NRCC receives good news in PA-11, in CO-03 and perhaps in NY-24

November 12, 2009

From Campaign Diaries: “You sure can’t accuse Republicans of not being confident heading into 2010. As has been obvious for months, the GOP’s optimist outlook about the likelihood of a red wave is helping the NRCC score recruitment coups – and the past few days have brought the party a number of new candidates. The most important development is undoubtedly Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta’s reported decision to seek a rematch against Rep. Paul Kanjorski in Pennsylvania’s 11th district. Well-known as a hardline conservative on immigration issues, Barletta challenged Kanjorski last year in what was one of the GOP’s top-pick opportunities of the cycle. As a longtime incumbent representing a blue-leaning district, Kanjorski should never have been in trouble in the first place. But his hold on the district weakened, partly because of ethical controversies and Barletta led in polls throughout the campaign. On Election Night, Pennsylvania was submerged by Barack Obama’s coattails and Kanjorski narrowly survived, winning 52% to 48% in a district that gave Obama 57%. In 2010, Kanjorski will not benefit from that high a turnout level among his base and there is no reason to think his already low standing with voters will have improved. Barletta’s candidacy thus makes him one of the Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbents yet again. Complicating matters is that Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O’Brien is running against him in the Democratic primary, which could either push Kanjorski towards retirement or force him to work hard enough to reach out to his base that it could help him in the general election. …”
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