#4) CA-04: Doolittle [wiki] (PVI R+11) (RR = GOP Favored)*
Democratic Line-Up: '06 nominee Charlie Brown is full-speed ahead on fundraising and building a strong campaign team to steal this seat from the GOP
POSSIBLE retirement due to ongoing FBI probe into Doolittle's close ties to Jack Abramoff
INCUMBENT RUNNING? Probable
CA-04 RACE DETAILS:
ABRAMOFF CONNECTIONS PUT DOOLITTLE AT RISK: Rep. John Doolittle and his wife, Julie, are targets of an FBI investigation probing the couple's close relationship with imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff and also appears on CREW's list of 20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress. In 2006, Doolittle nearly lost to Charlie Brown in this Republican district. The ongoing ethics and criminal investigations have adversely affected his fundraising in 2007. We will see just how much in a few weeks when Q2 fundraising numbers are made public.
LOCAL GOP DEMORALIZED AND FRACTURED: Local media this week ran stories about the splintering of the GOP in Nevada County, which represented 15% of the 2006 district vote total and the one county in the district where Brown outpolled Doolittle (23,224 to 17,005). Former GOP committee member John Vandenberg, the leader of the breakaway group described response to his fundraising efforts as "lackluster."
DOOLITTLE TALKING TOUGH ON WAR???: Another indication as to how endangered Doolittle is, the The Union of Grass Valley ran an article Thursday with the headline "Doolittle: Congress to get tough on Iraq War" in which the congressman is reported as moving to distance himself from the president and the unpopular Iraq War. Doolittle seems to be looking toward a general election contest against Brown, which is good news for Dems targeting this seat as a pickup.
PICKUP PROBABILITY: MODERATE