November 2, 2014

THERE ARE NO SAFE SEATS:

A Nerve-Wracking Finish for Democrats (Stuart Rothenberg, Oct. 28, 2014, Roll Call)

The fight for the House doesn't involve control, but it still looks increasingly dangerous for Democrats.

Only about one-quarter of competitive contests (races rated as tossups, tilts or leans) are in districts currently held by the GOP, and any move toward the party in the final week could threaten a dozen Democratic seats that now appear at only limited risk.

One Republican open seat, in California, is all but certain to flip to the Democrats, and a couple of others, in Iowa and Arkansas, are tossups. In addition, three districts with vulnerable Republican incumbents -- in Florida, Nebraska and New York -- are at considerable risk. Some or all of them could remain in GOP hands, however.

Not only are there more Republican opportunities, but new ones are popping up in unexpected places.

Three Democratic open seats -- in Utah, North Carolina and upstate New York -- are sure to flip, and another seat in Illinois looks ready to fall. But that's just the tip of the iceberg, and the question is how much of the iceberg isn't yet visible.

Until recently, I was skeptical about former Rep. Nan Hayworth's chances of regaining her New York seat and Republican prospects in Bruce Braley's Iowa open seat. But both districts are very much in play as Election Day approaches.

Democratic Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona, Ami Bera of California, Brad Schneider of Illinois, Nick J. Rahall II of West Virginia and Rick Nolan of Minnesota are all in serious trouble.

The big question is whether Republican gains will reach into second- or third-tier races. If that happens, GOP net House gains could grow from the middle- or high-single digits to the double digits, or even into the teens.

Posted by at November 2, 2014 8:11 AM
  

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