• The story that touched off quite a bit of political jabbering dropped over the Labor Day weekend–are Democrats prepared to abandon Rep. Betsy Markey?:
As Democrats brace for a November wave that threatens their control of the House, party leaders are preparing a brutal triage of their own members in hopes of saving enough seats to keep a slim grip on the majority. [emphasis added]
In the next two weeks, Democratic leaders will review new polls and other data that show whether vulnerable incumbents have a path to victory. If not, the party is poised to redirect money to concentrate on trying to protect up to two dozen lawmakers who appear to be in the strongest position to fend off their challengers. […]
With the midterm campaign entering its final two months, Democrats acknowledged that several races could quickly move out of their reach, including re-election bids by Representatives Betsy Markey of Colorado, Tom Perriello of Virginia, Mary Jo Kilroy of Ohio and Frank Kratovil Jr. of Maryland, whose districts were among the 55 Democrats won from Republicans in the last two election cycles.
• The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee quickly responded, denying any move to leave the embattled Democrats exposed but acknowledging that not every race may be salvageable:
Van Hollen countered by saying Democrats have not given up on those four freshman lawmakers.
“The members of Congress referenced in the article are all running strong campaigns focused on their solid records and drawing sharp distinctions between themselves and their opponents on the key issues at stake in this election. The DCCC is heavily invested in these campaigns. In each campaign mentioned, the DCCC has provided and continues to provide support for field operations and other key campaign activities,” he said in a statement released Sunday afternoon.
He also argued that it’s common practice for party leaders to make cold-eyed calculations about who can win and who can’t late in a campaign cycle.
“Every campaign cycle, the DCCC and other campaign committees face difficult resource allocation decisions, and this election cycle is no different,” he said.
• Colorado political observers have concluded that Rep. Markey’s only hope is to go negative–”and soon”:
Rep. Betsy Markey will need to go on the offensive against Republican Cory Gardner – and soon – if she hopes to win a second term, two Colorado State University political scientists said after a poll by a GOP-affiliated group showed the challenger with a comfortable lead.
“She does not have to hit him all by herself, assuming that there is outside help from the (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) or other groups, but she does have to hit him,” CSU political science Chairman Bob Duffy said.
“And I think those hits have to start coming now, before the narrative takes hold that Gardner is a shoo-in.”
• Politico lists Rep. Markey’s seat as “must win” for the GOP to take the gavel from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A Republican win against Rep. John Salazar (CO-3) is listed as a “landslider” indicative of a “wave” election. Rep. Ed Perlmutter’s 7th Congressional District has moved to “on the bubble.”