Nation: DCCC Recruiters Will Plot Strategy About ’10

Posted November 19, 2008 at 6:44pm

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s 2008 recruiting team, which helped find candidates for competitive races in the cycle that just passed, was scheduled to meet this morning to discuss races where Democrats lost narrowly and where a vigorous push by the committee in the 2010 cycle could make a difference.

DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) said Wednesday that after picking up a minimum of 54 seats in the past two election cycles — two races still haven’t been called, and a competitive race is taking place in Louisiana’s 4th district next month — House Democrats recognize that they will mostly be playing defense in 2010.

“Just being realistic, we’re going to fight hard to hold the line,” Van Hollen said. “Our major focus will be helping in the toughest districts. That doesn’t mean we aren’t going to look for opportunities” for places to play offense.

Van Hollen said the districts of GOP incumbents who won with 55 percent of the vote or less will be scrutinized closely, as will the handful of districts still represented by Republicans even though Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) won them in the 2004 White House election.

One district Van Hollen was asked about during his news conference at the National Press Club on Wednesday was Michigan’s 11th, where Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R) took just 51 percent of the vote against a political unknown.

Van Hollen said the DCCC “looked at the McCotter race from the beginning,” but concluded that it was not worth the committee’s investment.

“You can always go back and do Monday morning quarterbacking,” he conceded.