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House Dems, GOPers Take Aim

Press aides for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee were burning the midnight oil last night, sending out hit pieces to state and local media in areas with targeted incumbents. The members each targets says a lot about the 2008 landscape, though both lists need to be read with a grain of salt.

Some districts are realistic takeover possibilities for both sides. Most Democratic targets hail from the Northeast and the Midwest, while just two -- Reps. Robin Hayes (R-NC) and Thelma Drake (R-VA) -- are from the South, not counting three members from Florida. A majority of the Republican targets are freshmen who knocked off incumbents last year, including real take-back opportunities like Reps. Steve Kagen (D-WI) and John Yarmuth (D-KY).

Both parties, though, reach optimistically for some seats. There's little chance that Reps. Vito Fossella (R-NY), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) will see real challenges next year, though media outlets in all four districts got the releases.

It's telling that House Democrats have 35 Republicans on their list while Republicans are going after just 17 Democrats. The NRCC has consistently trailed the DCCC in money raised and cash on hand -- Republicans had just $1.97 million in the bank as of July 31, along with a $4.1 million debt, while Democrats had $21.3 million on hand and $3.5 million in debt.

The releases themselves aren't likely to generate any above-the-fold coverage, but they are the first shots over the bow of many: Democrats wanted to know if vulnerable Republicans would call on House Minority Leader John Boehner to apologize for and retract recent comments suggesting the war in Iraq's toll has been a "small price to pay" for stopping al Qaeda. Republicans wondered why targeted Democrats had voted -- "AGAIN" (caps theirs, not ours) -- to allow housing assistance for illegal immigrants.

Full list of targeted members after the jump.

Democrats targeted Republican Reps. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Jerry Weller (R-IL), Tim Walberg (R-MI), Joel Knollenberg (R-MI), Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), Sam Graves (R-MO), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Steve LaTourette (R-OH), Ralph Regula (R-OH), Chris Shays (R-CT), Mike Castle (R-DE), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Jim Saxton (R-NJ), Mike Ferguson (R-NJ), Peter King (R-NY), Vito Fossella (R-NY), Jim Walsh (R-NY), Tom Reynolds (R-NY), Randy Kuhl (R-NY), Phil English (R-PA), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Tim Murphy (R-PA), Ric Keller (R-FL), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Tom Feeney (R-FL), Robin Hayes (R-NC), Thelma Drake (R-VA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Don Young (R-AK), Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO), Heather Wilson (R-NM), Jon Porter (R-NV) and Dave Reichert (R-WA).

Republicans took after Reps. Michael Arcuri (D-NY), Bruce Braley (D-IA), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Chet Edwards (D-TX), Darlene Hooley (D-OR), Steve Kagen (D-WI), Dave Loebsack (D-IA), Brad Miller (D-NC), Alan Mollohan (D-WV), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX), Joe Sestak (D-PA), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Bart Stupak (D-MI), Tim Walz (D-MN) and John Yarmuth (D-KY).