Republican U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart has made a career out of crushing Democrats in their backyards.I should say it again - this is in the Tribune-Review. There's an adage in politics (or so I'm told) that perception is everything. And so if the conservative paper in town says that conservative Missy Hart is percieved as vulnerable, then she most definitely is.
Now Hart, 44, of Bradford Woods, is fighting for her political survival as she faces her first formidable challenger in years in a district that favors Democrats and at a time when a series of Republican scandals and the war in Iraq threaten to depress GOP turnout in congressional races nationwide. [emphasis added]
Larry Sabato, a political science professor at the University of Virginia, said "clear signs of a Democratic wave" are developing.So it depends on the size of the wave that may be crashing through Washington. Hart-ville must be worried about this paragraph:
"The critical remaining question is how high the wave will be. If it's a medium wave, Hart will probably survive. If it's a high wave, she will probably be swept out," Sabato said.
But with the election less than three weeks away, national pundits are listing Hart's race against Democrat Jason Altmire in Pennsylvania's 4th Congressional District as one to watch for a possible upset. [emphasis added]Again, perception is everything.
Sensing an opportunity and needing a net gain of 15 seats to retake control of the House, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is preparing to release TV spots on Altmire's behalf. And despite Hart's financial advantage -- she had $1.1 million in the bank on Sept. 30, compared to $273,621 for Altmire -- the National Republican Congressional Committee on Tuesday bought almost $200,000 in television time to defend the seat.And so I'll ask it again - or better yet, here's what Gary Rothstein writes in the P-G this morning:
In fact, (Jason Altmire) and his supporters say their optimism has been buoyed more than anything by the National Republican Congressional Committee's spending of at least $160,000 starting last week on commercials that name Mr. Altmire and attack his stance to let national tax cuts expire. If the GOP did not have its own information that Ms. Hart was in jeopardy, they reason, the national committee would spend its money in races it deemed more at risk.[emphasis added]Peception is everything. Missy's in trouble.