PoliticsPA has been running scorecard of the hottest Congressional races in Pennsylvania for a few months now. The rankings numbered lawmakers in descending order by the likelihood of a party switch.
The 2 Northeastern PA seats are high on the list.
3. Paul Kanjorski, (D-11). Previous ranking: 2. Kanjorski has been in the news recently, as a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee who is advocating stiffer regulations for Wall Street. But as a 13-term incumbent in a year of the angry voter, he has his reelection work cut out for him. Kanjorski, who represents a northeastern Pennsylvania district, will have the money to run an aggressive race: His most recent fundraising figures show him with $1.2 million in the bank, though his quarterly haul of $260,000 was a good deal less than, say, either of the two most vulnerable Republicans in the Pennsylvania delegation, Charlie Dent and Jim Gerlach. Kanjorski also has to dispatch with his primary opponent, Lackawanna County commissioner Corey O’Brien, before turning to expected Republican nominee Lou Barletta. Barletta nearly matched Kanjorski in fundraising for the quarter with $211,000, though the Hazelton mayor’s cash on hand is far lower at $202,000. But the reemergence of immigration as a national issue following Arizona’s passage of a strict anti-illegal immigration law gives prominence to Barletta’s signature issue, potentially helping him leverage grass roots support to make up for the money disadvantage. We still believe Kanjorski is the state’s most vulnerable incumbent.
5 (tie). Chris Carney (D-10). Previous ranking 4. Carney remains vulnerable because of his support for the Democratic Party’s health care bill in a district that leans to the right, but he received a nice, if modest, bump to his chances in early April when the federal government rejected Pennsylvania’s bid to toll Interstate 80. The plan had been supported by local Democratic lawmakers, including Gov. Ed Rendell, but Carney broke party ranks and opposed the deal (along with Reps. Kanjorski and Dahlkemper) and will likely take credit in the fall for its defeat. For a lawmaker who depends on being perceived as loyal to his district over his party, it’s a feather in his cap. Meanwhile, Carney is also benefiting from the GOP primary. His possible Republican foes — businessman Dave Madeira, former U.S. attorney Tom Marino, and Snyder County Commissioner Malcolm Derk — continue to battle in a close contest. Marino continues to face questions about his ties to controversial local businessman Louis DeNaples.
Our friends at pa2010.com have unvieled their handicapping of the horse races.
Congressional Power Rankings
4. Northeast Pennsylvania, including Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne and Monroe counties
Paul Kanjorski (D) Corey O’Brien (D), Lou Barletta (R) The longtime incumbent was seen as the most vulnerable Democrat in Congress in 2008 before a wave of support for Obama helped beat Barletta. Now he faces Barletta for the third time in 8 years, in what remains a highly-competitive district. Democrats hold a wide registration edge, but the anti-incumbent climate keeps the seat in play.
Cook Index: D+4
CQ Rating: Leans D
Rothenberg: Lean D
7. Northeast Pennsylvania, including all or parts of Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Northumberland, Pike, Snyder and Susquehanna counties
Chris Carney (D) Republicans Malcolm Derk, Dave Madeira and Tom Marino Marino, a former U.S. Attorney, is seen as the favorite to take on Carney. A sophomore, some see Carney as vulnerable, but Republicans gave him some help when they tried to recruit him to switch parties last year. McCain won the district by 9 points.
Cook Index: R+8
CQ Rating: Leans D
Rothenberg: D Favored
14 hours ago
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