The Republican Party needs to unseat 40 Democrats (and hold all of its own seats) if it wants to retake the House of Representatives, which fell to the Dems in 2006. To do that, it has a vigorous plan targeting 80 districts. Part of its plan involves bringing in and supporting new blood among its candidate pool, a group the Republican National Congressional Committee is calling its “Young Guns.”
All 80 seats on this hit list currently belong to Democrats. And it includes 54 seats that belonged in the Republican column until seized by the opposition in either of the last two elections. The RNCC believes that the often moderate Democrats now occupying these seats can be made vulnerable if tied to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
RNCC Chair Pete Sessions (R-TX) is not yet ready to declare this a lock to guarantee recapture of the majority in the House.
According to CQ Politics, 11 sitting Democrats have already been named to the target list. Nine will be challenged by new YGs, assuming the candidates meet certain outreach and fundraising goals, including Bobby Bright (D-AL-2), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA-47), Betsy Markey (D-CO-4), Walt Minnick (D-ID-1), Debbie Halvorson (D-IL-11), Frank Kratovil Jr. (D-MD-1), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-1), Martin Heinrich (D-NM-1) and Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH-15).
Two former reps who are trying to regain their old seats are also expected to try again, and may also qualify for YG status, including Steve Pearce, taking on Harry Teague (D-NM-2), and Steve Chabot, taking on Steve Driehaus (D-OH-1).
NRCC will also make a strong play to move Hawaii’s open 1st District seat out of the Democratic column. It is also looking to field a YG in one Republican District where its incumbent is exiting to run for statewide office, Florida’s 12th.
RNCC says it expects it may have to get involved in defensive races in 25 districts.
RBR/TVBR observation: The more battlefields, the better. The RNCC offensive effort brings almost 20% of all districts into play. And it’s an entirely offensive list – you can bet your paycheck that the DCCC will be on the attack in many more districts where Republicans are seen as vulnerable and where RNCC may be forced to defend. For broadcasters in both radio and TV, the operative word is “Cha-ching!”