Hugh Hewitt, with an assist from Michelle Malkin has a list of the Republicans who reportedly are opposed to oil exploration in ANWR. Hugh also provides the most recent margin of victory for each. Collectively, this does not look like a group that needs a “pro-environment” vote to stave off defeat; it looks like a group that believes it can be indifferent to the views of the “base.” Only five on the list of 24 won by less than double digits in 2004. One of them, Mark Kennedy, is running for the Senate in Minnesota.
In at least one case, though, the 2004 numbers may be deceiving. Sue Kelly represents the 19th district in New York, located in the Hudson Valley suburbs of New York City. She won in 2004 by 34 percent, but faced no serious Democratic challenger. However, the district, which Bush carried by only about 2 percent, is rapidly becoming more Democratic, and Kelly may face a serious Democratic challenger this time.
She is also being challenged within her party by Jeff Cook, a 26 year-old graduate of New York University Law School. I met the impressive Cook when I spoke at NYU last week. He is running as a fiscal conservative, and intends to attack Kelly for her support of “pork” legislation. At the same time, Cook, a former official with the Log Cabin Republicans, is an advocate of gay marriage. He intends to assail Kelly on this issue, as well.