The 2006 midterm elections took a big bite out of Northeast Republicans. They went from contributing 35 seats to the majority party to providing just 24 seats to the minority. Many survived by the skin of their teeth and others were not targeted in districts with a Democratic lean or a small Republican lean. So how have the suruvivors fared? I have compared the most recent fund raising report with the year end totals from 2005 (the same spot in the 2006 cycle). Both a dummary report and a more detailed explaination follow.
The 24 Republicans as a group have 22.6% less cash on hand than 2 years ago ($12,702,583 vs. $16,403,287). The average GOP member from this group has a balance of $529,274 compared to $683,470 two years ago. Four members from this group have announced their retirement. Two of those four have a slightly higher balance but two have much lower balances. In addition, Tom Reynolds had a balance of $2.3 million as head of the NRCC; he’s at $862 K now. Still, the numbers are lower, even after adjustments.
Individual results follow below the fold:
CT Chris Shays, CT 4
Shays is the only one of 3 CT Republicans to survive the last election. In fact, the moderate congressman from the NYC suburbs is the last Republican House member from New England. Shays has run a bunch of expensive and exhausting but ultimately successful re-electioin campaigns. This time around, he’s facing Jim Himes and his fund raising is lagging. At $797,413, Shays is down $95,000 from two years ago. Of course, Joe Lieberman will not be campaigning for him either.
NY Peter King, NY-3
Last cycle, Democrats hoped to entice a name opponent to take on King but failed. Dave Mejias still managed to take a big bite out of King’s sizeable stash of cash. Two years ago, King was a committee chairman and a “millionaire” (cash on hand of $1,058,043). Now the chair is gone and cash is down more than 40% to $604,240. Peter King is considerably weakened.
NY Vito Fossella, NY-13
Fossella has come back from the dead, raising $304,000 to bring his cash up from $50,000 to $250,000 in the last quarter of 2007. That said, Fossella is greatly weaker than two years ago. Then, he had $572,952; now it’s $250,501. A good candidate can take him out. A medium candidate might but would probably drain him to the breaking point.
NY John McHugh, NY-23
McHugh has been rumored to be a possible retiree. Maybe one reason is his fund raising. The veteran incumbent has uist $203,402 a drop of nearly 50% from two years ago. Hmm.
NY James Walsh, NY-25
Walsh had a very tight battle against Dan Maffei in 2006 and this looked like a re-match. Except that Walsh decided to retire. Walsh had managed to keep pace with last cycle ($511,611 to $508,704 in 2005). Maffei will have a huge edge over any fill-in.
NY Tom Reynolds, NY-26
Reynolds was head of the NRCC last cycle and actually did a good job in a thankless assignment. Compare his results to Liddy Dole (dollars, won-lost). Reynolds managed to save more seats than were lost. Dole lost everything but Kentucky and had to get massive help from the RNC. Still, Reynolds was raising national bucks two years ago and is not, now. That means that Jon Powers may have a good shot in what was a 52-48 district last cycle. $862,809 vs. $2,351,883 in 2006.
NY Randy Kuhl, NY-29
Kuhl is a two termer who is struggling in a decent district for NYS Republicans. It shows in the fund-raising. Kuhl has $326,513 vs. $389,128 in 2005. Shot gun Randy is vulnerable to Eric Massa. Rumor had Randy expecting to lose his last general election. Maybe this is the time.
NJ Frank LoBiondo, NJ-2
The district leans Democratic but LoBiondo had the support of local labor unions against a weak local Democrat. That may not be the case as Jeff Van Drew, a “hot” state senator, is considering a run. Lo Biondo has a nice stash ($1,391,321) but less than two years ago ($1,628,568). It’s doable. Too bad he wasn’t drained a bit more.
NJ Jim Saxton, NJ-3
Saxton is also running in a tough district. Only he decided to hang it up. Saxton’s treasure chest of $1,079,955 will (at best for the GOP) be spread out a bit. That’s down from a hefty $1,434,892 but Jim was still a million dollar man. Looking very good here as the Democrats have their preferred candidate.
NJ Chris Smith, NJ-4
Smith is up but still vulnerable. He’s got a tough district and just $401,066 in the bank. And yes, last quarter he was fund raising. Smith was at just $225,195 last cycle.
NJ Scott Garrett, NJ-5
Garrett was first elected with 61% theen fell to 58% and 55% last cycle. He is way out of touch with his moderate district and would fit in with the deep south. Any other Republican would breeze here. Garrett? Maybe not. So, he has $352,001 this cycle vs. $291,452. Last time around, reluctance to fund a challenger who had a primary badly hurt Paul Aronsohn who had to overcome Camille Abate. This time around blind rabbi Ben Shulman also is hamstrung by the presence of Abate. These “rules” are keeping the winger Garrett alive. A little flexibility, guys? (or drop out Camille).
NJ Rodney Frelinghuysen, NJ-11
Frelinghuysen’s family held a NJ House seat in the 1700s. And the 1800s. And the 1900s, And the 2000s. Still, in a district that mainly covers Morris County, Rodney has less cash to play with. $551,141 vs. $751,195. Rodney has tended to spread excess cash in $2,000 donations to candidates around the country. This gives him far less clout than by using the NRCC but Rodney does it. Maybe he’ll have less to spend this time. Maybe Tom Wyka will gain a few points in a very slowly blue-ing district (i live there and it’s a long climb).
PA Phil English, PA-3
English represents northwest PA. It is a district where Bush got 54% and English got 53% in 2006 against a lackluster opponent. English has significantly bolstered his cash this time around as he tries to hold on against the tide. He’s got $537,340 vs. $323,253 in 2005. English is a massive guy and rumors do swirl of personal scandal. So this one is not perfectly safe.
PA John Peterson, PA-5
Peterson is not a massive fundraiser. He’s retired leaving a modest $117,457 in the kitty.
That’s slightly more than the 2005 sum of $114,865.
PA Jim Gerlach, PA-6
Gerlach is off two tight races but seems to be running out of gas. Or cash. Without a marquis opponent, he’s got just $500,238 vs. $1,074,827. Are his days in the House numbered?
PA Bill Shuster, PA-9
Shuster is referred to as Bud Lite, because he is the son (and legacy) of ex-Congressman Bud Shuster. The cash is low ($188,177)but more than last cycle ($138,699). Time to give the pipsqueak a run? (one of the great political nicknames was given to Thomas P. O’Neil III, Tip’s son: “tipsqueak”, he aged into the nose, too).
PA Charles Dent, PA-15
Dent nearly ran unopposed but a candidate who needed a write-in to make the ballot gave him a hard time in a Democratic lean district. He’s certainly expecting a harder time this time around but is in the same cash situation. COH is $535,091 vs. $542,891. Is this the year the Lehigh Valley goes back blue (it was during the Clinton years).?
PA Joe Potts, PA-16
Potts has a decent stash in a friendly district but it is still down from two years ago. It’s $175,897 vs. $283,335. Is Joe starting to wind it down?
PA Tim Murphy, PA-18
Murphy has the most cash of any Pennsylvania Republican in the House. That’s actually a scary thing as it indicates that people like English, Gerlach, and Dent are in trouble. For stat hounds, Murphy’s balance of $663,484 is down from the $685,083 of two years ago. Bad news for Gerlach who was way ahead in this race two years ago.
PA Todd Platts, PA-19
Platts is the limbo incumbent. How low can you go? In Todd’s case it is an anemic $59,032, the lowest figure for any Republican incumbent in the region. Todd has just $132,025 two years ago so this is nothing new. he makes lists but so far no waves.
MD Wayne Gilchrest, MD-1
The moderate Gilchrest is anti-war and that’s enough to stir up a primary challenge. It also got Wayne to fund raise a bit in a normally safe district ($424,364 vs. $214,862). The money is going to the primary where a winger is given a real chance of knocking off the veteran congressman.
MD Roscoe Bartlett, MD-6
Bartlett is old (82 I think, and he looks it) and many thought he was headed for retirement. Not so, as he filed for re-election. That may come soon, though. Bartlett has just $276,985 this time, down from $346,618. It is a safe Republican district.
DE Mike Castle, DE At Large
Mike has been rumored for retirement and he’s been rumored as running for the Senate if Joe Biden retires. The fund raising does not argue retirement. Mike has the biggest cash on hand balance of any Republican House member in the Northeast and he’s growing it. It was $1,212,788 and is now $1,527,167. This is the most Democratic district in the nation represented by a Republican but in the clubby atmosphere of Delaware it “seems” safe. Oddly, Joe Biden’s son, Beau, would seem like the most likely candidate to unseat the aging and sickly Castle. Hint, hint.