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Help me pick my Top 10 House races for 2012

Help me pick my Top 10 House races for 2012

The last thing I want this blog to turn into is all Obama all the time (hah!).  That’s going to be hard in 2012, but we really need to keep focused on the insurance policy, the House and Senate. 

Contrary to what others are saying, there is a strong likelihood that Obama will win reelection for no other reason than any Republican nominee will receive the Palin-treatment by the mainstream media.  Any polling now, before a candidate has been subject to Alinsky-like isolation and targeting, is interesting but not dispositive.

In the 2010 cycle I picked a Top 10 list of races on which to focus.  Some were longshots but near and dear to me (e.g., challenging Maurice Hinchey in Ithaca) and picked for emotional reasons.  Others were races which were not receiving a lot of attention nationally and in which I thought there was an opportunity to make a difference.  For the most part, I focused on the House because Senate races generally receive national attention and fundraising.

It’s not too early to start that selection process.  The key criteria for 2012 are (1) must be a conservative Republican, not third parties; (2) must be a swing district, i.e., a potentially vulnerable Republican or chance to flip a Democratic seat; and (3) must not already have national attention and fundraising .  There are, of course, exceptions to every rule; for example I would not rule out having Allen West on the list even though he probably will be able to raise tons of money.



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Michael Alan | June 24, 2011 at 10:30 am

A lot of freshman are going to be in trouble after redistricting. I’m thinking Ann Marie Buerkle, who barely won as it is, and the IL freshman (Dems control the redistricting process in IL and are trying to wipe out all the GOP gains), like Joe Walsh, Bobby Schilling, and Randy Hultgren. Also, Blake Farenthold is a great conservative that scored a HUGE upset in a Texas border district and is going to need a ton of help to keep his seat.

I’d love to say Bennie Thompson (D, Miss) is in trouble, but he’s invincible thanks to racial gerrymandering. The rest of MS is Republican, and safe.

oldyannkee46 | June 24, 2011 at 10:53 am

Long shots, Hinchey NY, Would like to see Star Parker run again California 37th, also Ruth McClung run again in Arizona 7th.

Please include George Phillips vs. Maurice Hinchey in your top 10 list of House races. George has just announced his candidacy for 2012. He lost last year by only a few points despite lack of good name recognition, lack of funding for TV and a late constructed organization. George has a clear view of what the proper role of Congress should be. He is strong for Constitutional reins on Government, fiscal responsibility and free enterprise. George is pro-life, husband and father of two. He is a good man and will make us proud if elected.

WNC_Conservative | June 24, 2011 at 11:15 am

Consider North Carolina’s 11th District presently held by a Democrat – “Blue Dog” Heath Shuler. If the Republican Party can find a stronger candidate than in the last two elections, then I think Shuler could be defeated in this swing district. The new Republican-controlled NC legislature is working on redistricting. They could move some of the liberal-voting Asheville voters out of the district to make things better for a Republican. We just need a better candidate and more activism to take out this “Blue Dog” Democrat. He moved back “home” to NC at the urging of Pelosi after his less than stellar short career with the Washington Redskins, and working in Tennessee as a land developer.

pyromancer76 | June 24, 2011 at 11:16 am

I respectfully would like to add a thought to 1) must be a conservative Republican, because conservatives, and libertarians, have been carrying the burden of the promise America (that the Bush administration, from the Republican perspective, bankrupted) for some time now.

I add this thought from a TeaParty perspective — a perspective that includes Libertarians, Conservatives, Independents, and former Democrats. I hope conservative Republican will not use language that excludes the great historically-liberal experiment that is America. American liberals, if they are true to American ideals, choose limited government, fiscal prudence, transparency and accountability, etc. Anyone who chooses federal (or state) government intervention into lives or businesses that does not operate for “freedom of opportunity” is not a liberal. (I acknowledge significant debates between conservatives and liberals on these issues — just let them be American debates.)

Almost all remaining Democrats today are socialists, whether they consider themselves “democratic socialists” (we can see how that worked out in Wisconsin – not one whit of democracy on their part), marxists, maoists, or the resentful-vengeful type of black socialist, from which Obama sprang, that partners with Islam and Islamist leanings.

One of the reasons so-called RINO’s could gain so much is that they included the language of liberalism (and its desire for freedom of opportunity and fairness for all) in their greedy large-federal-government fleecing-everyone projects. I believe that Conservatives must change the language in order to be successful on a larger scale. And they must discipline their own desires for behavioral authoritarianism and an almost-requirement that everyone believe in their own God). If they can, they will possess the unique full American truth and will appeal to a very large audience.

“Conservatives” who are largely carrying the American-liberal banner today, unfortunately have had an authoritarian leaning as well — attempting to control behavior.

    retire05 in reply to pyromancer76. | June 24, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    “Conservatives” who are largely carrying the American-liberal banner today, unfortunately have had an authoritarian leaning as well – attempting to control behavior.”

    I thoughly disagree with this concept. You attempt to equate conservatism with Republicans. They are not one and the same, any more than Democrats are true liberals in our historic sense of the word. Democrats are, in fact, progressives, but as the word progressive became the antithesis to true liberal tenents, the Democrats, excellent wordsmiths, turned to the use of “liberal” for the purpose of shoving “progressive” ideals down the throats of uninformed Americans. It is, in fact, the Democrats who have tried to control the actions of the populace based on our “common” good.

    I would offer you a quote from Tip O’Neill:

    “The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determine the success of a society. The central liberal [progressive] truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.”

    It is imperative that we conservatives regain the dialog to reflect those true liberal values of self government and the refusal to accept an overbearing central government. We have seen how the progressives have manipulated society, trying to safe it from itself, making us more dependant on politics for our every need. The result has been disasterous.

Suggest you look at Ilario Pantano NC District 7.

Born and raised NYer who left a successful Wallstreet career to re-enlist in the Marines just after 9/11/2001. He authored “Warlord”(2004) which offers nice perspective on his thoughts about America. In 2010 he ran a tight campaign in a Dem district.

He has all the ‘Reagan’ stuff;complete understanding of capitalism-free-markets, excellent knowledge of national defense, has no fear expressing his pro-life beliefs and most importantly-like Alen West, he is not intimidated by the Progressive Left.

Looking for a fearless Conservative warrior check out:

He’ll be the next Allen West (who is GOTV for Pantano) ie lost the first race against the Dem but will end up up taking the seat in the second race.

It’s a bit early to know what my district will look like for the 2012 election. I’m in Florida’s 6th District which is represented by Cliff Stearns. He’s semi-useful I guess. The only thing of note that he’s done that I can think of in the past several years is that he called for an investigation of Weiner’s “hacking”. Apart from that, he promised not to run for more than six terms. Needless to say, he’s been in Congress longer than I’ve been alive. He received a primary challenge from a conservative activist, Don Browning, in 2010. Of course, Browning lost and lost big but that race was virtually ignored by the local media. Stearns is the GOP Establishment that the Tea Party is always complaining about. This area, unless redistricting really screws it up, will not be going to a Democrat any time soon. Why not get someone in there who will actually do something? Watch this race and see if Browning jumps in again. Maybe with a little help, things will be different.

Is Sean Bielat having another go at Barney Frank next year? Also, is Chuck DeVore doing anything? I like those two.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a (real) republican challenge to Scott Brown, but I’m pretty sure that seat is going back to a dem next year, no matter what.

Orin Hatch and Jon Kyl have seats that open, and I suspect that it’s no accident that Sarah just bought a house in AZ. She may run for Kyl’s seat (at least I think she might). (Also of note that McCain is rumored to be considering another WH run–it’s dead on arrival, but if he vacates his seat, Sarah can run in the special or be appointed by Brewer. not sure of AZ’s rules on replacing Senators). So whatever happens there, it should be interesting. As to Hatch, whichever is the conservative gets my support there.

We need to weed out the progressive republicans (“compassionate conservatives,” GOP establishment, whatever you want to call the big government, nanny state RINOs), so keep Graham’s seat in mind for 2014.

It’s almost as important (some argue even more important) that we keep the House and win the Senate as replacing BO next year. Keeping and gaining state spots is also key, as the states are our last line of defense.

I agree with Joe Walsh in IL-8 as one to watch. Also, Sean Duffy in WI-7. He is being targeted heavily by the DCCC.

alwaysfiredup | June 24, 2011 at 2:35 pm

I recommend Jacob Turk in MO-05, assuming he finds a way to run. Emanuel Cleaver, the chair of the CBC, recently made a deal with the Missouri GOP establishment to gerrymander Turk out of the 5th district in exchange for dropping resistance to redistricting Democrat Russ Carnahan (MO-02) out of his seat altogether. Republicans in Western MO are upset, but the Missouri GOP establishment has never approved of Turk. He’s a Marine and great grassroots favorite. He deserves some high-profile help. The redesigned 5th district includes some highly rural areas that will not be favorable to Cleaver and he won in 2010 by his lowest margin ever. This would be a great GOP pickup.

I think one of the things you should consider are new congressional districts due to some states picking up seats.

For example, Washington state is getting a 10th seat. We don’t yet know if it will be carved out of parts of the suburban 8th, centered in the hard-left Olympia area (parts of the 3rd, 6th and 9th) … or even splitting up the 3rd in the SW portion of the state.

I suspect there are several other states in similar situations. And since these will truly be Open Seats, there’s the opportunity for a lot more action than taking on an incumbent … even in a swing district.

Ruth McClung!!!!

OK, it can’t hurt to have a top 10 House list but the focus in 2012 should be intensively on winning the Senate in addition to the White House. The key races are those in Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Massachusetts, Virginia, Nebraska and Florida, as well as a couple of others that might turn out to need extra attention to avoid losing current GOP-held seats.

operationbartowski | June 24, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Start with the top 20 closest House races of 2010 & go from there.

CA-11, AZ-7 & AZ-8, NY-1, etc etc. These are the races lost by anywhere from 300 votes (NY-1) to 1500 votes (CA-11). Also add to that list Allen West’s seat as it is being targeted by the Dems in ’12.

Lou Barletta…he beat Paul Kanjorski in a district that is 3 – 1 democrat and the DCCC has targeted him in 12