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NRCC Memo Reveals 24 Democratic Targets

The National Republican Congressional Committee is targeting 23 Democratic incumbents, including several freshmen, and one open seat, according a memo obtained by Roll Call that was prepared by the NRCC for a March 5 briefing to political action committee officials.

The memo, titled Two Dozen Reasons the NRCC will Pick Up Seats in 2008, shed some light as to where the NRCC might direct its limited resources in the fall, although the seats included on the committees target list come as no surprise. The NRCC used the memo to highlight pickup opportunities in the November elections and urge PACs to donate to the committee and help Republicans take back the House.

All of the seats included on the memo were those that President Bush either won or lost very narrowly in 2004. NRCC Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) has made plain that he plans to target Democratic-held seats that voted for Bush in the last presidential election, particularly those represented by freshman Democrats.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dismissed the memo in its entirety.

There is more truth contained in the National Enquirer than in this hastily thrown together, factually inaccurate work of fiction, DCCC spokesman Doug Thornell said.

The memo includes a write-up of the Republican candidates running in each of the targeted seats all GOP candidates are included if there is a contested primary as well as a short description of the Democratic incumbent.

There are multiple pickup opportunities for our Republican challengers in the fall, NRCC spokesman Ken Spain said, when asked to comment on the memo. With [a Congressional] approval rating hovering around a record low, Democrats sitting in Republican-leaning districts will have a hard time defending their abysmal record of tax hikes and runaway spending in a presidential election year.

According to the memo, the targeted Democratic incumbents are:

Rep. Harry Mitchell in Arizonas 5th district and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizonas 8th; Rep. Jerry McNerney in Californias 11th; Rep. Christopher Murphy in Connecticuts 5th; Rep. Tim Mahoney in Floridas 16th; Rep. Jim Marshall in Georgias 8th; Rep. Melissa Bean in Illinois 8th; Rep. Baron Hill in Indianas 9th; Rep. Nancy Boyda in Kansas 2nd and Rep. Dennis Moore in Kansas 3rd; Rep. John Yarmuth in Kentuckys 3rd; Rep. Tim Walz in Minnesotas 1st; Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in New Hampshires 1st and Rep. Paul Hodes in New Hampshires 2nd; Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand in New Yorks 20th; Rep. Michael Arcuri in New Yorks 24th; Rep. Jason Altmire in Pennsylvanias 4th, Rep. Patrick Murphy in Pennsylvanias 8th, Rep. Christopher Carney in Pennsylvanias 10th and Rep. Paul Kanjorski in Pennsylvanias 11th; Rep. Nick Lampson in Texas 22nd and Rep. Ciro Rodriguez in Texas 23rd; and Rep. Steve Kagen in Wisconsins 8th.

Also included in the memo is Oregons 5th district, which is being vacated by retiring Rep. Darlene Hooley (D).

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