House Democrats in Washington made it official Wednesday, putting first-term Minnesota Republican Chip Cravaack on their list of 36 “Red to Blue” targets in the 2012 elections.
 
No surprise here. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has had Cravaack in its sights since his 2010 victory over veteran DFLer Jim Oberstar, one of the biggest upsets of a year that went badly for Democrats.
 
“He’s the poster child for somebody who was elected unexpectedly, even in his own district” said DCCC chairman Steve Israel of New York.
 
Many of those on the DCCC's latest Red to Blue list are freshman Republicans who rode into Congress in 2010 on a wave of Tea Party fervor. Democrats are cautiously optimisitc that that force has run its course this year.
 
(Update: Cravaack advisor Ben Golnik emails: “It’s no surprise that Washington Democrats and their special interest friends are attacking Chip for standing up for the interests of Minnesota middle-class families.  Chip has stayed above the fray and remains focused on creating more jobs for the 8th District.  He will continue to work with his colleagues on bipartisan, common-sense solutions to the problems facing our country.")