Toss Up

The Cook Political Report's latest issue re-rated the 29th as a "toss up". It was "leans Republican". Cook just re-rated ten districts, and every district's rating got worse for the Republican.


Kuhl only has himself to blame. If he were in the past able to get off his butt and raise $$ this wouldn't even be a race in the first place. But now he has dug such a hole for himself, that he may not ever be able to get out of. More $$ will come pouring into Massa. If it gets even worse, don't even be shocked if some of the Corning Inc. $$ starts secretly heading his way, because Corning would need his help should he become the next congressman.

You put your finger on it. The problem is that early on the big money held off because it was clear that the Republicans were in for a bad year. The FUD factor. Now the big money is at best hedging its bets from the top of the ticket to the bottom. It's the same phenomenon that did Hillary in after Iowa.

Yes. It's both an individual phenomenon (Kuhl is in trouble) and a group one (Kuhl will be part of a smaller minority, so giving him money will be less effective even if he wins).

I'm also wondering why Kuhl is still running his traditional "I'm the favorite" campaign -- for example, why won't he debate Massa? It's good free media.

That's a good point. He might do well to sell himself as the underdog, or at least not the front runner. I wonder what the penalties are for bucking the administration and appearing to be more bi-partisan. If he isn't around for the next Republican revolution, his loyalty now won't do him much good. Hmmm, but maybe as a lobbyist or board member?

I got a Randygram in my email today that pretty much provides more of the same Republican cant on energy -- "encourage" (subsidize and deregulate) exploration and drilling in the US, open up more land for mining and drilling, eliminate restrictions on oil shale and coal conversion, etc.

Could it be that he believes all that stuff?

Randy has voted against the administration a couple of times, so they can't be horrendous. At this point, I think the Republicans will be glad to keep seats any way they can. But it would be difficult for Kuhl to change any of his positions that might actually make a difference in the election. Iraq is one example that comes to mind.

You make a good point on the Kuhl Khronicle, and that's one reason that Kuhl is probably putting off debates. The current Republican policies on the major issues of the day just don't appeal to most folks. 2/3 of the population wants out of Iraq in 2 years or less. $4+/gallon gas has people understanding that we have to radically change our energy policies. And so on.