House Democrats are defending huge amounts of territory in this year's midterm election. The latest Cook report says Democrats have 53 seats that rate as "Lean" or "Tossup," while Republicans only have six. Nevertheless, today the DCCC announced its "Red to Blue" program targeting 13 Republican House seats. Roll Call's write up is here. The Hill's write up is here.
These are slim pickings for Democrats. For starters, two candidates -- Bryan Lentz (PA) and Roy Herron (TN) -- are running to replace retiring members of their own party. So "Red to Blue" is not really the best way to describe them. "Dear God Keep it Blue" would be better.
Moreover, of the thirteen races, Cook currently lists just three as "tossup." And only one, John Carney's battle to replace retiring Republican Mike Castle, lists as "Lean Democrat." All the other races are Likely Republican or Lean Republican. Yes, her California district went 52-47 for Obama in 2008. But it's hard to see how Mary Bono Mack, who won that year by 16 points, will lose in a Republican cycle when Obama isn't on the ballot.
The Democrats' best chances? We've already mentioned Carney. And then there's Dan Seals, who's running to fill Mark Kirk's seat in Illinois. Obama won his district by 23 points in 2008. Cook says the race is a tossup. And Seals has powerful friends (see photo).
Joe "You Lie" Wilson makes the list of Democratic targets, but something tells me he won't lose his McCain-supporting South Carolina district in 2010. One notable absence from the list is Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, the conservative whom liberals love to hate. The rhetorical bomb-thrower has two Democratic challengers, but neither won enrollment in the initial batch of "Red to Blue" candidates. Which isn't really a surprise. Barring divine intervention, Republicans who survived the Democratic maelstrom in 2006 and 2008 have a better-than-even chance of keeping their jobs in 2010.