House Incumbent 2010 Primary Performance

Here’s a fun chart – it’s a list of all the members of the House who have scored 70% or less in a primary so far this year:

Incumbent Party District %age Notes
Inglis (R) SC-04 28% TARP [RUNOFF]
Burton (R) IN-05 30%
Griffith (R) AL-05 33% Ex-Dem [LOST]
Mollohan (D) WV-01 44% Ethics [LOST]
Souder (R) IN-03 48% TARP [RESIGNED]
Miller (R) CA-42 49% TARP, Ethics
Kanjorski (D) PA-11 49% Ethics
Lance (R) NJ-07 56% Cap-and-trade
Hall (R) TX-04 57% TARP, Ex-Dem, Age
Simpson (R) ID-02 58% TARP
Harman (D) CA-36 59% Blue Dog
Shuler (D) NC-11 62% HCR
Schmidt (R) OH-02 62% TARP
Kissell (D) NC-08 63% HCR
McHenry (R) NC-10 63%
Terry (R) NE-02 63% TARP
Coble (R) NC-06 64% TARP, Age
Herger (R) CA-02 65% TARP
Holden (D) PA-17 65% HCR
Lewis (R) CA-41 66% TARP, Ethics
Calvert (R) CA-44 67% TARP, Ethics
Davis (D) IL-07 67% Considered other office
Jackson-Lee (D) TX-18 67%
Rahall (D) WV-03 67%
Richardson (D) CA-37 68% Ethics
Hill (D) IN-09 69%
Smith (R) NJ-04 69% Cap-and-trade, TARP
Wilson (D) OH-06 69% HCR
Bono Mack (R) CA-45 70% Cap-and-trade, TARP
Platts (R) PA-19 70% Sought Obama appointment
Granger (R) TX-12 70% TARP

I’ve also included some notes on possible reasons for these poor performances: Dems who voted against healthcare reform, Republicans who voted for the bailout or cap-and-trade, ethical issues on either side, and a few other odds-and-ends. For a complete list of all members of Congress and their primary percentages, click here. So far, 89 (38D, 51R) incumbents have faced primaries while 141 have not (and another 13 open seats have been contested). Of those in primaries, the median vote share has been 74% (76% D, 73% R).

The Myth of Anti-Incumbent Elections Part I: 2006 elections

Cross-posted at Politics and Other Random Topics

A little while back, ThinkProgress’s Matt Yglesias made a very good point about how it’s kinda weird that the media and many others are arguing that there is some sort of broad “anti-incumbency” mood going on in the country.

Yglesias writes:

There’s something inherently odd about the concept of an anti-incumbent wave in a country wherein the overwhelming majority of incumbents are invariably elected. In the 2008, for example, 23 House incumbents were defeated in an unusually eventful election. A year in which “only” 75 percent of incumbents running for re-election were successful result in a shockingly large amount of change in the House. Indeed, I think everyone regards such a scenario as wildly unrealistic. And yet it would be hard to describe a universe in which 75 percent of incumbents are re-elected as all that gripped by anti-incumbent sentiment.

The interesting thing is that both 2006 and 2008 are largely seen as being both anti-Republican and anti-Incumbent (2008 moreso than 2006), but by absolute numbers, the number of incumbents who lost and the number of seats where the incumbent party switched are actually pretty low. A lot of people might be asking the obvious question; how can you say that 2006 and 2008 weren’t extremely anti-incumbent? After all, those two years saw the House, the Senate, and the Presidency switch from the Democrats to the Republicans. Before delving further, I’m not saying that the most recent elections weren’t extremely significant and that there wasn’t a massive change in control of government, but I am saying that this did not happen because incumbents had been thrown out left and right (especially in the House of Representatives). I’m going to work on a series which involves looking at the last two elections (both of which were Democratic wave elections) to try and give some perspective to the “anti-incumbent” myth which pervades the House of Representatives.

(I’m going to insert the charts a bit later in this post, for now, just follow the cross-posted link, that will give you the pictures)

So, how well did incumbents (and incumbent parties) fare in 2006? According to the electoral compilation site The Green Papers, in the 2006 House elections, there were 390 incumbents running in the general election. Of those 390 incumbents, 22 lost their bid for re-election, of 435 seats, 31 seats were not held by the incumbent party (1 belonging to now-Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)).  Roughly 94% of incumbents who were renominated by their parties ultimately went on to win the election. When including all seats, 368 incumbents won re-election to the House of Representatives out of 435, which means that the 110th congress started out being made up of 85% of members who had served in the previous congress. Looking at the seats in which the incumbent party retained control of the seat they had before the election, that number is 404 out of 435 seats, or roughly 93% of all seats (meaning only 7% of seats switched control in 2006).

If we look at it from the perspective of the two parties, there were 202 Democratic incumbents, 232 Republican incumbents, and 1 independent incumbent. Of the 202 Democratic incumbents, 186 got their party’s nomination, and all of them won re-election (or 100% of all Democratic incumbents who were re-nominated won re-election). Of the 233 seats the Democratic party won after the elections, roughly 80% of those would be held by an incumbent member. Looking at the Republicans, out of 232 incumbents, 204 of them were successfully re-nominated and of those who were re-nominated, 182 won won re-election (or roughly 89% of those running for re-election). Of the 202 seats the Republican party won after the elections, roughly 90% of them were held by were held by incumbents.

Some of you might be asking why I’m not talking about incumbents who lost their primaries? After all that might skew these numbers. The reason is pretty simple, only 2 incumbents who sought re-nomination lost their bids (Republican Joe Schwarz (MI-07) and Democrat Cynthia McKinney (GA-04). That means that over 99% of incumbents who sought re-nomination by their party were successful (all the primaries haven’t ended yet yet, but 2010 appears to be heading in that direction again).

One might argue that 2006 wasn’t really an “anti-incumbent” year so much as it was an “anti-Republican” year (not even necessarily an anti-Republican incumbent year) but even granting that, it’s still pretty telling that what many considered to be a giant wave election, when only 7% of all seats (13% of all Republican seats) changed party hands. This should give a little more insight into American elections.

Next time: the 2008 House races.

Things to pay attention to when considering a candidate’s electability

Note: some of these things only apply to incumbents, while some only apply to challengers.

* political positions on issues, as advertised and/or as perceived by people

** how easily said perception can be changed (versus how cemented it already is)

* actual political positions as based on voting records, and whether this is different from the above

* fit to the district based on perceived ideology

* fit to the district based on actual ideology

* constituent services (can seriously make up for bad fits)

* backbencher versus leader

* teflon-coated-ness versus controversy generation (also known as gaffe/misbehavior probability)

* campaigning style–what is it suitable for (liberals, moderates, conservatives, liberal Democrats, liberal Republicans, conservative Democrats, conservative Republicans, rural voters, suburban voters, urban voters, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Whites, etc.)

* campaigning effort and effectiveness (some people are just lazy campaigners or haven’t adapted well to a new district’s style or such)

* charisma

* length of incumbency

* vote percentages in previous elections

* previous positions held, victories, and losses

* scandals (current and past)

* anything that dirty tactics can target (shouldn’t be a deciding factor, but should be paid attention to be ready to defend against)

* fundraising capability and fund availability

* fund usage capability (campaign on a dime?)

Anything else?

And is there a way we can distill this?  Though I’m sure some professional strategists already have some sort of abbreviated list that they use in their line of work.

Carol Shea-Porter Tells the Truth in New Hampshire

TheUnknown285 proposes ( http://www.swingstateproject.c… ) that Carol Shea-Porter, NH 1, is a good investment and I want to second that.  Her campaign is going to be real hand-to-hand combat – the R’s and their 527s see her as vulnerable and have targeted her with ads that have been running for months already – but she is well armed.

First, she just tells the truth and people can see that.  She inspires confidence by refusing to cop to the easy political summary of an issue.  She sees it as her job to educate, unconstrained by conventional wisdom.  She seems to find the underlying realities of an issue and communicate that in a way that people understand.  An example is her explanation of her FISA vote in today’s Portsmouth (NH) Herald:… .  

We’ll see in November how well she’s bringing the whole district along, but anecdotal signs are good. Regular folks who don’t necessarily follow politics all that closely say, “Oh, yeah, I’m going to vote for her.  She’s really working hard down there.” Or “I’m proud to have her representing me.”  What they really end up saying is that, whether or not they agree on everything, they can see how serious and honest she is and they buy into that.  All this is independent of their party affiliation.

Second, she’s a professional legislator and politician, in the best sense of the word.  She actually attends her committee hearings, works her issues, shephards legislation through the process.  Then, in Unity, NH last Friday, she reached rhythmic rhetorical heights before 4,000 people and a wall of media, improvising and creating real excitement.  A few hours later, she converted a room of 40 people by telling stories from the front lines of committee work.

Finally, although she won last time on a viral campaign and no budget, she looks to be fully committed to both on-the-ground organizing and serious fundraising in this campaign.  Recently, she cold-called a business person who follows the issues in a middle-of-the-road sort of way but has never been politically active.  After a half hour discussion of issues, he proposed hosting a house party that, two weeks later, raised serious money.

So there’s nothing inevitable about the outcome of this race.  National Republicans are going to invest in winning back this seat.  We need to do the same.  Carol’s had good fundraising results so far, but will need major support from every direction before it’s over.

Protecting Our Asses: Rewarding Good Behavior from Congresspeople

I’m very disenchanted right now.  Somehow, we’re still in Iraq, don’t have universal healthcare, don’t have stem cell funding.  We’re seeing pushes for offshore drilling.  And this week, our party assumed the position when it comes to FISA.

What was even more infuriating is to see candidates that many candidates heavily supported the grassroots and the Netroots (both in the more limited sense that includes the page DailyKos, Swing State Project, etc collaborate on. and the broader sense to include all of the liberal websites such as Democracy for America and MoveON).  It’s both heartbreaking and infuriating to see people like Patrick Murphy, Kirsten Gillibrand, Nancy Boyda, Jim Webb, and Jerry McNerney, people we thought would be the vanguard of the coming progressive era, vote they way they do, with the likes of Murphy and Gillibrand joining the Blue Dogs!

I learned about reductionism in research methods.  This is the flawed logic of looking for THE cause of something instead of looking for all causes.  So, maybe we were had.  Maybe (probably?) the Netroots endorsement lists and frontpage diaries need to be more selective.  Maybe (hopefully) these are all still pretty progressive people who are just getting bad advice from their advisors and fellow Democratic caucusmembers.

But I think another cause is worth noting.  Because many are freshman, many won narrowly, and many represent competitive districts, many of these people are in close races.  That goes for the likes of Boyda, McNerney (although that one is looking better), Altmire, etc.  And considering that money, unfortunately, plays a big role in elections, these vulnerable incumbents need money to remain competitive and be re-elected.

This is where, I think the Netroots fail. I do not see one incumbent on the Orange to Blue list.  There wasn’t a single one on the Netroots List from the last election.  Democracy for America lacks incumbent members of Congress on their page.

I know many say that our incumbents are doing brisk fundraising.  Yes, but at what cost?  Let’s look at Patrick Murphy.  I see $11,750 from Comcast Corp and $10,000 from Credit Union National Assn, for example.  

So, I’m starting a fundraising page called “Protecting Our Asses.”  This page is designed to provide positive reinforcement for current, vulnerable Democratic legislators.  You vote the right way, you get support.  You throw you lot with the Blue Dogs are the corporatists, then let them bail you out.  

This will hopefully send a message that the Netroots will have watch your back if your watch ours, provide positive reinforcement for good behavior, give much need campaign funds to good but vulnerable Democrats, and dilute or possibly even replace contributions from less than progressive sources.

The first addition to the list is Carol Shea-Porter.  Shea-Porter won in what is, in my opinion, the second-most surprising, positive (because there are some negative surprises, ie. Christine Jennings) race in the country, second only to Nancy Boyda’s defeat of Jim Ryun.  Despite representing a light red district and facing a spirited challenge, Shea-Porter has been a progressive through and through.  Shea-Porter had a 98% Party Unity Score in 2007. She has a a 95.7% Progressive Punch score, making her the 29th most progressive member.  She gets A’s (above 90) in all but two categories and B’s in all.  She has perfect scores on the environment, corporate subsidies, government checks on corporate power, and labor rights.

Carol Shea-Porter voted the right way on stem cell research, Iraq funding, the Iraq escalation, timelines for Iraq, the minimum wage, prescription drug prices, and FISA.  Let’s reward her for taking the high road.…

The Power of Incumbency: $600 K (Cash on Hand Totals for R+6 thru D+7)

Thanks to Benawu, it’s pretty easy to make a list of Republican seats sorted by Cook PVI scores.  (The information is also available at Wikipedia, btw, but I trust Benawu).  FEC reports are also pretty accessible at so it’s a nice research project.

Well, to keep things manageable I looked up the cash on hand balances of all Republican incumbents and the leading money raising challenger for Republican seats that are open this cycle.  Excell allows for some comparisons.

The average cash balance for these 78 seats is $720,059.  The average for the 55 incumbents is $819,234; the average for the 13 open seats is $224,184.  There’s the value of incumbency in dollars and cents.  Republicans in Democratic territory, those with a PVI of D+1 or higher, were a bit better funded but incumbency trumped everything else.  The 13 Republicans averaged $838,144 with ten incumbents in these seats at $1,031,027 and three open seats averaging $195,201.

An analysis of each of the Lean D sistricts and competes on particularly weak Republicans follows below the fold.  I’d include the entire spreadsheet but I don’t know how to import it.  

Republicans in D Land

D+7 is Delaware and Mike Castle.  Castle is sitting on $1,547,493.  Somebody, Jerry Northington, Dennis Spivack, Beau Biden, needs to make a run at him.  Ine run will probably cut this down to manageable and beatable size.  Yes, this is a sore spot.

D+5 is Chris Shays.  Shays scores well on Progressive Punch but he is not only a proponent of the Iraq War but is one of the most outspoken proponents of torture.  Even though the latest figures (April 20 from my notes) give him  $1,247,000 and a $200 K lead on Jim Himes we are in the ball park.  He won’t have Joe Lieberman’s coat tails this time.  We need to take him out this time.

D+4 leaves us with the well heeled Frank Lo Biondo (NJ-2) and the even heelier Mark Kirk.  Moderate Republicans but Kirk had the fight of his life last cycle and Dan Seals is back for more.  A lot of people talk about Obama’s coat tails.  Well, if it shows up anywhere this is it.  LoBiondo has had a series of free rides.  Time to give him a tussle.

D+3 gives us two races both open seats with a financial edge to the Democrats.  Yeah. baby.  In NJ-3, John Adler has $1,003,551 while the Republican is at $288,100.  Srick a fork in him?

In NY-25, Dan Maffei’s “opponent” has yet to show a $1 in the bank.  Maffei has $675,660.  I honestly think that the NY State GOP is conceding this House seat.

D+2 has four House seats held by Republicans with one, NM-1, open.  Looking good.  The lead Republican has $297,499.  Nice but not overwhelming.  Look for McCain to slurp up a lot of outside funding and for the GOP to leave this seat to fend for itself.  (you did see those Udall polls up-ticket)  The other three seats show one with an incumbent being outraised (WA-8) where Darcy Burner appears to have the edge (finally) on Dave Reichert.  Two others, both in PA, give the early money lead to the Republican incumbents.  Neither Gerlach in PA-6 ($714,580 to $168,259) nor Charlie Dent in PA-15 ($182,830) is home free by any means.

D+1 has only three seat including the weakest incumbent Republican on the board.  That’s Vito Fossella.  Fossella has only $248,100 in the bank and that’s after a vigorous fund raising campaign in the first quarter that rescued him from a pathetic $50 K cash on hand.  He’s cancelling fund raisers, enmeshed in scandals (plural, the DUI, the mistress, the child).  And he’s outraised by Recchia with new candidates from both parties chomping at the bit.  One has to go all the way to R+6 to find an incumbent Republican running for re-election with a smaller bank account than Vito Fossella (Ken Calvert of CA-44 and Tim Johnson of IL-15).

As for the other D+1 Republicans, Jon Porter has $1,083,693 in NV-3 and he will need it against Dina Titus.  Bill Young may get a vigorous challenge for once.  He was my congressman in the 70’s (and 80s) and is still there with $555,655 in the bank.  The GOP plan appears to be for Young, who has been in the House since 1970, to take it to re-districting. I haven’t seen it written anywhere but it makes sense.  In four years they hope to draw more friendly lines.  This seems to be our best chance before 2012.

Speaking of low hanging fruit, here come the underfunded and open seats:

NY-23 McHugh $261,698 (O, actually R+0.2)  Oot (not a typo)is seriously underfunded as his opponent but McHugh could be the victim of a late charge if the DCCC has money in its coffers.

NJ-7 Open, R+1.  Linda Stender has a serious cash lead ($845 K) as former firsr daughter Kate Whittman ($307 K) takes on Leonard Lance ($255 K)and others in a primary.  The district has already rejected another first child, Tom Keane, Jr., in a recent GOP primary duel.  We lost this seat by 2.000 votes last time with the Out of Iraq Now party or some such pulling 3,000.  Should win here.

MN-1 Open, R+1.  Jim Ramstad is gone but Ash Madia seems to be facing a money gap against Erik Paulsen.

MN-2, Kline, R+3.  This may be the sleeper of this cycle.  Kline is clearly conservative.  Ramstad and Bachmann’s districts will get the attention and Kline is sitting against Steve Sarvi with just $375 K in the bank.  Attack everywhere and someplace will be open (see Lincoln re: New Orleans capture).

OH-15, Open, R+1.  Mary Jo Kilroy came close last time and is a local official.  In some ways we may have the incumbency factor here.  Steve Stivers has done a great job of fund raising for the Republicans with $599,689.

VA-11, open, R+1.  Feels the same as OH-15.  Again, the GOP has raised cash here: $742,045.

AZ-1, open, R+2.  Scandal plagued Rick Renzi leaves this seat.  Ann Kirkpatrick has a 2-1 fund raising edge over “cowgirl” (not) Sydney Hay in a likely all-female faceoff.

CA-45, Bono Mack, R+3.  New husband (Connie Mack of FL-14) 3,000 miles away may cause Mary Bono Mack to leave this Palm Springs district a little unattended.  At $344,123 she’s one of the most poorly funded incumbents on this list.

NC-8, Robin Hates, R+3.  Self-funder Robin Hayes is loaded with $987 K against Larry Kissell.  No surprises this time, Larry.  Got to beat his pampered butt for real.

FL-15, open, R+4.  Nobody has really geared up to take Dave Weldon’s seat.  Why not us?

IL-18, open, R+5.  Aaron Schock is a loud mouthed kid who the GOP has annointed as a golden boy.  Only he has little cash advantage (only $188 k vs. over $100 K) vs. media savvy Coleen Callahan.  Save us from another one of these congressional brats.  Please.  We have a real good chance, here.

VA-10, Wolf, R+6.  Yes he’s got $715 K but Judy Feder can raise the green stuff, too.  The district is shading more blue.  Is this the time?

OH-7, open, R+6.  Their candidate has $51,819.

CA-44, Calvert, R+6.  Give it a whirl at $222 K.

CA-46, Rohrabacher, R+6.  $331 K in the bank.  Less than half the national average; 40% what the average incumbent carries on this list.

IL-15, Tim Johnson, R+6.  $106,759.  Johnson is a) principled, b)lazy, c)one heck of a poker player d) stupid/”lucky”.  Don’t know bur gee is that a tempting number to cause problems.

Dem House Incumbents Who Have Lost to Republicans Since 1994

Since the disaster year of 1994, very few House Democrats have failed to win re-election against Republicans. Below is what I think is a complete list of those who did. If I’m missing anyone, please let us know in comments.

Year Incumbent District
1996 Mike Ward KY-03
1996 Harold Volkmer MO-09
1996 Bill Orton UT-03
1998 Jay Johnson WI-08
2000 Sam Gejdenson CT-02
2000 David Minge MN-02
2002 Jim Maloney CT-05
2002 Karen Thurman FL-05
2002 David Phelps IL-19
2002 Bill Luther MN-06/MN-02
2002 Ronnie Shows MS-04/MS-03
2004 Baron Hill IN-09
2004 Max Sandlin TX-01
2004 Nick Lampson TX-09/TX-02
2004 Charlie Stenholm TX-17/TX-19
2004 Martin Frost TX-24/TX-32

Every Dem who lost in 2002 and 2004 except for Baron Hill was a victim of redistricting. For those with two districts listed, the second one is the seat they were running for after redistricting. (For Sandlin & Thurman, their district numbers didn’t change.) Note that I am not including Dems who lost in primaries to other Dems on this chart.

I must say, that’s a pretty darn good track record – only seven losses not attributable to redistricting through six election cycles. And I think only one of these incumbents (Mike Ward) was a freshman. (Update: Jay Johnson was also a freshman. — JL) What’s more, we’ve regained a lot of these seats (though some of the districts have changed since 2000): KY-03, WI-08, CT-02, and IN-09. Plus, Nick Lampson is back in a district that (TX-22) that partially overlaps his old one.

So what do you know about the names on this list? What lessons, if any, can be drawn from these few elections where Democratic House incumbents lost to Republicans?

Update (James): Looks like we missed one — David Phelps in IL-19.  Thanks to brittain33 in the comments for the catch.

Later Update (James): I added two more redistricting victims (Jim Maloney and Ronnie Shows), thanks to jeffmd in the comments.

OH,TX House results

It was a good night for the incumbents and favorites in Texas and Ohio.  

In Texas, incumbent Democrat Silvestre Reyees (86%) and incumbent Republicans Sam Johnson (87%), Ralph Hall (74%), and Ron Paul (70%)all won easily.  So did Democrats Tom Daley (72%), Dwight Fullingim (62%), and TV Judge Larry Doherty (61%). Republican Lyle Larson dispatched the wonderfully named Quico Canseco 62%-38% in TX-23 and William Willie Vaden won in TX-27 with 56%.  Glenn Melancon, who visits on the blogs, took the Democratic nod in TX-4, 57% to 43% over VaLinda Hathcox.  In the night’s closest race, Ludwig Otto appeared to edge Steve Bush in TX-6 50.6% to 49.4% with 2% of the votes still outstanding.  

In two races, no one got 50%.  Is that a run-off?  The primary schedule for Texas does list run offs.  That would be in TX-22 where Shelley Sekula Gibbs led with 30% to 21% for Pete Olson for the right to oppose Democrat Nick Lampson in Tom DeLay’s former district.  Democrat Eric Roberson led with 45% to 33% for Steve Love in TX-32.

Ohio has no runoffs and yes, OH-2 will see a rematch of physician Vic(toria) Wulsin going against Mean Jean Scmidt.  In the night’s premier matchup, Dennis Kucinich pulled in a clear majority with 50.4% of the vote; Joe Cimperman trailed with 35.0%.  Jane Mitakides won in OH-3 with 54% and Sharon Newhart took the Democratic nod in OH-7 with 37% to 34% for Bill Connor.  

GOP Incumbents in Northeast: Less cash than last cycle

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.