Actual Bad News for Democrats?

The race for Indiana’s 7th District has gone completely overlooked this cycle. It is a solidly Democratic district that the party should never have to worry about — least of all in 2006. And, mostly, they haven’t worried about it this year. But returns now show incumbent Democrat Julia Carson in a dog fight with Republican Eric Dickerson (who is not the same Eric Dickerson who was once a running back for the Indianapolis Colts).

This has everything to do with the 68-year-old Carson’s personal liabilities. She has consistently underperformed since her election in 1996, the result of chronic health problems that often keep her from her House duties. She has missed hundreds of votes over the last two Congresses and her visibility in her home district is sporadic, at best. And when she does make the public rounds, her frail appearance is likely disquieting to voters. In this climate, there is little excuse for the Democrats losing any House seats– let alone in Indiana’s 7th District.

— Steve Kornacki