Kos, writing for The Gadflyer, argues that the recent special-election wins by Stephanie Herseth and Ben Chandler in reliably red districts is a portent that 2004 will be an abnormal election, one that may disproportinately favor Democratic Congressional candidates. He strikes a very optimistic tone, but here's a piece of evidence that he's on to something. Via Archpundit, here's the story of Rep. Phil Crane, an 18-term incumbent and one-time Presidential primary challenger to Ronald Reagan who is now needing some help raising money.
Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) is asking Illinois Republicans to do everything possible to help Rep. Phil Crane (R-Ill.) beat back a strong challenge from Democrat Melissa Bean, Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) said late last week.
Crane is seeking an 18th term representing the suburban Chicago 8th District.
“It’s a race to watch,” LaHood said. “Every year there’s the November surprise, and a lot of people are worried that the November surprise could be Phil Crane. The problem is he just has not really worked [his district] that well, and he hasn’t paid attention to it.”
Bean, a business consultant who unsuccessfully challenged Crane in 2002, said she would not be outspent 3 to 1 in 2004, as she was last time. She estimated that her campaign cash on hand is within $130,000 to $150,000 of Crane’s.
Crane’s campaign spokeswoman, Tami Stough, said: “We have an opponent this year … and the Speaker is just trying to do all he can.” Hastert is scheduled to appear at a June 27 fundraiser with Crane, Stough said. Other members, she said, are helping to raise money.