Barrow (Not) in the News

The NRCC is running newspaper ads against its top targets for 2008, chiding them for voting to cut Medicare as part of the SCHIP bill. Curiously, Georgia’s John Barrow is not included in the list. And though freshmen members make up the bulk of the ad buys, some veteran members like Melissa Bean (Illinois, first elected in 2004) and Bart Stupak (Michigan, first elected 1992) made the cut.

In 2006 you used to hear about the “handful” of Democratic seats that were vulnerable and Bean, Marshall and Barrow were always mentioned as part of that elite group. After losing a seat to Barrow and then undergoing an unprecedented mid-decade redistricting and then losing to Barrow again, are national Republicans shifting resources to greener (redder) pastures this year?


  1. Mark Rountree says:

    Chris, my favorite liberal targeting artist, writes, “and then (after) undergoing an unprecedented mid-decade redistricting…”

    Hmm. Unprecedented? Someone forget 1994?

    I do enjoy reading Chris’ analysis on how seats get targeted by the NRCC and the GAGOP. It reminds me of how the Apple Dumplin’ gang targeted banks.

    Chris, you and I both know: if John Barrow managed to win re-election in 2008, it would only be the result of running as far away the national left wing kooks as his little left feet will carry him.

  2. drjay says:

    there are a couple of potentially attractive candidates looking at the race he probably has a leg up–but any decent gop should be able to make the race close and force barrow to work–and hopefully keep his voting record in line w/ the district if we are to be stuck w/ him…

  3. ChuckEaton says:

    Mark you’re always good for a laugh.

    My first job out of college was as a campaign staffer for Phil Crane, the conservative icon who eventually lost the seat to Melissa Bean. When I was there it was a solid, John Linder type of Republican suburban seat. Years later it was hard for me to comprehend a Democrat winning in a congressional district that voted for Barry Goldwater.

    As much as I deeply admire and have profound respect for Phil Crane, I believe he was too conservative for that district. He was also out-of-touch; essentially living in Washington for 34 years. Doing things like voting against federal highway pork, that Rostenkowski had gotten for the suburban commuters of Crane’s district, is a great principled stand – but not very smart politically.

    That coupled with a Illinois GOP that is in shambles and the Obama tidal wave winning the Fitzgerald Senate seat in 2004 spelled doom for Crane.

    I still believe it’s a Republican seat, but last year was such a bad year for Republicans that Bean won re-election. Obviously it gets harder and harder as an incumbent becomes more entrenched, but it still should fall back to a traditional suburban Republican.

    As a side note, Crane won the seat during a special election in 1969 to fill the unexpired term of Don Rumsfeld who was appointed to the Nixon administration.

  4. ChuckEaton says:

    One other quick point on the Bean seat.

    In 2004 she beat Phil Crane by 4 points while at the same time George Bush carred the district by 12 points.

  5. Chuck, nice history lesson.

    Mark, it is one thing to have your districts thrown out by a court and be forced to redraw them (what happened in 1994), it is quite another to have the districts upheld by a court (as they were in 2004) and then redraw them anyway.

    C’mon man, I was 14 in 1994 and I know this stuff, what’s your excuse?

  6. Oh and Mark, how far “left” must one run in a district that John Kerry received more than 48% of the vote in? Would it be as far left as Kevin Levitas had to run in a similar district (performance wise) that he carried pretty easily in 2006 despite being outspent 2-1?

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