A final look at last week’s revelation in Politico of the districts in which the DCCC committed to $28 million worth of television buys for embattled incumbents:
Update: The DCCC reserved two more ad buys in
Read Part 1 here.
Read Part 2 here
PA-3: Kathy Dahlkemper – Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D) won this seat in 2008 with 51 percent of the vote. She defeated perennial incumbent Rep. Phil English (R), who had represented the 21st and later the 3rd district since 1995. Dahlkemper represents a purple district that tends to vote narrowly conservative in national elections in normal cycles. Her opponent, Butler City Councilman Mike Kelly, has only raised about $100,000 to Dahlkemper’s $1 million. However, a significant amount of that cash came as donations from her Democratic colleagues, including Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, and Majority Whip Clyburn. A Republican poll commissioned in July showed Kelly ahead of Dahlkemper by 11 points.
PA-7: Open –
PA-10: Christopher Carney – Rep. Christopher Carney (D) won this seat when he defeated Rep. Don Sherwood (R) in 2006. This was considered a stunning upset; in 2004 Sherwood won with 92 percent of the vote and a margin of 86 percent over his nearest opponent. Carney, however, is a member of the endangered Blue Dog Coalition. His opponent, former U.S. Attorney Tom Marino, has raised $11,000 to Carney’s $792,000. This would seem to be an insurmountable lead in funds raised, but Carney’s commissioned polls have not been released to the public, and the DCCC’s commitment to ad buys in the district betray the anticipation of a tough fight for Carney this year.
PA-11: Paul Kanjorski – Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D) has held this seat since 1985. He represents a district that includes
PA-12: Mark Critz –
PA-15: Charlie Dent – An extraordinary race in 2010; this is one of the few places where Democrats have a chance of knocking off a Republican incumbent. Rep. Charles Dent (R) was elected to the House in 2004 and has been returned in this mildly Democratic district with relatively decent margins for three cycles. He won in 2008, a year stacked against Republicans, with 58 percent of the vote. This year, however, he faces a serious challenger in Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan (D). At about one million dollars, both candidate have financial parity. In January, Dent’s camp produced an internal poll that showed the incumbent with a definitive lead. An April poll also has Dent leading, but with a smaller margin. Democrats smell blood in the water. In August, former President Bill Clinton will come to the district to fundraise for Callahan.
SC-5: John Spratt – Spratt is another incumbent that has been a fixture in the capital for decades; he was first elected to the House representing
SD-AL: Stephanie Herseth Sandlin – C&E has had its eye on this race for some time. Herseth Sandlin is running against her party on almost every legislative accomplishment of the last year, particularly healthcare reform. This strategy has prevented her opponent, state Rep. Kristi Noem (R), from running against Herseth Sandlin directly. Instead her attacks are directed against
TX-17: Chet Edwards – Edwards was elected to TX-17 in 2004; prior to that he held the seat in
TX-23: Ciro Rodriguez – Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D) has held this seat since 2007. Rodriquez defeated Rep. Henry Bonilla (D) in the 2006 Democratic primary and easily won the general election. He faces banker and philanthropist Francisco “Quico” Canseco (R) in November. Obama carried the district in 2008 and Democrats have represented the district in the House since 1985. This is a relatively securely democratic district. With that said, this part of
VA-11: Gerry Connolly – Rep. Gerry Connolly (D), a representative from
VA-2: Glenn Nye – Rep. Glenn Nye (D) was elected in 2008, defeating former Rep. Thelma Drake (R). He faces local auto dealer Scott Rigell (R) in November. Rigell has raised $452,000 to Nye’s $1.3 million. Nye voted against healthcare reform and cap and trade. Nevertheless, a GOP poll commissioned in June shows Nye trailing Rigell 41 to 35 percent. Nye’s campaign website has not been updated since October 2009. The success of Republican Governor Bob McDonnell’s financial initiatives, including the recent revelation that the state will have a $220 million budget surplus after 2010, are giving commonwealth Republicans some successes to champion.
VA-5: Tom Perriello – Rep. Thomas Perriello (D) defeated Rep. Virgil Goode (R) in 2008 by less than 800 votes. Perriello is well-entrenched, with $1.7 million in his war chest. His opponent, Robert Hurt, has raised only $215,000. Perriello spent a lot of time on the cable networks after 2008; he was the young face of the new wave of democrats that would make red states purple and blue states bluer. He voted for healthcare reform and cap and trade and was a hero to the new left. Today, Perriello’s cable schedule has opened up some and those landmark pieces of legislation are as unpopular as they were before being passed. A July poll showed Hurt up by 23 points.
WI-8: Steve Kagen – Rep. Steve Kagen (D) was elected in 2008 to represent the Great Lakes region; WI-8 includes
Noah Rothman is the online editor at C&E. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org