Democratic representatives who got less than 55% of the vote to win in 2008 are going to top the GOP’s 2010 target list. This list is below.

Some of these 30 congressional seats are located in areas of the country where it will be very hard for the Republican Party to win unless it tones down the extreme right rhetoric and rebuilds the moderate GOP brand. New England and the Mid-Atlantic are prime examples where there are 10 potential pick-ups from the list below. 

The struggle between the Republican campaign professionals and the ideologues will be a back-story for the GOP going into the midterm elections. For ideologues the campaign process is about adherence to conservative Republican doctrine and – sometimes – inflammatory claims for the sake of controversy. For consultants it is about winning so that the GOP does not become utterly irrelevant – which to some extent is about protecting and sustaining their business model. In between is the solution, but the divide may as well be interstellar.

Many ideologues will argue that doctrine flexibility will be unnecessary as senior citizen and independent voters revolt against President Obama's healthcare reform. How seniors and independents feel about healthcare in the fall of 2010 is unknown and that is not a strategy for long-term GOP growth.

However, voter discord over the Obama Administration's bailout and stimulus programs presents the GOP with an opportunity to seize the fiscal responsibility mantle.  This discord pits the "have littles" against the "have nots" and is a breach in the Democratic Party's lines that the GOP can leverage in 2010.

At the same time the GOP needs to demonstrate tolerance and empathy to those demographics that currently see it as rigid and unwelcoming. This can be done through legislative initiatives and candidate recruitment, which will enable the Republican Party to walk the talk. An important round of candidate recruitment for the 2010 election is on the door step and the GOP gets to decide its future.

Of this list of 30 Democratic members of Congress 73% are freshmen. McCain won 11 (37%) of these congressional districts with 50% or greater. This list does not include NY-23, a traditionally Republican seat, as it is currently open and awaiting a special election.

The list below is color coded to denote freshman, 1+ Term and 3+ Term incumbents and includes the Democratic incumbent’s 2008 election percentage and McCain’s performance in the 2008 presidential election in that congressional district (McCain 50%+ districts are in red).

AZ-08 Giffords 55%; 52%
CA-11 McNerney 55%; 44%
FL-22 Klein 55%; 48%
ME-01 Pingree 55%; 38%
NC-08 Kissell 55%; 47%
NM-01 Heinrich 55%; 39%
NY-25 Maffei 55%; 43%
OR-05 Schrader 55%; 43%
VA-11 Connolly 55%; 42%
MS-01 Childers 54%; 62%
OH-16 Boccieri 54%; 50%
WI-08 Kagen 54%; 54%
AZ-05 Mitchell 53%; 52%
TX-17 Edwards 53%; 67%
AL-05 Griffith 52%; 61%
FL-08 Grayson 52%; 47%
MI-09 Peters 52%; 43%
NH-01 Shea-Porter 52%; 46%
NJ-03 Adler 52%; 47%
PA-03 Dahlkemper 52%; 49%
PA-11 Kanjorski 52%; 42%
VA-02 Nye 52%; 48%
CT-04 Himes 51%; 40%
ID-01 Minnick 51%; 62%
NY-24 Arcuri 51%; 48%
NY-29 Massa 51%; 50%
OH-01 Driehaus 51%; 44%
AL-02 Bright 50%; 63%
VA-05 Perriello 50%; 51%
NY-20 Murphy 50%; 48%

Allen Raymond is a former Republican campaign manager and consultant and author of "How To Rig An Election; Confessions of a Republican Operative." Read more of his blog at www.redelephantgop.blogspot.com.