big money (Dem party, EMILY's List, etc.) so send now!

        Fyi, any in the Milwaukee area interested in meeting Nusbaum at a fundraiser here this Monday, email me at -- or if this is short notice, get on her mailing list for the next time.

        Women and other good Dems around the state helped Tammy Baldwin and Gwen Moore -- and now we need to do it again for Bryan Kennedy and Nancy Nusbaum.

        "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

        by Cream City on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 09:54:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agree about the seat (none)
          but disagree about the candidate.  Certainly Nusbuam's been around a long time...she actually ran for the seat as a Republican in '94.  That's neither here nor their, really.  In a year that promises to be so anti-incumbant I really think that Jamie Wall is the way to go.  He's young, smart, hard-working - and he's an outsider, something that Nusbuam can't say.  

          Don't you think that it's harder for EL to pull Nusbaum through in the WI-08 than in Baldwin or Moore's district?  

          •  Nope, Nusbaum has the numbers by far (none)

            "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

            by Cream City on Sat Sep 24, 2005 at 10:07:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  of course she has the numbers now (none)
              Nusbaum's been on the ballot before (as a Dem and a Republican) and she ran state wide a little while back.  But look at the calendar - we're more than a year out and Wall clearly has been raising the money to be a major player in this race.  

              Also, that's a poll that EL ran to convince her to run.  That's standard operating procedure for any interest group that sees an oportunity to get a horse in the race.  But who knows what else it says.  I doubt all the numbers were released.  

              Regardless, this is a terrific opportunity for a pick up.  I'm sure we can agree that Wall or Nusbaum will be a great alternative to Gard.  

              •  Agreed, any Dem would be better (none)
                than Gard.

                But, fyi, if you go to the link, you'll see the poll was from some months ago.  There have been others since, I seem to recall, but only better for Nusbaum.  I sent this one because I could find it on search and because it was reported elsewhere as not funded by any of the candidates nor by EL.  Where do you see that it was otherwise?  And the link seems to be a full report; what other numbers are not in there?  Seriously -- trying to decide whom to support (with donations, since it's not my district, so I can't work on the ground or vote there), I'm trying to find the best info available.  So if you have other info, please provide it.

                "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

                by Cream City on Sat Sep 24, 2005 at 10:43:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Okay, looking upthread to the link (none)
                at WisPolitics, I see what you're saying about it being a poll by EL.

                But what other polls are there that give Wall a better chance?  I'm searching, I'm searching -- but in the Fox River Valley, you may know more. . . .

                "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

                by Cream City on Sat Sep 24, 2005 at 10:45:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't know more (none)
                  about polling in this race.  The link you posted was the only one I know of.  

                  I just have a feeling that Wall is a solid candidate with a bright future.  As an elections junkie I can site a bunch of times that a relative unknown breaks through the field in a Congressional race and emerges as the strongest candidate.  It's cool that this is all happening here in northeast Wisconsin!

                  •  Okay. I will agree (none)
                    that it's so encouraging that there are good Dems coming out to get Gard.  And that it may be early times to pick a winner.  But the early filing deadline is so crucial, so it's also good that a lot of us -- even some of us elsewhere in the state, like me -- are watching (and donating, as I did already).

                    And then we'll see what the results of the first fundraising deadline tell us, more important than the polls with what it will take to fight the GOP in this state, so much more organized than the Dems.

                    "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

                    by Cream City on Sat Sep 24, 2005 at 01:08:36 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  WI-08 (none)
      I still wish the WI-05 had made the list; I think Kennedy has a strong chance, and knocking off a Republican icon like Sensenbrenner wouls be a real morale booster.

      But about the WI-08, I met with Steve Kagen this afternoon--he is seeking out bloggers for advice and support, which I say is a good sign.  I'm not convinced he's the one, and I had some real concerns, but now I'm totally spoiled and I want Nussbaum and Wall to call me for a meeting, as well.  No endorsements unless they by me a frappucino!  :)

      I will write up the meeting I had with Kagen for my blog and I'll cross-post it here.

      By the way, Cream City, will you make it to Drinking Liberally this Wednesday?

      •  I'm not sure about Wednesday (none)
        because I have to be in Madison for a big do on Thursday -- but I'm hoping to get to DL soon; I checked out the photos, and it looked great. . . .

        Re WI-08, I read up on Kagen, too -- but I have been following Nusbaum's courageous career for years, against the nativists on the Brown County board pushing English-only laws and other battles.  She's paid her dues, she's got better name recognition and  pulled better in the polls, etc., so that's why I'm doing what I can for her . . . but I'll do the same for whichever Dem pulls ahead so we can get that seat!

        Btw, Nusbaum will be in Milwaukee for a fundraiser  this Monday night, an East Side house.  Interested?

        "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

        by Cream City on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 09:47:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Re Bryan Kennedy in WI-05 (none)
        I absolutely agree -- he did so well against great odds last time, and that was before so many beyond the district even knew the name Sensenbrenner.

        So this list certainly doesn't deter me -- there are other lists that mean money, and that's what it will take.  Send your anti-Sensenbrenner money to, DKos'ers, and do it NOW -- the early deadline to get big money matches is only a week away.  We in Wisconsin will take it from there. . . .

        "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

        by Cream City on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 09:57:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Rousing cheer for your series... (none)
    Superribie - have really enjoyed your series. You did a great job putting all this together. Thanks for the hard work.
  •  What about Ney? (none)
    Do you see him being weakened by his ethics problems?
    I'm in his district, and judging from conversations with people who have no idea he's under any cloud, I don't see this as a problem for him unless he's indicted.  And if the daily paper chooses to put that on the front page.
    But I can hope.

    War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

    by Margot on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 03:24:18 PM PDT

  •  Great series, great work! (none)
  •  Have you checked out ID-1? (none)
    I'm new to the state and am just learning local politics.  Butch Otter is running to replace Dick--I mean Dirk Hempthorne as governor, so his seat is up for grabs.  There are 8 Repubs running, I believe, and they are trying to outdo each other in craziness, including a Latino who wants to crack down on illegal aliens and one whose candidicy was announced by Helen Chenowith, the former darling of the militia movement who held the seat and who was involved in some scandal.  The rest of them are going around proclaiming themselves as the most conservative.  There is one moderate Democrat running.  Maybe he has a chance with the Repubs so fractured.

    I wasn't using my civil liberties anyway.

    by hoosierspud on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 03:34:17 PM PDT

    •  If they have a REALLY ugly primary (none)
      producing a weak and damaged nominee, perhaps.  That district is tied for the 15th most GOP in the country.  It was a big deal when the relatively moderate Otter won it.
      •  Suprisingly, there are a few (none)
        pockets of liberals here--Lewiston, Moscow.  Lewiston has a pretty liberal newspaper and the LTE's have had a lot of letters expressing displeasure and disgust with Bush.

        I wasn't using my civil liberties anyway.

        by hoosierspud on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 04:00:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Just for the sake of curiosity.. (none)
        Which are the, let's say, 10 most republican districts in the country?
        •  Top (or bottom) ten (none)
          1. Utah 03 (Chris Cannon)
          2t. Alabama 06 (Spencer Bachus)
          2t. Texas 11 (? Conaway)
          4t. Texas 13 (Mac Thornberry)
          4t. Texas 19 (Randy Neugebauer)
          6. Nebraska 03 (Tom Osborne)
          7t. Georgia 07 (John Linder)
          7t. Georgia 10 (Nathan Deal)
          1. Utah 01 (Rob Bishop)
          2. Georgia 08 (Lynn Westmoreland)

          NOTE: Georgia districts are pre-2005 GOP gerrymander.
    I'm in a team to fight reichert.  will be canvassing next week.

    this weasle thinks he can get by on a moderate/maverick image but we'll show him!

    just more days!

    by joewlarson on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 03:39:32 PM PDT

  •  Cubin in Wyo (none)
    Cubin faced two pretty good canidates from a progressive standpoint (e.g. pro-choice) in her primary last time around. They split each other's votes and she got by. One strategy that i haven't seen mentioned alot, but can be utilized in red states is to fight them in a primary where they are most vulnerable, to at least get republicans that are less extreme and beholden to special interests.
  •  Kirk at 49... (none)
    Can't we find a rich Democrat from Winnetka to run against Mark Kirk (IL-10)?  Any Chicago-area Dems have ideas on who to draft?  Kirk has really grafted himself onto Bush and all the rich folk in his district have got to be getting very nervous about out-of-control spending.  He's making a lot of noise about deficit reduction, but he's lied about his military record and he's got a bad case of hubris.  I think he might be more vulnerable than his ranking might suggest, especially if someone articulate with a big war chest goes at him hard.

    And while I'm at it, can't Sensenbrenner up in Wisconsin just retire or die quietly in his sleep or something?  He's not on your list, he'll get relected, and he's really disgusting.  

    •  Agreed (none)
      As I mentioned, I'm from IL-10, although I live now in Rogers Park, in Jan Schakowsky's IL-09.  (At least I think I am; we just moved here from Evanston and the Chicago lines are all wacky, so I wouldn't be shocked to find out I'm in Emanuel's IL-05).  This is really the year to go after Kirk.  All the Dem state legislators are taking a pass, it looks like.  I'd love to run, but: 1. I can't afford taking a year off work; 2. I'm a carpetbagger at this point; and 3. Nobody listens to a 28-year old 3 years out of law school.
      •  I think we can take Kirk (none)
        If you find someone to take Kirk on, I'll come out and bee an indentured servant to that person.

        Anyone who voted against the patriot act is too good for the Senate

        Feingold for President

        by Goldfish on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 04:19:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I hope so (none)
        And if you're in da park, you're in Jan's district... your state senate/rep district could be either Julie Hamos (North of Touhy) or Harry Osterman (South)...they're pretty awesome reps.  

        I just moved back to NY, and while I love it here, I miss the lake and my political crew!  There are a couple of really good Dem organizations (notably the 10th Dems, plus two excellent DFA groups) working to recruit a good candidate to run against Kirk.  I'm hoping Susan Garrett (State Sen. from the 10th district, very popular in the most Republican part of the district) reconsiders.  A little "help" from Rahm I'm sure would be appreciated...ugh...

    •  they did (none)
      Actually, there is a rich Demorcat from winnetka vying for the spot. is his website I think. I'll reserve judgement and my vote in the primary until i see the other candidates though.

      You have the power, so start using it.

      by peacenik23 on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 05:06:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are candidates running against Kirk! (none)
      There is one declared candidate: Zane Smith. At least one more Democrate is declaring. There is much interest in this race and people are ultra-aware that Kirk is vulnerable and can be beat. Stay tuned!
  •  I like PA for 2006. (none)
    We can take a Senate seat with Casey, hold the governor's mansion with Rendell, and maybe flip two or three House seats )I really don't see how Gerlach and Fitzpatrick can survive, at this point). Only Ohio offers more potential for an electoral earthquake.

    Too bad I'm registered in PA-9.

  •  If over 100 is a win... (none)
    You need to check your math on CA-48.  Your result seems a little low.

    I'm Steve Young's database administrator.  I've seen the data.  We will win this thing.Of course, it ain't over 'till it's over, but it looks pretty good to me.

    Sorceress Sarah

    It is no accident that Liberty and Liberal are the same word.

    by Sorceress Sarah on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 04:06:33 PM PDT

    •  Can you state (none)
      your reasons of why you think Young will win this? And can he then hold it for future elections?
      •  I can (none)
        But if I did I would be broadcasting our strategy.  I'll tell you how we did it after it's done.

        Sorry if that sounds like a cop-out, but it's the best I can do right now.

        It is no accident that Liberty and Liberal are the same word.

        by Sorceress Sarah on Sat Sep 24, 2005 at 05:10:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The math I used: (none)
      2000 presidential (2-party): Bush 60, Gore 40.
      2004 presidential (2-party): Bush 59, Kerry 41.

      Take the Gore% (40) and averge it with Kerry% plus one (42) to get: 41.  

      Average that with the Cook Partisan Voting Index (42): 41.5.

      Double that number (because with no incumbent, past results for the incumbent are meaningless):

      Add 10 points because it is an open seat.

    •  Also (none)
      the number 100 is arbitrary; it does not signify the dividing line between likely and possible.  It is simply the number generated by the algorithm.
    •  I have my doubts that over 100 can win (none)
      WA 8 is listed as the #4 target, and those who live in the district should favor Democrats.   But the problem will be 1) will the Democrats get a viable candidate, and 2) will they have enough money?

      I have not heard the mention of any names of candidates that will challenge Reichart next year.   You can't win elections without candidates.

  •  Great work! (none)
    Thanks for sharing your analysis.  Is there a website/resource publicly available that details district partisan makeup, prior election votes, etc., or did you get all your data from SoS websites from each state?
    •  I subscribe to (none)
      which has the Almanac of American Politics online.  The Almanac is available in print form either to purchase or in most libraries.  I'm not sure where else to get everything--particularly the presidential votes by district.
  •  MN-01 is ours in 2006 (none)
    Tim Walz is a great candidate. He's a teacher, a veteran, a great speaker and an excellent organizer. He's got the D-trip's attention big time, and is building now for a great race next year.

    He's gonna win. Gutknecht promised only 6 terms. He's at his self-imposed limit. Can he be trusted to keep his word? No, but Command Sergeant Major Walz is going to make sure he has to.

    "To love G-d is to love justice." - Paul Wellstone

    by JK Minnesota on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 04:10:39 PM PDT

  •  Great List (none)
    This is an excellent piece of work.  Thanks for posting it.  

    I hope people keep in mind that several gains could start in six weeks.  We should focus on them NOW.  

    First, Ohio's "Reform Ohio Now" propositions are major.  Imagine easier, fair voting.  And fair non-partisan districts.  Your list shows how gerrymandered the re-districting was.  Ohio is a 51-49 state, but the congressional seats are 12-6 republican.  And six seats on the list.  I assume they are all just slightly enough republican.  If we just get fair districts, I think it should mean a 2-4 seat gain in Ohio alone.

    Second. California 48 is up NOW.  If we can take this seat, the chances of holding it next year are much improved (think of Ky 6 and S.D. last year).  

  •  NM-02 (none)
    I live in Socorro, NM which is part of NM-02 and overwhelmingly Democratic.  I can't even begin to tell you how awful Pearce is for this district, but I'll try.

    First and foremost, he is in lockstep with the Bush administration and Tom DeLay.  He votes with them 93% of the time.  Pearce has taken money from Tom DeLay's ARMPAC.  I am hoping (probably against hope) that whoever goes up against him will continually and constantly mention the close ties Pearce has with these greedy bastards.

    Pearce constantly votes for those items that benefit the wealthy and the oil and gas industry - Pearce had a business for many years related to the oil and gas industry.  He's voted to eliminate the estate tax (he himself is worth 7-10 million).  Good crikey, Pearce didn't even do anything to help Socorro with CDBG's - rather Democrat Rep. Tom Udall (NM-03) went to bat for Socorro.

    Pearce is a right-wing minion with no independent thought or action of his own.  And with that being said, he will be very difficult to unseat.  As was pointed out in a previous diary, part of NM-02 is New Mexico's "Little Texas" and all that that implies.

    Gawd help us.

    What the hell is it NOW?

    by TigerMom on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 04:21:08 PM PDT

  •  IL-06 (none)
    Did you factor in the fact that the Republican running in the Illinois Sixth is a former Delay associate?

    Anyone who voted against the patriot act is too good for the Senate

    Feingold for President

    by Goldfish on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 04:21:44 PM PDT

    •  I didn't (none)
      I'm not sure how much that hurts unless DeLay is under indictment at the time and/or Roskam is.
    •  Do you think it will even matter? (none)
      Cuz I live in (ulp) Henry Hyde's district, and I think it will flip. Christine Cegelis got 44% of the vote against Hyde last time out, which is pretty impressive considering Hyde's been in for 100 years or so. She's going to have the name recognition and the momentum, and even though people are not overjoyed with Blagojevich right now, the state GOP is still in pretty crappy shape. Unless they can convince Jim Edgar to run for something!

      "I must admit that I don't see a bright tomorrow; still, I must also confess that my hopes are fairly high"--Ass Ponys, "Fighter Pilot"

      by oxymoron on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 05:32:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fantastic work (none)
    I've been following your series since the beginning, it's great to finally see it get a well-deserved frontpage.

    We only need 15, but I see us taking as many as 30.

  •  MN 01 should be higher than 64! (none)
    Kerry got 48% in this district! We've got an Operation Enduring Freedom veteran running who is charsmatic and perfect in this district.
  •  CLEAN SWEEP: Adopt-A-District (4.00)
    Those of us in safe Dem districts should organize a "neighborly outreach" campaign to the most vulnerable swing district in our own states.  (Two or three districts for the larger states.)

    That way, we help tip a possible 50+ seats, and we are not seen as "out of state intruders", to be resented by residents.

    Door-to-door activities may be driveable, and our contributions may go to better-known candidates and organizations within our own states.

    A swing district should link up with neighboring districts for resources before going after national pots of cash, likely to be strained in such a busy season.


    If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State...

    by HenryDavid on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 04:30:55 PM PDT

  •  excellent work.. anyone done the opposite? (none)
    Now I know exactly where to put my money for congressional races :)

    i do have a question, does anyone know if anyone has done the opposite? List and rank vunerable Democratic seats so we can help those and not lose them?

    If we held all the ones we have now and gain just 1 out of 5 on this list, we'd take the House back.

    "If you and I think exactly alike, one of us is unnecessary" "at least bleeding heart liberals have one"

    by wclathe on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 04:32:59 PM PDT

  •  Introducing Justin Sowa (none)
    Running against Paul Ryan in WI-1

    His Bio
    His Blog

    No idea on the characteristics of WI-1 or anything, but Sowa probably passes the test when it comes to the various 'lithmus tests' around here.

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 04:35:20 PM PDT

  •  This is probably obvious (none)
    but if you compare the Rs or districts on your list to a "liberal" ranking of Congressmen, there are a lot of matchups. Makes sense, since the more liberal Rs are likely to be in the more liberal or Dem leaning districts.

    What's interesting is that if we win a lot of these (which seems likely to me) it makes the R delegation in the House that much more extreme right wing. I haven't really thought much about what that might mean, but I don't think it's a good thing for the Republican Party.

    We all go a little mad sometimes - Norman Bates

    by badger on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 04:36:31 PM PDT

  •  CA-11 (none)
    North California's Bushco dork Richard Pombo's gotta go. Weird jerrymandered district. Tentative candidates and low money the last two elections. The Northern California Democratic Party just plain needs to focus and concentrate on this district.

    Pombo has been the enemy of conservation, and Mr. Pork. He never met a developer he didn't like. And he's really a good hustler, wraps himself in a flag and an off-road vehicle with ease, stands four square for mom and apple pie, and talks and looks just like your State Farm Agent. With a voting record to match all of that.

    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

    by Rolfyboy6 on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 04:38:21 PM PDT

  •  I hope you're wrong (none)
    Because the 18th highest ranked race, CA-48, is a big solid R.  I live here, and the popular John Cambell (R) appears to be romping his way through the open primary.  Steve Young is the most visible (D) challenger, but he's lookin none-to-strong and having to explain why he missed his child support payments.

    It's so bleak for the Dems here that a great many  of those with sanity will be voting for Marilyn Brewer (R) because at least  she is openly pro-choice. (BTW,  this is Kevin Drum's --of Washington Monthly fame - district.)

     So if we take your rankings and put the cut-off at ca-48 (which will be having it's special election in November), where looking at a 17 seat pickup - not quite enough.

  •  This isn't a "marginal" seat, but.. (none)
    Ron Paul even has an opponent.

    Introducing Shane Sklar.

    Sklar apparently has access to people who made a pretty good looking campaign page.

    Although a battle between a 29 year old Conservative Democrat Rancher (according to his bio) and a 72 year old libertarian running as a Republican (Ron Paul) probably won't make much headlines.

    But Sklar does have press releases too, so he might actually try and campaign.


    EDNA - Yesterday's vote by Ron Paul against aid for the victims of Katrina shows how out-of-step Paul is with the needs and values of his district, said Shane Sklar, Democrat for Congress.

    "No single vote could better show how Ron Paul's time has come and gone," Sklar said.  "Like so many times before during his eight terms in Congress, Ron Paul only wanted to make a meaningless philosophical point, while the rest of country wants to come to the aid of the victims of Katrina."

    Of the 435 members of the U.S. House, Paul was one of only eleven to oppose the legislation, which provides funds for housing for the victims and reimbursement to the effected states.

    Paul represents the 14th Congresssional District, which has almost 200 miles of coastline and is obviously vulnerable to hurricanes like Katrina.   Sklar said it is now fair to question whether Ron Paul would have voted against hurricane aid if Katrina had turned to the West and plowed into the Texas Coast.

    "Are Ron Paul's peculiar beliefs more important to him than the people of his own district?" Sklar asked.   "Are Ron Paul's values the same as ours?"

    In his formal announcement of his candidacy on Wednesday, Sklar said that he would take the lead in improving hurricane preparedness and questioned whether the people of the 14th District could rely on Paul to make a positive contribution to such an important issue.  " We don't need someone who just wants to make a point," Sklar said.  "We need a Congressman who will make a difference."

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 04:48:33 PM PDT

    •  I like Paul a lot (well, for a Republican) (none)
      If I lived in that district, I would probably vote for him.

      Him being a true Libertarian these days means he's a liberal Democrat, except he votes against spending and tax bills.  He's extremely anti-war and anti-culture war as well.

      •  Is he one of these Libertarians (none)
        who thinks FEMA is illegitimate because there is no disaster relief role for the federal governmetn enumerated in the Constitution?

        Libertarians are not even close to being the same thing as liberal Democrats. We may share some values and policy goals, but the gap between the two is huge.

        Come get lost in our world:

        by MonkeyDog102 on Sat Sep 24, 2005 at 09:47:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ron Paul (none)
          I am one subdivision away from being in his district (I get to be in DeLay's instead) and to be honest, I know little about him.  However I have met Shane and he seems like he'll be working at this one and might work with BAND, Bay Area New Democrats (If you want to know how to beat DeLay talk to these people).  Shane didn't impress me as conservative, but he did impress me as a rancher who knows what's what on a cow.  I think he's got his bumper stickers made, so I think he'll be around and considering the ranching in Alvin and other areas of 21, he might make a decent challenge.
  •  CO-4: tough but winnable (none)
    Colorado State Rep. Angie Paccione announced last week that she is running against the vile Marilyn Musgrave.

    Why am I so hopeful? Angie's exploratory poll reported a one point race differential when voters are informed about her positions and background versus Musgrave's. campaign website

    Archive of announcement day liveblog with Angie at Unbossed.

    Help us send a undeniable message--it's a new day in Colorado's 4th Congressional District!

    BOP News: Unbossed... is why blogs are a threat to top-down media.

    by em dash on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 05:04:03 PM PDT

  •  Very nice work Superribbie (none)
    I've read and enjoyed your seven diaries and I offer you my heartfelt  thanks and congratulations. I live in CT-04, Christopher Shays' district, so I might go out and volunteer for Diane Farrell. I'm glad that Shays is in the top ten. He's a reliable social liberal, but he's done absolutely nothing for this district and is scared to death of Bush and the rest of the big shots in the GOP establishment. Once again, thanks for all of the time you've put into this. I'm looking forward to your next set of diaries involving vulnerable Democratic seats. It's something that has to be paid attention to, and I'm confident you'll do as good an analysis as you did with these vulnerable GOP seats.

    GOP stands for Grand Old Problem.

    by LennyLiberal on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 05:09:07 PM PDT

  •  Another Dem candidate in a tough race (none)
    Meet Robin Weinstein, a candidate for NJ-2. Check out "Meet Robin" and "Issues" for more information.

    And here's most of his bio:

    Robin Benjamin Weinstein is a life-long resident of southern New Jersey. Born in 1981 he grew up in Bridgeton, and is now a resident of Woodstown.


    He attended Eastern University in Saint Davids, PA and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Justice, Law, and Society.  During his time at Eastern University he held a number of leadership roles, including Student Government President in which he spearheaded a campaign to make the university more environmentally friendly by convincing the students and administration to purchase renewable energy. Robin's scholarship and pragmatic activism earned him a number of accolades including: Cum Laude honors, Who's Who Among College & University Students, Student Body Award, and the Faculty Achievement Award.

    Robin is also a graduate of Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Theological Studies in Faith and Public Policy.  As the first Wilberforce Public Policy Research Scholar at the Sider Center, Robin acted as a principal researcher to revise widely read social justice publications such as Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger and Just Generosity: A New Vision for Overcoming Poverty in America.

    After graduating from seminary, Robin accepted the position of adjunct instructor of biblical/theological studies and social ethics at the Nueva Esperanza Center for Higher Education/ Eastern University located in Philadelphia, PA and political science at Cumberland County College in Vineland, NJ. He is a recognized speaker for his passion and integration of faith, reason, and justice. Robin has spoken at various conferences on topics such as domestic policy, international political ethics, and military intervention. He is a member of the Council of Faith & International Affairs (Institute for Global Engagement, Washington, D.C.), American Political Science Association (Washington, DC), Bread for the World (Washington, DC) and the Center for Public Justice (Annapolis, MD).

    Robin is also a licensed preacher with Berean Baptist Church (American Baptist Churches of New Jersey) in Bridgeton, New Jersey, where he serves as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Deacons and Chairman of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. As a licensed preacher, he has spoken at various Churches in the region. He also is civically committed as a member of the Woodstown/ Pilesgrove Exchange Club, Woodstown/ Pilesgrove Democratic Club, and Democrats 2000.

    As a legislative aide to Assemblyman Douglas Fisher (NJ-3rd Legislative District), Robin Weinstein was a tireless advocate for the working class and for those suffering from poverty. In this capacity, Robin assisted in the drafting, submission and passage of legislation addressing issues ranging from agriculture to human services.

    As a Candidate for the United States Congress representing New Jersey's Second Congressional District, Robin Weinstein is committed to social responsibility and fiscal restraint by eliminating wasteful spending in Washington. He will fight to ensure the viability of the Social Security system so that all citizens will have the protection it affords. He is also an advocate for health care for all people and fair wages for all employees regardless of race, class, sexual orientation, or gender. Using his unique experiences, Robin will bring ethical practices back to Washington and continue to work with grassroots efforts to restore American's vision of hope, peace, and prosperity.

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 05:15:19 PM PDT

  •  Repeating a previous note (none)
    75 targets is not overambitious.

    We need at least 15 seats at the very least.

    Going 15 for 75 is a .200 average.

    Making fewer targets for a 15 seat gain is a bit risky, as it increases the chance we could come up short.

    I think we have a great opportunity in 2006.

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 05:30:55 PM PDT

  •  Any candidates for NY-3? (none)
    Peter King is a nut case and an utter scumbag whose lips are affixed to Karl Rove's sphincter.  There has to be a way to get rid of him.

    When you couldn't get a real journalism job, there's Fox News.

    by The Truffle on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 05:35:09 PM PDT

  •  Awesome work (none)
    Of course you're not going to have all the info for all the races, hence your method.

    Just one point
    Ohio 14 (Steve LaTourette)

    He should be much higher on the list. He is getting killed for his CAFTA vote, in fact, outside of Bob Ney i think he is the most vulnerable in Ohio.

    right now I think Tiberi is lower, even though he has a more winnable district because there isnt a strong challenger (as usual) We are trying real hard to recruit a few folks but not having much success - it is early but the sooner the better.

    Pryce looks vulnerable but i aint convinced Loosey is the guy just yet

    Ohio is potentially going to have very long coat tails if the top of the ticket runs strong campaigns (senate and Gov) - which is going to be Strickland and everyones fav - Hackett.

    Don't discount the motivated fundies though. the key to Ohio is to Destroy Blackwell in the GOP primaries and evaporate that support, without it the GOP are Dead - with it, it is going to be a dog fight.

    •  OH-15 (none)
      Pryce will never be vulnerable unless the RON amendments pass and greater Columbus is divided differently.  She represents a very wealthy, conservative constituency.
      •  yeah (none)
        i think it is a tough district too. She is such a weak Rep though, i think a strong challenge could really frighten her.

        One of my hopes is that the Ohio GOP Congressional caucus will be so worried in 2006 (especially if RON passes with margin) that even if we dont wipe them out, they will have to spend a huge amount of money and time defending themselves, leaving other places more vulnerable around the country.

        The GOP are not invincible.

    •  Any chance (none)
      Coleman drops his losing Gov bid and takes on either Tiberi or Pryce?
  •  LaTourette (none)
    Any word on who LaTourette's opponent might be in OH-14?

    He isn't all that vulnerable since the district is a weird combination of wealthy Cleveland suburbs and rural farmland; prime GOP territory. But he's got a couple of weak points -- last year's scandal with his wife, and his general association with Bush's economic and military failures -- which could potentially be an opening for the right candidate.

    And I think the burbs are starting to lean against him because he's such an administration flack. Last year his margin was 59-41 against Capri Cafaro, which was much closer than 2002. Bush and Taft certainly aren't helping his image.

    Someone whom all the voters (left and right) would respect, like an Iraq war vet with fairly middle-of-the-road social views, would probably be a very good choice for OH-14. Just in case there's anyone out there who fits that description who's thinking about running...

    •  Pounder (none)
      btw, for anyone wondering whether Pounder's above analysis of LaTourette's vulnerability or mine is more correct, I'd go with Pounder's. :-) I'm not actively doing any political work right now and he is.

      He's right, CAFTA is going to be yet another vulnerability for LaTourette.

      I'm not as sure as he is quite how much, because like I said the district is weird. The more rural areas have a lot of single-issue anti-choice voters in my experience, while the wealthier burbs may not care too much about CAFTA. But it will certainly bleed off at least a few additional percentage points, and possibly a lot.

      •  CAFTA (none)
        The papers are starting to gang up on him for that vote. Flip-Flop (boy they are going to regret inventing that term LOL) - that's a real status quo change.

        Rural. Normally i would agree with you - but all of Hacketts real success was in the rural counties - I wonder how much of that is a dynamic change above and beyond Hackett the candidate. Maybe the cultural stuff is wearing thin as the Ohio Economy really does stink - and gas prices arent helping.

        I am not as gung ho about Ohio in 2006 as some. Early polling indicates it could be a real dog fight - but the polls i have seen show an awful lot of undecideds so are a little meaningless.

        A year is a long time in politics. We just got to keep working. The Ohio GOP arent going to sink on their own, they are going to need our foot on their head too.

        I was on a conf call with Rham Emmanuel a month or so ago - and OH-14 is an actively targeted district. He threw out a few names -but we will have to see. Strong candidates are needed - they always are - and our bench isnt that deep.

        •  throw the bums out (none)
          I think a lot of Hackett's appeal in rural areas was just who he was -- a straight-talker who calls bullshit when he sees it. The 'cowboy' thing. What Bush has a team of marketing people running focus-group studies to help him imitate, Hackett had for real.

          But yeah, I think the economy was a factor a bit for Hackett, and that it will be much more of a factor in 2006. Around the country, and especially in Ohio, we will have the potential to tap into a sort of "throw the bums out" mentality by next year because face it - the economy has been thoroughly looted by these GOP crooks and won't stay propped up for that long. And that could completely neutralize a lot of the single-issue political arm-twisting. When you have to count pennies to get by, suddenly nothing seems more important than putting food on the table.

          You've got the strategy down. If we can hang CAFTA around LaTourette's neck and make sure he gets some blame for the economic conditions (which it sounds like he's getting) then he might be ripe for a fall. Now we just need a candidate who doesn't suck...

          •  Your probably right (none)
            Hackett is an incredibly appealing guy. My only hesitation is that he saw significant gains in Rural more than urban rather than flat gains, which does make me wonder why ? Perhaps Schmidt just had better GOTV in the urban areas and her home county.
            •  The gun issue (none)
              Don't discount the importance of guns in rural areas.  Rural voters (btw, they are especially stung by gas prices), will listen to a Democrat if they come across as not anti-gun.  That's the entry ticket to be able to talk to these voters.  Start off with these voters as being pro-gun and then they'll listen to you on other issues.

              "As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom." Justice Kennedy, Lawrence v Texas

              by HillaryGuy on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 09:24:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  2006/Iraq (none)
    According to a CNN/USA Today poll, most Americans don't think the Iraq War is winnable. Seems like nobody trusts POTUS anymore. Will they take it out on the GOP next year?

    I have a "can we win in Iraq" poll on my modest blog (, for anyone who's interested...

    by middleamericachronicle on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 06:15:16 PM PDT

  •  We all should get busy right now!! (none)
    My friend running for Congress started in 2004 challenging all of us locally to pay attention to 2006. Now we are a year later and we REALLY need to get started.

    I have been focusing on a handful of things. First, as you point out, Republican scandal is a real winning issue for us. Please hammer them on corruption!

    I also have been plugging some Act Blue sites that target critical races.

    Donate to take down the ten most vulnerable Republicans.

    Donate to defend the most targeted Democratic seats.

    Donate to take down the cold-hearted Katrina 11, who voted against aid to the refugees from Katrina.

    Donate to turn the West Blue through Frontier PAC.

    Finally, I have been, mostly through my Progressive Democrat Newsletter to encourage local activism by progressives nationwide, though particularly in NYC, NJ and VA.

    Please join in and let's focus hard from now until Nov. 2006 to take down the corrupt, un-American Halliburton Republicans.

  •  Delay's Rubber Stamp 177 (none)
    There are 177 Republican House members who rate less than 10% on the Progressive Punch rankings.  These are essentially Delay clones and are potentially vulnerable because of they lockstep following of Delay, even in the (lack of) pursuit of ethics probes.

    We should leave none of these unopposed.  Which is to say we should not get the idea that there are only 74, or 177, seats that Democrats can pick off.

    It is a long time until November 2006; we should not  think that the political landscape is locked up.

    We need candidates for every unopposed Republican.

    The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

    by TarheelDem on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 06:27:38 PM PDT

  •  KY-03 -- no bench (none)
    I live here, am an activist here, and am absolutely frustrated out of my mind. We have one possible candidate who is thinking about running. Get past him, and no one comes to mind.

    It is amazing. We have a leaning-Dem town, a Dem mayor, a Dem majority (more or less) on Metro Council, and the whole district is inside the county (Metro Louisville). It is easy to do the retail politics part, since it's all local, but expensive to do the wholesale part because the RCCC drops lots of $$ to support Anne, whom they consider one of their rising stars.

    She votes the BushCo line 98% of the time (!!), and has publicly defended the SocSec plan, among other things. She should be eminently beatable in this next year, with Bush's numbers tanking. Yet, she comes across as warm, personable, a Southern lady, and everyone is scared of taking her on.

    I talk to people, and they say "Do you know anyone who has half-a-mil to a mil of their own money they can seed their campaign with? Because that's what it will take." And I just scream inside. Have we come to this, where you've got an incumbent who is joined at the hip to the worst White House in history, and the only person who can challenge her is a multi-millionaire? What happened to citizen legislators?

    I think she's beatable. She's had opportunity after opportunity to not support this or that Bush bad idea, and she's right there every time. I hope someone steps up.

    "Bush says he doesn't want to play the "Blame Game." Makes sense. Never heard of a chicken who wanted to play the "Extra Crispy" game." -- Will Durst

    by bmaples on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 07:05:00 PM PDT

  •  You really think CA 50 is in play? (none)
    I don't...

    In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

    by Asak on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 07:28:30 PM PDT

  •  IN09 - I hope you are right (none)
    Mike Sodrel is an absolute embarrassment to the state of Indiana, and we have a lot to be embarrassed about (i.e. Dan Quayle, Mitch Daniels, John Hostettler, etc.).  It make me want to puke whenever I drive past DeLay-clone Sodrel's district office here in Bloomington.  Hopefully DeLay and Chimpy's troubles will rub off on Sodrel and he will be sent back to running his trucking company.  I wrote him after the whole sorry Terry Schiavo episode.  His letter to me went on about how he swore an oath to uphold the Constitution which included the 5th and 14th amendment guarantees of equal protection.  I responded by thanking him for this position and I assumed that if he held such strong views on the equal protection clause, he must support some form of national health insurance for all our citizens.  He did not respond to my followup letter.
  •  Act Blue? (none)
    So, do you have an Act Blue webpage set up yet?

    Whatever your methodology; this allows an efficient distribution of fundraising.

    CO07 (North & West Suburbs of Denver) has pretty reasonable percentage of democratic voters, and is demographically favorable for a Dem pick-up.

    CO05 (North-Central & Eastern Colorado) is represented by the one-track, gay-bashing Marilyn Musgrave. It would be wonderful to give her the boot, but demographically harder. Eastern plains may fit the more conservative stereotype, but the Northern Cities of Colorado are facing growth issues and are often favorable to environmental sensibilities. More importantly, the Dems have a strong candidate in Angie Paccione.

    Colorado Governor's race will also be interesting... If the Dems can field a good candidate. All the strong horses are waiting until this November's election to ease restrictions on state tax revenues.

  •  Interesting, but ... (none)
    what are Dem vulnerable seats? We need to remember to protect those in addition to trying to pick up new ones.
  •  David Loebsack, IA-2 (none)
    David Loebsack is a progressive Dem running for Congress in Iowa's second district.  He posted a short introduction to himself and his campaign here.

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