Monday, July 31, 2006

Election roundup for July

July offered more evidence that this is our year to take back Congress, and that New York is the place where we need to make the biggest push.

Early July brought the release of the second quarter fundraising numbers, which showed that challengers around the state are in good shape and will be able to run competitive campaigns for Republican-held seats.

Next, the polls. A poll of the 50 most competitive House races done by Public Opinion Strategies (R) and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (D) (pdf) found challengers running for Republican-held seats have the advantage. That confirms a mid-July AP poll (as well as numerous polls from past months) that show challengers running strong. And a Pew poll shows that voters are looking to vote Republicans out of office in this year's election.

Analysis from the New York Times, National Journal and NPR shows that New York is the swing state this election. Simply put, when you count competitive races in a state, we come out on top. Here's what Republican incumbent John Sweeney has to say about New York and the November election:
"[McCain] begins peppering Sweeney with the names of local members of Congress and wonders aloud how each is faring. For every name that McCain rattles off - 'How's Sue? How's Walsh? What about Reynolds?' - Sweeney answers with doom. 'I think the whole state's in play,' he says."
July also saw the growing phenomenon of Republican candidates being embarrassed by their own party - which exhibited itself in Republican incumbents around New York.

Here's a look at some of the competitive New York races.

In CD20, the ethics charges against Republican incumbent John Sweeney are beginning to add up. Sweeney's response? Stonewalling and negative ads. Sweeney is also one of the Republicans who won't name their party as they campaign for reelection - Sweeney didn't say he's a Republican in his TV ads, his campaign literature or his reelection announcement and he skipped the Republican Party State Convention.

In CD24, Republican Ray Meier has broken with retiring Republican incumbent Sherwood Boehlert and is supporting drilling in the Arctic Refuge. Just another issue where Meier has announced his intention to be more conservative than Boehlert.

In CD25, Dan Maffei's challenge to Republican incumbent James Walsh moved up on the National Journal's list of competitive races.

In CD26, Republican incumbent Tom Reynolds is trying to head off his sagging poll numbers by running early TV ads in his race against WFP-endorsed Jack Davis. Reynolds is another Republican not using the word Republican as he campaigns for reelection.

In CD29, Republican incumbent Randy Kuhl has finally agreed to debate WFP-endorsed Eric Massa.

And in CD19, Sue Kelly is another Republican incumbent who won't call herself a Republican.

So far we've raised $5,747 online for our Take Back Congress program. Because of a generous $20,000 matching grant which matches every $1 donated online to take back Congress with another $1, that's over $11,000 we can spend to win close New York House races.

The races are winnable, New York is the battleground state and your donation counts double: if you want to take back Congress then donate today!

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