It should tell you what you need to know about the confidence Establishment Republicans have in Vicki Hartzler and Bill Stouffer that they’re considering dumb stunts like this:
An informal list of 17 members the NRCC believes can be convinced to step down, privately called the “Dem Retirement Assault List,” makes clear the party needs Dem incumbents to step aside if they have hopes of taking back the majority. The NRCC has taken pains to attack those lawmakers in recent weeks.
The list includes 14 members whose districts voted for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in ’08. McCain won districts held by Reps. Ike Skelton (D-MO) and Bart Gordon (D-TN) with more than 60% of the vote, and districts held by Reps. Rick Boucher (D-VA), Alan Mollohan (D-WV), Marion Berry (D-AR), Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Mike Ross (D-AR) with more than 55%.
Ike Skelton has won by 30% or more in 13 of 17 elections (missing that mark in 1976, 1982, 1990, and 1996). 1996 was the last serious-looking-at-one-point challenge, where Bill Phelps (two-term statewide elected official from the 1970s) lost by 29.9% to Skelton.
Considering the success of NRCC tactics in previous years, there’s not a lot to get scared about here.