Senate Recruitment Thread #4 (OR, SC, TN, TX, VA & WY)

Tonight brings our fourth and final installment in our series of Senate recruitment open threads.  For the past several weeks, the Swing State Project has been cracking open the field of GOP-held Senate seats up for grabs in 2008, and inviting you to submit your recruitment ideas for each of these races.  For a look back at the previous discussions, see here (AK, AL, AR, GA & ID), here (KS, KY, ME, MN & MS), and here (NC, NE, NH, NM, OK).

Here are our targets for this week.  Links are to the 2008 Race Tracker wiki for inspiration, and incumbents are in parens:

16) Oregon (Gordon Smith)

17) South Carolina (Lindsey Graham)

18) Tennessee (Lamar Alexander)

19) Texas (John Cornyn)

20) Virginia (John Warner)

21) Wyoming (Mike Enzi)

As always, don’t feel limited to submitting the names of traditional politicians.  Businesspeople, community leaders, activists, writers, musicians, athletes or celebrities are all fair game.  I have already seen a number of very creative suggestions in previous weeks.  You never know who’s reading or what kind of traction these ideas could generate.  So have at it!

IA-02: Loebsack Already Thinking Toward 2008

One topic I started thinking about even before election day was, “How do traditionally vulnerable freshmen reps get re-elected in two years’ time?” Obviously, the simple answer is “raise a lot of money,” and that’s good advice for everyone. But beyond that, what should you do?

Well, unlikely victor Dave Loebsack – who unseated long, long-time Rep. Jim Leach in IA-02 – didn’t rest on his laurels after election day. He’s thinking creatively about the challenges that lie ahead in just two years. CQ Politics has a great story about exactly what Loebsack is up to:

Yet even with his epic political achievement, Loebsack won by a narrow vote of 51 percent to 48 percent – not the kind of margin that suggests he has a lock on re-election in 2008.

So even before his Jan. 4 induction as a member of the 110th Congress, Loebsack has been applying campaign-like vigor to raising his profile and developing a stronger rapport with his new congressional constituents – keeping a busy schedule of town hall meetings and “listening posts” in cities and towns across the southeastern Iowa district.

Loebsack’s political challenge is to deal quickly with the perception that his victory was not a resounding affirmation of his candidacy nor even a referendum on the well-liked Leach, but rather a reflection of a political mood that may not be relevant should the Democrat seek re-election in 2008.

Since winning on Nov. 7, Loebsack has met with chambers of commerce across the 2nd District and has held meetings with local residents from Ottumwa in the southern part of the district to Cedar Rapids in the north.

“I don’t want this to be a period when I’m somehow out of touch with people in the district,” Loebsack said. “After all, I’m going to Congress to represent them.”

Local observers say Loebsack’s series of constituent events is a smart way to raise his profile during the “honeymoon” period between his election and the start of the 110th Congress. As an academic from the northern part of the 2nd – which also includes strongly Democratic-leaning Iowa City, home to the University of Iowa – Loebsack needs to build his ties with the more rural and conservative voters, including some Democrats, in the southern part of the district.

I recommend reading the entire piece. And in fact,  this article is just first in a series. New entries include Steve Kagen (WI-08) and netroots candidate Tim Walz. There are lessons here for every freshman. Just take a look at how hard Loebsack has been working since the election – and he won in what was the second-most Democratic district held by a Republican in the nation. If he needs to show some hustle, then everyone does.

LA-Gov: Democrat Foster Campbell To Run Against Blanco (D)

Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell has indicated he plans to challenge Gov. Kathleen Blanco for the Democratic nomination for governor. Campbell is a farmer and businessman who served 27 years in the Louisiana Senate before being elected Public Service Commission in 2002 to represent the North Louisiana district of 24 parishes with over 1 million people. He has been a frequent critic of corporate power, corruption, and special interests and will run a populist style campaign in a state that has a long tradition of electing populist politicians.



I’m probably heading down to Washington, DC for the swearing-in of the 110th Congress on Jan. 4th. Are any other SSP folks gonna be around, and if so, what parties, receptions, etc. are you headed to? I’ll definitely be hanging with the Hodes folks, but I’d also like to make the rounds. I have this hunch that the mood will be very festive for our side this time around!

NY State Senate: Republican Leader Joe Bruno Under FBI Investigation

Could it really be? Via the Albany-Times Union’s blog:

Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, called a press conference this evening to confirm he is being investigated by the FBI, which has launched an inquiry into his business dealings through his consulting company, Capital Business Consultants.

It’s not yet clear, though, what the FBI is investigating. Yet.

The senator refused to discuss what, exactly, the FBI is looking into. He declined to say whether it has anything to do with Evident Technologies Inc. – the company to which he steered $500,000 via two state grants with no strings attached.

Bruno has personal ties to several of Evident’s directors, Jared Abbruzzese, one of the company’s founders and a former co-chair, and Wayne Barr – both of whom share the senator’s interest in horse racing.

Abbruzzese is being investigated by the state Lobbying Commission for providing his plane to Bruno for several trips, including a fund-raiser and a tour of several Kentucky horse farms that Barr arranged.

One thing you should disregard, though, is Bruno’s claim that he is “not a target” of the investigation. Here’s why:

[Washington attorney Stanley M.] Brand said that distinctions in a federal criminal manual between a “target,” someone the Justice Department has decided to seek charges against, and a “subject,” someone under investigation who could be upgraded to a target, are largely meaningless in a practical sense.

“You can’t take these distinctions to the bank, because the Justice Department can change your status whenever it wants to,” Brand said.

Brand was talking about Conrad Burns, and you can see how well that bit of verbal legerdemain worked out for old Burnsie. Same, too, with Bob Ney, who claimed he wasn’t a “target” almost until he was indicted. He’s now going to be sentenced to prison next month.

This story also gives me an opportunity to do something long overdue, which is to tell you about a new SoapBlox blog that’s opened up shop right in my political neighborhood. The Albany Project is dedicated to shining a much-needed light on corrupt, obscurantist the New York state legislative apparatus (ranked as the worst out of all 50 by the Brennan Center). The site’s already been following this story closely, and it’ll be the place to go for continuous coverage of this potentially explosive news.

2006 Elections: The 35 Closest House Races (w/poll)

In the 2006 House Races, the Democratic Party picked up a total of 31 seats (incl. VT-AL). Unfortunately we missed picking up seats in 19 very close contests, by less than 10,000 votes in each District. We ended up short by 88,577 votes or an average of 4,662 votes per District. By contrast our candidates won 16 seats in districts by less than 10,000 votes. We captured/held those 16 seats by a total of 82,480 votes for an average of 5,155 votes per District.

Some have asserted that if the DCCC had reacted to some of these races and provided necessary funding, we could have picked up more seats. Others have claimed that the DCCC did the best it could with the resources on hand and the fact that the RNCC had to pour money & resources into normally safe GOP Districts, benefited us nationwide.

I’ll let y’all come to your own conclusions about that, because the purpose of this Diary is more from a Statistical/Tactical Perspective for 2008 regarding the lessons we’ve learned from the 2006 Midterms.

Caveat: Races won by over 10,000 votes (either side) are not included in the Parameters of this Study, though any number of those could be in play in ’08, plus many other seats may be on the horizon that were not in-play in 2006. On the same note, many of these races shown below may not be close for us in ’08, but are sure to get some attention.

More below the fold. Enjoy!

1. CT-02

Courtney-D 121,248 50.002%
Simmons-R 121,165 49.998%
Margin=  +83 D

2. NC-08
Hayes-R 60,926 50.01%
Kissell-D 60,597 49.99%
Margin = +329 R

3. FL-13

Buchanan-R 119,309 50.008%
Jennings-D 118,940 49.992%
Margin = +369 R

4. NM-01

Wilson-R 105,986 50.02%
Madrid-D 105,125 49.98%
Margin = +861 R

5. GA-12

Barrow-D 71,651 50.3%
Burns-R 70,787 49.7%
Margin = +864 D

6. WY-AL

Cubin-R 93,336 48.3%
Trauner-D 92,324 47.8%.
Rankin-Lbt  7,481 3.9%
Margin = +1,012 R

7. OH-15

Pryce-R 110,714 50.2%
Kilroy-D 109,659 49.8%
Margin = +1,055 R

8. PA-08

Murphy-D 125,667 50.3%
Fitzpatrick-R 124,146 49.7%
Margin = +1,521 D

9. GA-08

Marshall-D 80,660 50.55%
Collins-R 78,908 49.45%
Margin = +1,752 D

10. OH-02

Schmidt-R 120,112 50.45%
Wulsin-D 117,595 49.39%
Noy-NP  298 0.13
Condit-NP  76 0.03
Margin = +2,517 R

11. NJ-07

Ferguson-R 98,399 49.43%
Stender-D 95,454 47.95%
Abrams-WTD  3,176 1.6%
Young-Lbt 2,046 1.02%
Margin = +2,945 R

12. PA-06

Gerlach-R 118,807 51.9%
Murphy-D 115,806 48.1%
Margin = +3,001 R

13. NY-25

Walsh-R-C 110,525 50.8%
Maffei-D 107,108 49.2%
Margin = +3,417 R

14. NV-03

Porter-R 102,232 48.5%
Hafen-D 98,261 46.6%
Silvestri-Lbt 5,157 2.4%
Hansen-I 5,329 2.5%
Margin = +3,971 R

15. FL-16

Mahoney-D 115,832 49.55%
Foley (Negron)-R 111,415 47.66%
Ross-NPA  6,526 2.8%
Margin = +4,417 D

16. NY-19

Hall-D-WFP 100,119 51.2%
Kelly-R-C 95,359 48.8%
Margin = +4,760 D

17. IL-06

18. Roskam-R 91,382 51.35%
Duckworth-D 86,572 48.65%
Margin = +4,810 R

18. VA-02

Drake-R 88,777 51.27%
Kellam-D 83,901 48.73%
Margin = +4,876 R

19. NH-01

Shea-Porter-D 100,691 51.3%
Bradley-R 95,527 48.7%
Margin = +5,164 D

20. KY-03

Yarmuth-D 122,489 50.62%
Northrup-R 116,568 48.18%
Mancini-Lbt 2,134 0.9%
Parker-I 774 0.3%
Margin = +5,921 D

21. WI-08

Kagen-D 141,570 50.95%
Gard-R 135,622 49.05%
Margin = +5,948 D

22. IA-02
  Loesback-D 107,683 51.52%
Leach-R 101,701 48.48%
Margin = +5,982 D


Musgrave-R 109,732 45.61%%
Paccione-D 103,748 43.12%
Eidness-Lbt 27,133  11.28%
Margin = +5,984 R

24. NY-29

Kuhl-R-C 106,077 51.46%
Massa-D-WFP 100,044 48.54%
Margin = +6,033 R

25. CT-04

Shays-R 106,510 50.96%
Farrell- 99,45 47.58%
Maymin-Lbt  3,058 0.15%
Margin:  + 7,060 R

26. WA-08

Reichert-R 129,362 51.46%
Burner-D 122,021 48.54%
Margin = +7,341 R

27. KS-02

  Boyda-D 114,139 50.6%
Ryun-R 106,329 47.1%
Tucker-F 5,094  2.2%
Margin = +7,810 D

28. AZ-05

Mitchell-D 101.838 50.4%
Hayworth-R 93,815  46.4%
Severin-I 6,357  3.1%
Margin = +8, 023 D

29. FL-22

Klein-D 108,688 50.9%
Shaw-R 100,663 47.1%
Evangelista-I  4,254  2.0%
Margin = +8,025 D

30. NY-26

Reynolds-R-C 109,257 51.98%
Davis-D-WFP 100,914 48.02%
Margin = +8,343 R

31. CA-04

Doolittle-R 135,818 49.1%
Brown-D 126,999 45.9%
Warren-Lbt 14,076  11.28%
Margin = +8,819 R

32. OH-01

Chabot-R 105,680 52.25%
Cranley-D 96,584 47.75%
Margin = +9,096 R

33. PA-04

Altmire-D 124,674 51.9%
Hart-R 115,394  48.1%
Margin = 9,280 D

34. MI-07

. Walberg-R 122,348 49.93%
Renier-D 112,665 45.98%
Hutchinson-Lbt 3,788 1.55%
Horn-UST  3,611 1.47%
Shwarz-R(WI)  2,614 1.07
Margin =+ 9,683 R

35. IN-09

Hill-D 110,454 50.02%
Sodrel-R 100,469 45.48%
Schansberg-Lbt 9,893 4.5%
Margin = +9,985 D

These Election Results are based on Certified Election Returns from the individual States’ Secretary of State/Board of Elections Sites, or in the case of Illinos, the two County sites, Cook & DuPage, as the State site is pitiful.(The Commonwealth of Virginia site gets an A++.) Should anyone come up with varying results, please feel free to post them and the source info, so that it can be verified.

Percentage calculations are rounded and may not add up to 100.000%. If anyone would like the links to SOS BOE sites for each/any race, please ask and I will provide in a Comment reply.

Originally posted at Daily Kos on 12/18/06. Some typos regarding vote totals and percentages have been since corrected there and here. Thanks for any input.

By what margin will Bob Shamansky win?

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NY-19: John Hall vs. Ari Fleischer?

The conservative Human Events says it could happen:

The Westchester-county-based 24th District [sp–they mean the 20th] could be a focus of national attention if one Republican in particular makes the race: Ari Fleischer, one-time press secretary to George W. Bush, left the White House in 2003 and returned to his home county to do communications consulting (at one point, he advised major league baseball teams on public relations matters), write his memoir of the Bush White House and take on speaking engagements and TV commentary.

Friends of Fleischer note that the Westchester native has done just about everything congressional-managed campaigns, worked as a press secretary in both houses of Congress and served as a field operative for the National Republican Congressional Committee-except run for Congress himself. Kelly’s defeat at the hands of Hall now opens up that opportunity for him.

Fleischer isn’t saying anything about any political plans, but fellow New Yorkers who know him well bet that he will make the House race in ’08. As Larry Casey, onetime top aide to former New York Republican Rep. George Wortley and a canny political operative, told me: “Ari is the natural and best candidate for Congress from Westchester and, if he chooses to run, the obvious Republican candidate.”

Few people irritated me more from January 2001 to July 2003 than Ari Fleischer, the condescending public face on one of the most cynical and malevolent periods in White House and American political history.  It would be one hell of a race to see a dovish progressive like John Hall square off against the point man for selling the disastrous Iraq War to the American public and media.  But make no mistake–the amount of money that a hypothetical Fleischer candidacy could draw in would be very, very formidable.  Stay tuned.

(Hat tip to the Political Wire.)

NM-01: Is Redistricting Worth It?

Let’s talk New Mexico.  One of the tiny pangs of disappointment for our side on election night last month was falling just barely short from knocking off Republican Heather Wilson in NM-01, a district with a PVI of D+2.4 that John Kerry won.  With seats as red as NY-20 (R+2.5), AZ-05 (R+3.7), NC-11 (R+7.1), and KS-01 (R+7.3) falling to upstart Democratic challengers in a national wave, local Dems are at their wits’ end as to what it will take to finally elect a Democrat in a Democratic district if they can’t do it in a favorable national environment.

With a rock-solid majority in the state legislature and Bill Richardson in the Governor’s mansion, the wheels are in motion to do an end run around Wilson and redraw the lines of NM-01, according to a recent Roll Call (subscription-only) article:

New Mexico Democrats, frustrated by their inability to defeat Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.), now are openly talking about redrawing the state’s Congressional district boundaries prior to the 2008 elections.

State Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D), who said he is ready to introduce a redistricting bill when the Legislature convenes in January, insisted that his chief goal is to create Congressional lines that make more sense and keep communities of interest together – not to target Wilson.


In New Mexico, Democrats have held all the levers of power since Gov. Bill Richardson (D) was elected in 2002. Richardson has resisted legislators’ calls to redraw the boundaries of the state’s three House districts in the past, but a spokesman said Wednesday that the governor is at least willing to consider the prospect this time.

“The governor prefers to wait until the next round of redistricting in 2010, but he’s willing to meet with Sen. Ortiz y Pino about it,” Richardson spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said.


Ortiz y Pino is proposing unifying Valencia County south of Albuquerque, which is split between Wilson’s district and the 2nd district into the 1st district. That would put the Hispanic-majority city of Los Lunas in the 1st district along with a significant portion of American Indian territory. In exchange, Torrance County, an agricultural stronghold that is south and east of Albuquerque and now in the 1st district, would go into Rep. Steve Pearce’s (R) more rural and conservative 2nd district.

With all that in mind, we have two questions to ponder tonight:

1) Would the proposed redistricting of NM-01 be worth the political blowback?

2) Would the proposed plan make enough of a difference?

The answer to #2 might be entirely dependent on the answer to #1: an effort to redraw the lines of Wilson’s district two election cycles early could generate a level of public backlash that Wilson could play to her favor.  These are all things to consider, but let’s look at #2 first.

Ortiz y Pino’s plan, as mentioned, is centered around subtracting rural Torrance County from NM-01 and adding it to Republican Steve Pearce’s NM-02 in exchange for consolidating all of Valencia County in NM-01 (it’s currently split between the two districts).  According to CNN, here’s how Torrance County voted in 2006:

Wilson (R): 3,287 (61%)
Madrid (D)): 2,114 (39%)

And here’s how the portion of Valencia County in NM-02 voted:

Pearce (R): 7,995 (60%)
Kissling (D): 5,280 (40%)

Those numbers definitely give me pause here.  Granted, I accept all the usual caveats about comparing two unlike races (Kissling was an underfunded, under-organized challenger, so I doubt there was any extensive or effective GOTV in this county), but on the other hand, there were several counties that actually delivered for Kissling, so this doesn’t really seem like the most immediately obvious territory to tack on to NM-01 if beating Heather Wilson is your objective.  Perhaps shaving off some territory from Mark Udall’s NM-03 might be more productive in this case–but would certainly raise all kinds of red flags regarding Ortiz y Pino’s “compactness” argument.

Then again, I’m lacking all kinds of information about Valencia County.  Perhaps it is indeed an untapped reservoir of Democratic votes, but it doesn’t appear to be obviously so.  Perhaps we have some local readers who can offer some perspective on this plan, and on Valencia County in general.

Targeting 50 Republican House Seats from now until Election Day 2008

(Ambitious. I like it. – promoted by James L.)

So this is the most ambitious blogging project I have taken on and am quite excited about it. I will be bringing you, the readers of Swing State, Dailykos, MYDD and the LastingMajority, An update on the 50 most likely Republican Seats to flip to Democratic.  Updating from today, once a month,  all the Way to November 08.

First let me say why I think this is so important.  The blogs role must  play the role of offense as the DCCC might fade back into incumbent defense.  We are very good on offense. This post is attempt to say which seats need to be targeted from  the beginning of the Cycle and adjusting  as circumstance change.

In addition to just the 50 seat targeting, I provide lists of all Republican Incumbents who got less than 60% and 55%, as well as the districts which sent a Republican to Congress that gave George Bush 55% or less of the vote in 2004. This and a few open seats are from where got the list.  For the top 25 targeted races, I gave the reason for weakness.  In the bottom 25,  I just include information not context. I hope this will aid the Netroots Community in make even better targeting decisions.

The Top 50 races

1. MI 7
Republican Tim Walberg
06 Winning Percentage  51%
04 Bush Percentage  54%
Reason for Weakness
Tim Walberg is the most vulnerable Republican member of Congress because running against an opponent in a general election who spent only $ 55,000,.  He got just 51% in a 54% Bush District. His defeat of a Congressman Schwarz who was widely liked  will cause him problems.  If the Democrats can find a centrist in the Schwarz model we should be able to defeat this Freshman.

2. PA 15
Republican Charlie Dent
06 Winning Percentage  53%
04 Bush Percentage 50%
Reasons for Weakness
Charlie Dent has only been re-elected once in now one of only eight Republicans to hold a seat that John Kerry won .  He also was one of only two incumbents in Kerry won districts not to have a well-financed challenger. The fact that he was only able to get 53% under these circumstance means that he is a very good target for defeat. 

3. NV 3 
Republican Jon Porter
06 Winning Percentage 48%
04 Bush Percentage 50%
Reasons for Weakness
As a Member of Congress you never want to be getting less than 50% and that is exactly the position that Jon Porter find himself as he confronts life in the minority.  The Democrat was able to get 47%  with 5% going else where. If the Democrats can recruit a slightly more experience candidate and Ms. Hafen now counts. This race will be extremely close.

4. FL 8
Republican Ric Keller
06 Winning Percentage 53%
04 Bush Percentage  55%
Reasons for Weakness
You never want to run below the President of Your own Party in your district and this is exactly what happened to Ric Keller. This is particularly bad in a state where Republican loses were less than in other states. His 53% against a good but not great opponent in a peripherally targeted race was trouble enough, but he is now breaking a term limits and already has a republican primary challenger.

5. WA 8
Republican Dave Reichert 
06 Winning Percentage  ?
04 Bush Percentage  48%
Reasons for Weakness
A two term Congressman from one of eight Kerry won Republican held seats is by definition vulnerable, also a minority member. That he was able to get only 51% in both cycles adds to that vulnerability. This race will be very tight again. The Presidential should be helpful.

6. CO 4
Republican Marilyn Musgrave
06 Winning Percentage 46%
04 Bush Percentage 58%
Reasons for Weakness
46% is a terrible number for an Incumbent.  It means serious problems particularly when your last election performance before was already 7% the President behind that of the President of your own party.

7. AZ 1
Republican Rick Renzi
06 Winning Percentage 51%
04 Bush Percentage 54%
Reasons for Weakness
Hints of corruption, a weak re-election performance including running behind the President of your own party and being a relatively junior member now in the minority these are the challenges now faced by Rick Renzi.  This is a member who is beatable.

8. CA 4
Republican John Doolittle
06 Winning Percentage 49%
04 Bush Percentage 61%
Reasons for Weakness
A congressperson never wants to get  less than 50%, when that is combined with such a massive running behind of party ID It shows a member with a serious problem. The large amount spent on the legal defense fund might be why.  If Charlie Brown gives it another shot this could be a race.  We sure should make sure it is.

9. NJ 7
Republican Mike Ferguson
06 Winning Percentage  49%
04 Bush Percentage 53%
Reasons for Weakness
Another Republican under 50% spells danger  for him. He also  is still a relative junior member just reaching the minority  for the first time.  Linda Stender should be encouraged to make the challenge again and regardless this can be a very close race.  Ferguson’s position on social issues are also out of step for the district.

10.NC 8
Republican Robin Hayes
06 Winning Percentage 50%
04 Bush Percentage  54%
Reasons for Weakness
Winning by less than 500 vote against the same opponent who was generally under-funded last time is all one needs to make the top ten list of vulnerable members, I think Larry Kissell should be the first person on the New Blue Majority List.

11. MI 9
Republican Joe Knollenberg
06 Winning Percentage 52%
04 Bush Percentage 51%
Reasons for Weakness
This was probably the worst under-target in the nation besides PA 15 with less reasons  for it. The good news however is that Joe Knollenberg now a minority member spent a huge amount of money his campaign money just to hold on.  He is also relatively old so a retirement would not be surprising. Either way this seat should be a top priority.  Nancy Skinner was a very good candidate that not only the DCCC but us in the Netroots missed as well. If  she runs again I think supporting  her would be justified.

12.  IL 14
Republican Dennis Hastert
06 Winning Percentage 60%
04 Bush Percentage 55%
Reasons for Weakness
How the mighty have fallen. It is quite likely this seat will  open up in 08 and if not Dennis Hastert is damaged goods, a bygone relic  of an era that is gone. Illinois is  also a state trending clearly our way.  This is a great  chance.

13. OH 16
Republican Ralph Regula
06 Winning Percentage 59%
04 Bush Percentage  54%
Reasons for Weakness
When a nothing challenger holds you under 60% that is a problem. When you are already in your Eighties that is also a problem. When you are about to drop a tremendous amount in power that spells trouble. The Democrats already have a challenger and more will probably emerge.

14.  PA 18
Republican Tim Murphy
06 Winning Percentage 58%
04  Bush Percentage  54%
Reasons for Weakness 
Scandal appears to be rearing itself into this district in a way that helps us.  This combined with a district remarkably similar  to PA 4th where Melissa Hart was  recently beaten. If not for the scandal this district would rank lower but for now it is a prime target

15.  IL 6
Republican Peter Roskam
06 Winning Percentage 51% 
04 Bush Percentage  53%
Reasons for Weakness
This was the DCCC’s greatest folly, by choosing a non-local candidate. It allowed the Republicans to frame the race in a way favorable to them and ultimately win it.  That said the race was extremely close. A freshman Republican minority member has to beatable.  Finding a local candidate will be essential.

16. PA 6
Republican Jim Gelach
06 Winning Percentage  51%
04 Bush Percentage  48%
Reasons for Weakness
51%,  three straight elections. It seems as  if  Jim Gerlach  is a survivor which makes him difficult to defeat and yet he clearly has to deal with transition from majority to minority.  A good Democratic Candidate will make this a  race again and quickly.

17. NY 25
Republican Jim Walsh
06 Winning Percentage  51%
04 Bush Percentage  48%
Reasons for Weakness
  After not having a real challenger in a long time Jim Walsh was faced with the scare of his life. Democrat Dan Maffei was also not as well funded as he could have been.  As  one of the eight Republican in Kerry won districts. Jim Walsh can expect a real challenge though unlike other members he will be ready for it.

18. NM 1
Republican Heather Wilson
06 Winning Percentage 50%
04 Bush Percentage  48%
Reasons for Weakness
Another absolute squeaker and another chance to take a Republican held seat. Heather Wilson is as slick as they come, though people do seem to think that Patricia Madrid made a late debate error. Regardless, she is vulnerable but difficult to beat.

19. WY AL
Republican Barbara Cubin
06 Winning Percentage  48%
04 Bush Percentage  69%
Reasons for Weakness
No one likes Barbara Cubin and her extremely weak showing shows, and yet trying to overcome the Republican tilt of Wyoming is extremely difficult, particularly in a Presidential Year. It would not be surprising to see a better Republican challenge her in the primary. 

20.  OH 15
Republican Deborah Pyrce
06 Winning Percentage  50%
04  Bush Percentage  50%
Reasons for Weakness
If you basically run  in a tie with your opponent in a Congressional Race, you are vulnerable. However Deb Pryce is a seasoned campaigner and I am readily able to change roles, as her shift out of Republican Leadership shows.  This is a tough one but  completely winnable

21.  CT 4
Republican Chris Shays
06 Winning Percentage  51%
04  Bush Percentage 46%
Reasons for Weakness
In many ways Chris Shays is like many of the other close races except that he has more long term incumbency and will be expect a challenge. I am from CT so I know of recruiting difficulties.  It is a winnable race but one that requires a complete commitment to it.  Still  only eight Kerry won districts have Republican Incumbents this is one of them.

22.  IL 10
Republican Mark Kirk
06 Winning Percentage  53%
04  Bush Percentage 47%
Reasons for Weakness
The seventh  Kerry won district on the lists. Mark Kirk is much like Chris Shays was  after 2004. A scare yes, but he  still  had some breathing room. Picking him off will be very difficult, though Dan Seals giving it another try would be serious. 

23.  PA 3
Republican Phil English
06 Winning Percentage 54%
04  Bush Percentage 53%
Reasons for Weakness
This was another under-target in PA , an area which trended toward the party in a serious way. There have also been rumor’s abounding about Phil English. Finding a good challenger will be difficult but he is clearly vulnerable because of his underperformance.

24.  OH 1
Republican Steve Chabot
06 Winning Percentage 53%
04 Bush Percentage  51%
Reasons for Weakness
Steve Chabot had a real scare this time and came away with it quite well. He might be more vulnerable in a Presidential and the close nature of the district means it is winnable. One possible candidate is Paul Hackett, draft him and you have a race.  This race risks slipping a way. 

25. MI 11
Republican Thaddeus McCotter
06 Winning Percentage 54% 
04 Bush Percentage 53%
Reasons for Weakness
This was another Michigan under-target particularly in relationship to funding.  That means the Vulnerable exists and is real. It is going to be a very tough nut to crack, but it fits the profile of many of the Democrat upset victories that happened across the country this year.

26.  NY 13
Republican Vito Fosella 
06 Winning Percentage  57%
04  Bush Percentage  55%

27.  NJ 5
Republican Scott Garrett
06 Winning Percentage  55%
04  Bush Percentage  57%

28. IL 11
Republican Jerry Weller
06 Winning Percentage 55%
04  Bush Percentage  53%

29.  IA 4
06 Winning Percentage  57%
04  Bush Percentage  51%

30. NY 3
Republican Peter King
06 Winning Percentage  56%
04  Bush Percentage 53%

31.  OH 2
Republican Jean Schmidt
06 Winning Percentage 51% 
04  Bush Percentage 64%

32.  VA 11
Republican Tom Davis
06 Winning Percentage 55% 
04  Bush Percentage 50%

33.  FL 1O
Republican Bill Young
06 Winning Percentage  66% 
04  Bush Percentage  50%

34.  CA 26
Republican David Drier
06 Winning Percentage 57% 
04  Bush Percentage  55%

35.  OH 3
Republican Mike Turner
06 Winning Percentage 59% 
04  Bush Percentage  54%

36.  NY 29
Republican Randy Kuhl
06 Winning Percentage  52%
04  Bush Percentage 56%

37.  FL 24
Republican Tom Feeney
06 Winning Percentage  58%
04 Bush Percentage  55%

38. DE AL
Republican Mike Castle
06 Winning Percentage 57% 
04  Bush Percentage  46%

39.  NJ 3
Republican Jim Saxton
06 Winning Percentage  58%
04  Bush Percentage  51%

40. MN 6
Republican Michelle Bachmann
06 Winning Percentage  50%
04  Bush Percentage 57%

41. OH 12
Republican Pat Tiberi
06 Winning Percentage 58% 
04  Bush Percentage  51%

42. NY 23
Republican John McHugh
06 Winning Percentage  63%
04  Bush Percentage 51%

43.  OH 14
Republican Steve LaTourette
06 Winning Percentage  58%
04  Bush Percentage  53%

44.  NJ 2
Republican Frank LoBiondo
06 Winning Percentage  62%
04  Bush Percentage  50%

45. WI 1
Republican Paul Ryan
06 Winning Percentage  63%
04  Bush Percentage 54%

46 MN 3
Republican Jim Ramstad 
06 Winning Percentage  65%
04  Bush Percentage  51%

47.  MI 4
Republican Dave Camp
06 Winning Percentage  60%
04  Bush Percentage  55%

48. ID 1
Republican Bill Salli
06 Winning Percentage 50%
04 Bush Percentage 69%

49. FL 18
Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
06 Winning Percentage  62%
04 Bush Percentage 54%

50. MI 6
Republican Fred Upton
06 Winning Percentage  61%
04 Bush Percentage 53%

Republican Incumbents under 60%
Total  75 
AK AL  Don Young 57%
AZ 1 Rick Renzi 51%
AZ 2  Trent Franks 58%
AZ 3 John Shadegg 58%
CA 3  Dan Lungren 59%
CA 4 John Doolittle 49%
CA 26 David Drier  59%
CA 45 Mary Bono 59%
CA 46 Dana Rohrabacher 59%
CA 50  Brian Bilbray  54%
CO 4 Marilyn Musgrave 46%
C0 6 Tom Tancredo 59%
CT 4 Chris Shays 51%
DE AL Mike Castle  57%
FL 8 Rich Keller 53%
FL 15 Dave Weldon 56%
FL 21  Lincoln Diaz-Balart  59%
FL 24 Tom Feeney 58%
FL 25  Mario Diaz-Balart  58%
IL 10 Mark Kirk 53%
IL  11  Jerry Weller 55%
IL 13 Judy Biggert 58%
IL 15  Tim Johnson 58%
IN 3 Mark Souder 54%
IA 4 Tom Latham 57%
IA 5  Steve King 58%
KY 2 Ron Lewis 55%
KY 4 Geoff Davis 51%
LA 4 Jim McCrery 58%
MD 6 Roscoe  Bartlett 59%
MI 8 Mike Rogers 55%
MI 9 Joe Knollenberg 52%
MI 11 Thaddeus McCotter 54%
MN 2  John Kline 56%
MT AL Dennis Rehberg  59%
NE 1 Jeff Fortenberry 59%
NE 2 Lee Terry 55%
NV 3 Jon Porter 48%
NJ 3 Jim Saxton 58%
NJ 5 Scott Garrett 55%
NJ 7 Mike Ferguson 49%
NM 1 Heather Wilson 50%
NY 3 Pete King 56%
NY 13 Vito Fossella 57%
NY 25 Jim Walsh 51%
NY 26 Tom Reynolds 52%
NY 29 Randy Kuhl 52%
NC 5 Virginia Foxx 57%
NC 8 Robin Hayes 50%
OH 1 Steve Chabot 53%
OH 2 Jean Schmidt 51%
OH 3 Mike Turner  59%
OH 5 Paul Gillmor 57%
OH 12 Pat Tiberi 58%
OH 14 Steve LaTourette 58%
OH 15 Deborah Pryce 50%
OH 16  Ralph  Regula 59%
PA 3 Phil English 54%
PA 6 Jim Gerlach 51%
PA 15 Chrales Dent 53%
PA 16 Joe Pitts 57%
PA 18 Tim Murphy 58%
TX 7  John Culberson 59%
TX 10 Mike  McCaul  55%
TX 31 John Carter  58%
TX 32 Pete Sessions  57%
UT 3  Christopher Cannon  58%
VA 2 Thelma Drake 51%
VA 5 Virgil Goode 59%
VA 10 Frank Wolf 57%
VA 11 Tom Davis 55%
WA 5 Cathy McMorris 56%
WA 8  Dave Reichert
WV 2 Shelley Moore-Capito  57%
WY AL Barbara Cubin  48%

Republican Incumbents 55% or under
Total  34
AZ 1 Rick Renzi 51%
CA 4 John Doolittle 49%
CA 50 Brain  Bilbray 54%
CO 4 Marilyn Musgrave 46%
CT 4 Chris Shays 51%
FL 8 Rich Keller 53%
IL 10 Mark Kirk 53%
IL 11 Jerry Weller 55%
IN 3 Mark Souder 54%
KY 2 Ron Lewis 55%
KY 4 Geoff Davis 51%
MI 8 Mike Rogers 55%
MI 9 Joe Knollenberg 52%
MI 11 Thaddeus McCotter 54%
NE 2 Lee Terry 55%
NV 3 Jon Porter 48%
NJ 5 Scott Garrett 55%
NJ 7 Mike Ferguson 49%
NM 1 Heather Wilson 50%
NY 25 Jim Walsh 51%
NY 26 Tom Reynolds 52%
NY 29 Randy Kuhl  52%
NC 8 Robin Hayes 50%
OH 1 Steve Chabot 53%
OH 2 Jean Schmidt 51%
OH 15 Deborah Pryce 50%
PA 3 Phil English 54%
PA 6 Jim Gerlach 51%
PA 15 Charlie Dent 53%
TX 10 Mike McCaul  55%
VA 2 Thelma Drake  51%
VA 11 Tom Davis 55%
WA 8 Dave Reichert
WY AL Barbara Cubin 48%

Republican held District where George Bush got 55% of the vote or less
AZ 1
CA 26
CA 50
CT 4
FL 8
FL 10
FL 18
FL 24
IL 6
IL 10
IL 11
IL 13
IL 14
IL 16
IA 4
MI 4
MI 6
MI 7
MI 8
MI 9
MI 11
MN 2
MN 3
NV 3
NJ 2
NJ 3
NJ 7
NM 1
NY 3
NY 13
NY 23
NY 25
NY 26
NC 8
OH 1
OH 3
OH 12
OH 14
OH 15
OH 16
PA 3
PA 6
PA 15
PA 18
VA 10
VA 11
WA 8
WI 1

Over 60% for Incumbent
FL 10
FL 18
IL 14
IL 16
MI 4
MI 6
MN 3
NJ 2
NY 23
WI 1

Other Potentially Vulnerable Freshman
ID 1 Bill Sali
MN 6 Michelle Bachmann
FL 13  Vern Buchann
NV 2 Dean Heller
FL 9 Gus Billikrais