I know very little about Steve Israel, the incoming chair of the DCCC. In the most recent session of Congress, DW-NOMINATE rates him as the 155th most liberal member; slightly more liberal than his rating of 166th most liberal in the 2001-2002 session. Israel will have to win roughly half of the roughly 60 seats currently held by Republicans who represent districts that voted for Barack Obama. A number of those are fairly entrenched Northeastern Republicans with modest pro-labor records (Peter King, Frank Lobiondo, etc.), so this will be an uphill climb unless the economy makes a serious rebound.
One of my big regrets this election cycle is that I got distracted by the bigger and slightly better news in the Senate, and paid less attention to the competition for the House and state/local races. With redistricting fights set to begin across the country, it should be easier to keep tabs on the situation this year.
How likely do you think it is that Democrats will cite the DeLay precedent and do their own partisan redistricting mid-decade after a good election?
It depends a lot on which (if any) state trifectas they get, and whether those State Leg Democrats feel so safe in their seats and so devoted to national politics, that they go out on a limb for this (and whether the state law is even set up for partisan redistricting, many liberal states aren't). The only state I can think of this where it might be true is New York.
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