Campaign expert Dick Morris recently blogged about focusing support on ten key house races where he believes money and personal effort will make the most difference for Republicans in November. While I agree with the concept of focusing support on key races, there is a fundamental problem with the list Morris has put together. Instead of focusing on the best candidates, it is a list almost entirely composed of establishment-oriented candidates. It focuses on winning seats and ignores the imperative to change the focus of the party and the Congress in Novemeber.
While Morris’ candidates may have a good chance of winning, they are mostly not the kinds of candidates who will move the GOP in a positive direction or take roles as principled leaders in Congress. They may end up being helpful votes as part of a future coalition, but they are not the right candidates to form the nucleus of a new and better Republican majority.
It’s much more important in this key election to put your money and support behind GOP candidates who are both able to win and also dedicated to Constitutional principles and restoring the core ideals of the GOP. To redo Morris’ work from the perspective of a pro-liberty activist rather than a political hack who used to call his pal Bill Clinton while he was in bed with a hooker and Clinton was playing hide the cigar with an intern, I offer my list of the ten house candidates who really deserve your help and your money. They are listed in order of my somewhat subjective assessment of their need and worthiness.
Terri McKormick (WI-8)
A strong Liberty Republican with outstanding effort and energy having a lot of success in a tough state. Poll results are sketchy, but she is one of the few candidates who still needs to win her primary, but assuming she does it seems likely that she will run neck and neck with her Democrat opponent and needs whatever out of state support she can get to take a clear lead.
Find out more about his campaign at www.terrimccormickforcongress.com
B. J. Lawson (NC-4)
One of the most respected Liberty Republican candidates, he has surprised many by taking a small lead in the latest poll. He needs to widen that lead to secure the seat and put another principled spokesman for liberty in the House.
Find out more about his campaign at www.lawsonforcongress.com
Mick Mulvaney (SC-5)
A principled constitutional conservative who is running in a tough blue-leaning district against an incumbent he has done the near impossible to come up tied at 46% to 46% with his opponent in the latest poll. He needs any support he can get in a critical race.
Find out more about his campaign at www.mulvaneyforcongress.com
Jason Levesque (ME-2)
Trailing in the polls but working harder than almost any other candidate this year. He’s a committed Liberty Republican and is trailing 7 points in the polls. It’s a deficit he can make up by November. He has the energy and just needs some more support.
Find out more about his campaign at www.levesqueforcongress.com
John Koster (WA-2)
A principled constitutional conservative who is leading by about 4 points in the latest poll. He needs to widen his lead to secure an important upset win.
Find out more about his campaign at www.kosterforcongress.com
Delia Lopez (OR-3)
A promising and hard working Liberty Republican who speaks out strongly for Constitutionally protected rights and civil liberties. She’s a real anti-establishment candidate who is running a very active campaign but has an uphill battle.
Find out more about his campaign at: www.dlopezforcongress.com
David Ratowitz (IL-5)
One of my favorite Liberty Republicans running this year. On the right side of just about every issue. Strong on individual liberty and fiscal issues. He has a tough but winnable race, but needs help to pull off an upset.
Find out more about his campaign at: www.ratowitzforcongress.com
John Dennis (CA-8)
One of the most high profile Liberty Republican candidates in one of the most challenging races in the country, taking on Speaker Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco. Yes, he’s down by more than 20 points in the polls, but there are still enough undecided votes that he could win. He might be able to pull off a miracle with your help.
Help him beat Pelosi at: www.johndennis2010.com
Lee Byberg (MN-7)
Coming off a very strong primary win, but the race hasn’t gotten much media attention or any real polling. Internal polling suggests that he can win with enough support and exposure. He’s a strong constitutional conservative with civil libertarian leanings.
Find out more about his campaign at: www.bybergforcongress.com
Chip Cravaack (MN-8)
A strong fiscal conservative with a lot of integrity and a background as a navy pilot. The kind of principled leader we need in Congress. Not much polling information, but his fundraising is strong and he seems like a potential winner.
Find out more about his campaign at: www.chipcravack.com
These are hardly the only deserving candidates, but Morris picked 10 so I limited myself to that. I eliminated great candidates with races which were too hard to assess like Bill Gunn (MA-1), Gary Clift (CA-10) and others. I also passed over candidates who are running away with their races like Justin Amash (MI-3) or some who just seem too far behind to be saved.
There is going to be a lot of turnover in the House this fall. There’s not one candidate Morris an I agree on, but there’s room for his less inspiring candidates if we can put my 10 pro-liberty, pro-constitution Republicans in the House to show them the way.
Check out the websites of the candidates from both lists and think about which group of 10 you’d rather have shape the future of the Republican Party.
In the course of researching this article I found TPM’s new Political Tracker beta site very helpful.
A version of this article appeared previously on Blogcritics.