I think they have a good chance. I'll leave the tracking of indivdiual house races to others, but I want to raise an issue beyond how many seats the Democrats wind up with in November. Within both the Democratic and Republican parties elected officials represent different wings of the party. Republicans have far-right religious conservatives representing an increasing number of state parties, but are primarily centered in the South, neo-cons have their grip on the White House and fiscal conservatives represent the Northeast. Democrats also have their own factions, one of them being Southern Democrats. For the most part much more conservative than the rest of the party; Southern Dems are much more likely to vote with Republicans. Quite a few defections over the past few years have hurt Dems chances at taking back the house. Thank god Zell Miller is retiring, but most recently Rodney Alexander formerly (D-LA) switched sides. Who do you think better represents your interests, Alexander or a member of the Progressive House Caucas? Defeating a moderate Republican like Chris Shays (CT-4) is an important step to making Pelosi House Speaker, but pales in comparison to the likes of Ed Schrock (VA-2) retiring. Rep. Ed Schrock is a two-term Republican congressman from Virginia's Second District. ??The National Journal ties him as the second most conservative person in all of Congress in 2003, behind only Dennis Hastert. Schrock recently retired because of allegations he seeks out gay sex on telephone dating services. It's not likely we can replace many of the far-right Republicans in the House, but we've got a chance to knock out a few here in Illinois. 1. Melissa Bean takes on Phil Crane. Crane is vice chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and the longest-serving Republican in Congress. 2. Christine Cegelis vs. Henry Hyde. Hyde is one of the stauncest pro-lifers in Congress.
Aaron Sarver is an independent audio producer and writer based in Chicago. His work has appeared in In These Times, The Chicago Reader, Alternet.org, and on Free Speech Radio News. For nearly three years he produced and co-hosted the radio program, Fire on the Prairie, which featured interviews with progressive writers and activists, and is archived at fireontheprairie.com.