This isn't a rundown of races the DCCC and NRCC have decided to fight over for control of the House. Continued, unchallenged control of the House became a foregone conclusion the day Nancy Pelosi reappointed a failed, incompetent, corrupt and vision-free Steve Israel to run the DCCC for another cycle.
It's numerically impossible for the Democrats to win back the House under Israel guidelines of ignoring Republicans who were members of his Center Aisle Caucus and his decision to give free passes to all GOP Leaders and committee chairmen, even vulnerable ones from Obama districts like the contemptible Fred Upton (chairman, Energy and Commerce Committee) and John Kline (chairman, Education and Workforce Committee).
No, the Democrats have no shot whatsoever at winning back the House, and if Steve Israel chairs the DCCC for a hundred years, Boehner and Boehner the II and III and IV will be Speaker for a hundred years. (Thank you, Nancy Pelosi.) For The DCCC it's become an attempt to re-shape the Democratic House caucus into a more New Dem and Blue Dog tool-- less progressive and more under the thumb of the corporatist Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Most of Steve Israel's recruits are conservatives, maybe not as bad as his prized Sarah Palin of Ohio, but far more conservative than the average Democratic members currently-- despite the walloping House conservadems were given by the Democratic base in 2010's Great Blue Dog Apocalypse.
While Steve Israel tries to infiltrate more New Dems, more Blue Dogs and even 3 or 4 CIA agents into Congress disguised as Democrats, there are a number of real progressives running with shots at winning races Israel is ignoring. Proven, accomplished and battled-tested progressives like Ted Lieu (CA-33), Pat Murphy (IA-01) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) have already won primaries against more conservative opponents and are all but guaranteed seats in the next Congress. After their primary wins, the DCCC even embraced Murphy and Watson Coleman, two of the only progressives they are not undermining this cycle.
Progressives in swing districts who would probably stand a good chance of winning with reasonable financial aid from the DCCC include these 4 Blue America candidates in very winnable swing districts:
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• Paul Clements (MI-06)- PVI- R+1- Obama beat McCain 53-45%
• Mike Obermueller (MN-02)- PVI- R+2- Obama won the district twice
• Michael Wager (OH-14)- PVI- R+4)- Sherrod won the district in 2012
• Kelly Westlund (WI-07)- PVI- R+2- Obama beat McCain 53-45%
All 4 progressives are being ignored-- at best-- by the DCCC in favor of deep red unwinnable seats in places like Arkansas where Israel hopes to bolster Blue Dogs and New Dems. Voters who value a progressive vision and do not countenance conservatives disguised as Democrats should not contribute a cent to the DCCC.
You can find well-vetted progressives running for the House on this Act Blue page.
On the Senate side, the DSCC is so busy trying to bolster unpopular southern conservative incumbents like Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Kay Hagan (D-NC) and fighting for unpopular southern conservative challengers like Michelle Nunn (GA) and Alison Grimes (KY) that they are ignoring opportunities to hold 2 blue seats-- Montana and South Dakota, where progressives are running-- and to win a blue-leaning state away from fake moderate Susan Collins.
The DSCC should be making big bets on Rick Weiland in South Dakota,Shenna Bellows in Maine and Amanda Curtis in Montana. Here's the Blue America Act Blue page if you've got a hankering to keep the Senate blue without making it more conservative than it already is.
Politico kicked off the week with a poll of competitive seats showing a tiny bit of momentum towards the Democrats in these races.
The two parties were closely matched on the 2014 ballot, with 42 percent of likely voters planning to vote Democratic and 41 percent picking Republicans. That’s a slight shift in the Democratic direction since July, when a Politico poll showed Republicans with a 2-point edge.
…Several metrics of national gloom have remained stable throughout the year: 54 percent of respondents said the country is on the wrong track, a number essentially unchanged since May. Voters are divided almost down the middle as to whether they feel more optimistic (47 percent) or pessimistic (52 percent) about the outlook for the U.S. over the next few years.
And while their contempt for politicians is evident across the board, they reserve a special category of distrust for congressional Republicans.
Midterm battleground voters disapprove of Obama by a 12-point margin, 56 percent to 44 percent, and congressional Democrats by a 30-point margin, 65 percent to 35 percent.
For Republicans, the gap is a towering 46 points: 73 percent disapprove of their performance and just 27 percent approve.
Marion Leonard of Mission, Kansas, a 61-year-old retiree, expressed disgust at how the dysfunctional Congress has handled its relationship with the president.
“I am satisfied with what the president is doing. I am disappointed in the Congress, because Congress-- the Republicans especially-- are looking at his skin color instead of what is best for the country,” Leonard said.
Next cycle, it is a foregone conclusion that the Democrats won't be anchored down by a born loser like Steve Israel at the helm of the DCCC. Sharper minds-- current frontrunners are Donna Edwards (D-MD), Jared Polis (D-CO) and Jim Himes (D-CT)-- are frontrunners for the chairmanship and any of them would be a vast improvement and would work, first and foremost to win back seats, not protect Blue Dogs and GOP leaders.
You'll know the DCCC is a serious operation again when they field a candidate against Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in Miami's increasingly blue FL-27, where Obama beat Romney 53-47% but where Israel and Debbie Wasserman Schultz made sure Ros-Lehtinen would have no challenger to worry about again.
This cycle, though, the DCCC is not a serious operation and the best progressive voters could hope for are more progressives in Congress. That's what this is for.