One of the nation's most respected handicappers of political races says Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, is among the 12 most vulnerable House Democrats this election year.
Charles E. Cook, editor of a political newsletter used by Washington insiders and a columnist for the Roll Call newspaper in Washington, put Owens on his most-vulnerable list again this week because his district is heavily Republican."The GOP proclivities of the district's voters remain strong enough to keep it on any marginal list," despite Owens winning by a 55 percent to 44 percent margin in 1986 and 57 percent to 41 percent in 1988, Cook wrote in Roll Call this week.
He added, "Former state Rep. Genevieve Atwood is considered a strong contender and has convinced skeptics with her primary election win over former Rep. Dan Marriott, who represented the district from 1977 to 1985."
Owens has said he expects to always appear on such lists as long as he is in office because polls show that his district is 3-2 Republican. Republicans have also discussed changing boundary lines during upcoming redistricting to make it even more Republican.
The other House Democrats who Cook said are most vulnerable this year are Reps. Frank Annunzio and George Sangmeister in Illinois; Jamie Clark, Steve Neal and Bill Hefner in North Carolina; Roy Dison in Maryland; Ben Jones in Georgia; Greg Laughlin and Bill Sarpalius, Texas; Jolene Unsoeld, Washington; and Phil Sharp in Indiana.