Most of the professional pundits laughed at us last year when we declared there to be 70-80 seats that are easily in play. Now, it has become yesterday's news. The real news is that there are sleeper races that are emerging that weren't even factored into the top 100 list of endangered Democrats. Much of the excitement has been surrounding the race in AZ-7 in which radical leftist Raul Grijalva finds himself trailing political neophyte Ruth McClung by two points in a poll conducted by Magellan Strategies. This is a D+6 district, but Grijalva, the Chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is way too radical even for a Democrat leaning district. It turns out that his support for the boycott of his own state might spawn a boycott of his political career.
The question on everyone's mind is if Grijalva is vulnerable, what other supposed safe Democrats are ripe for defeat? Well, incidentally, Charlie Cook just moved five more "Safe Democrats" to the "Likely Democrat" category. Aside for AZ-7, the other four were MA-4, MN-8, NM-3, and TX-27. Here is a list of the Republican candidates that can use an extra few bucks to put them over the top.
AZ-7: D+6 Raul Grijalva is being challenged by Ruth McClung
MA-4: D+14 Barney Frank is being challenged by Sean Bielat
NM-3: D+7 Ben Ray Lujan is being challenged by Tom Mullins
MN-8: D+3 Jim Oberstar is being challenged by Chip Cravaack
TX-27: R+2 Salomon Ortiz is being challenged by Blake Farenthold
The good thing about these races is that unlike most of the competitive ones, they are self proclaimed, hard core progressives. They will therefore not have the opportunity to confuse voters with Joe Manchin style campaigning.
The above-mentioned races were the most recent additions by Charlie Cook. Looking around the map, I can think of a few other races that wouldn't shock me if I woke up the morning of November 3rd only to find the Dem. incumbent unemployed.
CA-51 D+8 Bob Filner is being challenged by Nick Popaditch
CT-2: D+6 Joe Courtney is being challenged by Janet Peckinpaugh
MA-5: D+8 Niki Tsongas is being challenged by Jon Golnik
MA-6 D+7 John Tierney is being challenged by Bill Hudak
ME-1 D+8 Chellie Pingree is being challeneged by Dean Scontras
ME-2 D+3 Michael Michaud is being challenged by Jason Levesque
MN-7 R+5 Colin Peterson is being challenged by Lee Byberg
MO-3 D+7 Russ Carnahan is being challenged by Ed Martin
NC-4 D+8 David Price is being challenged by BJ Lawson
NC-13 D+5 Brad Miller is being challenged by Bill Randall
NJ-6 D+8 Frank Pallone is being challenged by Anna Little
NY-2: D+4 Steve Israel is being challenged by John Gomez
NY-4: D+6 Carolyn McCarthy is being challenged by Fran Becker
NY-9: D+5 Anthony Weiner is being challenged by Bob Turner
NY-22 D+6 Maurice Hinchey is being challenged by George Phillips
NY-27 D+4 Brian Higgins is being challenged by Lenny Roberto
OR-4 D+2 Peter DeFazio is being challenged by Art Robinson
PA-13 D+7 Allyson Schwartz is being challenged by Dee Dee Adock
TN-5 D+3 Jim Cooper is being challenged by David Hall
TX-25 D+6 Lloyd Doggett is being challenged by Donna Campbell
TX-28 R+0 Henry Cuellar is being challenged by Bryan Underwood
TX-29 D+8 Gene Greene is being challenged by Roy Morales
Now, I will admit that most of these "upsets" will probably not materialize. However, given the volatile and historical political climate and the positive top of the ticket races in some of these states, there are a few from this list that could go all the way with a bit of help. The bottom line is that we have an unprecedented opportunity to inflict permanent damage on the ruling class and we must swing for the fences. Let's paint the map red and adopt one of these districts. We will try to spotlight some of those listed here in the coming days preceding the elections. What districts do you think are in play?