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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Protecting Dem House Seats

Most Democratic speculation about which ’06 U.S. House races to target for optimal resource allocation tends to focus on GOP-held seats we can win. But that’s only part of the strategy for creating a majority to retake the House. Dems also need to protect their most vulnerable House members. Swing State’s DavidNYC offers a thoughtful contribution to this discussion, “House 2006: Where Their Targets Are,” and includes a nifty chart featuring 41 Dem-held seats in districts that went for Bush in ’04 which Rahm Emanuel should stick on his fridge.
Yet, even considering ’06 House races from a defensive vantage point, DavidNYC sees a very weak GOP effort to win these seats and concludes:

Now, don’t get me wrong here: I am absolutely, absolutely not counseling complacency, or suggesting we’ve got this one in the bag, or anything like that at all. We have tons of work cut out for us. Rather, I’m pointing out the simple fact that the GOP has forty-one prime targets and is only mustering a serious assault against a handful of them. This just empirically confirms something we’ve probably all felt to be true for a while: The GOP is very much on the defensive this year. And that gives us a lot of opportunities to expand the playing field.

We’ll drink to that. But let’s do encourage the DCCC to protect our most vulnerable incumbents.