CRP Blog

Monday, April 21, 2008

McNerney Among Weakest Incumbents in Congress

Democrat Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-11) may be on track to becoming one of those "one term wonders" in Congress, a new report on the competitiveness of Congressional races around the country shows.

Analyst Stuart Rothenberg just released his latest rankings of House races. A total of 15 are considered "pure toss ups," including California's own District 11, held by incumbent McNerney. This makes McNerney among the weakest incumbents in Congress.

And with good reason.

McNerney is the only Democrat in California currently representing a Republican Congressional district, having won the seat less than two years ago after leftist groups waged a relentless four year campaign against former Republican Congressman Richard Pombo, who drew the ire of the far left for his strong stance in favor of protecting private property rights.

Enter Dean Andal, the rock solid Republican challenging McNerney. Dean is no stranger to politics, having personally contributed enormously to building the Republican Party in the Central Valley over the course of many years as a member of the Assembly and later the state Board of Equalization. He is sharp, tenacious, and extremely capable.

Normally, the Democrat leadership in the House would see how vulnerable McNerney is and give him a "pass" to break with the party leadership on some token votes so he can claim to be "independent." Yet, on one vote after another, McNerney proves he has far more in common with Nancy Pelosi than his own constituents.

Having known Dean for many years, I wonder if the Democrats have any idea of who they are up against.

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