Act by Wednesday!
Challengers Gain On Incumbents
By Zachary A. Goldfarb
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, August 20, 2006; Page A01
...Joe Sestak, a 31-year Navy veteran whose candidacy in Pennsylvania's 7th District in suburban Philadelphia is being driven in large measure by his opposition to the Iraq war. His opponent, 10-term Republican Rep. Curt Weldon, has never faced a competitive challenger, even though the Democratic presidential nominee won the district in the last three elections.
Fueled by financial success in the most recent quarter, Sestak has raised $1.1 million to Weldon's $1.4 million.
Sestak is getting support from traditional sources such as labor unions and newer ones such as the "Net roots" -- online activists who are channeling significant sums to antiwar Democrats. He has raised $230,000 online this cycle, including thousands through blogs.
"We really hit a vein," he said.
"At its peak, I think those numbers really signify the enthusiasm of the Democratic donor base," said Amy Walter, who tracks House races for the Cook Political Report.
Democrats need to win 15 seats to regain control of the House for the first time since being evicted from the majority in the 1994 elections.
Walter and other political analysts said achieving strict equality in fundraising is not a necessity for a challenger. The key, they said, is having enough money to get a message out in advertising and to respond to an opponent's message.
Much of the money raised by Republicans in competitive races, Walter said, will probably buy negative ads against challengers. "The Democratic ability to respond to attacks will be critical, and that relates directly to money," she said.
Wednesday, the 23rd of August is the deadline for you to vote in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Candidate for Change" contest. The top three vote getters will receive additional funds for their campaigns. In addition to Mike Arcuri (NY-24), I also choose Zack Space (OH-18) & Kirsten Gillibrand (NY-20), but you can choose who ever may need support in your state.
On top of that you can contribute at ActBlue or, as Finding Ulysses notes, "sign up as a telephone volunteer with MoveOn."
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