OH-18: Sabato Rates Space (D) Re-Election Bid as "Toss Up"
This may come as a surprise, given the distinct Republican lean of the district and frequent indications of GOP zeal to reclaim the seat, but political prognosticator Larry Sabato gives freshman Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover) an even chance of retaining his seat in 2008. In a survey of 15 freshman members of Congress whom Sabato regards as endangered (14 Democrats and 1 Republican), Sabato includes Space among nine in the "toss up" catergory.
UPDATE: I should have examined the Sabato piece more closely before commenting on it. He doesn't rate any of the endangered freshmen worse than "toss up," so it isn't much comfort for Space and his supporters.
Meanwhile, a communique just received from Space's office points to a Congressional Quarterly study revealing that out of 233 Democrats in the House of Representatives, Space is the 11th most likely to vote against his party. (He voted with his party 86.6% of the time, compared to an average among Democrats of 96%.) Space touts this finding as proof that he is fulfilling his campaign promise to be an independent voice in Congress:
"The people of southeastern Ohio sent me to Congress to represent their interests, not those of a particular party or ideology. While I am proud to call myself a Democrat because of our commitment to help meet the needs of working families, frequently what the party wants ... is not in the best interest of my constituents. I am more than happy to work with Republicans for the sake of helping meet the best interests of my district.
"From the very first day of my campaign, the people of the 18th Congressional District came to know me as a truly independent voice who would not kowtow to pressure from the party. Frequently, my commitment to fiscal restraint, supporting the efforts of our small business to stimulate our local economy, and cracking down on lobbyists places me at odds with the majority of my Democratic colleagues, and I am perfectly comfortable with that."
Labels: Zack Space