October 23, 2004

240 or BUST:

GOP Could Pick Up 5 House Seats (John Gizzi, Oct 22, 2004, Human Events)

With a week to go before Americans vote in all 435 congressional districts, Republicans look poised to expand their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, based largely on favorable redistricting since the 2000 census.

In the swing states of Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Republicans managed to dominate the redistricting process after the census, raising the number of safe Republican seats there.

In Texas, a masterful (if controversial and belated) redistricting is now almost certain to yield the bulk of national Republican gains in this election cycle.

In California, New Jersey, and Virginia, Democratic and Republican state legislators joined together to craft “incumbent protection plans” that made current House members of both parties invulnerable.

Because of this post-2000 redistricting process, the 2004 election cycle is likely to see fewer competitive House races than any in recent memory. Currently in the House, there are 227 Republicans, 205 Democrats, and 1 Independent (Bernie Sanders of Vermont) who votes with Democrats. There are also two vacant GOP seats that were created when Republican Rep. Porter Goss of Florida resigned to become CIA director and Doug Bereuter (Neb.) resigned to take a private sector job.

This election is too nationalized for only 5 seats to swing.

GOP takes money edge into ‘sprint until the end’ (Patrick O'Connor and Hans Nichols, 10/20/04, The Hill)

House Republican candidates posted a $5 million advantage in cash on hand over their Democratic opponents in the 25 most competitive races, a study of the Sept. 30 campaign-finance reports by The Hill shows.

At the end of the third quarter, on Sept. 30, those 25 Republicans had a total of $14.8 million on hand, compared to the Democrats’ $9.5 million, giving them a sizeable advantage for the homestretch of the campaign.

Republicans also outspent their Democratic rivals in the period from July 1 to Sept 30 by a similar $5 million spread, disbursing $30.8 million, compared to the Democrats’ $25.8 million. [...]

[R]epublicans were clearly eager to press their money advantage, though they noted that the cash-on-hand figures were already three weeks old.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 23, 2004 11:35 AM

Bereuter leaving a GOP seat is a net gain.

If Bush wins the solid but unspectacular victory that I expect, the GOP should get about 10 seats nationwide. They should get 6 alone in Texas.

Posted by: Bart at October 23, 2004 2:16 PM

238 GOP House seats is my guess.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 24, 2004 3:09 AM