October 31, 2010

F-TROOP BACK TO NORMAL:

Republicans poised to make gains; House could fall, Senate unlikely (Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza, 10/31/10, Washington Post)

In the House, Republicans need 39 seats to win back the majority that they lost four years ago and are competing on an enormous playing field heavily tilted in their direction.

According to The Post's analysis, 19 Democratic-held seats currently lean toward the Republicans, and Democratic strategists all but concede those contests. An additional 47 Democrat-held districts are considered tossups, while 38 other Democrat-held seats, while leaning toward the Democratic candidate, remain in potential jeopardy. Meanwhile, just four Republican-held seats appear truly competitive - three leaning toward the Democrats and one considered too close to call.

That gives Republicans multiple opportunities to win enough seats to claim the majority. Some independent forecasters are projecting GOP gains of 50 seats or more, which would offset all of the GOP's losses in the past two elections and rank in size with the party's historic 1994 landslide.

In the Senate, Republicans need to win 10 seats to take the majority. As of this weekend, they appear all but certain of winning three seats - Arkansas, Indiana and North Dakota - and probably a fourth in Wisconsin. According to The Post analysis, Republicans could gain as many as nine seats. But to do that they would have to run the table on the most competitive seats - Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Washington - and that appears unlikely.

In governor's races, Democrats hold 26 states to 24 for the Republicans (which counts Florida, although Gov. Charlie Crist quit the GOP in his campaign for the Senate). Republicans have set a goal of reaching 30 and appear likely to reach and possibly exceed that number.

Republicans are almost certain to pick up Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Oklahoma and Tennessee. They are also favored in Maine, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Democrats could pick up Hawaii, Minnesota and California. The most competitive races are in Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts and Oregon, all currently held by Democrats; and in Florida, Connecticut and Vermont, which are in Republican hands. Rhode Island, held by the GOP, could go independent.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 31, 2010 12:38 PM
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