On Friday, DCCC Chair Suzan DelBene (D-WA) announced a list of 29 frontline House Democrats. These are incumbents who are especially vulnerable in 2024. They will get extra funding and assistance from the DCCC. DelBene called on Democrats who want to contribute to taking back the House to donate to these endangered members. Here is the list:
Ten of the frontliners are in red districts, with PVIs from R+8 to R+1. Three are in EVEN districts. Sixteen are in very slightly blue districts, ranging from D+1 to D+4. It looks like DelBene got the list of PVIs from Charlie Cook and worked from there. Every Democrat in an R+x or EVEN district made the list. Every Democrat in a D+1 district made the list. Of the six Democrats in D+2 districts, half made the list and half didn't. Of the 11 Democrats in D+3 districts, only five of them made the list.
The PVI wasn't the only factor used to compile the list. Some of the incumbents who didn't make it may have something important going for them, such as being excellent fundraisers or having won in 2022 by a margin far greater than the lean of the district, indicating that they are popular and strong campaigners who don't need precious DCCC money.
The list does not include districts in New York and California currently held by vulnerable Republicans that will be bitterly contested (because the challengers aren't known yet). They will later appear in the red-to-blue list. It also doesn't include open seats, such as MI-07, which Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) is giving up to run for the Senate. Democrats need to net only five seats to retake the House in 2024.
DelBene (pronounced DELL-BENN-AY) knows what she is doing. She is now in her sixth term in the House. Before that she was an executive at Microsoft for 10 years and later founded several start-ups, including drugstore.com. With a net worth of around $80 million (now the seventh richest person in the House), paying the grocery bill wasn't an issue, so she could switch fields and do something she really cared about. What might that be? She was born to a poor family in Selma, AL, in 1962. She was 3 when Martin Luther King Jr. led a march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge that led to Bloody Sunday. That may not have registered with her then, but no doubt her parents mentioned it to her a couple of times when she was older. So eventually she got into politics as a Democrat. If the Democrats recapture the House, she will get a lot of the credit and is definitely a rising star. (V)