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DCCC Chair Names Top Dem House Targets, Omits PA-6 and PA-8

Democratic-Congressional-Campaign-Committee-LogoSteve Israel (D-NY), chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, recently stated his predictions for the top Democratic House target districts to the Christian Science Monitor.

Though speaking in an informal setting, Israel forecasted that CA-31, CO-6, FL-2, IA-3, NJ-3, NY-11, and VA-10 all should be controlled by Democrats in November.

The University of Virginia’s Center for Politics is incredulous that this will be the case. Managing editor Kyle Kondik quoted Israel’s predictions in a recent tweet.

Kondik also specifically responded to a follower about the fact that retiring Rep. Jim Gerlach (PA-6)’s seat was not mentioned. Kondik felt the Democratic party was disappointed by this fact.

Of the three seats within Philadelphia’s TV market, Israel only included NJ-3. PA-6 and PA-8 do not seem to be considered in the top tier of targets. The DCCC outlined $1.9 million in ad money for the the market in May but Rep. Israel’s comments suggest that NJ-3 is their top priority.

However, PA-6 and PA-8 have been considered highly competitive races thus far. For instance, the DCCC classified both as “emerging districts” in March and were named to the Red to Blue list in June.

GOP nominee Ryan Costello and Democratic nominee Manan Trivedi will compete for the 6th district’s seat.

Trivedi jumped into the race when Gerlach announced that he would not seek re-election. A different candidate, Mike Parrish, was originally supported by the DCCC, but he soon faced criticism for giving money to Governor Corbett and 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Parrish later dropped out of the race.

The Rothenberg Political Report rates this seat as “Leans Republican.”

Stu Rothenberg wrote an article recently featuring three interviews he had with House hopefuls, one of whom was Ryan Costello.

“Costello is well informed about races around the country and his political instincts are strong…now he is the clear favorite to win retiring Republican Rep. Jim Gerlach’s Southeastern Pennsylvania seat,” penned Rothenberg.

The PA-8 contenders are GOP incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick and Democratic hopeful Kevin Strouse.

Strouse, a former Army Ranger, has garnered much praise from the DCCC and major media outlets such as the Washington Post. Party leaders seem to admire his non-partisan approach to the current issues creating gridlock in government.

The PA-8 seat has had its fair share of turnover; since 1979 Republicans have controlled the seat for 18 years and Democrats for 16.

Both districts are primarily white suburbs, areas which are must-wins for Democrats. Without the ability to win suburban districts, the current minority party will have difficulty earning the majority. With the President’s approval rating dropping in Pennsylvania, the Democratic candidates are facing an uphill battle.

15 Responses

  1. I am giving directly to candidates this year instead of to the party campaign committees. I think we should support our local candidates. I do occasional give to a candidate in another area or state if there is a good reason.

  2. I think this article breaks no ground re PA 6 and PA 8 espec since Rothenburg covered both PA districts. I don’t think the absence of mention by Isreal is any indication that Democrats have given up those seats. I think he was just talking about his short list of very likely takeovers and not to the more contested races. I’m not sure this “news” rates any press time by Politics PA. Instead, look at the money. If you document that DCCC was putting money into PA 6 and PA 8 and now they are not, now, that’s news because there is something tangible going on. Perhaps Politics PA could do a story on the DCCC and its GOP counterpart as to where in PA their spending is going. Would that not be more reliable than Isreal’s comments on likely pickups?

  3. The Dems have no shot at either of these, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see them make a play for PA-8. They have a good candidate and a close district, which is more than can be said about all but a handful of seats for them this year. They have to play somewhere, might as well do it where your candidate isn’t a liability.

  4. Susan seems to personify what is wrong with the Democratic party in Bucks County.

    Old, miserable and tired of losing. Well, keep on being armchair activists and blaming college students for all of your problems.

  5. Susan is right, but not what she would like to be right about.

    The level of journalism has fallen off on this site. this is not even a real story.

    PA08 is all but decided and PA06 is not far behind. David Diano is absolutely correct when he talks about the ineffective Bucks County Democratic Committee. John “Hot Tub Johnny” Cordisco is at the helm of the most ineffective political group ever.

  6. Larry-
    How does this fall on Jim Burn?

    The problem in the 8th is a shortage of money, and Fitzpatrick not having done anything particularly scandalous that the voters are calling for his head. So, incumbency, money and a weak Bucks County Dem organization make this a tough race.

    As for the 6th, I wouldn’t dismiss Trivedi. He’s got name-id and has experience running in the district. Chester Dems have a new Chairman, so maybe that will bring in some new energy and strategies. Trivedi seems to be raising enough money to get his message out.

  7. @SillySusan Glad to see misogyny is alive and well here as well.

    @Sophie, I’m sure there are internal priorities at the dccc, I’m also sure this “informal conversation” by Israel didn’t outline them entirely. And I was also taking issue with the general sloppiness of the “reporting” on this site, that mentioned both candidates “emerging district” status, which pre-dates their current, and higher-priority “red to blue” status. Again, interns.

  8. @Susan those seats are only on the RtB list because on a spreadsheet somewhere in Washington, the DCCC decided they were potential pickups. All the media time the DCCC has bought in the Philly media market *could* be used in the PA8 and PA6 races but, as Israel pointed out, will likely be dumped into NJ3 which is served by the Philly media market

    Strouse is an unknown and Trivedi is running for the THIRD time after losing handily twice

    No chance either seat in PA flips in November and Israel knows it

  9. @Susan To be fair, even within the Red to Blue tier, there are informal priority and non-priority seats. The DCCC isn’t going to release a ranking or anything like that, but there’s absolutely a pecking order.

  10. This website is quickly becoming pure garbage. Israel has an informal conversation and doesn’t mention these two races, so they’re not targets? The author also ignores they’re both on the red to blue list, which by definition, makes them a top tier target. Nice work interns.

  11. Another failure of Jim Burn. DCCC is hurt by Burn’s inability to operate a coordinated campaign in PA.

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