Hot on the heels of a party-switch pick-up for the GOP, aides to John McCain confirmed to Fox News that the Arizona senator has called Pennsylvania Rep. Chris Carney and left a voicemail message.
Carney, a former Navy man like McCain, could be susceptible to an invitation by the senator to leave the Democratic Party in favor of Republicans.
McCain told Fox News on Thursday that he had not spoken to the Pennsylvanian congressman but had called several Democrats and told them that he thought they would "do the right thing for the country."
Carney's aides would not rule out the possibility of the congressman switching parties, an intriguing prospect for Republicans, who despite their distance to recapturing the majority, were buoyed Tuesday by the announcement from freshman Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith that he was leaving the Democratic Party and will caucus with the GOP.
Griffith's party switch after less than a year in office leaves Democrats with a 257-178 majority, meaning Republicans would need to pick up 40 seats in the next election in order to retake the majority.
Griffith had been one of the House's 52 fiscally conservative, so-called "Blue Dog" Democrats who range across 28 states from North Dakota to Florida, Maine to California. Most come from Republican leaning or swing districts where the Obama agenda may be unpopular enough to cost them re-election.
Parker said part of the reason he switched from the majority to the minority is that liberal leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have thrown moderates under the bus.
"Leadership is out on a far left track with the administration and has left many good Democrats without a voice,' Griffith said.
Sabato agreed. "There are a lot of flattened Democrats out there with tire tracks all over them."
House Minority Leader John Boehner said he is counting on Pelosi to continue on that path in 2010.
"I hope she does a great job of marketing all the garbage they passed this past year," he said.