This diary looks at swing districts that Democrats frequently pass on because the Republican incumbent is "not like the others." That kind of sentimentality should be over. Every single Republican voted for anti-marriage court stripping legislation. "But, but, Chris Shays and Nancy Johnson didn't, and I think some others . . . " Yes, they did. They voted to put people like Delay and Hastert in charge, and they'll keep doing it as long as they keep going back. Moreover, as demonstrated by the Progressive Punch ranking system, the most progressive Republican still votes more conservatively than the most conservative Democrat in the House. One argument sometimes raised to excuse voting for these individuals is that "we need to have somebody rational to deal with on the other side." Hooey. The fewer people the Republicans have to trot out to camouflage their ugliness, the better.
It's time to take as many of these people down as we can.
Fortunately, many of these individuals are also among the most vulnerable Republicans, for a few reasons.
- Republicans don't generally vote against their party because they are principled people of conscience. They do it because they'd get their livers handed to them in a sack on election day if they consistently voted against the preferences of their constituents. A few token "maverick" votes here and there and a lot of constituent service goes a long way. However, this means that there are many things about Republican policy in general that their constituents just don't like.
- Republican leadership HATES the Arlen Specters of the world. Showing his true cowardly colors, Specter is now tacking right as fast as he can in response to a primary challenge from Toomey (and, probably, an awareness that if his party has to make tough choices in October, he's not currently one of the people who will get scarce resources). It's much harder to do that in a Congressional district, which has its own unique demographics, preferences, etc.
- They're losing the fire in their bellies. It's not fun anymore being the party in power when your leader is a corrupt, sociopathic dolt and there's no one with whom you can commiserate. Put them out of their misery.
The districts with the 15 most "liberal" Republicans follow:
207 30.94 Shays, Christopher R CT
His opponent is Diane Farrell
208 30.46 Boehlert, Sherwood R NY
Sherry Boehlert is opposed by Jeff Miller
209 27.93 Leach, James A. R IA
His opponent is Dave Franker
210 26.83 Johnson, Nancy L. R CT
Her opponent is Rob Marconi
211 24.59 Paul, Ron R TX
Ron Paul is unopposed this cycle.
212 23.36 Houghton, Amo R NY
Houghton is retiring. Samara Barend is the likely Democratic candidate.
213 21.94 Smith, Christopher H. R NJ
Smith is opposed by Amy Vasquez
214 21.46 Castle, Michael N. R DE
Castle faces a last minute filer, Paul Donnelly.
215 20.00 Ramstad, Jim R MN
Ramstad's opponent is Deborah Watts
216 19.65 Gilchrest, Wayne T. R MD
Gilchrest's opponent is Kostas Alexakis
217 18.95 Greenwood, James C. R PA
Greenwood out. Put Ginny Schrader in.
218 18.75 Kelly, Sue W. R NY
Kelly is opposed by Janine Selendy
219 18.47 LoBiondo, Frank A. R NJ
LoBiondo faces scattered opposition. Democratic candidate Tim Robb has no web site.
220 18.23 Simmons, Rob R CT
Simmons' opponent is Jim Sullivan.
221 17.56 Ehlers, Vernon J. R MI
Ehlers' opponent is Pete Hickey.
Not surprisingly, there is overlap with the districts mentioned in Part IV: Sleeping with the Elephants, which voted for Al Gore in 2000.