It’s generally accepted that with President Obama’s dropping approval ratings, the sagging economy and things going haltingly in Afghanistan at best, no member of the Connecticut Congressional delegation can afford to sit of his/her laurels this election season.
The Shad has written in the past that the most vulnerable may very well be freshman Democrat Jim Himes. Despite being one of the hardest working congressmen as far as constituent service, Himes’ unique circumstances make him a mark for Republicans and his challenger, GOP state Sen. Dan “Decibel” Dibecella. Now, the National Journal’s Hot Line On Call agrees.
Dibecella is smart, articulate and will exploit Obama’s poor ratings in his bid to unseat Himes. Himes is a freshman—the best time to take down a congressman is before he becomes entrenched. He also has a number of wealthy suburbs in his district, many of them filled with wealthy Wall Streeters who probably don’t care for the financial reform Himes supported.
That’s not to say the others are completely safe. Ironically, the two members of Congress in leadership and arguably the closest to Obama, appear to be the safest. John Larson and Rosa DeLauro have huge war chests and Democratic districts. Not so much with Chris Murphy and Joe Courtney. Both have interesting challengers.
Murphy faces Republican state Sen. Sam Caligiuri who, like Dibecella, is smart, savvy and not above making this election about Obama. He is also from Waterbury, an anchor city that Murphy (Cheshire) lacks. Caligiuri succeed Murphy in the state Senate and will seek to do the same in Congress.
Courtney, we must remember, originally won his seat by a handful of votes in a heavily Democratic year. A weak campaign staff combined with an oddly drawn district, made that race tough. He faces Republican Janet Peckinpaugh, the former TV news anchor who has massive name recognition. Despite Courtney’s large money advantage, you never know.
It all makes for a very interesting fall campaign.