Rothenberg Cites SEPA as Dems’ House Headache
After a disastrous cycle nationally in 2010, House Democrats netted 8 new seats in 2012… no thanks to Pennsylvania. Here they actually lost ground, giving up Rep. Mark Critz’s seat to Keith Rothfus.
National political analyst Stu Rothenberg this week named four congressional seats where Democrats will need to improve their recruiting if they have any chance of retaking the House. Half of them are in Pa.
He singled out the seats of Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) and Pat Meehan (R-Delaware) as the two places where Dems need to pick up their game.
- Pennsylvania’s 7th: This Philadelphia-area district is very competitive. It went very narrowly for Mitt Romney in 2012 and for Barack Obama four years earlier. But Democratic nominee George Badey drew just 41 percent against GOP Rep. Patrick Meehan. Badey raised slightly more than $560,000 to Meehan’s $2.6 million, so Democrats need a much stronger fundraiser to test Meehan’s strength.
- Pennsylvania’s 8th: Romney and Obama finished in almost a dead heat here last year, and Obama won it comfortably in 2008. But GOP Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick had little trouble with Democratic challenger Kathy Boockvar. He beat her 57 percent to 43 percent. Boockvar’s fundraising wasn’t terrible — she took in $1.45 million — but Fitzpatrick raised $2.67 million in a district covered by the expensive Philadelphia media market.
He also named a district each in California and Michigan.
The other southeast Pa. districts haven’t been any easier for Dems. Reps. Charlie Dent (R-Lehigh) and Jim Gerlach (R-Chester) went easily for the GOP last cycle.
The recruiting picture isn’t likely to get better soon in the two seats Rothenberg noted: Meehan has $1 million cash on hand already, a formidable head start. And though the DCCC has been focused on hitting Fitzpatrick so far this cycle, the Congressman has said he will not run again in 2016. That means smart potential Democratic challengers know that if they wait another cycle until 2016, they can run for an open seat in a presidential year – a much easier climb for any candidate.