DCCC's Limited Options For Many At-Risk Dems
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released its Frontline list of incumbents it's most focused on protecting - but for many members on the list, the DCCC won't be able to help them much.
At least nine of the 15 Democrats on the list face the real prospect of running in districts much less favorable to them after the redistricting process is complete. Outside of lobbying on their behalf to state legislative leaders (or hiring lobbyists to protect their members' interests), there's little the DCCC can do to keep their districts safer, other than help them raise money.
The fifteen Democrats on the Frontline list are: Reps. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), Ben Chandler (D-Ky.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Mark Critz (D-Pa.), Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), Jim Matheson (D-Utah), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), and Tim Walz (D-Minn.).
Boswell, Carnahan, Critz, Kissell, Matheson, McIntyre, McNerney, Owens, and Peters are all regularly ranked as Democrats who face serious threats from redistricting. Republicans control the redistricting process in all the states they represent, except Iowa (where one district was lost in reapportionment), California (where a nonpartisan panel could dramatically alter the Congressional lines) and New York (divided government).
The Frontline program has always been a critical part of the House Democrats' campaign infrastructure, supporting and expanding their fundraising and outreach operations and offering a signal to the lobbying community who's the most at risk.
But in a redistricting cycle, their efforts won't matter nearly as much for many of these members as in the past. The best friends for most of the Frontliners: the state legislative leaders in their home states.