Can a blue dog be whipped?

The National Republican Congressional Committee has apparently painted a target for 2010 on Dan Boren, from Oklahoma’s Second District, the only Democrat in the Sooner State’s entire delegation.

My first thought was They’re dreaming, and Mike McCarville seems to agree:

The 2nd elected liberal Democrat Mike Synar in years past, elected conservative Republican Tom Coburn more recently, and has given overwhelming support to the conservative Boren, who now sits on a campaign warchest of more than $1.2 million. His likely GOP opponents will be lucky to raise a fifth of that sum combined and while the NRCC lists Boren as a target, it may not be inclined to pour money into trying to defeat him if polls show continued strength on his part.

It’s not because the district was redrawn to bring in more conservatives, either; Synar was first elected in 1978 and survived both 1980 and 1990 Census redistrictings. And it wasn’t the GOP that finally beat him, either; it was a primary opponent with serious out-of-state financing.

And it’s not like Boren votes with the Republicans all that much, either:

Boren has cast some votes that will cause him discomfort, he’ll spend time explaining his 81 percent support of Obama’s agenda (including “Cash For Clunkers”) and he’ll be needled repeatedly by both local and national Republicans. But unless something dramatic occurs or a name Republican with money to burn gets into the race, make Boren a 10-to-1 favorite to be easily reelected.

For the moment, name Republicans seem to be more interested in the governorship, since Brad Henry runs up against term limits in 2010.


  1. jen »

    6 August 2009 · 12:08 pm

    did you hear maddow last night? she gave a smackdown like i have never heard. it wasn’t about boren, but republicans and healthcare.

  2. McGehee »

    6 August 2009 · 1:03 pm

    What part of the state does the 2nd cover?

  3. CGHill »

    6 August 2009 · 1:06 pm

    The eastern third of the state, minus most of the Tulsa metro. (Including, yes, the Local Malcontent.)

  4. Lynn »

    6 August 2009 · 2:10 pm

    That’s my district and I’ll definitely vote for Boren again.

  5. Mark »

    6 August 2009 · 2:14 pm

    I don’t remember Virgil Cooper — Synar’s primary opponent in ’94 — having “serious out-of-state financing.” He was a crackpot former middle-school principal who appeared to be running an underdog campaign out of his pickup truck. The media narrative was a David-Goliath kind of thing. In the fall, though, Coburn trounced him.

  6. CGHill »

    6 August 2009 · 2:58 pm

    “Crackpot” I’ll grant you, but a lot of folks wanted Synar gone, including the NRA and Big Tobacco. Cooper’s own local fundraising was admittedly meager.

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