Veterans: The remaining seven districts are home to multi-term Republican House members. Though redistricting and past Democratic performance are factors here, just as in the other groups, the Red to Blue races against GOP veterans highlight the fundraising aspect of the DCCC's program. To get attention for races against entrenched incumbents, candidates have to demonstrate that they will be able to get their message out, and that takes money. Democrats Ami Bera and Christie Vilsack posted strong fourth quarter totals and have outraised their veteran opponents, GOP Reps. Dan Lungren and Steve King, thus far. Keith Fitzgerald is unlikely to match Florida GOP Rep. Vern Buchanan's war chest, but Fitzgerald got off to a strong start last quarter with over $223,000 raised. And the Democrats running in Maryland's 6th District won't have too much trouble staying close to Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett's fundraising, which was close to non-existent through the most recent reports. Obviously, these factors overlap in many of the Red to Blue campaigns. In addition to Bera's strong fundraising, he is also running in a diverse Obama district made more so by California's redistricting, for example. It's precisely that overlap that makes these campaigns attractive to the DCCC. But each group does feature one of those characteristics. If you look at the next tier of DCCC races -- their "Emerging Races" -- and ask yourself why they're not Red to Blue campaigns yet, they're probably missing at least one of the ingredients highlighted above.
House Democrats' Top Targets List: A Closer Look
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