Just how bad are Democratic fortunes looking this year? So bad that, it turns out, the DCCC's "Red to Blue" list-- you know, its list of seats it supposedly wants to change from Republican-held to Democrat-held-- in fact contains seven seats currently held by Democrats.
One of those is retiring WA-03 Rep. Brian Baird who, to be fair, might have been confused by toe-the-liners at the DCCC for a Republican because he flipped to supporting ongoing engagement in Iraq, and originally voted against the Democrats' big government health care experiment. He's also taken a hard line on illegal immigration (in 2007, co-sponsoring a bill with none other than Tom Tancredo). Nonetheless, he is a Democrat.
Republicans in Southwest Washington will, of course, be heartened to know that Denny Heck is not considered a shoo-in by the DCCC, and is viewed as one of 26 congressional candidates whose ability to win without DCCC support is in question enough that they have been added to this particular list. That means the DCCC sees this race as roughly as tough for Heck as they do Suzan Del Bene (running against Dave Reichert in WA-08)-- no good sign, since that seat actually is held by a Republican, and one who seems to increase his share of the vote each time he runs. Heck will likely prove a more formidable opponent than Del Bene, but still, this is a good indicator that he's beatable.
Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, who heads the NRCC's incumbent retention program-- ironically, what "Red to Blue" seems to be designed to serve as for Democrats, to a degree, this year-- reportedly quipped to a PAC leadership meeting that the DCCC list might be better dubbed "Blue to Blue." "We've all been having a good laugh about that," a source said he commented.
Fair enough, but Denny Heck might not agree. [intro]