The news in the New York Times is “Democrats’ Hopes to Gain in House Fade.” This is a bit misleading, since Democrats were never expected to make gains this year. Republicans are expected to pick up some seats, but not many. They’re reaching for 12 seats. Between five and ten is considered more likely.
While it’s true Democrats are defensively reallocating resources to protect their own incumbents, it is also true that they are still playing some offense in about 10 Republican-held districts, complicated Republicans to make gains and fortify their House majority.
What has gotten Republicans in trouble in the few remaining swing districts left in the country?
Shutdown Memories: Florida’s 2nd & Nebraska’s 2nd
In the Florida panhandle and in Omaha, Nebraska, the shutdown vote still lingers.
Florida Democrat Gwen Graham knocks Rep. Steve Southerland for costing businesses by shutting down the government, and for “voting to keep the shutdown going” after Republican leaders effectively conceded defeat.
Nebraska Rep. Lee Terry is taking hits from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for glibly refusing to give back his pay from when the government was shutdown. The DCCC ad helpfully reminds voters of Terry’s response to a question whether he’d keep his pay: “Dang straight. I’ve got a nice house and a kid in college.”
Tax Breaks For Millionaires: Iowa’s 3rd, West Virginia’s 2nd and Colorado’s 6th
For the open seat in Iowa, Democrat Staci Appel ties longtime Republican congressional aide David Young with being a “20-year Washington insider,” with his desire to “give millionaires tax breaks while ending the Medicare guarantee”
In West Virginia’s open seat, Democrat Nick Casey says you “can’t trust” Republican Alex Mooney since he’s “career politician from Maryland” and because he wants to “break” the “promise” of Social Security, including a “lower cost of living benefits” … “just to cut taxes for millionaires.”
And in Colorado, Democrat Andrew Romanoff is still competitive against Rep. Mike Coffman (national Democrats has pulled advertising in the district to shore up incumbents, but they say it’s in part because Romanoff is already well-funded). He’s tying Coffman’s vote to “give millionaires a tax break big enough to buy this yacht” with other votes to cut Pell Grants and let student loan rates rise.
Good Ol’ Fashioned Scandals in Arkansas’ 2nd, Virginia’s 10th and New York’s 11th
In the Arkansas open seat race, long-time Democratic mayor Patrick Henry Hays is leaning right on spending cuts and reduced regulations. But he’s hammering Republican, and banker, French Hill for his bank’s ties to the former state Treasurer who recently was indicted for extortion. (An Arkansas Times blogger notes that the alleged crime did not involve Hill’s bank.)
For Virignia’s open seat (another which national Democrats are hoping can be won without any additional help from them), Democrat John Foust is raising allegations that his rival, Republican state legislator Barbara Comstock, pushed bills on behalf of a conservative non-profit that was paying her fees.
And in Staten Island, the title of Democrat Domenic Recchia’s ad against Rep. Michael Grimm says it all: “20 Counts.”