Political support for Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.) is beginning to erode, with Republicans in his district predicting he will face a credible primary challenger next year if his legal woes continue and he does not abandon his vow to run for re-election.
Originally silent or supportive following an FBI raid of Doolittle's Virginia home last month, a growing number of Republican activists in the Sacramento-area 4th district have decided they can no longer support the Congressman and are beginning to explore backing other candidates.
Many Republicans in Doolittle's district believe the Congressman ultimately might be exonerated. But they are beginning to conclude that he has suffered irreparable political harm from the ongoing FBI investigation into his and his wife Julie's connection to incarcerated former GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Fueling this analysis are some troubling first-quarter fundraising numbers and the close victory Doolittle eked out last year over police administrator Charlie Brown (D). Running again in 2008, Brown ended March with an effective cash-on-hand lead over Doolittle of $140,000.
A telling sign of Doolittle's increasingly precarious electoral predicament is that the National Republican Congressional Committee has declined to defend him, even though one of its prime missions is incumbent protection. When asked to comment Monday on Doolittle, NRCC spokeswoman Julie Shutley said only that Republicans would retain the 4th district in 2008.
More heat packs! More glucosamine with chondritin! Must loosen up for Dance of Joy!
Charlie Brown for Congress
Dump Doolittle, "Chronicling a lame duck's stumble into oblivion".