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Monday, September 18, 2006

DCCC Expands Red to Blue Program, Creates "Emerging Races" List

Posted by James L.

The DCCC launched their third round of Red to Blue program additions today. Eight races have been added to the DCCC's program, which provides fundraising and structural assistance to the very strongest of Democratic challengers targeting red seats. At least, in theory. Check out these eight names, the newest additions to the program:

Gabby Giffords (AZ-08)
Phil Hare (IL-17)
Paul Hodes (NH-02)
Steve Kagen (WI-08)
Dan Maffei (NY-25)
Angie Paccione (CO-04)
Betty Sutton (OH-13)
HI-02 Winner

There are some really good choices here (Hodes, Giffords, and Paccione), a surprising but also good choice (Maffei), but take a look at the italicized names here. These are Democratic candidates defending open seats held by retiring Democratic incumbents. I'm pretty surprised to see Sutton on the list--most prognosticators consider her chances to be very good. I have a similar reaction with Hare, but HI-02? Could this seat really be vulnerable? Kerry won this district with 55%, so I have a hard time grappling why this one should be on the R2B program. I'm waiting to be educated here.

As a silver lining, the DCCC created an entirely new list called "Emerging Races":

The DCCC Emerging Races list is made up of candidates who have taken traditionally non-competitive districts and, through the strength of their campaigns, put themselves in a position to win in November.

Here are the fab fifteen:

Charlie Brown (CA-04)
Jack Davis (NY-26)
Judy Feder (VA-10)
Peter Goldmark (WA-05)
Larry Kissell (NC-08)
Tim Mahoney (FL-16)
Eric Massa (NY-29)
Jerry McNerney (CA-11)
Dave Mejias (NY-03)
Maxine Moul (NE-01)
Dan Seals (IL-10)
Bob Shamansky (OH-12)
Ellen Simon (AZ-01)
Tim Walz (MN-01)
Victoria Wulsin (OH-02)

Netroots candidates in bold. So what does this list do? Good question. While it seems that the candidates on this list won't receive the structural benefits that the R2B candidates receive (like a House incumbent mentor, or campaign staff additions, for instance), it appears that the DCCC has drafted this list as a separate slate of races that its donor base can contribute to. It's not quite the cherry that R2B is, but it's a pretty sweet deal anyway, especially for some of these candidates, like Kissell, Brown, and Wulsin, who could really use some additional campaign funds. And look at all those Netroots candidates!

UPDATE: Just another thought: I'm not sure if the DCCC had a comparable list to "Emerging Races" in 2004, but I suspect not. The DCCC can only channel so much money, so it makes sense to create a targeted, concentrated list. In 2004, the DCCC raised $7.5m for 27 candidates. In 2006, the Red to Blue program is now at 43 names (by my count), including just four open seats held by retiring Democratic incumbents (or Bernie Sanders). And today we now see an Emerging Races slate of 15 additional names. That's 54 Republican seats with a target put on their backs by the DCCC. It's pretty clear that they're playing footsie with the idea of a wave, although, since I'm a typical cautious youngster, I would doubt that the DCCC expects to win a majority of even the R2B races.

UPDATE (II): I just got word from the Jesse Lee at the DCCC that Ed Perlmutter, the Democratic candidate for the CO-07 open seat was accidentally left off the original press release. I corrected this post accordingly. Scratch all that; as ArkDem notes in the comments, this was a communications error--Perlmutter has been on this list since the second wave of R2B.

Posted at 04:33 PM in 2006 Elections - House | Technorati

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It's great to see Mejias, Wulsin, and Moul get some attention. You gotta be in it to win it, and these are serious candidates who stand a chance to win with a strong enough wind or one good windfall.

Posted by: X Stryker [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2006 04:17 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Like the list, which includes some of my second-tier/wave races. I think HI-02 is a result of anxiety over Gov. Lingle-R, the Senate Primary fight involving the current HI-02 Congressman and the feeling that Hawai'i hasn't been as strongly Dem as in the past. Quentin Kūhiō Kawananakoa, former State House Minority Leader and heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawai`i (read: he has bucks) would seem to be an attractive candidate except for his late 80's Cocaine bust & conviction and his suprise dropping outof a congressional run against Abercrombie in '98, for undisclosed "health" reasons.
Guess we'll see how that plays out in their primary where he is facing State Sen. Bob Hogue who is poorly funded. There is a very crowded field on the Dem side, 10 candidates, the top 5 based on funding include Former Lt. Gov and 02 Gov candidate Mazie Hirono, endorsed by Emily's List and running first in the money game, followed by State Sen. Colleen Hanabusa (endorsed by Honolulu Advertiser, lost '02 special election to fill this seat),State Rep. Brian Schatz,State Sen. Gary L. Hooser and former State Sen. Matt Matsunaga, son of the late Democratic Sen. Spark Matsunaga (with Chamber of Commerce endorsement). Shatz & Hooser share Sierra Club endorsements. The rest of the group is reporting minimal cash.
This may just be a pre-emptive heartburn call by the DCCC.

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2006 05:36 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I don't know what all the talk about Ed Perlmutter is. If you look on the red to blue list, Perlmutter has been on there, and is listed in the second wave.

Posted by: ArkDem [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2006 06:12 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Oh, wow. Good catch.

Yeah, I'll have to ask about that.

Posted by: James L. [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2006 06:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The DCCC is hating John Hall in the NY-19 for this reason:
Their backed candidate lost the primary because of their jump to back a candidate in this race, and now for whatever reason they are pissed (my thoughts, not proven yet) and are not supporting the primary elected John Hall over their candidate.

By not putting this on even the emerging races its really a big snub and I'm pissed.

-- MrMacMan

Posted by: MrMacMan [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2006 11:19 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I am going to agree with MacMan. The DCCC backed Adeylott early on, and I am wondering now after such an overwhelming victory by John Hall why the DCCC is not putting him on the R2B list.

Makes a person wonder about the DCCC.

Posted by: Lizzy [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2006 11:42 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Betty Sutton is comofratbly ahead to hold that seat.

Posted by: Ohanon [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 19, 2006 12:56 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


At least the New York party establishment picked the right horse. Maurice Hinchey (my rep) staunchly supported Hall during the primary and will help him in the general.

Posted by: dpinzow [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 19, 2006 01:16 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Agree with the above comments regarding Hall, the DCCC needs to act on this race and Hall is a great candidate. It gives me pause that the DCCC would have chosen an expgop'er in the first place, even granting them the logic that converts can be voiciferous. At best it was a novelty shot that failed. I would hope the DCCC would get on board in a bigger way. Hall is a former County Legislator and bested Aydelott in fundraising in the last quarter. Hall had the support of the majority of County Dem Organs in the District, and is an attractuve candidate who garnered close to 50% of the vote in a 4-way race.

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 19, 2006 01:57 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

To be honest, I don't see NY-19 to be sexy enough based on the district's demographics to be on the R2B list, but I don't see any good arguments in particular that Hall is any less worthy than Jack Davis in NY-26, who curiously is on the "Emerging Races" list. Kerry scored 45% in NY-19, but he fared even poorer in NY-26 with 43%.

But I'd personally rather see Gary Trauner (WY-AL) on the "Emerging Races" list than either of them, to be honest.

Posted by: James L. [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 19, 2006 02:06 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

James, democracts have out registered.
In this primary voters doubled the previous years election results.

The Victor -- John Hall had more votes this year in the primary then there were voters voting in it two years ago.

It just doesn't add up. The DCCC endores a candidate -- they lose and then the elected winner....
Isn't supported by the DCCC?

If they think its a race worth funding before the primary and the only difference is the overwhelming support Hall recieved in the primary -- then your have to give Hall your backing.

In a race where Hall has done fantastic fundraising of his own and in a district trending to the dems and where the ground game was so good that Hall beat the other candidates handily... what else is there to say but the DCCC is making a horrible call here.

-- MrMacMan

Posted by: MrMacMan [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 19, 2006 09:50 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

NY-19. gopee only holds a 4 point registration advantage:
Rep: 36%
Dem 32%
Not Declared 25%
Other 7%
This suburban/exurban NYC district may have a repub slant, it also has a progressive slant with a well heeled and educated population.
Keep in mind the Spitzer/Clinton pull here and the fact that the former Orleans band member has charisma pull too, unlike any of Kelly's past opponents. http://www.johnhallforcongress.com/

Posted by: Predictor [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 19, 2006 12:59 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

It's good to see they've forgiven McNerney for beating their candidate.

Posted by: KCinDC [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 19, 2006 10:20 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment