Every election season has a few races that raise some eyebrows. Every election has its share of surprises. This election is no different, and with all the uncertainty and speculation of the outcome, there's probably going to be a few stunners this time around. With such an enormous variability in this election, there are a lot of seats traditionally considered out of reach that are now in play. I'd like to cover a few House races that fall into the long-shot category but hold intriguing possibilities.
Ohio 10 - Dennis Kucinich (D) vs. Peter Corrigan (R)
Dennis Kucinich is the left's lovable little crackpot. He's made two runs for President and is so far left that he makes Joe Lieberman look like a zealous conservative.
He represents a district in Ohio that is left leaning, but not anywhere near as liberal in view as he is. Still, his seat has largely been considered a slam dunk...that is until last week. William Kristol highlighted a recent poll showing Kucinich with a meager 4 point lead over challenger Peter Corrigan. Kucinich holds a slim cash advantage over Corrigan, so this could actually prove to be far closer than political experts originally thought.
Massachusetts 4 - Barney Frank (D) vs. Sean Bielat (R)
Few people in congress are as pernicious as Barney Frank. Few states are as liberal as Massachusetts. But even Massachusetts has been seeing some movement of late. Eyebrows were raised earlier this year when Scott Brown managed to carry Frank's 4th district in his stunning defeat of Martha Coakley. In this environment even the most hardened supporters are questioning the wisdom of the bailouts and Frank's involvement in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacle. Recent polling has shown Bielat within striking distance prompting Frank to dump $200,000 into his campaign.
Michigan 15 - John Dingell (D) vs. Rob Steele (R)
There isn't much more that I can say outside of what I said earlier here. Dingell is the epitome of a career politician.
Steele is a doctor who felt he had to get involved after Obamacare. This poll putting Steele up by four might be an anomaly, or it might be a sign.
Arizona 7 - Raul Grijalva (D) vs. Ruth McClung (R)
It takes some nerve to call for a boycott on the state you represent. It spells trouble when your opponent is a rocket scientist. This long shot candidate has stunned political experts by pulling within a few points in recent polls turning this heavily Democrat leaning area to a Republican long shot pickup.
California 8 - Nancy Pelosi (D) vs. John Dennis (R)
Surely the most powerful woman in Congress hailing from one or the most liberal districts in the nation is invulnerable even in the most trying of elections, right? Maybe not. She faces a well funded opponent whose positions appeal to both disaffected liberals and irritated independents alike. Here's John Dennis' call for a debate. Here's Pelosi's contempt for the voters on display.
California 37 - Laura Richardson (D) vs. Star Parker (R)
Last but not least, here's holding out hope for Star Parker. Parker's got wit, wisdom, and a fantastic story. She's also got an uphill climb in an ultra-liberal California district.
But as a member of arguably the most hated member status (conservative black female) with the courage to take the heat, I'm not going to count her out. Here's to hoping for this long shot Star of November 2nd.