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Thursday, December 15, 2005

KY-03: Col. Andrew Horne (D) Will Challenge Northup

Posted by DavidNYC

Anne Northup finally has a challenger. Via Roll Call (sub. req.):

Attorney and retired Marine Lt. Col. Andrew Horne (D) said Tuesday that he has decided to challenge Rep. Anne Northup (R-Ky.) in 2006, after being influenced by the experience of his friend and fellow Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett.

Horne, 44, was in Washington, D.C., this week and met with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) about the race Tuesday. He also began interviewing consultants to work on the contest.

Alright, a few thoughts. I'm excited to see that someone has finally decided to take on Northup. This district, as you know, went 51-49 for Kerry and 50-48 for Gore. And the fact that Rahm Emanuel is meeting with Horne suggests that his candidacy could be a very serious one. I am also thrilled to see so many Iraq war veterans run as Democrats, especially since our military's officer corps has a reputation for being staunchly Republican.

That said, it is pretty much impossible to judge how strong a candidate will be based solely on his or her service in our nation's armed forces. Most of the "Fighting Dems" now seeking office do not have prior public records. Like anyone who hasn't already held office, achieved some level of fame, or made a pile of cash, this means that they don't have name recognition, don't have any pre-existing organization to rely on, and probably don't have ready access to donors.

If the DCCC decides to back a particular candidate, that can change the calculus significantly. But the DCCC can't offer everyone a million bucks. So we're talking about a lot of people who are seeking to do one of the most difficult things in America political life - unseat an incumbent - and who may only have one advantage, ie, a sterling resume. It's not an inconsiderable advantage - there's no question, for instance, that being a Marine gave Paul Hackett a certain amount of instant credibility. But a great resume, without more, versus an entrenched incumbent is always going to be incredibly tough.

In any event, I look forward to learning more about Horne - he may indeed be the real deal. And if we want to even pretend to be competitive, we've got to at least put forth challengers in the 18 Republican-held Kerry districts.

Posted at 02:49 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Kentucky | Technorati

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This district is winnable. Democrats enjoy a big edge in party registration. The close margin in 2004, despite the failure of the national apparatus to invest in Northup's challenger, indicates Northup's extreme vulnerability. A hundred grand invested in this race in 2004 and this might be a defended seat.

Horne sounds like a credible challenger. Let's hope he gets more help out of the DCCC than the last two Dems who took runs at Northup.

The DCCC may not have a million to throw at every seat, but races like Horne-Northup in KY-03 and Callaghan-Capito in WV-02 are chances for pick ups we can't let pass unexploited.

This site is called Swing State Project. Well, here are two promising Democratic challengers with winnable races against vulnerable Republican incumbents in Democratic-leaning districts in swing states.

Keep up the good work, David. We need to invest our resources where we can get the most bang for the buck.

Posted by: pinhickdrew [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 15, 2005 04:01 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

"The close margin in 2004, despite the failure of the national apparatus to invest in Northup's challenger, indicates Northup's extreme vulnerability. A hundred grand invested in this race in 2004 and this might be a defended seat."

Actually, DCCC did invest a lot in this race in 2004. Way more than they should have. The problem wasn't lack of money, it was lack of a credible candidate, and a perfect example of how name recognition doesn't necessarily translate into votes.

In 2004, Tony Miller was a terrible candidate who couldn't string a coherent sentence together and he lost by double digits. A better benchmark for this race might be 2002, when Jack Conway lost, but by far less.

I realize this should be a blue seat, but (and don't shoot me for saying this) Anne Northup just really isn't that bad. She's got the whole seven-hundred-adopted-children thing going, plus a seat on Appropriations, which she never lets her constituents forget.

Though she's not as much of a maverick, she's their Chris Shays. It's going to take a lot, A LOT, to beat her.

Posted by: prk [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 15, 2005 06:16 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

was the extent of the DCCC's contribution.

Miller did a great job raising money from the unions and individual donors...and I'm sure the DCCC influenced their decision to invest.

But $54,400 in a marginal district in a swing state district with a nearly two-to-one Dem registration edge ain't exactly maxing their effort.

Still, I can't really say Miller was underfunded as he cleared a million...but 52-48 screams lost opportunity.

Never saw Miller campaign, but, even if he is as poor a retailer as you describe, one more ad buy, one more mailing, one more drop-in from a leading light...and this guy had a shot.

But, for all my points, you may be right. Miller ran close and raised a ton of money...yet I haven't heard anything about him getting into this race for 2006. Maybe we should read this as his thinking he's run as strongly as he could and still came up short.

Posted by: pinhickdrew [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 18, 2005 11:41 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

You're getting Miller and Conway mixed up, Drew. Conway lost 52-48 in 2002. Miller got annihilated 60-38 in 2004.

52-48 in what was a good Republican year could EASILY flip-flop in a good Democratic year.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 19, 2005 12:51 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment