Alex Roarty writes at National Journal that DCCC is seeking pickups in red districts:
They’re targeting 15 congressional districts—many in red states such as Kentucky and Arkansas—that they believe offer greater opportunity for success in a midterm year.
The reason for their optimism, they say, is that during presidential campaigns, the unpopularity of national Democrats in these culturally conservative areas acts as a millstone that weighs down local Democratic hopefuls. Absent that focus on Washington, Democrats running for office can better craft the independent image necessary to win in otherwise Republican-leaning districts.
It’s a trend exacerbated by President Obama, who has accelerated the widening gap in popularity between local Democrats and the national party—particularly in regions of the country like Appalachia. His absence from the ticket could offer a bigger boost for a handful of Democrats than they would normally expect in an off-year race.
The DCCC’s strategy invites skepticism: Some of the targets are in stoutly Republican districts, and many of them have an entrenched incumbent. And Obama, even if he’s not on the ballot, is still very much the president—as Republicans will constantly point out. But for a party facing a narrow path to regain 17 seats and the majority, pulling a few surprises in these races could be essential.Also at National Journal, Michael Catalini writes of DSCC's similar red-state approach:
The efforts to woo a moderate Democrat to defeat McConnell are part of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s plans to compete in the most inhospitable territory for Democrats -- for open seats in Georgia, South Dakota, West Virginia, and possibly, even in Kentucky against the powerful and well-funded Senate minority leader. Facing a challenging political landscape in 2014, the party is close to landing credible candidates in all of those states.
The DSCC doesn’t divulge details about its recruitment strategy, arguing that many of the media reports about its preferred candidates are hogwash. But it’s clear that, in the spirit of former Chairman Chuck Schumer, it is playing an active role behind-the-scenes to ensure that electable Democrats emerge as nominees.