Wednesday, January 30, 2008

HAS THE NY TIMES GIVEN OVER HEADLINE WRITING TO STRIKING COMEDY CENTRAL WRITERS?

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This little map spells big trouble for the GOP

G.O.P. Faces Challenge in Efforts to Reclaim House I can't imagine Carl Hulse or David Herszenhorn, the writers of the piece, even saw the absurd headline before they opened the early edition tonight. Just as appropriate, maybe more so, would have been "How Drastically Will the G.O.P. House Caucus Shrink After November?" Hulse and Herszerhorn start with the "swelling exodus of senior Republican incumbents from the House, worsened by a persistent disadvantage in campaign money, threatens to cripple Republican efforts to topple the Democratic majority in November." And then how Tom Davis' much anticipated retirement announcement this morning makes it 5 this week and 28 Republicans in total-- and 5 Democrats, 3 of whom, Tom Allen, Mark Udall and Tom Udall, are looking to move to the U.S. Senate.
...[T]he disparity in open seats-- typically the most competitive House fights, as voters oust relatively few incumbents-- makes it highly unlikely that Republicans could seize the seats necessary to regain the House. The current House has 199 Republicans and 232 Democrats, with four vacancies to be filled by special elections.

“The open-seat situation is so lopsided as to deny Republicans any chance of taking back the House in 2008,” said David Wasserman, who analyzes House races for The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan publication.

Compounding their problems, Republicans face a worrisome financial gap in comparison to House Democrats. New fund-raising figures to be made public on Thursday will show that the national campaign committee of the House Democrats ended 2007 with $35 million in the bank and $1.3 million in debt. The Republicans’ committee had $5 million in the bank and $2 million in debt.

...“It is a challenge,” said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “What this does is make it more difficult to have offensive opportunities when you have to defend what you have.”

Good point... and very true. A great example is in Update New York, where Republicans had once hoped to make serious challenges to freshmen Kirsten Gillibrand and John Hall. Like in many districts around the country, the Republicans are putting out the word that they'll accept any old piece of garbage as their candidate as long as he can self-fund. They found some clueless multimillionaire to be a sacrificial lamb in Gillibrand's district but can't find anyone to take up their offer against Hall. Instead of going after 2 of the upstate seats they lost in 2006, they are desperately trying to defend the 3 upstate seats they'll probably lose in 2008, James Walsh's (he's one of the new retirees), Randy Kuhl's and Tom Reynolds', a real trio of clowns who will be facing a powerful team in Dan Maffei, Eric Massa and Jon Powers, who we've invited back to Blue America this Saturday (2pm NY time) for a discussion about how their races are going so far.

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