End of the 'Blue Dogs?'

Pro-gun, pro-life, and fiscally conservative Democrats have been a dying breed for a couple of decades and 2012 might make the "Blue Dog" as rare as hens teeth. Roll Call: The number of Blue Dogs grew steadily beginning in 1997, peaking at 54 members in the 111th Congress, when the fiscally conservative Democrats reached the pinnacle of their influence during the health care debate. That may have also been the coalition's undoing: The unforgiving tea party wave of 2010 and opposition to President Barack Obama's health care law decimated the ranks. Now, the coalition faces the prospect of membership falling to its lowest ever, less than the 21 lawmakers it counted at the start of the 105th Congress. It ended that term with 25; currently there are 24 members of the group. An unsympathetic look at the numbers shows the Blue Dogs could suffer further losses. If Roll Call's race ratings bear out - that is, if all races leaning Democratic swing that way and vice versa - the...(Read Full Post)