05 August 2009

NRCC Targeting Mollohan for 2010 (Updated)

The National Republican Congressional Committee is including the seat of U.S. Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-1st, among the 70 it views as ripe for a takeover in the next election, the state GOP says in a news release.

While citing the district's strong showing for Republican nominee John McCain in last year's presidential race, the release cites the spectre of a possibly pending federal investigation into Mollohan's finances and earmarks benefiting nonprofit groups he helped create and staff.

But the NRCC also launched early against Mollohan during the last election cycle, with August 2007 radio ads invoking the federal scrutiny. Mollohan ended up running unopposed the following year.

Update: Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball casts a skeptical eye at the 70-seat list, labeling it "something of a charade" and a "calculated gambit."

While not mentioning Mollohan by name, the analysis does cite how nine of the Democrats on the list had no GOP opponent last year, while most of the others attracted votes above the "widely accepted threshold" of 55 percent.

"While the GOP is almost assured to pick up seats next November, putting 70 Democratic seats into play and retaking the House, at this point, are more pipe dreams than realistic goals," the analysis said.

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