DCCC Announces Twenty-Six “Races to Watch”

Yesterday, the DCCC announced a list of twenty-six “races to watch” as part of their “efforts to stay on offense this cycle.” The D-Trip has divided its list into two tiers, “Top Races” and “Emerging Races,” but hasn’t offered a description of the distinction between them. To wit, the list:

District PVI Incumbent Candidate Tier
AZ-03 R+9 Shadegg John Hulburd Top
CA-03 R+6 Lungren Ami Bera Top
CA-45 R+3 Bono Mack Steve Pougnet Top
DE-AL D+7 Open John Carney Top
FL-12 R+6 Open Lori Edwards Top
IL-10 D+6 Open Primary Top
KS-04 R+14 Open Raj Goyle Top
LA-02 D+25 Cao Primary Top
MN-06 R+7 Bachmann Primary Top
NE-02 R+6 Terry Tom White Top
OH-12 D+1 Tiberi Paula Brooks Top
PA-06 D+4 Gerlach Primary Top
PA-07 D+3 Open Bryan Lentz Top
PA-15 D+2 Dent John Callahan Top
SC-02 R+9 Wilson Rob Miller Top
TN-08 R+6 Open Roy Herron Top
WA-08 D+3 Reichert Suzan Delbene Top
AK-AL R+13 Young Harry Crawford Emerging
AL-03 R+9 Rogers Josh Segall Emerging
CA-44 R+6 Calvert Bill Hedrick Emerging
FL-10 R+1 Young Charlie Justice Emerging
FL-16 R+5 Rooney Chris Craft Emerging
IL-13 R+1 Biggert Scott Harper Emerging
MN-03 R+0 Paulsen Primary Emerging
MO-08 R+15 Emerson Tommy Sowers Emerging
TX-32 R+8 Sessions Grier Raggio Emerging

I’ll note that two of these seats, though, are currently blue. That’s obviously not part of our “offense,” and to me, it sends a bad message to leave off all the other vulnerable Dem-held open seats. Anyhow, it’s nice to see this list, I suppose, but there’s no doubt we’ll be playing vastly more defense than offense this cycle.

25 thoughts on “DCCC Announces Twenty-Six “Races to Watch””

  1.    We need to play offense to offset the inevitable defeats of incumbent Democrats.  But is Emerson really vulnerable?  Really?

     Who is Suzan DelBene?

  2. …or so i’ve been told. the numbers make it clear we have more to defend but after two very positive elections in 06 and 08 why are the wheels coming off right when we should be building on success! the gop would have buried us by now if they had the numbers we do. we need a progressive full court press in every state and cd district. as they say in “the godfather”, ‘lets hit’em while we got the muscle’!

  3. …that they have about 90% of the media on their side. no matter what races we talk about here that fact MUST be factored in. in my humble opinion.

  4. Compared to last cycle, this list is awful. I know it’s because we’ve made so many gains, but ouch, this is looking ugly.

    Here’s an analysis from CQ Politics: http://blogs.cqpolitics.com/ey

    “Three of the DCCC’s “Races to Watch” are rated as Likely Democratic or Leans Democratic, two of which are open seats.

    Two are rated as Tossups and currently held by Democrats, both of which are open-seat races.

    Eight are rated as Leans Republicans and held by Republicans, none of which are open-seat races.

    Ten are rated as Likely Republican held by Republicans, two of which are open-seat races.

    Three are rated as Safe Republican held by Republicans, one of which is an open-seat race.”

  5. You know we’ve talked about the media narrative lately? For Missouri’s 8th congressional district, the southeastern Missouri district, here it is, courtesy the Southeastern Missourian:

    Tommy Sowers, the Democrat, has shown an ability to raise money that outclasses all previous Democratic challengers to Emerson.

    And is thus to be taken seriously, is the implication. His opponent is Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson, who has never been seriously challenged since she won the seat of her then-newly-deceased husband. That was 1996. It’s 2010 now. Which is a little crazy. She’s since remarried (in 2000) and is now a long-term-enough incumbent that she’s a target of the teabaggers.

    Check out this story:


    It’s a great Teabagger snapshot. I particularly liked:

    While Emerson said she doesn’t agree with everything said on stage — she singled out Woolard’s joke about Obama’s citizenship as one example — she said she doesn’t turn away from chances to hear from any constituents. “It was my first Tea Party, and I felt I should go and listen,” she said.

    Congresswoman Emerson was elected as a relative moderate supportive of stem cell research, which is still an issue in Missouri & Missourah. But otherwise, she’s followed the party line, which she also apologized for–I have a feeling her decade of “service” may work against her this cycle.

    C.R. Woolard, a Poplar Bluff radio personality and candidate for Missouri Legislature, questioned President Barack Obama’s legitimacy as president. Woolard said new security rules bar anyone “educated in a Muslim country, born outside the United States and who can’t prove their citizenship” from airlines.

    “It is really going to cost us some money now that the president can’t take commercial flights,” Woolard said.

    Zing! Racism! Also! Though, it won’t because the President of the USA has Air Force One.

    This was one of the event’s main speakers. If nothing else, supporting Sowers will support Carnahan and also! find out just how competitive this district really is, after more than a decade. And Sowers is a good guy, perhaps even the next Ike Skelton.

  6. Going after Emerson is pointless, we’re not winning against an entrenched incumbent in a R+15 district in a pro-Republican year, sorry. Besides, Emerson seems pretty inoffensive. From what I can tell she is fairly moderate for such a conservative district, essentially the Wayne Gilchrest of Missouri.

    Suzan DelBene is a…state senator I think? I’m pretty sure she was a recruited candidate as opposed to some random woman the DCCC settled for. For some reason I feel like her fundraising has been a disappointment but I might be mixing her up with someone else.

  7. In MO-8 our candidate raised a lot of cash so the DCCC thinks it can’t hurt to keep an eye on him.

  8. I have no idea why Emerson would make the list unless the DCCC had some out of sight candidate who was beloved universally throughout the district. I can attest the Emerson name is really respected in that district from being familiar area she represents, so combine that with a R+15 tilt and you have not just a long shot, but virtually no shot.

    There are lots of districts on that list the DCCC has a shot at picking up, MO-9 is definitely not one of them.

  9. emerging race category. Who knows what will happen in the “Sir” Allen Stanford trial and how many more “I love and believe in you” emails will come out. It’s also a good strategy to also pin the head of the NRCC down a bit so he doesn’t have as much time to campaign/raise money for others.  

  10. CA-44 not being an open seat helps us rather than hurts us. I know this is a curious suggestion but it’s possible that the good people of CA-44 aren’t as crazy about cheating on your wife with a hooker as people in Louisiana.

  11. Looks good from her webpage. It would be great if she knocked off Reichert and then Burner won the new district in 2012, but seeing as how Medina and Carnation are relatively close somehow that doesn’t seem likely.

  12. Anyhoo…. the reason the DCCC’s hot on this race is that Emerson has a credible challenger (cute, smart, several-generations-local, military veteran Tommy Sowers–operative phrase is “outclasses previous challengers”) for the first time since she was elected in 1996. Yes, that’s 1996.

    So in their eyes, it’s really more of a test to see if Emerson is really is as strong as everyone thinks she is. Less mentioned is that if Democrats can do better than they normally do in Emerson’s district, Carnahan will have an easier time beating Blunt statewide.  

  13. If Tommy Sowers is a considerably better Democratic candidate then is normally fielded I can definitely see the potential benefit to Carnahan’s campaign. Any help the Democrats can get in turning out extra votes in the one time Democratic counties of SEMO could be crucial in a close race.

  14. if the election were in 2 weeks.  But the election is in 10 months.  You have no idea what’s going to happen.  

    Moreover, all incumbents are in trouble, repubs too.

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