Blue Dog Dems scrap to keep members

April 17, 2012 at 11:27 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 17 (UPI) -- The fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition of Democrats, hit hard by the 2012 midterm elections, faces another election that could be tough on its ranks.

A big problem for the Blue Dogs is redistricting, the once-a-decade remapping of congressional districts that has forced some of them to compete in territory that now is less friendly to Democrats, Politico reported Tuesday.

Reps. Jim Matheson of Utah, John Barrow of Georgia and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina are among those who saw their congressional districts remapped to include more Republican territory after they were targeted in GOP-led redistricting efforts in their home states.

"It's a tough environment out there," said former Alabama Rep. Bud Cramer, a longtime member of the House Blue Dog Coalition. "Their numbers are down. Redistricting has not been kind to them."

Two other Blue Dogs representatives -- Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania and Leonard Boswell of Iowa -- have been drawn into districts with another member of Congress, forcing them battle against another incumbent or into districts that are more liberal, Politico said.

The Blue Dogs have endorsed a handful of candidates looking to win seats, but in each instance the candidates are running for Republican-friendly seats, the Washington publication said.

Andrew Whalen, a political consultant for the Blue Dog Coalition PAC, said the Blue Dog Coalition wouldn't become extinct, arguing nearly half the current members were in strong shape for re-election and others would survive tough races.

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