Call them the HVT-4. Four Democratic members of Congress have voted against the economic stimulus package, the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill and the Democratic health care reform legislation. They're the low-hanging fruit - or highest value targets - for the National Republican Congressional Committee right now. Some will be harder to dislodge than others. Note that 11 House Dems voted against the House version of the stimulus package; five later voted for the final, conferenced bill. That confused me earlier, so there are several Dems whose names I deleted from this list.
Top Tier Targets
Walt Minnick (D-ID)
- he represents
of the most conservative districts in the West -- and the most GOP
district in the nation currently held by a Dem. The NRCC has a
top-flight challenger in 40-year old Iraq war vet Vaughn Ward, who is
already in the race and running full-time against Minnick. Dems
acknowledge that this seat is tough to hold on to.
Bobby Bright (D-AL),
a freshman, won in a district that voted for Sen. John McCain by 26
points. His challenger is Martha Roby, a Montgomery County City
Councilperson who is well-known in the district, well-funded, and 33
years old. For months, the NRCC has been haranguing Bright to prove
his fidelity to the values of the district, saturating the airwaves
with radio ads and robocalls urging him to criticize Speaker Pelosi for
some reason or another. Note: despite the NRCC's claims to the
contrary, Bright has never supported a public option.
Parker Griffith (D-AL),
is the type of Democrat who insists he'd vote differently the next time
leadership elections are held. He's a Democrat because his district
tends to send Democrats to Congress. Its former occupant, Bud Cramer
was the latest in a line of donkeys that stretched back to
reconstruction. Naturally, McCain won the district by a margin of more
than 20 points. How well Griffin will do without Obama Surge turnout
in 2010 is an open question.
Gene Taylor (D-MS
- Start with the numbers: the McCain-Palin ticket won here by 35
percentage points. Taylor faced a nobody opponent, winning by 49 points.