There’s another way to tell if your US Congressional District may gain coveted battleground status in 2010, with the potential to attract national attention, and national cash. Just check the birth certificate of your current incumbent. If he or she was born on or before 1934, you may be in a battleground! (Well, they don’t necessarily need to be old, but they do need to be encouraged to think retirement.)
According to TheHill.com, Democrats are making a concerted effort to go after older Republican incumbents, particularly those whose re-election has become a voter habit even though they live in districts that have shifted over time from red to blue. Included in this group are Bill Young (R-FL) and Mike Castle (R-DE).
The first step is to recruit the strongest candidate possible. Ideally, this will make the aging incumbent start to weigh the advantages of a well-deserved respite balanced against the heightened cash-raising and campaigning that would be necessary in a real dogfight.
Failing to induce retirement, the strong candidate will be, well, a strong candidate.
Other Republicans likely to be targeted include Henry Brown Jr. (R-SC), Judy Biggert (R-IL), Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL), John McHugh (R-NY), Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), John Mica (R-FL), Elton Gallegly (R-CA) and Don Manzullo (R-IL).
TheHill.com mentioned a few surprises on the Republican hit list, including Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD), Bart Stupak (D-MI), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Vic Snyder (D-AR), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and Ben Chandler (D-KY).
RBR/TVBR observation: Not all of these incumbents are all that old, but retirement is retirement. And maybe the job of defending them is too big for AARP – maybe we need to call in the Gray Panthers. But the money flowing into your district will be welcome regardless of birthyears.