Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Blue Dog Dems face extinction
POLITICO ^ | April 17, 2012 | Alex Isenstadt

Posted on 04/17/2012 9:58:59 PM PDT by neverdem

Just when the Blue Dogs thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did.

Two years after the 2010 midterm elections decimated their ranks, the coalition of conservative Democrats is poised to get pummeled again in November — moving the Blue Dogs dangerously close to extinction.

Of the 24 remaining Blue Dogs, five are not seeking reelection. More than a half-dozen others are facing treacherous contests in which their reelection hopes are in jeopardy.

It’s a rough time to occupy the right wing of the Democratic Party.

“It’s a tough environment out there,” said former Alabama Rep. Bud Cramer, a longtime member of the House Blue Dog Coalition. “Their numbers are down. Redistricting has not been kind to them.”

Cramer nailed it: Redistricting is at the root of the Blue Dog problem. The once-in-a-decade line-drawing has forced some of them to compete for seats that have become even less friendly to Democrats — and those seats weren’t very friendly to begin with. Utah Rep. Jim Matheson, Georgia Rep. John Barrow and North Carolina Rep. Mike McIntyre are among those who have been thrust into deeply Republican territory after being targeted in GOP-led redistricting efforts in their home states.

All three members are regarded as strong and experienced campaigners who have figured out a way to survive on politically perilous turf. Still, 2012 will prove to be the toughest election any of them has faced. Each has drawn serious Republican opposition and they rank high atop GOP target lists. For months, the National Republican Congressional Committee has been airing TV and radio ads against the trio in an attempt to soften up their support well before the fall campaign season kicks into high gear.

Two other Blue Dogs — Pennsylvania Rep. Jason Altmire and Iowa Rep. Leonard Boswell — have been drawn into districts with another member of Congress, forcing them to wage bitter, expensive brawls against another sitting incumbent.

Altmire, a third-term Blue Dog, now faces Rep. Mark Critz in an April 24 primary. Many Democratic officials believe Altmire is the favorite, reasoning that he has previously represented more of the newly drawn southwestern Pennsylvania-based seat than the more junior Critz, and polls released by both campaigns have shown Altmire leading.

But Critz has fought back aggressively, collecting the endorsements of the area’s powerful organized labor groups and former President Bill Clinton, whose backing could help with the area’s blue-collar voters.

Boswell, meanwhile, is competing against GOP Rep. Tom Latham in a new southwestern Iowa-based district. While Boswell at first appeared to be the early front-runner, Democrats now worry about his slow fundraising pace compared with Latham’s ever-ballooning war chest. Latham has also received air support from American Crossroads, a deep-pocketed third-party group that has crowded the airwaves with TV ads taking aim at Boswell.

For Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Holden, another Blue Dog, redistricting has created another kind of problem. When Republicans redrew his central Pennsylvania seat, they created a district far more liberal than Holden’s old one — one at odds with the conservative record he has compiled during his two decades in the House. Holden has drawn a serious primary challenge from Matt Cartwright, a liberal attorney who has called the incumbent out of step with the new district. In a troubling sign for the incumbent, Cartwright outraised him by nearly $300,000 during the first quarter.

For a few Blue Dogs, the problems presented by redistricting are compounded by the challenges of running in conservative Southern states during a presidential election year. Kentucky Rep. Ben Chandler, McIntyre and Barrow must run in states where President Barack Obama’s unpopularity threatens to trickle down the ballot and damage their reelection bids.

The NRCC has already launched a vigorous effort tying Barrow to Obama, running TV ads during this month’s Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., calling Barrow and Obama “the wrong pairing for Georgia.” The committee has also launched a website, “BarrowObama.com,” which highlights Obama’s endorsement of Barrow during the congressman’s difficult 2008 reelection race.

The NRCC has also run TV ads blasting McIntyre for his support for the Obama-proposed economic stimulus package and has run spots showing footage of Chandler praising the president during the 2008 campaign.

Former Louisiana Rep. Charlie Melancon, a onetime Blue Dog leader who lost a 2010 Senate race, said ongoing discomfort about Obama’s race in some corners of the South made it hard for Democrats running on the ballot with him. Blue Dogs running in the Midwest, Melancon predicted, would fare better.

“I think in the South, it’s going to be quite difficult,” said Melancon, who recalled Republicans running a seemingly endless loop of TV ads attaching him to Obama. “If you get tied to the president, it’s more about race than the economy or other stuff.”

Recognizing the possibility of further erosion, the Blue Dogs have endorsed a handful of candidates looking to win seats, including some who are looking to replace outgoing coalition members. But in each case, the candidates are running for Republican-friendly seats, making their bids uphill.

Andrew Whalen, who serves as a political consultant for the Blue Dog Coalition PAC, dismissed concerns that the group could become nearly extinct, arguing that nearly half of the current members were in strong shape for reelection and that others would survive tough bids.

“The Blue Dog Coalition will continue to be a strong voice in Congress in 2013 and beyond. Our members are all tough, tenacious and experienced campaigners,” Whalen said. “More importantly, they have all represented their districts and their constituents well, and that is why they have been and will be reelected.”

Cramer likened the plight of Blue Dogs to the one confronting conservative House Democrats following the 1994 midterm elections, when their ranks dwindled. Cramer argued that Blue Dogs would either lose or gain several seats this year and said they would be positioned to rebuild after the election.

Former Tennessee Rep. John Tanner, who survived the 1994 landslide and then helped to found the Blue Dogs in 1995, argued that they would eventually make a comeback.

“At some point, the American people in small numbers are going to rebel against the unbelievable partisanship that grips the place,” he said. “It’s not there yet, but it’s coming.”

© 2012 POLITICO LLC



TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: bluedogs
The far left will kill the Blue/Yellow Dogs. Thank Obama and his EPA among others.
1 posted on 04/17/2012 9:59:13 PM PDT by neverdem
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: neverdem

It’s amazing that there are, still, any “non-leftist” Democrats left, today.


2 posted on 04/17/2012 10:03:08 PM PDT by johnthebaptistmoore (The world continues to be stuck in a "all leftist, all of the time" funk. BUNK THE FUNK!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Just as the GOP-e is desperate to kill off the tea party. We are a threat to them.


3 posted on 04/17/2012 10:09:23 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (There's no crying in rebellion!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Redistricting may have something to do with it; but in reality if their party hadn’t shoved through Obamacare two years ago the blue mutts would be a in a lot better position right now. If they’re just going to fall into line behind the extreme left of their party for any vote that actually matters - what purpose do they serve?


4 posted on 04/17/2012 10:09:46 PM PDT by eclecticEel (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: 7/4/1776 - 3/21/2010)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Blue dogs extinct?

Cause Obama ate them!!!

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/04/obama-as-a-boy-ate-dog-meat/


5 posted on 04/17/2012 10:13:36 PM PDT by JRochelle (Note to the MSM: Unemployment has been higher under every month of Obama than any month under Bush.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

“I think in the South, it’s going to be quite difficult,” said Melancon, who recalled Republicans running a seemingly endless loop of TV ads attaching him to Obama. “If you get tied to the president, it’s more about race than the economy or other stuff.”

******

It couldn’t be that FORMER Rep. Melancon voted for the DREAM Act and repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.


6 posted on 04/17/2012 10:17:24 PM PDT by kcvl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: johnthebaptistmoore

“It’s amazing that there are, still, any “non-leftist” Democrats left, today.”

There soon won’t be. And it’s a shame, because these are the old-style Dems, much like Cadell and Schoen, with whom we could often reason and work. I hated to see so many struck down in the last election, and I hate to see it now.

Maybe some of them will, at the very least, change parties now that they’ve been smacked by the radicals/leftists in their own.


7 posted on 04/17/2012 10:22:17 PM PDT by llandres (Forget the "New America" - restore the original one!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Not surprising at all. The first that socialists turn on are those party members and sympathizers who err or wander off the path....or become a voice of dissent.

Think back to the Bolsheviks in 1917, the Brown Shirts (Sturmabteilung) of 1934 and the sympathizers of the former Viet Minh and later the Lao Dong party in Hue, 1968.
8 posted on 04/17/2012 10:28:02 PM PDT by BIGLOOK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Blue Dogs?

There isn’t such a thing. The always wind up going with the RAT caucus as they are told. Only the stupid RAT voters believe in them.


9 posted on 04/17/2012 10:28:22 PM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate Republicans Freed the Slaves Month.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Is anyone making a list of the Blue Dogs that might be the easiest to defeat?


10 posted on 04/17/2012 10:30:29 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jim Robinson
Just as the GOP-e is desperate to kill off the tea party. We are a threat to them.

I think their promotion of Romney for the nomination will have the opposite effect, IMHO, because we don't trust him. GWB got just about everything he wanted when the GOP controlled Congress, and we know how that backfired.

11 posted on 04/17/2012 10:35:00 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Jim Robinson

For conservatives, it might be some time wandering in the wilderness. We’ll be okay and know what to do when the time comes. It just looks bleak at the moment.


12 posted on 04/17/2012 10:38:09 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: johnthebaptistmoore

“It’s amazing that there are, still, any “non-leftist” Democrats left, today.”
_______________________________________

During my younger years, there were many “yellow dog” Dimocraps in the south.
Many were mostly conservative, and former segregationist.
I assume they have either grown a brain and vote Republican, or died off.


13 posted on 04/17/2012 10:39:30 PM PDT by AlexW
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: smokingfrog
Is anyone making a list of the Blue Dogs that might be the easiest to defeat?

It's called the National Republican Congressional Committee.

14 posted on 04/17/2012 10:44:21 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: BIGLOOK
[. . .and the sympathizers of the former Viet Minh and later the Lao Dong party in Hue, 1968.]

National Liberation Front cadres were among the first to be arrested and sent to reeducation camps after the fall of Saigon. The North Vietnamese rightly believed the NLF would resist genuine collectivization.

15 posted on 04/17/2012 10:48:21 PM PDT by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Is that what they do?

I’m not sending any money to the RNC. I’ll send it directly to the candidates.


16 posted on 04/17/2012 10:49:25 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: smokingfrog
Is that what they do?

I’m not sending any money to the RNC.

The RNC and DNC are not the same as the NRCC and DCCC. Ditto NRSC and DSCC for the Senate. The parties strategize to take back or keep control in each house, e.g. in 2006 Schumer in the Senate and Rahm Emanuel in the House sought candidates that were prolife and/or pro Second Amendment. They kept the whole Congress for two terms.

17 posted on 04/17/2012 11:15:09 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: ROCKLOBSTER

“There isn’t such a thing.”

Stupak & the ObamaCare vote showed this to be true; wonder how Stupak feels when he enters a church now?


18 posted on 04/18/2012 2:57:19 AM PDT by kearnyirish2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

“Blue-Dog Dems Face Extinction.”

How can there be any such thing as a Conservative Democrat after the unanimous vote in favor of Obamacare by Democrats en-masse?

Just asking.


19 posted on 04/18/2012 4:14:32 AM PDT by ripley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Maybe Obama has been eating them?
20 posted on 04/18/2012 4:23:56 AM PDT by JRios1968 (I'm guttery and trashy, with a hint of lemon. - Laz)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ripley
"How can there be any such thing as a Conservative Democrat after the unanimous vote in favor of Obamacare by Democrats en-masse?"

Technically that is not true. Altmire, one of the blue dogs mentioned in this article voted against the health care amendment. However, he was wavering right up until it came time to vote. The tea party was furiously on him here. I think that if they had needed his vote, he would have voted for it. In the end, all of these blue dogs will vote however the dumbocrat leadership tells them to vote. Look at Bart (Mr. Pro life) Stupack ended up voting...
21 posted on 04/18/2012 4:27:25 AM PDT by Old Teufel Hunden
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Old Teufel Hunden
Technically that is not true. Altmire, one of the blue dogs mentioned in this article voted against the health care amendment. However, he was wavering right up until it came time to vote. The tea party was furiously on him here. I think that if they had needed his vote, he would have voted for it. In the end, all of these blue dogs will vote however the dumbocrat leadership tells them to vote. Look at Bart (Mr. Pro life) Stupack ended up voting..

Exactly. He was given a pass because they didn't need his vote. That's what all the 'wavering' was about, to ley the ground work for whichever way he was allowed to vote.

22 posted on 04/18/2012 6:43:57 AM PDT by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Altmire, a third-term Blue Dog, now faces Rep. Mark Critz in an April 24 primary. Many Democratic officials believe Altmire is the favorite, reasoning that he has previously represented more of the newly drawn southwestern Pennsylvania-based seat than the more junior Critz, and polls released by both campaigns have shown Altmire leading.

It is great to watch these two demonRAT bastards fighting each other other which one is the most conservative.

What a hoot.

In my district 18th, Tim Murphy a semi- conservative pubbie is being challenged by Evan Feinberg, a young, 27 year old, very conservative guy {his wife is a Marine Captain and Iraq vet} and is being aided by the local TEA party.

In the primary I'll vote for Feinberg and hope that other locals are awake, but the demonRAT that is running in the fall is a fat crook, that looks like ed rendell.

23 posted on 04/18/2012 6:46:14 AM PDT by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorists savages.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Blue Dog Democrats were in my estimation kind of like Big Foot. There might be unverifiable sightings from time to time but no real proof they exist.


24 posted on 04/18/2012 7:37:41 AM PDT by The Great RJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ripley; Old Teufel Hunden; zeugma; The Great RJ
How can there be any such thing as a Conservative Democrat after the unanimous vote in favor of Obamacare by Democrats en-masse?

FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 165 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

A lot of dogs bailed out of it. It passed in the House 219 - 212. A lot of dogs were in competitive districts. Many wore social conservatism on their sleaves prior to that vote. That's why there were no serious gun grabbing bills from 2007 to 2011 when they had both houses of Congress.

25 posted on 04/18/2012 12:50:14 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Thanks for that. Much appreciated.


26 posted on 04/18/2012 5:31:46 PM PDT by ripley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

No one had a gun to their heads — other than the ones they had stuck into their own mouths.. Thanks neverdem.


27 posted on 04/18/2012 8:32:36 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: kcvl
>“If you get tied to the president, it’s more about race than the economy or other stuff.”<

So, the Democrat Congressman is calling his Constituents Racists?

He ran four years ago when Obama was elected and he ran two years ago while Obama was President.

Did Obama change colors and nobody noticed?

28 posted on 04/18/2012 8:44:15 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (A day without Obama is like a day without a Tsunami.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson