"This is going to be a very tough election for the Blue Dogs"

Blue Dogs Face Sharp Losses in Midterms


More than half the members of the Blue Dog Coalition—the organization of moderate to conservative Democrats in the House—are in peril in next week's election, a stark indicator of how the balloting could produce a Congress even more polarized than the current one.

The Blue Dogs are often seen as a kind of human bridge, connecting left and right in the House. But that bridge is imperiled by the coming Republican wave in midterm elections, the most stark example of how the midterms are likely to weaken Capitol Hill's political center.

Of 54 Blue Dogs in the House, six already have retired or decided to seek other offices. Of those trying to stay, 39 are in competitive races, according to the Cook Political Report, and 22 of those are in pure toss-ups.

Among those facing the toughest races are some of the Blue Dog Coalition's leaders. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota, one of the co-chairs of the group, is locked in a contest with State Rep. Kristi Noem; in the most recent polling earlier this month, conducting by Rasmussen Reports, Ms. Herseth Sandlin trailed 47% to 43%.

Similarly, Rep. Baron Hill of Indiana, a fellow Blue Dog leader, is battling Republican attorney Todd Young in a deadlocked race both parties see as an indicator of the size of the GOP wave.

The bottom line is that the Blue Dog population could be cut significantly, conceivably by half, in next week's voting.

Blue Dogs tend to come from more conservative swing districts, where their hold on their seats is more tenuous in any case, and where voters are more likely to move right when the national winds push strongly in that direction.

"This is going to be a very tough election for the Blue Dogs, because many of them had success in districts where Democrats are always an endangered species," says Jim Kessler, vice president for policy at Third Way, a think tank promoting the ideas of moderate Democrats. "If they lose, some of them may come back in a future wave election, but those are never safe seats."

Comment: Image source. See earlier blog post How will the Blue Dogs fare?

Final comment: I tend to think of the Blue Dogs as the "good Democrats". But to the ones who vote for Obamacare .... I hope they lose!

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