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September 05, 2010

Triage: Desperate Democrats Begin Writing Off Most Vulnerable Members

I wrote about this a little while ago. Dick Morris had written that Democrats have to make the same choice as an ER surgeon: Do you try to save the limb, or abandon the limb and try to save the patient?

As Democrats brace for a November wave that threatens their control of the House, party leaders are preparing a brutal triage of their own members in hopes of saving enough seats to keep a slim grip on the majority.

In the next two weeks, Democratic leaders will review new polls and other data that show whether vulnerable incumbents have a path to victory. If not, the party is poised to redirect money to concentrate on trying to protect up to two dozen lawmakers who appear to be in the strongest position to fend off their challengers.

But how serious are the Democrats? In Morris' assessment, they pretty much have to give up trying to defend, say, their 30 most vulnerable seats. Those, Morris suggests, are simply gone.

Their limited resources (they have money, more than us, but resources are always limited) should be directed instead to, say, saving the next most vulnerable 30 seats.

If Democrats attempt too ambitious a firewall -- that is, they give up on only the ten or fifteen most vulnerable seats, but still attempt to maintain their majority -- they will end up diverting money to seats that can't be won, and, critically, diverting it away from those seats which could be won, with great effort.

On the other hand, Patrick Ishmael at Hot Air has found that in his analysis the GOP itself isn't being very aggressive -- it's focusing on the 30 most vulnerable Democrats, whereas an aggressive, confident strategy would be to give little money to those candidate (just assume they're going to win and can win on their own) and target seats 31-60.

Thanks to rdbrewer.


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posted by Ace at 02:19 PM

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