The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced that 40 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives will be in the “Frontline Program,” which seeks to protect incumbents in potentially vulnerable districts. Once again, Leonard Boswell of Iowa’s third district will be a Frontline Democrat. Here’s what the designation means:
The Frontline Program is a partnership between the DCCC and Members which lays the ground work for the 2010 cycle by supporting and expanding their fundraising and outreach operations. Frontline Members must sign a memorandum of understanding, strengthened this cycle to reflect the challenging political environment, that requires Members to meet aggressive fundraising goals, accelerate volunteer and recruitment efforts, and increase their online networking.
The DCCC’s Frontline Program is a proven success. Frontline Members and the DCCC did its work effectively and early in the 2008 cycle. As a result, the DCCC’s independent expenditure campaign made a significant investment in only 10 of 34 Frontline districts – approximately 15 percent of the IE’s budget.
I’ve put the DCCC’s press release after the jump. Most of the others named to the Frontline list appear to be in more vulnerable districts than Boswell. Republicans targeted Boswell during his first five re-election campaigns but did not make a serious challenge in IA-03 in 2008. Boswell defeated Kim Schmett by 56 percent to 42 percent in November.
Here’s an interesting fact from the DCCC’s statement, which underscores how the Republican Party has become increasingly uncompetitive in large parts of the country:
There are 83 Democrats in districts that President [George] Bush won in 2004, while there are only six (6) Republicans in seats that Senator [John] Kerry won.
Presumably a significant number of those 83 districts swung to Barack Obama in the 2008 election, as Iowa’s third district did. But the final presidential election results by Congressional district have not been calculated everywhere in the country.
I would be very surprised if the DCCC had to spend resources defending Boswell in the next election. Many House Democrats are in a more precarious position. Unfortunately, the irony is that re-electing Boswell in 2010 could make IA-03 a very tough hold for Democrats in 2012.
The DCCC is staying on offense as well, launching robocalls this week in the districts of 12 potentially vulnerable House Republicans. A few weeks ago the DCCC ran radio ads in 28 Republican-held House districts, including Iowa’s fourth district. Tom Latham is not being targeted in the current robocall effort, however. It’s just as well, since IA-04 does not appear to be among the top Democratic pickup opportunities for the next cycle.Continue Reading...