I’ve been going over the list of Republican challengers, to try and figure out which present the most serious threats to those  who voted “yes” on the health care bill the first time it went through the House.  I ranked them 1-10, with “10″ being the strongest challenger.  I also included races that were wild cards with dynamics that make them worth watching:

  1. AR-02 Former US Attorney Tim Griffin is running against Vic Snyder.  FEC reports indicate that Snyder had only raised $7,615 at the end of the last reporting quarter, but that’s probably a reporting error.  Still, since Arkansas is a cheap media market, you don’t need a fortune to run there.  And Tim Griffith’s $130,305 reflects the fact there’s a lot of confidence he will take Snyder out. SCORE: 9
  2. OH-15  Steve Stivers will run against Mary Jo Kilroy again.  Kilroy beat Stivers by .75% of the vote in 2008, and high GOP turnout could turn the tide the other way this time.   SCORE:   8
  3. OH-01  Steve Chabot will likewise reprise against Driehaus.   SCORE: 8
  4. FL-22   Allen West ran against Klein last time and lost decisively, but he has now turned into a good fundraiser with a national profile after this video.  His ability to get himself national TV attention on Fox means he’ll probably be able to reach the district’s high percentage of seniors this time around. SCORE: 7
  5. IL-14  Foster may just be screwed. The Illinois delegation is going to be under huge pressure to support Obama no matter what, but legacy candidate Hastert will have strong fundraising abilities and name recognition no matter what his personal limitations are.  SCORE:  7
  6. GA-02  Michael Keown is a state rep challenging Sanford Bishop in a Georgia district that Bush won in 2004.  SCORE: 7
  7. AZ-05 Harry Mitchell will have a rematch against David Schweikert for the seat.  Michell’s district has a R+5 PVI, but he beat Schweikert 54% to 44% last time.  SCORE:  6
  8. NY-01  Tim Bishop has no shortage of well-funded opponents, including self-funder (and McCain bundler) Randy Altschuler,  former SEC attorney George Demos who worked on the Maddoff case.  SCORE:  6
  9. NH-01  Carol Shea-Porter vowed to vote against any bill that does not have a public option has an excise tax, so she looks to piss off both liberals AND conservatives with a “yes” vote.  Frank Guinta has raised $236,164 against her, which is pretty prodigious. SCORE:  6
  10. AZ-01:  State Senate Majority Leader Rusty Bowers will challenge Ann Kirkpatrick in the R+6 district, though he may be viewed as a carpetbaggerSCORE:  5
  11. CA-18  Dennis Cardoza faces self-funder Michael Berryhill in a district that has been heavily hit by unemployment.  SCORE: 5
  12. TX-23  Ciro Rodriguez is up against Francisco Canseco in a tough R+4 district.  SCORE:  4
  13. VA-11  Gerry Connolly is also up against a self funder, Keith Fimian in a rematch, but Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity is also eyeing the seat.  SCORE:  3
  14. WI-08:  Steve Kagen has 7 oppoents, including Roger Roth (nephew of Tim Roth) and Reid Ribble, who raised $130,690 as of the last filing. WILD CARD
  15. CA-11:  Jerry McNerney’s R+1 district is coughing up challengers, including self-funders Brad Goehring ($734,482) and Jonathan Del Arroz ($310,327).  How strong they will be as candidates is hard to tell at this point. WILD CARD
  16. CO-03:  Bill Ritter’s decision not to run for reelection could cause some nervousness about the top of the ticket on the Democratic side, and encourage others into the race against John Salazar in the R+5 district. WILD CARD
  17. OH-18:  Zack Space is in a R+7 district, and everyone in Ohio is going to have a target ontheir back. WILD CARD
  18. AR-01:  Marion Berry faces reelection in a R+8 district, and the health care bill is incredibly unpopular in Arkansas.  Good luck with that. WILD CARD
  19. CO-07:  Perlmutter is facing libertarian Ryan Frasier, who has raised $213,857.  Same top-of-ticket problem as Salazar. WILD CARD
  20. FL-24:  Suzane Kosmas voted “nay” last time, but is widely believed to be a vote that Pelosi could’ve delivered if she needed to.  She’s in an R+4 district and her shifty actions on the House Financial Services Committee could come back to haunt her. WILD CARD

The sortable Google Spreadsheet is available here:

It’s going to be awfully difficult for some of these Democrats to explain why they want a seat in Congress in the first place if all they’re doing is supporting the decree by the Senate that the House is now irrelevant.  But even if they get past that, they’ll have to justify voting  for a mandate that forces people to pay almost as much to private insurance companies as they do in federal taxes, and allows Aetna to use the IRS as their collection agency — unpopular with Democrats, Republicans and Independents.