DCCC, NRCC Tip Their Hands

One thing we do a lot of at SSP is speculate, and a favorite topic of speculation is what House districts seem like the most vulnerable ones for each party, and most likely to be pickups. We can go one better than mere speculation, today, though, as the DCCC and NRCC disclosed their own top 2010 targets for a recent piece with National Journal‘s CongressDaily. In each case, they gave a top tier, and then added some other next-best opportunities.

For the Democrats, according to DCCC exec director Jon Vogel:

District Incumbent PVI
DE-AL Castle D+7
FL-10 Young R+1
LA-02 Cao D+25
MI-11 McCotter R+0
PA-06 Gerlach D+4
MN-06 Bachmann R+7
OH-02 Schmidt R+13
TX-10 McCaul R+10

And for the GOP, according to NRCC political director Brian Walsh:

ID-01 Minnick R+18
MD-01 Kratovil R+13
NH-01 Shea-Porter D+0
OH-01 Driehaus D+1
VA-02 Nye R+5
VA-05 Perriello R+5
AL-02 Bright R+16
AL-05 Griffith R+12
CO-04 Markey R+6
FL-08 Grayson R+2
FL-24 Kosmas R+4
MS-01 Childers R+14
OH-15 Kilroy D+1

Interesting choices for the Dems, suggesting that they’re confident about having open seats in DE-AL and PA-06, and maybe even FL-10 (but maybe they aren’t confident about Mark Kirk vacating IL-10?). MI-11 is a solid pick based on last year’s performance (both at the presidential level and by McCotter), but they’ll need to step up their candidate recruitment there. For the GOP, their picks seem about right; the biggest surprise, though, may be that they’re touting challenges to the Virginia freshmen above a challenge to Bobby Bright, who more than anyone else seems to face the problem of a drop in African-American turnout in his district in an off-year election.

21 thoughts on “DCCC, NRCC Tip Their Hands”

  1. OH-02 on our side, probably.  Unless Jean steps up her gaffe machine.  And of course, DE-AL and FL-10 if the incumbents don’t retire, but even so, with our current candidates, they’d be at worst relegated to third-tier opportunities.

    On their side: MS-01 and NH-01?  Are they crazy?

  2. Seems that AL-02 and AL-05 have replaced GA-08 and GA-12 as far as GOP targets in the South.

    I can understand the reasoning, it is just surprising to finally see those two seats not listed. Barrow and Marshall should be fine until after the census when the GOP will likely try again to throw them out.

  3. There were several races in California where GOP incumbents barely hung on (Lungren, Calvert, Bilbray), even though these races were not seen as highly competitive. Plus, Obama narrowly won all of those districts. I wonder why the DCCC has not placed them in the top or second tier…

  4. First half is a huge “You better” as far as targeting. MN-6 is no real surprise. OH-2 is a bit shocking. As for TX-10, let’s roll. The Dem will probably perform better in the rural areas in an off year, but have smaller turn out in travis and Harris. Again, the trick to the district is convincing the straight ticket Republicans in Harris county to stay home or some how switch (and yes, this is a VERY straight ticket area, they will hear you, like what you say, know your name, and won’t even look at your race when they get in the voting booth).

    As for the R targets, for some reason I feel confident about Markey in CO-4. Glenn Nye surprised me by winning in 2008 and I kinda forgot about him quickly afterward as though he had always been there or something. MS-1, they know this is their last opportunity to go after that district before Childers is safe for life, including with a better district in 2012.

  5. Bachman and Schmidt both seem less vulnerable to me than some of the CA reps who did not face particularly tough challenges last time.  For whatever reason, their districts have supported Bachman and Schmidt even after putting their feet in their mouths and even against well funded challengers.  Not saying we shouldn’t take another shot at them, but they do seem lower priority than the CA races.

  6. Republicans are going to have a tough time unseating Glenn Nye. He’s fundraising like a madman, he’s staking out a position as a moderate Dem, and he’s been doing a lot on veterans’ issues. Currently their only candidate is former VB Republican party chair Chuck Smith, who is not going to get anywhere. State Sen. Frank Wagner might run, or outgoing VB Sheriff Paul Lanteigne, but at this point, they’re the only ones that could make it a race.

  7. But good that some offense is still possible. Frankly, pretty amazing there are as many as five top-tier shots after the gains of the last two cycles.

  8. I figured he’d be their number one target.

    I’m really surprised they’d presume to have such a great shot at unseating CSP in NH-01 that they’d rank her above Bright, Griffith, etc. I really don’t think Steve Driehaus is in that much trouble either, considering he’s running against the guy the district just threw out last year.

  9. …They would probably have better luck going after NY-20 and CT-04.  I would say NY-13, but given their luck there, and given how soundly MacMahon was received, I doubt they have much of a chance with that seat.

  10. In that they have Manchester mayor Frank Guinta running for them, who’s one of their best recruits this cycle, and CSP’s 2008 victory wasn’t exactly emphatic. The GOP has a couple state senators looking at MS-01, one of whom (Alan Nunelee) is from Tupelo and could eat into Childers’ dominance there (which is how Childers won in the first place, because he was up against a guy from DeSoto County instead).

  11. If they couldn’t be ousted in the last two cycles, which were very advantageous to the Democrats, it’s doubtful that they will be defeated in 2010. Those districts are heavily Republican.

  12. I really worry that 2008 was our chance.  I mean if she wasn’t ousted in 2008.  I’ve only been following politics hardcore for two cycles now but Bachmann’s gaffe ranks pretty high up there I’d say.

    The district is simply the most right wing of the 8.  And not just in Republicanism but in extreme right ideology, this one tops the others and there is a very strong base for it.  Just enough when paired with more mainstream Republicans in the other parts of the district.

    Although I do have a research paper from a friend from my poli sci seminar on how opposing parties do better at capturing seats in mid-terms in Minnesota so I’ll read that and see what I think then.  I can see low turn-out bringing out mainly the more informed voters who would find her comments ridiculous but with extreme right wing ideology, they are going to come out because God tells them too.

  13. It’s slowly solidifying around 55% D.  Democrats are playing for the shutout, really- Hodes looks good to take the U.S. Senate seat and Democrats will hold onto his U.S. House seat.  

    The most powerful R officeholders in the state after November 2010 will probably be some mayors and their ~10 state senators, with constituencies of 60-70,000 each.    

  14. NH-1 will keep getting tougher and tougher.  This is like SD At Large.  It starts close and it will produce comfortable margins.  For the first time, Carol Shea-Porter is the better known candidate.  Manchester has  108,000 people in a district of 600,000.  This is not nearly as good a deal as advertised.  Giunta has been elected in 20% of the district (CSP’s weak spot but one she’s worked on).

    CSP was under rated in 2006 and 2008.  Now 2010.

  15. was the special election for the Bilbray seat.  I got all sorts of emails from Moveon.org and that special election made me start investigating politics down ballot more so.

    There have now been three separate elections for that seat that I have had to follow and Im sick of caring about until I see something happen with redistricting.

    I like targeting Calvert and Lungren.  Bilbray’s district can be tweaked to get us that last 5%.

  16. on a much lower African-American turnout from the Cincinnati  area in the off-year election to try and get his seat back.

  17. He’s in the header of the table by mistake, but he’s definitely the GOP’s top target.

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