Thursday, December 20, 2007

Van Hollen: Walberg Is A Target

We've heard it before, but it's always nice to hear it again. Unlike in 2006, when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee more or less ignored the Michigan 7th, it'll be a top target in 2008.

Today, subscription-only Roll Call has a list from Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), head of the DCCC, of the 40 seats they'll be targeting. Via MyDD, here's the list:
AK-AL: Don Young
AZ-01: Open
AZ-03: John Shadegg
CA-04: John Doolittle
CA-26: David Dreier
CA-50: Brian Bilbray
CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave
CT-04: Chris Shays
FL-08: Ric Keller
FL-09: Gus Bilirakis
FL-13: Vern Buchanan
FL-24: Tom Feeney
ID-01: Bill Sali
IL-10: Mark Kirk
IL-11: Open
IL-14: Open
MI-07: Tim Walberg
MI-09: Joe Knollenberg
MN-03: Open
MN-06: Michele Bachmann
MO-06: Sam Graves
NV-03: Jon Porter
NJ-03: Open
NJ-07: Open
NM-01: Open
NM-02: Open
NY-13: Vito Fossella
NY-25: Jim Walsh
NY-26: Tom Reynolds
NY-29: Randy Kuhl
NC-08: Robin Hayes
OH-01: Steve Chabot
OH-02: Jean Schmidt
OH-14: Steve LaTourette
OH-15: Open
OH-16: Open
PA-03: Phil English
WA-08: Dave Reichert
WV-02: Sheley Moore Capito
WY-AL: Open
(Emphasis added.)

I'm a little disappointed that MI-08 and MI-11 aren't on there too, but I'm more than satisfied to see that the DCCC is going to make a serious attempt to pick up seats in Michigan. What are the qualifications for a seat to get on this list?
Among the 40 Republican-held seats the DCCC is targeting generally, Van Hollen acknowledged that not all of them are exceedingly vulnerable to a Democratic takeover. But he said they all exhibit potential, and include a mixture of the following factors:

* The demographics of the district benefit the Democratic candidate.

* The Democratic presidential nominee won the district in 2004.

* The Democratic presidential nominee performed reasonably well in the district in 2004, and the 2008 Democratic House candidate is particularly strong.

* The Republican incumbent running for re-election in the district is damaged -- either ethically or in some other manner.

"We're now letting our base know, our supporters around the country know, that it's critical that they now start directing resources to some of our key challengers," Van Hollen said. "We think we've done a good job putting our Frontliners in good shape."

I can see a few ways that the 7th District fits into those. As I said, it's not necessarily news, but it's always good to see.

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I know this is the Walberg thread but I just saw Connecticut's Chris Shay on the list. I thought he was sort of a moderate?
The DCCC are the guys who didn't lift a finger last time around because the seat wasn't winnable...
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