Wave Election Catches Veterans Flat-Footed

Wave elections tend to catch veteran incumbents flat-footed while battle-tested targets hold on. In 2006, when Republicans lost the House, perennial targets, such as Jim Gerlach in Pennsylvania and Heather Wilson in New Mexico, survived, while once-safe incumbents, such as Jim Leach in Iowa and Jim Ryun in Kansas, were swept out to sea.

At this late stage, Democrats appear to have more flat-footed incumbents than unlikely survivors, and that spells trouble on election night for a party that is already expected to lose more than 39 seats, net — and, as a result, its majority.

In addition to Reps. Markey and Kind, the DCCC went up on the air for the first time this weekend to protect Mississippi Rep. Gene Taylor, a 21-year veteran of the House who finds himself in a dogfight to save his seat.