Recruits for 2010 put glee in GOP

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“The Obama administration’s huge lurch to the left has scared people, made people concerned about the future of the country and convinced them that 2010 is a good year to run,” Mr. Barbour said in an interview. “Frankly, there hasn’t been a need for much recruiting, because people have come forward.”

But the promising political environment still requires the party to attract strong candidates in winnable districts.

Mr. Fincher, who faces a primary fight for the Republican nomination in Tennessee, is already attacking the national Democratic Party and its leadership.

“I got into this race for Congress because I feel it is time for citizens and patriots, not politicians, to stand up for the values that made this nation great and preserve it for our children and grandchildren,” he said. “To do that, we must stop the Obama-Pelosi agenda dead in its tracks.”

The Republicans’ star recruits include Indiana heart surgeon Larry Buschon, who resisted an urge to run in 2008 but decided this was the year to challenge Rep. Brad Ellsworth, a Democrat, in a district that Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain carried in 2008.

In Connecticut, former Rep. Rob Simmons and Linda McMahon, former chief executive officer of World Wrestling Entertainment, both lead in polls against five-term Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, a Democrat.

Republicans also recruited a strong contender in Ohio’s gubernatorial race, with former Rep. John R. Kasich leading Democratic incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland by nine percentage points in a Dec. 7 Rasmussen Reports survey.

Democrats insist that Republicans are overselling the strength of their roster as the campaign season kicks into high gear.

“For all the Republican hype, it is completely at odds with reality,” said Ryan Rudominor, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “They are throwing mud against the wall and seeing what sticks.”

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