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April 18, 2012

Blue Dogs Near Extinction

Blue Dog Democrats representing the conservative wing of the Democratic Party are close to extinction, reports Politico, as the 2012 election season promises to further thin their ranks.

"Of the 24 remaining Blue Dogs, five are not seeking reelection. More than a half-dozen others are facing treacherous contests in which their reelection hopes are in jeopardy. It's a rough time to occupy the right wing of the Democratic Party... Redistricting is at the root of the Blue Dog problem. The once-in-a-decade line-drawing has forced some of them to compete for seats that have become even less friendly to Democrats -- and those seats weren't very friendly to begin with. Utah Rep. Jim Matheson, Georgia Rep. John Barrow and North Carolina Rep. Mike McIntyre are among those who have been thrust into deeply Republican territory after being targeted in GOP-led redistricting efforts in their home states."

"For Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Holden, another Blue Dog, redistricting has created another kind of problem. When Republicans redrew his central Pennsylvania seat, they created a district far more liberal than Holden's old one -- one at odds with the conservative record he has compiled during his two decades in the House... For a few Blue Dogs, the problems presented by redistricting are compounded by the challenges of running in conservative Southern states during a presidential election year. Kentucky Rep. Ben Chandler, McIntyre and Barrow must run in states where President Barack Obama's unpopularity threatens to trickle down the ballot and damage their reelection bids."


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