« The White Working Class Test | Main | Dems Vision-Quest Takes Shape »

Will Dems' Momentum Topple GOP's 'Safe' Seats?

Ron Brownstein and Janet Hook take a look at the battle for congress in today's L.A. Times. The title of their article, "GOP Can Win by Limiting Losses: Voters may want change in Washington, but the clout incumbents wield may impede Democrats," pretty much sums up their viewpoint, which has been covered in articles by other print and blogosphere reporters. Still, there are some insights about particular races and overall strategy, which make it worthwhile reading, including:

Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), facing a tough reelection race, recently had a fundraiser featuring Bush but avoided being photographed with the president because the event was closed to reporters. DeWine's latest television ad ends with a line calling him an "independent fighter for Ohio families."

And in the struggle for a House of Reps majority:

Democrats, meanwhile, are trying to broaden the battlefield, recruiting serious challengers to House Republicans who have not been targeted in the past. The political action committee associated with the liberal group MoveOn.org already has aired advertisements attacking four such incumbents including Nancy L. Johnson (R-Conn.), a veteran lawmaker who has responded with ads of her own.

More and more, it appears that the '06 midterms will provide a revealing test of the power of incumbency (and gerrymandering) to buck strong trends in political opinion. As EDM's Alan Abramowitz says in the article's best wrap-up quote:

This year "is going to be a real test to see what happens when you get a fairly strong political tide coming up against this very rigidified system."