Strong shots and long shots: Last call, maybe

Given that we’re just two weeks out from election day, I think this may be our last edition of these glimpses of Republican challengers to Democratic incumbents in congressional races around the country. But don’t hold me to it! We have only skimmed the surface noting some of the many outstanding candidates who have undertaken these races, even races that appear to be missions impossible.
I think, for example, of Sean Bielat challenging Barney Frank in Massachusetts’s Fourth Congressional District, Ruth McClung challenging Raul “Boycott Arizona” Grijlava in Arizona’s Seventh Congressional District, and Chris Gibson challenging Scott Murphy in New York’s Twentieth Congressional District. The challengers in these difficult races are the kind of folks who make you proud to be a Republican. (I wrote this before finding Dennis Prager’s column making precisely the same point using Ruth McClung as one of his several examples.)
My friend Teresa Collett running in MInnesota’s Fourth Congressional District against the worthless Betty McCollum is another such example. Teresa is a brilliant teacher at the University of St. Thomas Law School. She is a devoted pro-life advocate and a person of complete integrity. Randy Demmer running against the phony Tim Walz in Minnesota’s First Congressional District and Chip Cravaack running against Maryland resident Jim Oberstar in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District also deserve mention in this context.
I think virtually all these races could be won with adequate resources. The late California Democrat Jesse “Big Daddy” Unruh famously held that money is the mother’s milk of politics, and he knew what he was talking about. Starving Republicans of the resources to run competitive races is one of the Democrats’ major political projects. You can be sure that whatever rules the Democrats promote in the name of good government, labor unions will be left free to expend members’ dues on candidates who will faithfully follow the union agenda. Which reminds me: I took a whack at the subject of campaign finance regulation a few years ago in the Weekly Standard column “Dream palace of the goo-goos.”
Jim Geraghty has now posted the final pre-election update to his May list of 99 open seats and vulnerable Democratic incumbents. Geraghty’s list has expanded to to 117 races. However, his list includes some races that appeared potentially competitive earlier and now aren’t. Geraghty believes that roughly 100 seats are in play that Republicans should win no fewer than 40 of them.
Geraghty’s list includes all the races we have mentioned in this series and many more as well as the latest poll data from whatever source derived. In this series I have taken our lead from readers, and readers have asked us to highlight the following races we have previously overlooked, also included on Geraghty’s list.
Tom Marino is the former United States Attorney Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania who is running neck and neck against Chris Carney in Pennsylvania’s Tenth Congressional District. “Carney has far more money,” our reader reports, “and has gone almost exclusively negative in his campaigning.” Geraghty reports that the Times Leader puts Marino ahead of Carney by 6 points. Please consider supporting Marino here.
Ben Lange is running against Bruce Braley in Iowa’s First Congressional District. Our reader writes that Lange has never before run for office and that RealClearPolitics recently moved the race from Likely Democrat to Leaning Democrat. Geraghty reports that the there hasn’t been much recent polling, but that an early September poll put Lange within 4.4 points of Braley. Lange is one of the Paul Ryan/Eric Cantor/Kevin McCarthy Young Guns (as is Minnesota’s Randy Demmer). Please consider supporting Lange here.
A final note. Check out the Young Guns site and its complete roster of Young Guns candidates that is accessible via the map here. Click on any of the green states. There you can find, for example, Adam Kinzinger running against incumbent Democrat Debbie Halvorson in Illinois’s Eleventh Congressional District. Kinzinger is an Air Force pilot who has served in Air Force Special Ops, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, and Air National Guard. As I say, Kinzinger is the kind of candidate who makes you proud to be a Republican. Geraghty reports that Kinzinger is leading in the race, but that the size of the lead is in dispute. Please consider supporting Kinzinger here.
November 2 can’t come soon enough.

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