Politico had a nice piece yesterday on House Democrats' ambitions for retaking the majority in 2012. The common wisdom at this point is that the goal is probably out of the reach of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, but it's so hard to predict such things -- what were they saying in 2009?
The Democrats will focus on 14 Republican seats that both President Obama and John Kerry won in their respective presidential races:
Eleven of the 14 districts are represented by first-termers, including Reps. Allen West in south Florida and Sean Duffy in Wisconsin, two of the highest-profile members of the class of 2010.
The bulk of the Kerry-Obama seats are concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest. Pennsylvania is home to five — veteran Reps. Charlie Dent and Jim Gerlach and newly elected Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick, Patrick Meehan and Lou Barletta. Two are from Illinois — Reps. Bobby Schilling and Robert Dold. Minnesota (Rep. Chip Cravaack), New Hampshire (Rep. Charlie Bass), New York (Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle) and Ohio (Rep. Steve Stivers) are each home to one seat.
The only West Coast member of the club is veteran Rep. Dave Reichert, who represents a suburban Seattle district.
All well and good. Except that someone ought to tell them about redistricting.
While Democratic officials concede that the yet-to-be completed redistricting process could hinder their efforts — Republican line-drawers will undoubtedly attempt to shore up their GOP colleagues in the Democratic-leaning seats — the 2012 campaign blueprint nevertheless focuses heavily on winning the contests.