The Hill, in two separate reports, details the efforts by Democrats to run from their party. First, pretend you are neither a Democrat nor an incumbent:
With voters in an anti-incumbent mood and a national headwind against their party, some freshman Democrats are touting themselves as unaffiliated outsiders — and it may help them win reelection.
Running against Washington isn’t easy when you’ve got an office on Capitol Hill. But Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Pa.) has effectively positioned herself as a challenger in her race against Republican Mike Kelly.
So far, it’s not working — Kelly leads in the polls.
Then the candidates from the mystery party who have occupied a job of unknown origin try to flee from the Democratic agenda:
House Democrats in tough races are running away from their party’s legislative record as they face an electorate that’s skeptical of what the party has accomplished over the past two years and rates Congress at historic lows.
A Gallup tracking poll from the end of September shows that only 18 percent of voters approve of the job Congress is doing while landmark legislation like healthcare reform and the stimulus remains unpopular.
My Democratic congressman person running for office, who has been in office somewhere, is a case in point:
“It’s not everyone’s cup of tea,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who is a Republican target this fall. “Moderates and Blue Dogs in our caucus have grown increasingly antsy about that agenda and whether it was or is overly ambitious.”
Connolly voted in favor of healthcare reform, the stimulus and Wall Street reform, but over the past two months the Virginia Democrat has emerged as one of the loudest Democratic voices urging the leadership to extend the George W. Bush tax cuts, even for the wealthiest Americans.
He also voted against adjourning without a vote on the Bush tax cuts. But Connolly’s elective-eve conversion isn’t carrying the day. Here, too, the challenger, Keith Fimian, is leading, running tough ads pinning Connolly down on his record.
It is rather silly to suppose that the most engaged voters — those who turn out for a midterm election — can’t figure out who the incumbent Democrats are and can’t recall what the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda has been for the past two years. It does suggest, however, that any survivors from the mystery party will be wary of once again putting their careers on the line by following the White House’s lead.