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 committee’s 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 Arizona’s 5th district and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona’s 8th; Rep. Jerry McNerney in California’s 11th; Rep. Christopher Murphy in Connecticut’s 5th; Rep. Tim Mahoney in Florida’s 16th; Rep. Jim Marshall in Georgia’s 8th; Rep. Melissa Bean in Illinois’ 8th; Rep. Baron Hill in Indiana’s 9th; Rep. Nancy Boyda in Kansas’ 2nd and Rep. Dennis Moore in Kansas’ 3rd; Rep. John Yarmuth in Kentucky’s 3rd; Rep. Tim Walz in Minnesota’s 1st; Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in New Hampshire’s 1st and Rep. Paul Hodes in New Hampshire’s 2nd; Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand in New York’s 20th; Rep. Michael Arcuri in New York’s 24th; Rep. Jason Altmire in Pennsylvania’s 4th, Rep. Patrick Murphy in Pennsylvania’s 8th, Rep. Christopher Carney in Pennsylvania’s 10th and Rep. Paul Kanjorski in Pennsylvania’s 11th; Rep. Nick Lampson in Texas’ 22nd and Rep. Ciro Rodriguez in Texas’ 23rd; and Rep. Steve Kagen in Wisconsin’s 8th.
Also included in the memo is Oregon’s 5th district, which is being vacated by retiring Rep. Darlene Hooley (D).