Indiana: Souder Challenger Joins DCCC’s ‘Red to Blue’

Posted October 1, 2008 at 6:31pm

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has added one more name to its “Red to Blue” list, a program that highlights promising Democratic campaigns in districts currently held by Republicans.

Attorney Mike Montagano was added to the list Wednesday, bringing the total number of candidates on the committee’s list to 55 Democrats. The Hoosier Democrat was elevated from the committee’s list of 14 “Emerging Races.”

Montagano is challenging seven-term Rep. Mark Souder (R) in Indiana’s 3rd Congressional district. Montagano had more money in the bank than Souder at one point this summer, and he could get a boost from former Rep. Jill Long Thompson’s (D) gubernatorial candidacy this cycle. Thompson used to represent the 3rd district.

But local observers still have doubts about whether the district is winnable for Democrats. Souder won re-election with 54 percent of the vote in 2006, but President Bush carried the district with 68 percent in 2004.

The DCCC determines which candidates make the Red to Blue list based on their fundraising and campaign performance, the nature of the district and polling results. The weight of each criterion varies in each race.

The DCCC this week sent out a “red alert” list that included Montagano and nine other candidates who, according to the committee, “will benefit the most from an infusion of funds over the next 48 hours.” The nine other candidates who were already on the committee’s Red to Blue list included some names that were added as recently as Sept. 10.