CQ reports that the National Republican Congressional Committee has begun targeting 11 Freshman Democrats elected in formerly Republican districts, through 'viral' marketing campaigns:
The National Republican Congressional Campaign (NRCC) announced Thursday the launch of a campaign and accompanying Web site targeting 11 freshmen in what party officials call an effort to expose their “real records” directly to their constituents.
The first 11 members targeted are Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania’s 4th District, Nancy Boyda of Kansas’ 2nd, Christopher Carney of Pennsylvania’s 10th, Brad Ellsworth of Indiana’s 8th, Steve Kagen of Wisconsin’s 8th, Tim Mahoney of Florida’s 16th, Jerry McNerney of California’s 11th, Harry E. Mitchell of Arizona’s 5th, Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire’s 1st, Heath Shuler of North Carolina’s 11th, and Zack Space of Ohio’s 18th.
All 11 of these targeted Democrats took over seats that had been held by Republicans, and President Bush carried all of these districts at the top of the Republican ticket in 2004.
“These are some of the most egregious examples of Democrats who ran moderate or conservative campaigns, but are now doing something completely different now that they are in Washington,” NRCC spokesman Ken Spain told CQPolitics.com on Thursday. Spain said the committee expects to add new targets to their list before the next major recess and views the “potential playing field” as the 61 districts Bush carried in 2004 which are now represented by Democrats.
The campaign, labeled by the NRCC as “The Real Democrat Story,” will be targeted at these members’ constituents and their local media outlets in the days leading up to each congressional recess, when most lawmakers head home for extended stays in their districts.
Update: The Fix provides a list of the 10 Congressional Districts most likely to change parties next year, and 8 of them are Democrats - all of whom were newly elected in 2006. Several of them are probably less than 50-50 for re-election today as we speak: Nancy Boyda, Nick Lampson, Tim Mahoney and Jerry McNerney. Cillizza's two Republicans are Robin Hayes and Heather Wilson. I would differ on Hayes particularly, since all he does is win close elections. I expect that in what will have to be a stronger Republican year in 2008, he will fare better than in 2006.