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According to The Washington Post, Colorado’s congressional district seven will be the most competitive seat in the country in 2006.
Democrats have several months to fill slots in toss-up races and must do so if they want to make a believable argument as to why they can wrest back control. Again, the No. 1 ranked race is the most likely to switch parties, the 10th ranked race is the least likely (of the contests mentioned) to switch. Comments, criticism and queries are welcome.
Without further ado, the House line:
1. Colorado’s 7th District — OPEN: Rep. Bob Beauprez’s (R) decision to leave the House to run for governor in 2006 creates a prime pick-up opportunity for Democrats. Created to be a toss-up between the two parties, the 7th District has lived up to its reputation. In the 2004 presidential election, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) won it by three percent, a margin of just more than 8,000 votes. Recognizing their vulnerabilities here, Republicans quickly united behind Rick O’Donnell, who lost to Beauprez in the 2002 GOP primary. Jefferson County Treasurer Mark Paschall is also weighing a bid but is not given much of a chance even if he runs. Democrats will have a primary between former state senator Ed Perlmutter and former state representative Peggy Lamm. Perlmutter appears to be the favorite as he has rolled up a series of key endorsements from organized labor.
The Post thinks that CD-7 is the most likely to go Democratic of any seat in the country, and has Perlmutter as the early favorite over Lamm. The competitiveness of the race is a big reason why Vice President Dick Cheney will be in Denver on Monday to raise money for O’Donnell. Expect to see a lot of money being spent here in 2006 — and not all of it for happy advertisements, of course.