It's actually a misnomer to call this a game place for "winning back" the House. In reality, I want to first, and foremost take it away from Nancy Pelosi and her ilk. As a result of that first priority, I would support any candidate running against a sitting congressperson who voted to any large degree WITH Pelosi on any of the major issue (Cap and Trade, Obamacare, Card Check, Financial Reform, Student Loans, Stimulus...all of them...the Obama Budget and anything else I am not thinking of off the top of my head).
But, until such time as we have opposition candidates in place, our goal should be to find an opposing candidate who 1) best meets the goals we have for this country (see Sean Hannity's list from his latest book...its a good guideline), and 2) has a reasonably good chance of defeating the incumbent.
Election Projections has created a list of the most hotly contested seats in the house (http://www.electionprojection.com/2010elections/house10.php ). They are currently projecting a 31 seat turn over towards the Republicans. This is not enough to take the House away from Pelosi. Granted, many of the seats that EP is tilting towards the Dems retaining are strongly uncertain, if for no other reason than the fact that the Republicans have not had their primary yet and have yet to select an opponent.
That being said we have three jobs to do: 1) help to support the best Republican candidate in that state's primary; 2) once the state primary is decided, support the best candidate for that district; 3) make sure that we don't forget to support the conservative/republican candidates who, though leading in their districts, still need support.
Take a look at the list on that site.... I've begun the process of looking at the best primary candidates available in those states yet to have held their primaries. I want your input on these any other races you see as potential pick ups for Republicans in November. Remember, I am not supporting the Republican party simply because they are Republican. I DO want the best candidate...BUT remember this one thing...the party with the most members of the House get to choose the Speaker of the House. The Speaker of the House is VERY important...so it is VERY important that we get Pelosi OUT of that position. The ONLY way to do that, in the current two party system, is to make sure the Republicans hold the majority. BTW, even if we do take the House away from Pelosi...our job is not done. We need to make sure to pressure the Republicans to elect the BEST Speaker possible.
Okay...so on to the list....here are my initial recommendations on some key races. I am going to target 19 races that I think are winnable, as that would give us the cushion we need to take control of the House.
AZ - District 1 - Democrat is Ann Kirkpatrick: voted for stimulus and for Obamacare; but voted AGAINST cap and trade; she is a good supporter of the troops and relatively strong on education, though not so far as to favor school choice.
The top two Republican candidates are: Rusty Bowers and Brad Beauchamp. Bowers is an experienced State Legislator who has lived in that district his whole life. According to his website (https://rustycountry.com/ ), he stands for most everything us conservatives support. Beauchamp's site is not as obvious in relation to the details of what he believes, but it is clear he is conservative in nature and has the support of the border patrol council (http://www.beauchampforcongress.com/ ). He is running heavily on his "outsider" position.
I personally believe either one would be a good choice...but get the feeling that Bowers would have the best chance of defeating Kirkpatrick.
AZ - District 5 - Democrat is Harry Mitchell: he voted for Stimulus, Cap and Trade, Health Care and many other Pelosi programs. His website indicates that he is little more than a mouthpiece for the talking points of the far left of most issues. Even on something as vital to his district as border security, his support of AB 1070 is lukewarm at best...especially for an Arizona Congressman.
The Republicans are fielding a good group of candidates. Susan Bitter Smith, Chris Salvino, David Schweikert and Jim Ward are on the same page as far as the issues are concerned. I think they would all vote similarly on the issues. The question is, who has the best chance of beating Mitchell? Although I think they could all succeed if backed properly, the two who seem to stand out the most are Chris Salvino and Jim Ward. Chris seems to have the backing of the key figures in the district. While Ward is a fundraising expert (having out raised all his other opponents COMBINED for three straight quarters). And we know what money does...hmm. Any of the four would be fine with me.
Here are their respected websites:
AZ - District 8 - Democrat is Gabrielle Giffords: She voted FOR Obamacare, the Stimulus, Financial Reform, and Cap and Trade (need we say more?). She is very good at spewing the same mindless talking points that Pelosi told her to use in selling these bills to her constituents.
Republican Jonathan Paton was recently polled in a statistical dead heat with Giffords (even though the Republican primary has not been held yet). This is a seat we CAN win. Paton is a strong conservative and is positioned to win this seat with our help, even though EP is still giving this seat to Dems (weakly). Here is is website (http://www.patonforcongress.com/ ).
CA - District 11 (which is mostly in San Joaquin County, but includes areas in the Eastern portions of Santa Clara, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties) - Democrat is Jerry McNerney: He voted FOR Financial Reform, the Stimulus and Obamacare. His security in the District was recently lowered from Moderately strong to Weak. This seat can be had by the right candidate.
Tom Harmer is the candidate for the Republicans and he is a first class Reagan Conservative (http://harmerforcongress.com/ ). Harmer currently trails McNerney 42.3% to 40.5% in the polls...clearly within the margin of error. We can take this seat with some effort.
CO – District 3 – Democrat is John Salazar: He voted FOR stimulus, Cap and Trade and Obamacare (despite the fact that, like many Dems who voted for Obamacare, he won’t openly say so on his website. He simply makes it sound like he is supportive of certain issues RELATING to Obamacare). He shows a debt clock on his web page yet touts his many successful pork projects.
Republican Bob McConnell is the Sarah Palin-endorsed candidate in the primary coming up. McConnell is up against a much more polished candidate in Scott Tipton in the primary. Tipton is endorsed by Dick Morris. Either one would make a good candidate to kick Salazar out. You decide which one to support in the primary…but either way…support the primary winner against Salazar. Here is a link to a debate between McConnell and Tipton (http://www.mcconnellforcongress.com/Debate_Video_part1.htm)
CO – District 4 – Democrat is Betsy Markey who is already losing in all polls against Republican Cory Gardner (who is the likely GOP candidate here). This is a seat EP is weakly giving over to Republicans. So we need to fight for this one too. Keep working here.
CT – District 4 – Democrat Jim Himes: voted for ALL the left wing agenda. He is a first term Congressman who garnered only 51.6% of the vote in 2008 (the year of “hope and change”), meaning he flew in on Obama’s coat tails. With Dodd retiring (in no small part because they knew he couldn’t win re-election with his strong ties to and sweetheart deals from Countrywide) and Obama AND his health care reform numbers SINKING like a rock in CT, this seat is ripe. Himes’ re-election hopes were recently lowered from Likely to Leaning in all projections.
There are three Republican candidates: Rick Torres (http://www.ricktorres2010.com/) who is a strong conservative as shown by Ron Paul’s endorsement; Rob Merkle (http://www.merkleforcongress.com/ ) who seems to wish to appease the Tea Partiers, but almost seems a little apologetic in his support of the Tea Party; and Dan Debacella (http://www.debicella.com/3-issues.html ) who seems the most organized and is clearly more of a career politician with some seemingly moderate views on things like health care reform (incorporating right wing ideals of tort reform and buying across state lines, but also promoting middle of the road efforts to “streamline” medical information of patients and offering tax credits for “healthy living”).
My choice would be Torres first, then Merkle, then Debicella. Though any one of them would be better than Himes.
DE – ONLY SEAT – Currently held by Republican, Mike Castle, who is running for the Senate seat formerly held by Joe Biden. The seat, according to EP, is leaning Democratic. The main reason this seat is leaning Democratic is because the Democrats have only one candidate, John Carney, who has already won state-wide elections as Lt. Governor.
The Republicans, on the other hand have two good conservatives (Rose Izzo and Glen Urguhart), neither of which are well funded or capable of beating Carney without serious help. The third Republican, and, unfortunately, the most likely to win the nomination at this point, is Michelle Rollins, who is a clear cut RINO.
Because of the lack of support of the two conservative Republicans (and perhaps the reason there ISN’T support for them), there are also two Tea Party candidates. Neither Doug Campbell nor Earl Lofland (Constitution Party) have a snowball’s chance of winning…and are, unfortunately stealing from the Republicans. If we can get the support necessary to push one of the two Republican candidates over the top in their primary, then we might be able to squelch these two guys from stealing the election away from the Republicans and save the seat.
FL – District 2 – Democrat is Alan Boyd. He won with 61% of the vote in 2008 but July 22, Stuart Rothenberg (an election expert) changed his status on this district’s race in 2010 to a TOSS UP. This district can be had. Boyd is considered a Blue Dog Democrat who has an interesting plan of regaining some fiscal sanity (http://boyd.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=400&Itemid=112 ) even if it does NOT include renewing the Bush tax cuts. He voted for the Stimulus and Cap and Trade. While initially talking as if he would vote AGAINST Obamacare, he turn-coated on his constituents and voted for it eventually.
The main reason this seat is not leaning Republican is that the five Republicans running are all relative newbies to politics and no one has stepped up. Here are the five Rep. candidates and their links:
Barbara Olschner (http://barbaraforcongress.com/ ) is, without question, a RINO. Read her views of Energy and Immigration. She has strong fiscally conservative views but that’s not good enough for me. She and John McCain would just be a House version of McCain or Graham.
Eddie Hendry (http://www.eddiehendryforcongress.com/about/index.html ) is a true conservative on all issues (as you can read on his Issues page), including immigration, energy and health care)
Dianne Berryhill (http://berryhillforcongress2010.com/about.shtml ), although another conservative, is not very organized or well funded. She would do well the remove herself from the primaries and endorse David Scholl, Steve Southerland or Eddie Hendry.
David Scholl (http://davidscholl.org/david-scholl-bio.html ) is another very strong conservative and perhaps my favorite pick for the Republican nomination.
Steve Southerland (http://www.southerlandforcongress.com/Default.aspx?tabid=3969 ) is a soft spoken conservative who, although he has the right ideas, may not be capable of articulating them well enough to get the voters to vote for him. I like how well he has articulated his points IN PRINT, but he doesn’t come across like someone who can win the election. But that just might be me. You judge.
Whoever comes out of this primary is better than waffling blue dog Alan Boyd. However, let’s HOPE it’s not Olschner. It would be far more palatable to support any of the others against Boyd. In fact, I would just write this District off if she wins the Rep. nomination because she is no different than Boyd. The only good that would come from her winning the nomination and beating Boyd would be that it would make it more possible for the Republicans to kick Pelosi out of her Speaker’s seat.
FL – District 8 is Alan Grayson’s seat…and currently, EP is giving this “weakly” to the Republicans. We can only hope it stays that way. I would love few things more than knowing that we will not have to see him rant again from the House floor. Keep supporting his opponent, whomever they might be…primary still to come.
FL – District 22 – Democrat Ron Klein: was a true leftist in that he voted consistently along Pelosi-lines. Yes on Obamacare, Stimulus, Cap and Trade and so on. This district in South Florida will not be easy to win, but EP currently has it as a weak Dem. Hold.
Allen West (http://www.allenwestforcongress.com/ ) and David Brady (http://www.dcbrady.com/) both seem like good candidates for the Republican nomination (Aug. 24th primary). Though West seems to be the favorite to win the nomination. The promising part of this district is that in April of this year, West polled ahead of Klein by 2 points (44 – 42%). That’s not a significant lead…but if you look back to 2008 when Klein BEAT West in the general election, a poll taken about the same time in 2008 showed Klein leading West 49% to 22%. West is known much more than he was in 2008 and current polling shows he has a chance to unseat Klein.
FL – District 24 shows incumbent Democrat Suzanne Kozmas losing to any Republican candidate giving the Republicans a weak gain here…but don’t stop working it. We need this seat. My personal choice for the Republican nomination is Sandy Evans. Yes, she is conservative…as are a couple of the others. But Sandy endorsed an idea that has long been a pet project of mine…the use of a Zero Base Budget by Congress (look it up…I don’t wanna preach on it right now). But I support her nomination and will help her cause if she wins the nomination.
HI – District 1 – Currently held by Republican Charles Djou. The pundits are mixed in their projection of who will hold this seat after November. Hawaii is the most liberal state in the union and will always lean that way, even though this seat went Republican in 2008. Djou is a strong conservative who’s star is rising. I strongly support his election and deeply respect his position on almost all issues. Fight for him, Hawaii.
ID – District 1 – Democrat Walt Minnick is one of the most conservative democrats in Congress. He voted against Obamacare and Cap and Trade. Although it would be nice to have this seat in the Republican column for the sake of removing Pelosi from the Speaker’s seat. But I am not worried at all if Walt wins re-election. He is one of those rare politicians, from either party, who actually listens to his constituents and votes accordingly.
IL – District 10 – This is an Open seat held by Republicans right now (Mark Kirk is running for Senate in Illinois) and leaning slightly towards remaining Republican. Robert Dold (R) is running against Dan Seals (D). The primary reason Seals is still close in this race is that he ran twice before for this seat and he has some name recognition. Dold is a solid conservative with strong ideals. He needs money, more than anything else…and volunteers to help get his name out there. If he gets a real chance to get his message out, Dold can win this seat and would be a strong influence in Congress with some great ideas. Dold is trailing, as of May, by 8 points in the polls….but I suspect that number will shrink as people get to know him.
IL – District 11 – Debbie Halvorson (D) is the incumbent. She voted in favor of the Stimulus, Obamacare, Cap and Trade and more. Yes, she worked to help add provisions that made those bills more “palatable” for fence-sitting Dems. But that is not good enough when government is out of control.
Her opponent in November is Republican Adam Kinzinger (http://www.electadam.com/ ). He is a strong conservative, young and full of great ideas and energy. I would strongly encourage support of him in his campaign. Kinzinger, as of March, was leading Halvorson, but the numbers have narrowed since and Halvorson is now leading slightly in the polls. This guy would be a great asset to the Republican party, Congress and America.
IL – District 14 – Democrat Bill Foster holds the seat. He voted FOR Obamacare, the Stimulus and Cap and Trade. Although he talks a good talk regarding border security and taxes, word has it that he would support comprehensive immigration reform which included amnesty…and that he does not support renewing the Bush tax cuts for anyone making more than $250K/year.
His opponent is Randy Hultgren (http://hultgrenforcongress.com/ ). Early polls, before it was known who Foster’s opponent would be, showed very low approval for Foster from constituents. However, Hultgren is not doing so well in the polls…this is a statistical dead heat. This seat is for the taking if we can get out there and help Randy.
IN – District 2 – Joe Donnelly, the incumbent Democrat, is in trouble here (despite EP still leaving this seat to the Dems). Although he is against amnesty (on the immigration issue), the fact that he voted WITH the left of every other issue begs the question as to whether he would cave on this issue as well.
His opponent is Jackie Walorski (R) (http://www.standwithjackie.com/ ). She is a strong conservative who would love to overturn Obamacare. She started off way down in the polls, but is running a good campaign and the polls are now showing Donnelly only a slight favorite. She needs our help. Please send money and volunteer to help.
IN – District 8 – Democrat Brad Ellsworth is running a losing battle for the Senate. So this is an open seat that can be taken by the Republicans. EP already has this leaning Republican…but ever so slightly. Larry Bucshon (http://bucshonforcongress.com/ ) needs your help. This seat voted HEAVILY Democrat in 2008. So the fact that Bucshon is slightly favored is huge. Keep working for him.
IN – District 9 – Baron Hill is the incumbent Democrat. The five-time Congressman won with nearly 58% of the vote in 2008. So the fact that he is only SLIGHTLY favored to win at this point is another HUGE one. Hill was “proud” to vote for Obamacare and Stimulus. He also voted for Cap and Trade and although he tries to make Hoosiers believe he is an advocate of the 2nd amendment…he is only against “unfair infringement” on gun rights. Time for him to go.
His opponent is Todd Young, a strong conservative and another of a good group of young conservatives (http://www.toddyoungforcongress.com/ ). Although EP shows this seat barely remaining in the Dems hands, a new poll recently shows Young up by 5 points on Hill. This seat is for the taking.
IA – District 3 – EP still shows this seat staying Dems hands. But latest polls shows incumbent Leonard Boswell (D) trailing Brad Zaun (R) by 8 points now. This seat is primed for Republican taking. Zaun is a strong conservative, as you can read on his website (http://www.bradzaun.com/ ).
Former President Clinton is being recruited to come campaign for Boswell, indicating that the leading Democrats see this seat slipping away. We need to step up our support for Zaun, asap.
KS – District 3 – Six term incumbent Democrat, Dennis Moore, is retiring. It has been speculated that he is retiring due to Democratic Party pressure. Some think he can’t win again after supporting most of the bills that Kansans oppose.
There is a very crowded field for the Republican nomination. And since the primary is tomorrow, I will refrain from making comments until we know who both parties have nominated.
LA – District 2 – This seat is currently held by Joseph Cao (R), the turn-coat who voted FOR…what was it, Obamacare, cap and trade or Stimulus or all of them. I can’t remember. But in a state that leans heavily Republican, this is the most liberal district. And without Republican support this time around, it is unlikely he will win…but who cares. The biggest mistake made here was in the Republican party NOT helping to find an alternative candidate. We lose, no matter who wins this election.
MD – District 1 – Democrat incumbent, Frank Kratovil, is projected to lose this race, narrowly, to a yet to be determined challenger. There is one serious issue here. In November of last year, before Kratovil voted to pass Obamacare, Republican Andy Harris was leading by double digits in early polls. Now, Kratovil is back in the lead, ever so slightly (despite this, this seat is still projected to go to the Republicans. The problem here is that Tea Party activist, Frank Wilson, has begun siphoning off Harris’ votes. Harris is not the most conservative of Republicans, but if you read his views on the issues (http://www.andyharris.com/ ), you will see that he is far enough right on most issues to warrant supporting him in this election. Wilson CANNOT win. It would take a large scale miracle for his to win. Maryland is a left leaning state and this district is fairly left leaning as well. Harris CAN win and will be a valuable asset in a Republican-led House. Please don’t hand this election to Kratovil simply because Harris might not say everything right. I knew from the very beginning that Scott Brown, in MA, would not support many conservative issues. But do you really think he didn’t have an effect on stopping Cap and Trade in the Senate? His former opponent would have most certainly fallen in line with Reid and we might be looking down the barrel of a Cap and Trade gun right now. A right of center Andy Harris is better than a Pelosi-puppet like Frank Kravotil.
MA – District 10 – This is an open seat held by Dems right now. Republicans Jeff Perry (http://www.jeffperryforcongress.com/ ) and Joe Malone (http://joemalonecongress.com/ ) far ahead of the pack of Republicans wishing to steal this seat from the Dems. Perry is 15 points in front of Malone, which is okay by me, since I see Perry as slightly more conservative than Malone.
The Democratic primary is a two person race, with Bill Keating (http://www.billkeating.org/ ) trailing Bob O’Leary (http://olearyforcongress.com/welcome )by 8 points. Both of these guys make my skin crawl when I read their positions on issues. Therefore, no matter WHOM the Republicans nominate, please give your support to them. This is a seat that can be had if we work hard for it.
MI – District 1 – This is Bart Stupak’s old seat and it’s currently leaning ever so slightly towards the Republicans. Remember, Stupak ran as a conservative, pro-life democrat. This district has traditional conservative values.
Gary McDowell is the sole Democrat running for this seat. All one needs to know about him, despite his convictions on protecting 2nd Amendment rights, is that he supports Obamacare.
Of the plethora of Republican candidates, three are seen as the frontrunners: Jason Allen, who has name recognition in the district and is a late entry into the race, says that he is not very different ideologically from the Tea Party, yet says nothing on his webpage that indicates where he stands on issues. Some have called his move into the district just before entering the race a carpetbagger move.
Dan Benishek is the hands-down favorite to win the nomination and the slight favorite to win the seat. He is a strong conservative with strong core values (http://danbenishekforcongress.com/ ). He would be my choice for the seat because he has strong enough core values for conservatives and the ability to actually win the seat..
Tom Stillings is the down-to-earth, conservative who SHOULD be the representative, but lacks electability, for the most part. If someone with some moxie could take him and make him into an electable leader, then I want him. But otherwise, Benishek is a close, very second.
MI – District 7 – This is a tough district. The incumbent, Mark Schauer, is a first term Democrat who barely won the seat in 2008 and is projected to lose to whomever the Republicans nominate. The real issue here is the fact that there are TWO Tea Party activist/party entries NOT in the Republican ticket. This could severely hamper taking this seat from Peters. If any one of them could win, that’s one thing, but it’s extremely unlikely, since even the Republican party is putting forth their own Tea Party candidate in Marvin Carlson (http://www.marvincarlson.com/ ). Those three would likely beat each other up in the November elections and the seat might not go to the Republicans, as EP predicts.
The top Republican candidate is Tim Walberg, a former Congressman. He is able to raise the money and run the campaign and has top name recognition. He sports a double digit lead over Schauer in the polls as well. However, he is, far and away, the most entrenched candidate. He was part of the Republican led Congress that blew things apart a few years back. I personally will take him over Schauer, but if anything can be done to bring up Marvin Carlson or, better yet, the third Republican candidate, Brian Rooney, then we might have a better chance here. I like Rooney (http://www.runwithrooney.com/ ) a whole lot. I wish someone would take his campaign over and help him get his message out.
MI – District 9 – Democrat Gary Peters is projected by EP to win slightly. Peters is another of the first term Dems who rode into D.C. on Obama’s coattails, but barely, with only 52.1% of the vote. The main reason he is still projected to win is because none of the Republican candidates has risen to the top of the pack yet.
Here they are: Anna Janek (http://www.janek2010.com/ ) is the common folks patriot conservative. She has all the right views on all the issues.
Rocky Raczkowski (http://www.rockyworksforus.com/ ) is another strong conservative with well articulate plans. I don’t see a lot of difference between him and Janek on the issues.
Paul Welday is a former Congressional Aide and so he has some idea of how to work in Washington. He has a very well laid out action plan and is strong in fund raising and campaigning. He is very strong on the issues…on paper…we’ll see. He actually is in a very tight race with Peters. Peters is still projected to win, but Welday can take this seat. And he would not be a bad person to have in Washington.
NV – District 3 – Democrat Dina Titus is in trouble here, even though her numbers have improved noticeably over the past month or two (co-incidentally the time period that Reid has been rising in the polls through the use of his lying and smearing campaign against Sharron Angle). Titus is in a dead heat against Republican Joseph Heck.
Titus voted FOR Obamacare, either believing or openly espousing the lies about it helping to reduce the deficit, lower health care costs and premiums and allowing a patient to choose those doctor (all things that have since been proven to be false). She supported H.R. 2187 which is designed to make our schools “green”…and voted yes on H.R. 2454 (Cap and Trade). And she voted for the useless Stimulus Bill.
Joe Heck (http://heck4nevada.com/homepage ) is very conservative, especially for a district that included Las Vegas. But he is pushing Titus to the brink and can win this seat with our help. To me, this is a key district in a state where we also need to dump Reid from the Senate.
Think about this for a second. If we can push Heck over the top in Las Vegas, that will help topple Reid because Las Vegas is the key segment of HIS voter base. If we dump Reid, we have a chance to even take back the Senate. THIS IS A KEY DISTRICT, FOLKS.
NH – District 1 – Carol Shea-Porter is the Democratic incumbent. She is one of the worst Democrats in Congress. She is as far left as they come. She has not only voted in lock-step with Pelosi’s agenda, but has been hands on in making sure other Dems join the votes.
She was trailing Frank Guinta back in April, but is now leading him (as of 7/27). EP is still tilting this one towards Republicans, but this is now a tougher fight that it was before. Support Frank Guinta (http://www.teamguinta.com/ )
NJ – District 3 – Democrat John Adler is holding a fairly strong lead in the polls over Jon Runyan (former Offensive Lineman for the Philadelphia Eagles). Runyan is a good conservative. But apparently he is not a good enough conservative for certain elements of the Tea Party in NJ. Peter DeStefano, a businessman is pulling down 13% of the votes in the polls…just enough to give Adler back his seat.
Would we like to have DeStefano is this seat? Sure…will he win? Not likely at all. Will his presence on the ballot steal enough votes from Runyan to let Adler win back that seat and put a smile on the Libs’ faces who are HOPING the Tea Party will do this very thing? You know it will. It is getting way too late in the race to think that DeStefano can win this seat. And his presence is CLEARLY taking votes away from Runyan. What do we do, Patriots? I think this is one of those clear cut cases where we have to tell the TP candidate to step aside. Read Runyan’s site http://runyanforcongress.com/issues/#Health )and his view on the issues. He is on our side…he will NOT make a bad Congressman?
NM – District 1 – This is a seat for the taking…currently leaning towards Democratic incumbent, Martin Heinrich, winning re-election. However, the polls have reversed in just a few months. Heinrich was leading by 17 points in a May poll, but is now trailing by 6 points to Jon Barela in a July poll.
Heinrich is a freshman congressman who rode into D.C. on Obama’s coattails and 55% of the vote in 2008. He is vulnerable in every sense of the word…voting lock-step with Pelosi on EVERY issue.
Jon Barela (http://jonbarela.com/default.aspx ) has all the right views on issues like the economy and health care and smaller government that make him a good conservative candidate. He is on the rise in District 1 and would benefit from our support. This is a seat EP is still giving to the Dems, but can be switched with our effort.
New York – has seven seats, currently held by Dems, that are up in the air. Two, EP suggests will turn Republican (NY 24 and NY 29). One seat, EP thinks will have a fairly good shot at remaining Dem (NY-13) and the other four (NY 1, NY 19, NY 20 and NY 23 – yes, THAT NY23) EP thinks lean Dem. Let’s look at these four. As for the other three…If I have time later, I will look into them…but suffice it to say that NY 24 and NY 29 are strong potential seat gains for Republicans and we need to work to keep it that way. Richard Hanna (http://www.richardhannaforcongress.com/ ) is strong in 24. And in 29, Eric Massa’s old seat, Tom Reed, the Republican, isn’t the strongest conservative, but is WAY better than what’s there now. As for NY 13, the only reason EP is making this as close as they are is the fact that the table hasn’t been set yet…there is no clear cut opponent to what’s there now. We’ll know much more after Sept. 14th.
NY 1 – Democratic incumbent, Tim Bishop, is seeking his fifth term. Bishop boasts on his website that he made sure NY’s 1st District received more stimulus money than any other county. He voted for Obamacare and Cap and Trade. He is a true NY Liberal. The Republican challenger is yet to be determined, but polls show that Randy Altschuler is in a dead heat with Bishop, as far back as January of this year. Randy (http://randyaltschuler.com/ ) is another of young gun Republicans coming to the forefront of the party. He has some moderate views on Social Security and Medicare…but is pretty strongly conservative in everything else. For a relatively conservative Republican to win this seat in the heart of Long Island would be a major statement…and it can happen…we can push Randy over the top and take this seat.
NY 19 – Democrat John Hall is as left-wing as they come. Just read his letter to his “friends” on his website (http://www.johnhallforcongress.com/ ) if you doubt me. He not only voted for all of the Pelosi-Reid-Obama agenda…he is proud of it. With the Primaries still ahead, two Republicans are battling for the chance to face off against Hall. Nan Hayworth (http://nanhayworth.com/issues/ ) is a middle of the road conservative, strong on fiscal responsibility, smaller government and free enterprise. She would do fine in Congress. She may not be your cup of tea, though, on social issues. But first things first. Neil DiCarlo (http://neildicarlo.com/home.php ) is the stronger conservative in the race. But being a non-career-politician makes it very difficult for Neil to beat out the establishment, especially in the heart of NYC. Neil would be my pick for the seat, but does he stand a chance against either Hayworth or Hall? This would be a miracle pick-up and something inside me is telling me to not give up on this guy.
NY 20 – Scott Murphy is the Democratic incumbent for this seat vacated by Kirsten Hildebrand when she ran to take Hillary Clinton’s old Senate seat. Murphy barely won this seat in that special election. So this seat is vulnerable to Republican take over. There is only one Republican even in the primaries (Sept. 14th), Chris Gibson. Murphy is slated to win back this seat. But EP is saying it is a thin win at best. So…with that being said…can we get behind Chris Gibson? His website (http://www.chrisgibsonforcongress.com/ ) indicates that he is primarily pursuing an agenda of job growth through targeted tax relief. His Issues page shows him to be a fairly strong conservative on issues like Health Care, 2nd Amendment, Taxes and Balanced Budget. I think he just needs to get his name and face in front of people. We can help with that.
NY 23 – This is a re-race between Democrat Bill Owens and Doug Hoffman. You remember this race from last year when Hoffman entered the special election as an Independent because the local Republican establishment place Scozafava, the ultra liberal Republican, on the ballot as the Republican candidate. Hoffman beat off the odds and forced Scozzafava to drop out of the race, where she immediately placed her support with Owens. Owens barely beat Hoffman in the special elections (some say by shenanigans). But here we are again, seeing if we can’t get Hoffman elected this time. EP is still giving this seat to the Dems (barely)…so helping to get Hoffman elected this time would truly add to the potential Republican landslide. Hoffman still has to win the primary…but he’s winning big there. Go to his site and volunteer to help him (http://www.doughoffmanforcongress.com/content/index.cfm ).
NC – District 8 – EP has Democratic incumbent, Larry Kissel barely holding off Republican challenger, Harold Johnson. In sports crazy North Carolina, where they already elected Democrat, and former NFLer, Heath Shuler to Congress, Johnson has a chance. Kissel, is holding only 41% of the vote in June polls (far below any sort of safe position). Johnson Is still at only 35%, but coming up quickly. Let’s hope the firestorm of conservative voting this November is enough to turn this Dem seat into a Rep. seat.
Ohio has always been a battleground state and this year is no different. There are several seats up in the air in Ohio. Keep in mind that Ohio is also one of those bell-weather states. It pretty much indicates where America is going…and their returns come early on election night. So, if you can only help out in a few places this election year, Ohio, and Pennsylvania (as you will see shortly) are the places to go.
OH 1 – Steve Chabot is strong here for the Republicans in their attempt to take the seat from incumbent, Steve Driehaus. Steve Chabot is a former House member with a good track record of being fairly conservative…though, once he IS in office…let’s hold his feet to the fire…no more of the “cut-taxes, but not spending” mentality of the 1994-2006 Congress. EP has this seat leaning Republican.
OH 13 – Thomas Ganley (R) is trying to unseat incumbent Betty Sue Sutton (D). EP has this leaning Democrat barely. Ganley can win this. He is getting help from Dick Morris and Mike Huckabee. With some grass roots help, he can overcome the lead Sutton has in the polls right now. Ganley was leading Sutton back in February.
OH 15 – Steve Stivers (R) is currently projected to beat incumbent MaryJo Kilroy (D) to move this seat to the Republican side of the aisle. Keep an eye on this one…it is still in play.
OH 16 – Incumbent John Boccieri (D) is seen as barely holding onto this seat. His challenger is Jim Renacci (R). Despite a May poll which showed Renacci as a 13% leader over Boccieri, the pundits are still favoring Boccieri to win in November. But that poll in May tells us that Renacci CAN win this seat. His fundraising is good, though he did have to spend a lot of money in the primaries to win. So Boccieri still has more money in the coffers at this point. This guy could use our help…We Can Win This Seat.
OH 18 – shows second term incumbent, Zack Space, slightly favored to beat Republican challenger, Bob Gibbs (NO…NOT THAT ROBERT GIBBS). Gibbs is endorsed by Newt Gingrich. He’s taken the Legal Immigration Pledge to fight to protect our borders and resist amnesty to illegals. He is favoring a defunding of Obamacare as the way to beat it. He is a good candidate and could use our help. Space did not wish to run against Gibbs , as evidenced by the fact that he ran ads AGAINST Gibbs before the primaries. Gibbs barely held on to win the primary and immediately filed charges against Space for lying in his ads. The Commission voted unanimously to take the next steps in these charges. Despite the fact that this seat is still leaning Dem…it CAN be won by Gibbs. I really believe that…time to help out.
In Pennsylvania, there are several seats in play. Three of them EP is already leaning towards becoming Republican gains…PA 3, PA 7 and PA11. We’ll look at those first. Then we’ll look at the five other seats that EP is leaning towards remaining with Dems, but can be won. These are PA 4, PA 8, PA 10, PA 12 and PA 17.
PA 3 – Mike Kelly (R) has an 11 point lead over incumbent Kathy Dahlkemper (D). His campaign is getting stronger as it goes. Keep an eye on this one, as some pundits, not EP, are still giving this to Dahlkemper. Watch to see if Dahlkemper makes a push that changes things.
PA 7 – This is Joe Sestak’s former seat. Patrick Meehan (R) is running against Bryan Lentz (D). Although Meehan is showing a 21 point lead in the polls, pundits are nearly unanimous that this is a toss up seat. EP does show it going Republican. But obviously we need to keep helping Meehan.
PA 11 – Louis Barletta (R) is trying to unseat incumbent Democrat Paul Kanjorski. EP shows this leaning towards a Barletta. Several pundits are mixed in their views. Some show toss up and some show leaning Dem, despite a July poll showing Barletta leading by 19 points.
PA 4 – This one shows, by EP, as still leaning towards Democratic incumbent Jason Altmire retaining the seat. The Republican candidate is Keith Rothfus. Despite being down in the polls, Rothfus’ story is amazing. He had never run for office. He decided to run for the same reason so many of us decided to become active in conservative movements, like the Tea Party…he saw where we were going, looked at his six children, and decided he couldn’t just vote and send in checks to candidates anymore. The GOP in this district had already put their support behind a former US Attorney. But Rothfus just kept campaigning and ended up not just winning the GOP nomination, but by a 2 to 1 margin. He is one of those rare people who could turn around a deficit like the one he’s facing with Altmire, and win this seat….AND be a good congressman. This is a Doug Hoffman-like story. We need to support this man. Here’s his website (http://www.keithpa4.com/ ). BTW, Altmire is one of those Dems who voted, last minute, against Obamacare. He is one of those people we knew Pelosi let off the hook because she didn’t need his vote and knew he could use it to help him get elected in a relatively conservative district.
PA 8 – Republican Mike Fitzpatrick is trying to unseat Democrat Pat Murphy. Although this seat is being projected to remain Democrat, Mike Fitzpatrick is the former holder of this seat…swept out in the 2006 election. Now Murphy is the incumbent…fully supportive of all of Obama’s unpopular issues and facing the same wrath from District 8 voters. He voted 97% of the time with Pelosi. He voted for Obamacare ONLY because it was designed to help reduce the deficit…something the CBO now says it completely opposite the truth. This could easily turn into another pick up for the Republicans if we go in there and help.
PA 10 – Thomas Marino (R) is trying to unseat Democrat Chris Carney. This seat does not look good for Marina to win. Carney has more than 10x the money as Marino, name recognition and more. Carney’s gonna have to take a different than normal tactic to win this.
PA 12 – Mark Critz won this seat only recently in a special election when John Murtha died. We thought we might have a chance to win this seat back then, but we couldn’t get the heavily democratic district to think enough of the Republican opponent to vote for him. Tim Burns doesn’t have any more chance of stealing this seat this time either. The only way this changes is if something happens to open the eyes of these voters.
PA 17 – David Argall (R) will most likely not be able to unseat incumbent Democrat Tim Holden. Holden’s campaign is picking up steam and is already leading in the polls. And he has much more money.
SC – District 4 – Democratic incumbent John Spratt held a slight edge in a statistic draw back in May. Since then this seat has gone from slightly leaning Dem to a Toss Up, even though EP is still learning towards Spratt over his opponent, Mick Mulvaney (http://www.mickmulvaney.com/site/ ). Mulvaney could use our help.
TX – District 23 – You remember the Democrat in this seat, Ciro Rodriguez. He’s the one who went off on some people at one his town hall meetings for challenging his votes on some of the liberal issues. Francisco Canseco faces a hard road to defeating Ciro. But dang, would I love to see this twit gone. Primarily, Canseco’s biggest obstacle is his view on immigration and protecting our borders. He prefers to see the borders secured and immigrants to come here through legal channels. He is deeply opposed to amnesty as well. This does not bode well in a heavily Hispanic district. But there is hope if his message is allowed to be heard. Give him your support (http://www.cansecoforcongress.com/ ). A poll in May, btw, show Canseco down by only 3 points.
VA – District 9 – Fourteen term Democrat, Rick Boucher ran completely unopposed in 2008. Yet, today, though his lead is secure (52 to 39% as of May), he is not shoe-in in a state that swang so heavily Republican in 2009. This is no sure thing for the Dems. And with some strong support from us and the rest of the Republican party in Virginia, this might turn around.
VA – District 11 – Keith Fimian (R) was leading incumbent Gerald Connolly (D) back in Feb. Today, the pundits have this seat leaning towards staying Democrat. But, this is a vulnerable seat that we think could turn Republican in 2010 with some help (http://keithfimian.com/ ).
WA – District 3 – This is an open seat because of retiring six term Democrat, Brian Baird. The August 17th primary will help determine what exactly happens here. In generic polls, Republicans hold a 7 point lead over Democrats here. But the winners in the primary will potentially change all that. The one thing I will say is this, with Dino Rossi fighting hard to unseat Patty Murray (D) from the Senate, if we can really push for the voter turn out in Washington, we could not just push Rossi into the Senate, but could also coattail things for this seat and a couple of others too.
WV – District 1 – Fourteen term incumbent Democrat Alan Mollohan was defeated in his party’s primary. He went unopposed in 2008 and his ouster by his own party extends the impression that the Democratic party in WV is vulnerable. Most seats are considered very safe, but this one is considered a toss up by the pundits. Even EP doesn’t have this one on its radar. Michael Oliverio (D) is fighting against Republican David McKinley. Both have good name recognition is WV and either could win. I say we fight for this seat and simultaneously see if we can’t make things interested in the Special Election to replace former Senator Robert Byrd.
WI – District 7 – This is a seat I would love to take from the Dems. This seat has belonged to Democrat David Obey for 42 years. He’s retiring and it is now open for the taking. Wisconsin’s primary runs very late (Sept. 14th). So, once that is ironed out we’ll know for sure where this and District 8 are heading (see below). Current trends show Democrat leanings here to be weakening…yet this seat is still projected to remain Dem.
WI – District 8 – This is another vulnerable Dem. seat. The Primary will iron things out and make the picture a lot clearer. Incumbent Steve Kagen’s support here is waning. Let’s hope it weakens even more by November.
Here are some seats not mentioned by EP which are being projected to go Democrat for some reason I can’t figure…but the polls show the Republican doing well:
AR – 1 Crawford (R) is beating Causey (D) – 40 to 34 as of 5/24 (OPEN SEAT)
AR – 2 Griffin (R) is beating Elliott (D) – 50 to 34 as of 6/13 (OPEN SEAT)
IL – 17 Schilling (R) is beating Hare (D) 45 to 32 as of 7/12
MD – 1 Harris(R) is running even with Kravotil (D) in several polls (Primaries yet to happen)
MS – 1 Nunnelee (R) is beating Childers (D) 50 to 42 as of 6/8
NH 2 - Bass (R) is leading Swett (D) 47 to 30 as of 7/19 (OPEN SEAT)
NM 2 – Pearce (R) and Teague (D) are in a virtual dead heat (current)
NM3 – Mullens (R) is trailing Lujan by 36 to 42 as of present
NC 11 – Miller (R) and Shuler (D) are in a dead heat as of 7/22
ND At Large – Berg (R) is leading Pomeroy (D) 49 to 46 as of 7/12
OR 1 – Cornilles (R) is trailing Wu (D) 40 to 46 as of 5/27
OR 5 – Schaeder (D) is only slightly projected to defeat Bruun (R)
RI 1 – OPEN SEAT – PRIMARY STILL TO COME – virtual tie in generic polls
SD At Large – Noem (R) is leading Sandlin (D) 49 to 44 as of 7/6
UT 2 – Not sure why this one is NOT on EP…but Philpot (R) has a very good chance of unseating Matheson (D)
WA 2 – PRIMARY STILL TO COME – Koster (R) trailing Larson (D) 37 to 44
WA 3 – PRIMARY STILL TO COME – Generic Rep. 42 – Generic Dem. 37
WI 3 – Kapanky (R) is trailing Kind (D) 37 to 44 as of 7/18
From a rough counting (including seats not mentioned here that EP has strongly predicted will change hands), there are about 100 seats in play. Did you read that right? 100 seats could change from Democrat to Republican. Will that many actually change hands? You know what...with the way things have been going these past 18 months, I don't know. If the full force of the Tea Party movement comes out to help these 100 men and women win their respective elections, is a 100 seat turnover out of reach? NOT AT ALL. Certainly 50 seats is a reasonable target. I think if we get between 50 and 100 seats a definite message will have been sent to the far left in this country.
Goodness…this was a lot of work and I know I could have spent 10x as much time fine tuning it. If there is a race here that you would like more details on, let me know. Or better yet, you do the research and let US know how we can help. I am contemplating doing the same thing for the various governships. But we’ll see. For now, my eyes are weary and my fingers and wrist are tired from all this.