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House elections

"House elections" Continued...

Issue: "2010 The Year Ahead," Jan. 16, 2010

Rust Belt

PA-6, incumbent: Jim Gerlach (R): Post-industrial districts composing the Rust Belt haven't fallen into the column of one party or another, so expect tight races in that region. Pennsylvania Republican Jim Gerlach fended off Democratic contenders in close races in 2004 and 2006, one of the few Rust Belters to survive the Democratic sweep. Gerlach is running for governor of Pennsylvania now, and four Republicans are vying to replace him, with businessman Steven Welch considered the front-runner due to his personal wealth. But the Democrats have two strong challengers: Doug Pike, a former editorial writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Manan Trivedi, an Iraq War veteran.

Blue Dog retirement

TN-6, Bart Gordon (D): Three Blue Dog Democrats have announced their retirement to this point, leaving their conservative districts ripe for Republican plucking. Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) is perhaps the most striking among them, as a congressman who has held his seat for a quarter century but watched support melt away more recently. His district voted for John McCain in the 2008 election, so another Democrat less known than Gordon will have a tough job winning support. Voters seem impatient with Blue Dogs, who on the whole have generally voted with their party and not as the fiscal conservatives they promised to be. Gordon voted for the stimulus package, the borrowing-heavy 2010 budget, and the cap-and-trade bill.

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