As reported yesterday on Slog, the Rothenberg Political Report, a highly respected and non-partisan political newsletter, upgraded Washington’s 8th Congressional District race between incumbent Rep. Dave Reichert and up-and-coming challenger Darcy Burner from “Lean Republican” to “Toss Up/Tilt Republican”… ranking it as one of the 14 most competitive races in the nation.
That’s right, WA-08 is more competitive than high profile CA-50, in which the much ballyhooed Francine Busby is fighting to succeed the recently convicted Duke Cunningham.
Burner had been maligned by Republicans (and ignored by some Democrats) as a “third tier” candidate with little chance of defeating Reichert, but the “Burner Buzz” (not to mention her impressive fundraising performance) has opened eyes in the other Washington. Locally, the GOP echo machine has graduated from snidely dismissing Burner’s candidacy, to ineptly attempting to smear her.
And in what is surely bad news for Republican hopes to retain control of the House, Burner isn’t the only unheralded Democrat displaying unexpected strength:
While Democrats have failed to recruit the top tier candidates that they would like in places such as Arizona 1, Pennsylvania 15, Missouri 6 and Iowa 2, they have broadened the playing field elsewhere and recruited enough credible lower first-tier/upper second-tier hopefuls to win the House if the Democratic wave is big enough in November.
We believe that the House definitely is “in play,” and the key to whether Republicans can maintain control is whether they can discredit individual Democratic challengers who otherwise would be positioned to win. We are increasing our estimate of likely Democratic gains from 5-8 seats to 7-10 seats (they need to net 15 seats for control), with a bias toward even greater Democratic gains.
Of course, all this horse race analysis means zilch if we don’t all do the hard work necessary to help the Dems take control… and locally, that means helping Burner win in November.
The political pundits now all agree — Burner can win this race — but only with your help. If you haven’t already volunteered or contributed, do it now, for if the Republicans retain absolute control in DC, we’ll have nobody to blame but ourselves.