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  Michigan GOP Rep. Knollenberg Draws Democrats’ Scrutiny for 2008
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Last EditedArmyDem  Jan 30, 2007 10:36pm
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News DateWednesday, January 31, 2007 04:35:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionBy Marc Rehmann | 4:18 PM; Jan. 30, 2007 | Email This Article

Democratic strategists for the 2008 campaign season are looking to defend — and hoping to build upon — the majority their party won in the House in last fall’s elections. As they look for seats to target, they will naturally be drawn to races in which Republican nominees won by the smallest margins.

But there is a second tier of seats that the Democrats will eye because the Republican incumbents in 2006 saw sharp declines in their typical vote shares, even if the margins of victory were not quite razor-thin. And one of the GOP members likely to find himself under the Democrats’ microscope is eight-term Rep. Joe Knollenberg of Michigan’s 9th Congressional District.

Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who succeeded Illinois’ Rahm Emanuel as Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chairman, stated earlier in January that the party in 2008 would target districts where Republican incumbents won by fewer than 10 percentage points over relatively unheralded Democratic challengers.

Knollenberg, who represents a portion of suburban Detroit, fits that description to a tee. Knollenberg last November defeated Democrat Nancy Skinner — a radio talk show host and self-starting candidate — by a margin of just more than 5 percentage points.

That outcome has led some local Democrats to complain that they could have added the 9th District to the list of 30 Republican-held seats that their party did capture, if only the DCCC and other national Democratic officials had taken the opportunity more seriously and provided greater financial resources to back Skinner’s campaign.
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