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DCCC Releases Targeted Races List

by: James L.

Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 9:00 AM EDT

On Friday, the DCCC released its list of 90 targeted races (both offense and defense) to watch this year. We've transcribed the full list in a few handy charts below -- have a look. Italics denote the races that have been given "Red to Blue" status so far.


District Incumbent District Incumbent District Incumbent
AL-02 OPEN (Everett) IL-06 Peter Roskam NY-03 Peter King
AK-AL Don Young IL-10 Mark Kirk NY-13 Vito Fossella
AZ-01 OPEN (Renzi) IL-11 OPEN (Weller) NY-25 OPEN (Walsh)
AZ-03 John Shadegg KY-02 OPEN (Lewis) NY-26 Thomas Reynolds
CA-04 OPEN (Doolittle) LA-04 OPEN (McCrery) NY-29 Randy Kuhl
CA-26 David Dreier LA-06 OPEN (Baker) OH-01 Steve Chabot
CA-50 Brian Bilbray MD-01 OPEN (Gilchrest) OH-02 Jean Schmidt
CO-04 Marilyn Musgrave MI-07 Tim Walberg OH-14 Steve LaTourette
CT-04 Chrissy Shays MI-09 Joe Knollenberg OH-15 OPEN (Pryce)
FL-08 Ric Keller MN-03 OPEN (Ramstad) OH-16 OPEN (Regula)
FL-09 Gus Bilirakis MN-06 Michele Bachmann PA-03 Phil English
FL-13 Vern Buchanan MO-06 Sam Graves PA-06 Jim Gerlach
FL-15 OPEN (Weldon) MO-09 OPEN (Hulshof) PA-18 Tim Murphy
FL-18 Ileana Ros-Lehtinen NC-08 Robin Hayes VA-02 Thelma Drake
FL-21 Lincoln Diaz-Balart NJ-03 OPEN (Saxton) VA-10 Frank Wolf
FL-24 Tom Feeney NJ-07 OPEN (Ferguson) VA-11 OPEN (Davis)
FL-25 Mario Diaz-Balart NM-01 OPEN (Wilson) WA-08 Dave Reichert
IA-04 Tom Latham NM-02 OPEN (Pearce) WV-02 Shelley Moore-Capito
ID-01 Bill Sali NV-02 Dean Heller WY-AL OPEN (Cubin)
NV-03 Jon Porter


District Incumbent District Incumbent District Incumbent
AZ-05 Harry Mitchell IN-02 Joe Donnelly NY-24 Mike Arcuri
AZ-08 Gabrielle Giffords IN-08 Brad Ellsworth NC-11 Heath Shuler
CA-11 Jerry McNerney IN-09 Baron Hill OH-18 Zack Space
CT-02 Joe Courtney IA-03 Leonard Boswell PA-10 Chris Carney
CT-05 Chris Murphy KS-02 Nancy Boyda PA-04 Jason Altmire
FL-16 Tim Mahoney KY-03 John Yarmuth PA-08 Patrick Murphy
FL-22 Ron Klein MN-01 Tim Walz TX-17 Chet Edwards
GA-12 John Barrow NH-01 Carol Shea-Porter TX-22 Nick Lampson
GA-08 Jim Marshall NH-02 Paul Hodes TX-23 Ciro Rodriguez
IL-08 Melissa Bean NY-19 John Hall WI-08 Steve Kagen
IL-14 Bill Foster NY-20 Kirsten Gillibrand

James L. :: DCCC Releases Targeted Races List
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is there a list of the fundraising totals for these races?
from 4Q 07? or more recently?  it's one way to judge how they're doing.

58 to 32
58 offensive, 32 defensive races.

The numbers are on the side of the DEM party. No doubt about it. Sheer numbers.

And the RNCC is broke. How in the world is it going to be able to protect 58 endangered seats, let alone try to flip some endangered DEM seats, especially since some of them (Shea-Porter, NH-01) really aren't endangered?

But I bet they are salivating to get IL-14 back....


How do you figure
Shea Porter (NH-01) is safe? Have you looked at the history of that district.

I live in that district and I'm proud to have her represent me ... but I just don't see how it can be considered safe. It's very much a swing/R-leaning district.

[ Parent ]
20 Republican Reps in Texas and not a single one targeted.  It's a reflection of how far the party deteriorated over the last 20 years.  Things are turning around, however.  If we could just pick up a few more state reps, we could have fair redistricting, which would put some of these seats in play in 2012.

not our fault
its delay's.  he gamed the system so much that it would be foolish to try any of the races, unless there's some pretty odd circumstances (lampson and C-rod's seats).  while the tx party is certainly weaker than it was, if we can degerrymander texas, even a little bit we might start reclaiming the state.

Top ten signs you're an SSPer #1: your favorite song is "Panic At Tedisco" and no one understands what you mean.

[ Parent ]
TX-10 should be on this list
TX-10 is now held by Michael McCaul, a Bushbot Repub whose main accomplishment in life is that he married up: his father-in-law built his fortune building the Clear Channel media monster.

Democrat Ted Ankrum made a good showing against McCaul in 2006, getting 40.4% of the vote and holding McCaul to 55.3% with the help of a strong Libertarian candidate. That was the smallest percentage for any incumbent Republican congressional victor in Texas.

This year the netroots favorite lost the primary on March 4. The voters passed over a worthy young wonk with international experience in favor of a judge-on-daytime TV (whose show, Texas Justice, had been cancelled).

The primary winner, Larry Joe Doherty, 61, also has raised lots of campaign cash, mostly from other lawyers. Hmmn. Maybe they were afraid if they didn't contribute he'd sue them. The Houston Chronicle says Doherty made a first career out of suing other lawyers for malpractice before exchanging the courtroom for the TV studio.

The district has three parts: Houston suburbs that tilt R (think Tom DeLay), a section of Austin and its burbs that tilt D, and a connecting stretch of rural counties and small towns. The Houson end has the most voters and Doherty may draw some hometown support, while the Austin end will probably vote Democratic in any case.

Again according to the Houston Chronicle, "Doherty has vowed to help end the Iraq war and divert some of the money saved into programs for health care and the economy." And on Iraq, Doherty said, "We didn't get what we went there for, and going there was a horrible mistake sold on a plate of lies. We need to get out, and keep getting out, and get our friends out with us."

So here's a flamboyant, media-savvy, well-funded, celebrity candidate taking on a Repub incumbent with a shaky hold on a district that is fast-growing and rapidly changing. This Texas race is worth watching.

[ Parent ]
TX-07 Too!
The most recent FEC Campaign Finance Report (2/13/08) shows Culberson (R-Inc) with 82K COH, and Shelly (D) with 403K COH.  A race worth watching.  We not only need to defend TX-22 and TX-23, we need to keep the pressure on with strong efforts in TX-10 and TX-07.

[ Parent ]
Both TX-10 and TX-07 border each other and share a lot of similar areas in West Houston. By putting a good front forward in both of these districts it helps us West Houston as a whole in our direction. Considering Dems are trying to take over the county wide seats in Harris County (Houston) this is a major asset to our party this fall.

While neither candidates have great shots at winning, both are great faces to put forward and begin moving west Houston to the left and into the blue column.

26, Male, Democrat, TX-26

[ Parent ]
perhaps so
I don't know how many more Nick Lampsons we really want.  Keeping that district and Ciro R's are going to be hard enough.  Henry Cuellar is also a problem of a different stripe.

This year the Democratic game in Texas is probably to try to win the state House majority, mostly, and perhaps narrow the margin in the state Senate.

[ Parent ]
It's not that Nick is such a big plus
It's not that we think that Nick Lampson is the kind of better Democrat that we want more of. It's that Nick Lampson is a Democrat from TX-22 holding that seat INSTEAD OF the kind of Repub they used to send to Washington, Tom Delay. It's that having DeLay out of there erases a big MINUS and shifts the window to the left on every issue before us.

Of course, DeLay was the biggest bugger, but not the only one. Those same west-of-Houston suburbs and exurbs have sent Culberson and McCaul to the House to vote like DeLay clones. Knocking off one or both would shift the center on every issue in a similar if lesser way.

Ciro Rodriguez will probably win re-election easily this fall -- but you never know. And he has good reason to run scared until after the post-2010 Census redistricting. His Repub enemies used the mid-decade gerrymander  to punish him for his vote against the use of force in Iraq, successfully drawing lines to put Cuellar in his place. So Ciro may not be quite as brave in his voting as we'd like for a while. But again, in his comeback he knocked off the highest ranking Hispanic Repub in the state, helping to solidify the Hispanic vote behind the Democratic Party for the next election cycle or longer, and markedly shifting the center in our direction.

Getting rid of Cuellar now is a problem, you sure got that right. He'd likely lose a fair election in a fairly drawn district -- but we may not see such in his area for a long, long time.

[ Parent ]
Where's OR-02? It's the most vulnerable D-held open seat
and yet still very winnable.

Do you mean OR-05?

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
And AL-05
Those two are probably at greater risk than any of the incumbent-held seats (except maybe TX-22 and GA-08, depending on how those GOP primaries shake out). Seems like we'd want to spend some money defending those seats! I'll just assume they're in some special 'other' DCCC category that didn't show up here.

[ Parent ]
Yes, OR-05 does seem to be an omission
And AL-05, which just became open, is another one that will need to be added.

[ Parent ]
Yes, OR-05. It'll be one of the most hotly contested Dem seats nt

[ Parent ]
On the offense side, most key races are covered.
However, it is disappointing that 3 races (with PVIs between R+1 and D+1) are not on the list, primarily because a top-tier challenger has not emerged:
FL-10 (Young)
MI-11 (McCotter)
PA-15 (Dent)

FL-10 could appear later if Young finally decides to retire.

[ Parent ]
   What a strange coincidence that the only PA race with a progressive about win the nomination isn't on the list.  Siobhan Bennett is a wonderful progressive, and she should get DCCC support in the future.  The insular and conservative Lehigh Valley Democratic establishment hates Bennett.  She doesn't suck up to them.  Of course, God forbid the Lehigh Valley Democrats lift a finger to find a "good" alternative to challenge Dent.  The candidates in PA-06 are craptacular.  

24, Male, GA-05

[ Parent ]
Is a real mystery.  One thing I have seen is that McCotter has latched on to two things that are prevalent in the district, he has made major inroads with labor households, and he has capitalized on his catholicism.

[ Parent ]
FL-10 is like DE-At Large, one of those seats we will win pretty much automatically once the incumbent retires.  Each of those reps (Young and Castle) have reasons to retire.  Castle has health problems and is in the minority.  Young is the senior Republican in point of years of service in the House.  He was pushed aside years ago and there is no way that moderate Bill Young ever gets that chairmanship back (some doubt whether it goes to an honest person).

[ Parent ]
A lot of these seem like pipe dreams on both sides. I mean there was some awesome potential, just they never happened in terms of recruitment. I don't see them happening anymore.

CA-50: Bilbray
IA-04: Latham
NY-03: King
NY-13: Fossella
PA-06: Gerlach
VA-02: Kellam

Of course this goes both ways,
CT-02: Courtney
CT-05: Murphy
FL-22: Klein
IN-02: Donnelly
IN-08: Ellsworth
IA-03: Boswel
MN-01: Walz
NH-02: Hodes
NY-19: Hall
NY-24: Arcuri
NC-11: Schuler
OH-18: Space
TX-17: Edwards
TX-23: Ciro Rodriguez

I notice one end got exaggerated more than the other.

26, Male, Democrat, TX-26

Did you know that Kerry won ...
PA-6 in 2004? .. the problem with PA-6 is that Rahm ran a shitty candidate(Lois Murphy) there the past 2 elections .. if we get a good candidate ... Gerlach is toast .. as it was .. shitty candidate and all .. Gerlach won in a squeaker both times

[ Parent ]
While I object to your assessment of Lois Murphy
It goes without a reasonable doubt that those that filed this year are well below par now that Gerlach has ingrained himself in the district, somewhat.

26, Male, Democrat, TX-26

[ Parent ]
The party still does not have a candidate for NY 03!
Dave Mejias is likely running for a State Senate seat

[ Parent ]
DCCC needs to keep an eye on GA-10 District
This might be a stretch but if the DCCC target the GA 10th district, democrats potentially can pull an upset in this district that is 2/3 republican. The GOP Primary is going to be brutal & the winner of that primary is going to be bloodied & beatened up for Bobby Saxon who is a conservative democrat who supports gun rights.

No way
Not on a cold day in hell. Dem James Marlow didn't even make the runoff in the special election last year.

2010 Race Tracker Wiki

[ Parent ]
Here's who's not on the list
First let me say, I like the DCCC's list. I especially like that they're going all-in on Florida. There's so much low-hanging fruit there that just gets ignored year after year. That said, I went through and found all the GOP representatives in marginal/swing territory who aren't on the list, and ordered them by PVI (stopping at R+4). Most of them, I assume they're missing from the list because they don't have strong challengers (although that didn't seem to stop some other inclusions on the DCCC list... PA-06 and IL-06 come to mind). On the other hand, some of these omissions I've never even heard of, and it may just be because some of these backbenchers maintain such low profiles no one has ever thought of challenging before! (The old 'hide under a pile of coats' strategy...)


PA-15 gets a personal WTF?, as I thought Sam Bennett was supposed to be a credible challenger. And FL-10, I'll give that an honorary WTF? too, as we really need to throw some money at that seat in order to mess with Bill Young's head and hasten his retirement decision (although I don't know if we have anyone at all lined up to take him on). Anyway, this list contains a number of the other districts that always seem to be 'white whales,' that always seem to be in range for an easy harpooning but never get the money or candidates they need, like NJ-02 and OH-12.

I thought of
a few more that are out in somewhat darker red territory, but may actually be better bets than anything else on my list.

IL-18 R+5 Open
Although we still don't know who our candidate will be after Dick Versace bailed out, this still seems like a good bet because of a) the GOP candidate, who is a twenty-something who seems to reveal a deeper and deeper level of ignorance each time he opens his mouth, and b) serious Obama coattails.

VA-05 R+6 Goode
We've got a solid candidate here (Tom Perriello?), and Virgil Goode is one of those wingnuts who's perpetually extracting his foot from his mouth.

CA-44 R+6 Calvert
CA-41 R+9 Lewis
CA-44 R+10 Miller
There aren't that many 'scandal seats' left; they've all either flipped to the Dems already or are open (AZ-02, CA-04). Except for these three adjacent seats in the Inland Empire, all held by guys currently under investigation for various forms of corruption. Add in a huge Latino influx into these districts since the last re-districting (although I don't know how many of them are voters), and you might have something here.

[ Parent ]
  Schock in IL-18 sounds like an idiot.  He already sounded arrogant when he criticized the personality of Jim Oberweis.  He seems vulnerable and gaffe-prone.

24, Male, GA-05

[ Parent ]
What if... put Schock and Oberweis into the same room?

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
I'm pretty sure that the replacement candidate for Versace has already been named by district Dems. Her name escapes me right now, but she is a reporter for rural/agriculteral issues, IIRC.  

33, living in Germany  

[ Parent ]
Colleen Callahan
Named last Thursday.  At least that is her TV name; her full (married name) is Colleen Callahan Burns.  She has 31 years on the schock jock and clearly is not nearly as gaffe prone.  She's been running for this since Versace dropped out and has slowly seemed to eliminate the competition.

[ Parent ]
   Some of those races you listed seem more vulnerable to take-over.  PA-15 oversight also gets a WTF from me.  Garrett has a good challenger in Schulman.

24, Male, GA-05

[ Parent ]
There had been rumors circulating about two newly elected NJ State Senators, either Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May) or Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic City) challenging Frank LoBiondo in NJ-02. Both knocked off incumbent Republicans in conservative-ish districts in a year that was only mediocre for NJ Dems. Hopefully one of them will jump in?

[ Parent ]
There were
Van Drew rumors even back when he was in the Assembly. He's probably waiting for an open seat, or at least to solidify his position in the Senate first. (Even though his jumping in could scare LoBiondo out, just like Adler jumping in scared Saxton out.)

[ Parent ]
Keep an eye on NE-02...
Especially if Obama is the nominee. Jim Esch came within 9% last time, but polling in the 2nd CD suggests Obama might actually win in the district. If he can do that, Esch or Carter might be able to knock off Terry.

I just wrote about NE
in a diary

[ Parent ]
Calling 2 upsets right here
I'm calling two "shock the world" upsets:

Debbie Cook knocks off Dana Rohrbacher in CA-46.

Andrea Miller does the same to J. Randy Forbes in VA-04.

The Democrats finally have a credible candidate there.  I lived in Huntington Beach for 12 1/2 years, and would be nice to get a real race there.

As for where I'm currently living (Escondido), there's no one to challenge Bibray.

[ Parent ]
No one to challenge Bilbray?  Maybe you want to find out about Nick Leibham who is getting significant attention locally and nationally as the Democratic challenger to Bilbray.  The local Democratic establishment is definitely behind him.

[ Parent ]
I love the fact...
I love the fact the Democrats are being more aggressive this time around. Sure, the list isn't perfect, but it is better than them playing defense.  

DCCC Support
The DCCC means it when they decide to back a race. Here at Gary Peters For Congress we've had events with Congressman Emanuel, Chairman Van Hollen, and we have one tomorrow with Majority Leader Hoyer. This support, combined with extraordinary support from the Michigan Delegation including Senators Levin and Stabenow, has excited Democrats in the district.

I was thrilled to see the race included as a Red to Blue target. MI-09 is R+0. We're ready to beat Joe Knollenberg.

I'm proud to work for Gary Peters, because Joe Knollenberg is out of touch.

Thoughts on OH, FL and VA races
OH - I am very happy to see OH-14 on the list.  In the 4 Mar primary the Democrats combined to +44,046 votes as compared to the Republicans in OH-14.  OH-03 also had Democrats at +31,084 - another potential Midwestern pick up depending on if our candidate is a good one.

FL - with eight seats in play (and on the list) with a potential ninth (FL-10) - I call FL the "jail break" for Democrats this election.  If McCann picks Gov Crist as VP -will this be due to the need for a "rear guard" action against losing these House seats?

VA - with three seats already on the list, and the potential for more (VA-5), a Virginian such as Sen Webb as VP on the ticket combined with a State already drifting blue may lead to great, synergistic results

I'm glad to see Charlie Brown made the list.
I have a feeling CA-04 is going to turn blue this year. With two Republican carpetbaggers fighting each other to take over for Doolittle, Charlie should be able to make this competitive.

Safe freshmen? Loesback??
The "specials" were deemed safer than the freshmen.

Yes, Bill Foster is on the endangered list but Andre Carson in IN-7 is not.  That is rather startling to me.  In fact, the omission of Nikki Tsongas and Laura Richarsdson also makes sense.

Missing among the freshmen (as far as I could tell) were Ed Perlmutter, CO-7; Bruce Braley, IA-1; Dave Loesback, IA-2; Peter Welch, VT-AL; and the redoubtable Joe Sestak in PA-7.  Loesback is a surprise.  A flock of Republicans have filed to take him down whereas Braley only got a surprise challenger in the last 1:15 of the filing period (an hour and fifteen minutes, no exact time filed).

This time around, Leonard Boswell's principal challenger is fellow Democrat Ed Fallon.  Boswell is a perpetual money drain who cost the DCCC nearly $800,000 last cycle.  Still, he does not belong on this list and Loesback does.

Is Michael Arcuri really being pushed hard in NY-24.  Didn't John Hall get dropped off the GOP list?  Still Kirsten Gillibrand is getting a fairly strong challenger.

And yes, NJ-5 needs to be on this list, pronto.  Camille Abate's stupid, vain primary challenge prevented attention in the 2006 cycle and she is doing it again.  You are doing more than anyone else in the district to give Scott Garrett a free ride.  Hang it up, Camille and tune in to the Mean Jean Schmidt/Barbara Cubin of the Northeast, DCCC.  

Our Southern strategy
I'm late to make this observation, but lemme go on record how pleased and proud I am to see 14 districts on this DCCC target list are in the former Confederacy. In 2006 it wasn't half as many, and Larry Kissell's race in NC was the worst missed opportunity of the season. And sure, 8 of these targets are in one not-so-Southern state, Florida. But that's O.K. Most of the South ain't so Southern anymore, if Southern means backwater Dixiecrats, and Strom Thurmond-type racist Repubs. The South is changing as the George Wallace-in-the-schoolhouse-door generation dies off, and younger voters take a fresh look at politics. So it is time that we take the battle to the Repubs and put them on the defensive in a region they thought was all theirs.

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