House Seats to Target for a Democratic Majority

If Democrats are to regain the majority in the House in 2012, these are the seats they must target:

Republican-held seats:

AK-AL: Don Young

AZ-1: Paul Gosar

AZ-3: Ben Quayle

AZ-5: David Schwiekert

AR-1: Rick Crawford

AR-2: Tim Griffin

CA-3: Dan Lungren

CA-4: Tom McClintock

CA-44: Ken Calvert

CA-45: Mary Bono Mack

CA-48: John Campbell

CA-50: Brian Bilbray

CO-4: Cory Gardner

FL-12: Dennis Ross

FL-13: Vern Buchanan

FL-22: Allen West

FL-24: Sandy Adams

FL-25: David Rivera

IL-8: Joe Walsh

IL-10: Bob Dold

IL-11: Adam Kinzinger

IL-13: Judy Biggert

IL-14: Randy Hultgren

IL-17: Bobby Schilling

IN-8: Larry Bucshon

IA-4: Tom Latham

MI-7: Tim Walberg

MN-8: Chip Craavack

NE-2: Lee Terry

NV-2: Dean Heller

NV-3: Joe Heck

NH-1: Frank Guinta

NH-2: Charlie Bass

NJ-2: Frank LoBiondo

NJ-3: Jon Runyan

NJ-4: Chris Smith

NJ-5: Scott Garrett

NJ-7: Leonard Lance

NM-2: Steve Pearce

NY-3: Peter King

NY-13: Mike Grimm

NY-19: Nan Hayworth

NY-25: Ann Marie Buerkle

NY-29: Thomas Reed

NC-2: Renee Ellmers

OH-1: Steve Chabot

OH-2: Jean Schmidt

OH-3: Mike Turner

OH-6: Bill Johnson

OH-12: Pat Tiberi

OH-14: Steve LaTourette

OH-15: Steve Stivers

PA-7: Pat Meehan

PA-8: Mike Fitzpatrick

PA-11: Lou Barletta

PA-15: Charlie Dent

TX-23: Francisco Canceso

TX-27: R. Blake Farenthold

WI-7: Sean Duffy

WI-8: Reid Ribble

By what margin will Bob Shamansky win?

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SSP Daily Digest: 6/25

AR-Sen: There seems to be a competition among Arkansas Republican Senate candidates to see who can make the biggest ass of himself. It was businessman Curtis Coleman’s turn this time; yesterday, in reference to southeast Arkansas (where most of the state’s African-American population is), he said you “might as well get a visa and shots” before heading down there. Not content to stop digging his own hole, today he explained that what he meant was “accentuate or maybe even celebrate the enormous diversity we have in Arkansas…. I love Southeast Arkansas and meant it only as a metaphor.” Oh, well, if it’s only a metaphor, I guess that makes it OK.

DE-Sen: After Rep. Mike Castle made an inartful comment a few days ago (“They’ve asked me to run for Senate as a Republican. I don’t know if I’m going to do that.”), he went ahead and clarified that he isn’t intending to switch parties.

FL-Sen: Marco Rubio picked up a potentially useful endorsement in the GOP Senate primary: Rep. Jeff Miller, who represents FL-01 in the dark-red Panhandle, an area of the state where Rubio is little known so far but where his hard-right conservatism is likely to play well. Miller endorsed Charlie Crist in the 2006 governor’s primary.

MO-Sen: Here’s another minor tea leaf that former Treasurer Sarah Steelman won’t be getting into the Senate primary: prominent Missouri political operative Gregg Keller, who was reportedly set to work for Steelman, instead went to Connecticut to manage Tom Foley’s CT-Sen campaign.

NC-Sen: Here’s some good news out of North Carolina: former state Senator and Iraq vet Cal Cunningham seems to be moving to get into the Senate race for the Dems. Cunningham described his efforts to put together a campaign in a post to his Facebook supporters group.

NH-Sen: With establishment figures dithering on whether to get into the GOP Senate primary, businessman Fred Tausch is jumping into the void, launching a TV spot promoting his fiscal-discipline advocacy group, STEWARD of Prosperity. He says he’s interested in the Senate race, although not ready to publicly declare.

VT-Sen: It wasn’t a done deal that 69-year-old Pat Leahy would be back for another term in the Senate, but he confirmed yesterday he’ll be back for a seventh term.

AZ-Gov: Former Democratic state party chair and 2006 Senate candidate Jim Pederson said today that he won’t run for Arizona governor, despite earlier statements of his interest. This leaves AG Terry Goddard (who has said he “intends” to run) with a pretty clear shot at the Dem nomination; it remains unclear if Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, armpit-deep in a frustrating fight with her GOP-held legislature, will run for a full term.

CA-Gov: Rep. Loretta Sanchez announced she won’t be running for Governor but will seek another term in the House; she naturally became a topic of conversation with LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s exit from the race, leaving the Dem field without a SoCal, Hispanic, or female candidate. On the GOP side, Rep. John Campbell’s defection from the Steve Poizner camp to the Meg Whitman camp was just the tip of the iceberg: three state legislators and a county chair just flipped.

SC-Gov: State Rep. Nikki Haley has been the subject of breathless conservative hype over the past few months as the anti-spending candidate to replace Mark Sanford (and also Sanford’s preferred choice for the job, if you read the tea leaves). See this pre-Sanford-implosion Politico piece from earlier this week to see what I mean. But with revelations that Sanford hasn’t been able to keep it in his pants or on this continent (a snap SUSA poll finds 60% of state residents think he should resign, with only 34% saying stay in office), Haley has moved to distance herself from Sanford, scrubbing all traces of him from her website where he was once prominently featured. (J)

UT-Gov: Soon-to-be Gov. Gary Herbert looks like he won’t have a free ride at the nominating convention in the 2010 special election. Univ. of Utah professor Kirk Jowers, who reportedly had been offered the role as Herbert’s Lt. Gov., is the subject of a draft movement and may challenge Herbert for the top job instead — with Josh Romney (son of Mitt) as his LG. Rep. Jason Chaffetz appears to be in their corner.

ID-01: Idaho pollster Greg Smith tested the approvals of local politicians, and Idahoans just like their politicians, gosh darn it, even that Demmycrat Walt Minnick (whose approval is 47/20, good news heading into a potentially very tough re-election). Governor Butch Otter has the most troublesome numbers, and even he’s at 47/35.

IL-07: Here’s a potential open seat, although at D+35, not one we’re going to have to sweat very hard. Rep. Danny Davis, who had been vaguely associated with the IL-Sen primary, now looks to be taking concrete steps toward running for President of the Cook County Board, forming an exploratory committee. Davis was runner-up in that race three years ago. This time, he says he has a poll giving him a 7-point lead over county commissioner Forrest Claypool, who was presumptive frontrunner but pulled out of the race last week. With over 5 million constituents, it seems like a pretty good gig.

NY-23: New York county Democratic leaders set an initial timeline for finding a nominee for the upcoming special election to replace Rep. John McHugh. July 17 is the deadline for declaring interest.

PA-03: With no GOPer left to challenge freshman Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, Elaine Surma formed an exploratory committee to consider a bid. With no elective track record, she’s a senior agent with the state Attorney General’s office.

PA-15: Bethlehem mayor John Callahan’s seeming change of heart about running against Rep. Charlie Dent comes after having been called by Joe Biden last week with promises of White House support in the race.

VA-02, VA-05: Roll Call looks at the prospects for the Virginia freshmen. Ex-Rep. Virgil Goode is apparently close to making a decision on whether to try to wrest the 5th back from Rep. Tom Perriello, with state Del. Rob Bell or state Sen. Rob Hurt as backup plans. In the 2nd, none of the local elected GOP officials seem to be moving toward the race, and the GOP field is more a hodge-podge of various businessmen/veterans: Chuck Smith, Ed Maulbeck, Ben Loyola, and possibly Scott Rigell.

Posey’s birther bill gets four more co-sponsors

Oh boy, the wingnut is strong in these folks.  Dave Weigel reports that Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), (in)famous for his birther bill requiring documentation that a candidate for President was born in the U.S., has picked up four more co-sponsors, all Republicans (of course).  They are:

John R. Carter (TX-31)

John Culberson (TX-07)

Randy Neugebauer (TX-19)

John Campbell (CA-48)

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA-06) had already signed on last month.  More after the fold….

Posey says those Congressmen came to him to co-sponsor the bill, that it wasn’t him begging them to do so.  And then he launched into an invective against Rachel Maddow.

You may recall that [Stephen] Colbert used the “F” word to describe on national TV a relationship my grandmother, bless her heart, deceased grandmother, must have had with an alligator to come up with the likes of me. [Keith] Olbermann named me the Worst Person in the World and angry woman Rachel Maddow has just trashed me on every show, and asked me to come on her show. You know, I won’t do it cause she’s got a lousy, low rated show, and I don’t want to give her the ratings, quite frankly. I’d love to go on and debate her and set the record straight.

Just so y’all remember, here‘s what Colbert had to say about Bill Posey.

And when Posey got upset at Colbert for doing so, he just brought upon more pain to himself with Colbert’s response.

Now, most of these people sit in VERY Republican districts where you probably have a significant chunk of the population that actually believe Obama was not really born here.  Per SSP’s presidential vote by CD, a whopping 72% of Neugebauer’s district voted for McCain, making it the 9th MOST Republican district in the country, in terms of the vote share Obama got.  So forget about defeating Neugebauer at the polls with his co-sponsorship, he might gain support from his constituents for doing this.  Sad, but true.

And Goodlatte (57%), Carter (58%), and Culberson (58%) also come from districts McCain easily won by double digits.  But Bill Posey himself may be in for a world of hurt, and should be.  McCain only beat Obama 51%-48% in Posey’s own FL-15 district.  Posey himself won 53%-42% over underfunded Democrat Dr. Stephen Blythe, outspending him by over an 8:1 margin.  With 48% of the district voting for Obama, I’m sure we could get enough of them upset at Posey for pulling this kind of shit to get them to the polls.  (Anyone know if Blythe wants to run again, or if there’s another Democrat waiting in the wings?)

What’s more, out here in California, Obama narrowly won Campbell’s district, 49.47% to 48.72%.  (Campbell himself easily won against Democrat Steve Young the last three elections.)  Irvine City Councilwoman Beth Krom has announced she’s running against Campbell, as Young is moving over to try his hand at winning the state assembly seat.

Ridicule is well deserved for these Republicans, for now.  But if we want to send a message, the best way would be kicking the vulnerable ones out of Congress at the ballot box in 2010.  Wanna repudiate the birthers?  Send Posey and Campbell packing next year.

SSP Daily Digest: 6/17

IL-Sen: AG Lisa Madigan is still under a lot of pressure from inside the Beltway to move over from her preferred race (Governor) to the Senate race instead. Thing is, the pressure seems to be working (and the fact that Pat Quinn remains pretty popular also helps): she says she’s “seriously considering it” and will decide within “four to six weeks” whether to run for gov, senate, or another term as AG.

KY-Sen: SoS Trey Grayson is still treating Jim Bunning as undecided about running for a third term, despite the crotchety Bunning’s many protestations, Abe Simpson-style, that he ain’t dead yet. While saying that he has “no plans to run against him right now,” Grayson says he’d have a better answer to the question “after next month, when Bunning makes a decision….” Still, he says “I don’t suspect that (having to run against Bunning) would be a problem,” if Bunning stays in the GOP primary. The remarks were made at a poorly-attended (as in less than 50) Grayson fundraiser in Corbin.

MO-Sen: Rep. Roy Blunt can’t catch a break. No sooner than professor Tom Schweich bailed out and former Treasurer Sarah Steelman’s message discipline came completely unglued, along comes yet another likely primary challenger: state Senator Chuck Purgason, who formed an exploratory committee. It sounds like he’ll be going at Blunt from the right (Purgason is known for his “country-western fashion sense and iron-clad fiscal conservatism,” and said we must “stop the ‘changing’ of America”).

NC-Sen (pdf): Good polling news out of North Carolina, according to PPP: Generic Democrat leads Richard Burr, 41-38. (There’s still the little matter of nailing down a candidate, of course.) Only 29% overall (and 49% of Republicans) think he deserves another term, while 49% say give someone else a chance. Burr’s approval is 34/35, with a 31% “not sure,” which is still crazily high for a sitting senator.

NH-Sen: Senatorial speculation for the GOP in the Granite State has turned to AG Kelly Ayotte. (AG is an appointed position in New Hampshire; Ayotte was appointed by ex-Gov. Craig Benson, but retained by John Lynch.) Still, everything seems to be on hold until fall, when the younger John Sununu is supposed to make known his senate intentions. Dean at Blue Hampshire observes ex-Rep. Charlie Bass (another possible Senate, or NH-02, candidate) getting a little testy about having to wait for Sununu Jr. to make up his mind (or for Sununu Sr. to make up Jr.’s mind).

NY-Sen-B: Rep. Carolyn Maloney keeps ratcheting up her attacks on Kirsten Gillibrand, focusing increasingly on character and credibility. She hit Gillibrand’s “evolving” stances and said “She’s, to my knowledge, never passed anything. She spends all her time fund-raising. I spend my time doing things.” Meanwhile, Gillibrand rolled out the endorsements of 52 of the 62 Democratic Party county chairs in New York. That seems huge, but only half the population of New York state is accounted for, as they have yet to endorse in New York, Kings, Queens, Bronx, Richmond, and Suffolk Counties.

CA-Gov: Rep. John Campbell from CA-48 in Orange County endorsed Insurance Comm. Steve Poizner a few months ago, but he recently dropped that endorsement and then this week endorsed ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman instead. Campbell’s explanation is that when he first endorsed Poizner, Whitman wasn’t in the race yet and he had never met her. (This Campbell, of course, is not to be confused with ex-Rep. Tom Campbell, who’s the third wheel in the GOP gubernatorial primary.)

LA-03, LA-Sen: GOP state Rep. Nickie Monica, who has recently met with officials at the NRCC, is telling his contacts that he’s planning on running against Democrat Charlie Melancon. Meanwhile, faced with the prospect of a strong challenge and the looming uncertainties of redistricting, Melancon is still giving a race against GOP Sen. David Vitter a “pretty hard” look, according to a “Democratic insider.” (J)

NY-23: Republican state Senator Joe Griffo, who’s based outside the district in Rome but whose turf overlaps part of the 23rd, said he won’t run in the special election. For the Dems, veteran Danny Francis (who ran twice against McHugh in the 1990s) said he’ll seek the nomination. Dem state Senator Darrel Aubertine shot down speculation that he’d fielded a call from Barack Obama about the seat, although he did cop to talking to DCCC recruitment guru Steve Israel about it.

OH-15: ’08 candidate/ex-state Sen. Steve Stivers says that he’ll make up his mind on a rematch against Mary Jo Kilroy by the 4th of July, but Ohio Republicans apparently feel very confident that he’ll jump into the race. (J)

PA-06, PA-Gov: Rep. Jim Gerlach has set a deadline of “this summer” for deciding whether to jump into the 2010 governor’s race — although he certainly seems to be moving to do so, positioning himself message-wise as the only GOPer who’s dealt with fiscal issues in a legislature. In the meantime, GOP power brokers are getting antsy that Gerlach’s delay in announcing his plans are complicating their efforts to hold this D+4 seat (although GOP state Rep. Curt Schroder is already warming up in the bullpen, having opened an exploratory committee).

Votes: The war supplemental passed the House 226-202 yesterday, with 32 Democrats and 5 Republicans breaking ranks. The GOPers fall under the ‘moderate’ umbrella: Cao, King, Kirk, Candace Miller, and John McHugh (for whom a ‘no’ vote would be awk-ward, as the incoming Sec. of the Army). The Dems are generally the most liberal few dozen, although with a few eyebrow-raising exceptions (Eric Massa, maybe most notably): Baldwin, Capuano, Conyers, Doggett, Donna Edwards, Ellison, Farr, Filner, Grayson, Grijalva, Honda, Kaptur, Kucinich, Barbara Lee, Lofgren, Massa, McGovern, Michaud, Payne, Pingree, Polis, Serrano, Shea-Porter, Sherman, Speier, Stark, Tierney, Tsongas, Waters, Watson, Welch, and Woolsey.  

SSP Daily Digest: 3/9

Here’s your daily dose of bullet points…

TX-10: Democrats have lined up a solid candidate in TX-10, where Larry Joe Doherty came within 10 points of Mike McCaul last year. Jack McDonald, CEO of Austin high-tech firm Perficient, has started an exploratory committee. This fast-growing, Dem-trending district may also be an open seat in 2010, as McCaul considers a bid for Texas AG.

CA-48: It looks like GOP Rep. John Campbell is about to receive a stronger-than-expected Democratic challenge in 2010. Beth Krom, the former mayor of Irvine and a current city councilor, has made a formal announcement of her candidacy on her campaign website. A traditionally red district, Obama edged out a slight victory over McCain here in 2008, pulling 49% of the vote. (Hat-tip to Gus Ayer, friend of SSP) (J)

NV-Sen: Here’s one that slipped through the cracks last week: ex-Rep. Jon Porter, who’d be the GOP’s best option against Harry Reid, is staying in Washington and becoming ‘director of public policy’ at a lobbying shop. Not that this closes him out from running, but it diminshes the likelihood.

FL-Sen: Rep. Kendrick Meek has been racking up money ($90,000 at a recent Bill Clinton-headlined fundraiser) and endorsements (Florida’s SEIU chapter and United Teachers of Dade) while primary opponent state senator Dan Gelber is preoccupied with the legislative session.

DCCC: In a big behind-the-scenes move, DCCC executive director (and Pelosi ally) Brian Wolff has left the D-Trip to become senior VP for external affairs at the Edison Electric Institute, a utility-owned trade and lobbying group that has previously given significantly more money to Republicans. (UPDATE: The DCCC’s new executive director will be Jon Vogel, who previously led the DCCC’s independent expenditures arm.)

WA-08: Here’s an interesting take from American Prospect on what went wrong with Darcy Burner’s rematch against Dave Reichert, written by Eli Sanders, the former politics reporter for the Stranger (Seattle’s alt-weekly). I’m not sure I agree with the final analysis (they say it was mostly a matter of tone) but it’s thought-provoking.