ATLANTA (AP) -- Blue Dog Democrats have found themselves in tough races across the South, caught between their party's leadership and angry voters sympathetic to Republicans.
Of the 20 Blue Dog lawmakers in the South, 14 are considered to be in competitive elections. Three additional caucus members are stepping down, which triggered open races for their seats.
Most of the socially and fiscally conservative Blue Dogs are running as moderates, candidates who span the divide between Republicans and Democrats.
In North Carolina, Democratic Reps. Heath Shuler and Mike McIntyre are struggling to shake ads accusing them of following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's agenda. Democratic Reps. Jim Marshall and Sanford Bishop are in close races in Georgia, while Alabama's Bobby Bright is trying to distance himself from Pelosi to win re-election.