I contributed a column to today’s National Review Online arguing that President Obama is dragging down many of the same Democrats representing swing-districts who benefited from his coattails in 2008. A case study is North Carolina Congressman Larry Kissell.
Kissell voted against cap-and-trade and twice against Obama’s health-care overhaul (but, go figure, voted to support the Slaughter Rule). That’s caused liberal activists in the state to peg him a turncoat, and they’ve managed to primary him.
Meanwhile, Republicans are gleeful at the prospect of taking on Kissell in the fall, to judge by the six GOP candidates vying for that chance. It’s the seat most likely to switch hands in the Tar Heel State this year, even though Kissell is polling fairly solid so far.
One proof: Kissell is getting whipped in the money race. The Washington Post ranked Kissell as one of five first quarter fundraising losers, only snagging $72,000.
Kissell is trying to balance pleasing the conservative-leaning sensibilities of his constituents with keeping a seat on the Obama/Pelosi/Reid freight train. If Republicans can nominate a halfway decent candidate, my prediction is Kissell will get left behind.
And he’ll be joined by a string of other Democrats swept into office by Obama two years ago and then swept out by the same affiliation this November.