Dems Lose 93 Seats on November 2

So here goes.  Per request, I’m listing a rough approximation of the seats I think Democrats are gonna lose in 17 days.  For months, I’ve tracking generic poll results showing that voters plan to dump THEIR OWN Congressman by a 2-1 margin.  All bets are off with numbers that lopsidedly rotten, and I think the candidates most likely to perish in such a landscape are the long-time incumbents who everybody believes is safe until the guillotine falls in the bottom of the ninth inning and they’re caught completely off-guard.  

For instance, Jim Oberstar in Democratic northeastern Minnesota is probably more likely to lose this cycle than is Jason Altmire of the Republican suburbs of Pittsburgh.  This is counterintuitive perhaps, but Altmire had the time and funding to define himself and his opponent while Oberstar is caught off-guard finding himself  vulnerable to an undefined generic (R) opponent.  As the campaign narrative unfolds in these final weeks and Oberstar looks increasingly out of touch, it’s my projection that he gets snuffed out.  It’s probably a longshot, but this is gonna be the year of the longshot.  In other words, there are dozens of Jim Oberstars out there who are gonna be absolutely stunned on election night.

Another example is two neighboring districts in Ohio.  Betty Sutton is now probably gonna survive in OH-13 because the profile of her race put her flawed opponent in a spotlight.  Next door in demographically similar OH-10, however, Dennis Kucinich is ripe for the picking, oblivious to the possibility of a serious challenge despite his long-standing underperformance and facing a generic Republican challenger that I’m going out on a limb and predicting take him out.

With all this in mind, I’m gonna leave a two-tiered list of Democratic casualties, starting with seats I believe have better than even odds of turning over to Republicans….followed by a list of under-the-radar seats where there’s a hypothetical level of vulnerability and where at least a few on the list have a chance of being unemployed on November 3….

First off, the seats I believe Democrats will pick up….

1. DE-AL

2. LA-02

Now for the GOP pickups….

1. AL-02

2. AZ-01

3. AZ-05

4. AZ-08

5. AR-01

6. AR-02

7. AR-04

8. CA-11

9. CA-18

10. CA-20

11. CA-47

12. CO-03

13. CO-04

14. CT-04

15. CT-05

16. FL-02

17. FL-08

18. FL-22

19. FL-24

20. GA-02

21. GA-08

22. ID-01

23. IL-08

24. IL-11

25. IL-14

26. IL-17

27. IN-02

28. IN-08

29. IN-09

30. IA-01

31. IA-02

32. KS-03

33. LA-03

34. ME-02

35. MD-01

36. MA-05

37. MA-06

38. MA-10

39. MI-01

40. MI-07

41. MI-09

42. MN-01

43. MN-08

44. MS-01

45. MS-04

46. MO-04

47. NV-03

48. NH-01

49. NH-02

50. NJ-03

51. NJ-12

52. NM-01

53. NM-02

54. NY-02

55. NY-04

56. NY-09

57. NY-19

58. NY-22

59. NY-23

60. NY-24

61. NY-25

62. NY-29

63. NC-02

64. NC-07

65. NC-08

66. NC-11

67. ND-AL

68. OH-01

69. OH-10

70. OH-15

71. OH-16

72. OH-18

73. OR-04

74. OR-05

75. PA-03

76. PA-07

77. PA-08

78. PA-10

79. PA-11

80. PA-12

81. SC-05

82. SD-AL

83. TN-04

84. TN-06

85. TN-08

86. TX-17

87. TX-23

88. VA-02

89. VA-05

90. WA-02

91. WA-03

92. WV-01

93. WI-03

94. WI-07

95. WI-08

Without breaking a sweat, I’ve found 95 seats that strike me as 50% or better odds of turning for a net GOP gain of 93, based on either haunting polls…or haunting polls in nearby and demographically similar districts.  As I’ve said before, there are probably dozens more seats out there where the incumbent is poised to lose and nobody has even considered him or her vulnerable, and several of which may be revealed in the next 10 days or so.  They’ll be met with mocking skepticism by most….until election night when voters prove the polls true.  Here are a few seats that might fit this bill.  I’d bet money at least a couple of these seats flip, even though without further information I’ll keep them in the Democratic fold….

CA-10, CA-36, CA-38, CA-39, CO-07, GA-12, IL-03, IN-07, MA-03, MI-05, MI-12, MI-15, MS-02, MO-03, NV-01, NJ-06, NJ-09, NY-18, NY-27, NY-28, NC-13, OR-01, PA-13, TN-05, TX-27, UT-02, WA-01, WA-06, and WA-09.

Okay, throw your tomatoes at me now.  Just out of curiosity, what’s the threshold of lost seats where my dire predictions will be vindicated from “chump” territory?  Over 60?  70?

136 thoughts on “Dems Lose 93 Seats on November 2”

  1. the only good news out of a landslide like this is that the GOP would be completely on the hook for 2012.  This would give them a 60/40 edge in the House and they would have to deliver

  2. Are you Tekzilla (SSP user)’s twin brother? NO way are we losing 93 seats.

    Regarding CA-18, 20 and 47. Their all Leans Dem in my opinion and they’ll hold even in a 94 wave. CA-10 flipping? Unless David Harmer can commit an eloquent style of voter fraud, its not happening. CA-36 really? This is liberal territory, with maybe the exception of the purple Torrance. CA-38 is laughable, its over 70% Hispanic, and the PVI is somewhere (forgot what) between D+10 and 20. ID-01 is an example of a popular Dem vs unpopular GOP in a GOP year, Minnicks gonna win maybe by a larger margin than before. Why MA-05 and 6? Just because Scott Brown won them doesn’t mean they’re competitive, it just means Martha Coakley sucks really bad there.

    Here’s the Seats i think are gone:




    DE-AL (D pickup)




    IL-10 (D pickup)



    LA-02 (D pickup)




















    25 and a whole lot of them (Like PA-07, MO-04, KS-03, and AL-02) are pure tossups until election day. Possibly we could lose up to 35, but any higher is IMO ridiculous. I agree we probably will lose the house though.

  3. I have no idea where you get that NM-01 is “50% or better odds of turning”, there was a SUSA poll back in July showing Heinrich losing, but every poll that has been released since then has shown Heinrich leading (including Republican-leaning pollsters) so that’s a joke (not saying that Heinrich can’t lose, but saying he’s got a “50% or better” chance of losing is insane from any reasonable standpoint).

    In fact, at a glance, there are at least 30 seats here that are comical (your New York rankings, for example, with the exception of NY-19, NY-23, and NY-24 are a joke, Anthony Weiner will not lose, anyone who suggests it doesn’t know a damn thing about southern Brooklyn and Queens)

    Your whole list is one fucking joke, and I’d love to see these magical polls showing that “I’d dump my own congressman by a 2-1 margin”, because that’s big news to me!

  4. I’ll tell you right now, there’s no way Art Robinson takes out Rep. DeFazio in OR-04. Robinson is a nutjob, and DeFazio commands a great deal of respect.

  5. I can tell you right now, that Walz is at least a 90% lock for reelection. And short of some sort of felony or alien abduction, Oberstar is a 100% lock for reelection. Nice try though.

  6. that something like this scenario hadn’t occurred to me. And if the Gallup LV screen is even close to right, it probably will.

    But district-by-district polling seems to present a somewhat less dire picture.  

  7. I can’t say I agree with you but I appreciate you making this list. I don’t buy this scenario but it is good to know all possibilities I suppose. You’ll either look like a genius on election night or foolish. I’m hoping to foolish. I think we lose around 55 and gain around 4 for net loss of around 51.

  8. but I will limit myself to my home state of California, and I will start with the points where I agree with you:

    * CA-11 is a well-recognized Tossup.

    * CA-18 is quite vulnerable; people forget it voted for GWB (barely) in 2004 and Bill Simon by 10 points in 2002.  The Central Valley is in a frenzy over their so-called “Congress-created dust bowl” and if Hispanic turnout is down, watch out!  Tossup/Tilt Democratic.

    * CA-20 is a more robust Democratic district than CA-18 and Costa should do better than Cardoza, but the election will mostly be driven by the same factors and so must be considered slightly vulnerable.  Lean Democratic.

    * CA-47 is… barely vulnerable.  Loretta won’t go down before Brown, Boxer, and all the above districts.  Did you know this district is less than 18% non-Hispanic white?  Likely Democratic.

    Also, a few interesting omissions in your doom-and-gloom list.  How about NY-01?

    As for our disagreements:

    * CA-10 is a district where Team Red came up 10 points short in the ideal scenario of a low-turnout special.  To Californians who aren’t election junkies, John Garamendi is the best-known of all 53 House members from his decade in statewide office.  Safe Democratic.

    * CA-36 is my district, and it is an utter snoozefest as far as the House race goes.  No tea parties.  No lawn signs.  No mailers.  No calls.  No nothing.  And if Jane Harman caught even the slightest whiff of competition, you’d better believe she’d be spamming us with the old “best Republican in the Democratic Party” spiel again.  Safe Democratic.

    * CA-38: Less than 14% non-Hispanic white.  Obama 72%.  Arnold didn’t even make it to 38%.  SERIOUSLY.  Safe Democratic.

    * CA-39: 21% non-Hispanic white… I’m getting tired of this.  Safe Democratic.  So where are the haunting polls for these districts, or nearby districts demographically similar to them?

  9. You said above this was only a prediction but this kind of scenario is not even realistic based on polling.

  10. I don’t think a 93-seat gain by the GOP is likely (my guess right now is mid-50s, but I can easily see a 60+ flip). However, I consider this prediction to be at least as likely as the ones floating around showing Democrats capping their losses to 25 or fewer seats. I think it’s healthy to look at predictions from across the spectrum, from the most optimistic to the most pessimistic.  

  11. …I’m still going with the method of election predicting that has not failed me yet: Going through each race one at a time and not relying at all on any “macro-” (or big picture) sense of the electoral landscape.

    When you do what I am doing, you get a net Republican gain of 35-45 seats.

  12. Gees. I hope we’re not in for a electoral thrashing like what the British electorate gave the Conservative party in Parliament in 1997.

  13. Not that Hinchey hasn’t run a really crappy campaign this year (no surprise, I guess, since he hasn’t had a real race since…well, ever), but, nonetheless, this district is, at least by my estimate, about 55D/30R/15I, even in a bad year like this. Phillips would need to run-the-board with Indies (by that, I mean like a 3-to-1 margin) and then pick-off at least 20% of Democrats, which ain’t happening in a district where most Dems are progressive Green Party types. The Ed Koch endorsement (finally) gave Phillips some press, but Koch’s backing only holds weight downstate…in this region, I think most Dems either don’t care or just don’t like Koch’s politics. Realistically, presuming my 55D/30R/15I voter model holds some water, I think we’re looking at a result like…

    Hinchey – 89/8/46 = 58%

    Phillips – 11/92/54 = 42%

  14. It’s October 16 and the NRCC just spent, this weekend:

    $300K+ on AZ-05, CO-04, FL-02, MD-01, OH-16

    $200K+ on AR-01, AZ-01, MI-01, MI-07, MS-01, ND-AL, and WA-03

    $100K+ on AL-02, FL-08, FL-24, IN-09, NM-02, PA-11, SD-AL, TN-08, VA-02, VA-05, and WI-07

    Each of these races is one that the Republicans would have put away by now if they were on their way to anything like 93 seats.  The NRCC would not be wasting its scarce resources in these districts if these races were in hand.  If the Republicans can’t put away Frank Kratovil and Betsy Markey by 10/16, they sure as hell can’t put away Anthony Weiner, Steve Israel, Carolyn McCarthy, and Dennis Kucinich by 11/02.  The Republicans have well under 20 seats locked up to the point of being able to divert resources elsewhere.  To think that they are going to win 70-80 seats on top of those is a stretch.

    The overwhelming majority of Republican takeovers will come from races in which the NRCC has made independent expenditures.  In the 2006 and 2008 elections, that was the case for the Democrats.  Believe it or not, there was some grassroots energy behind the Democrats in 2006 and 2008.  There was a thing called the Iraq War that the Democratic base was none too pleased with.  That energy did not lead to but a handful of “off the radar” pickups.  It is irrational to think that this year is going to see a ten-fold (or more) increase in “off the radar” pickups.

  15. That’s a world that just never will exist.

    I do commend you for launching an interesting discussion on just how bad this wave will be.

  16. I have to stay away or it’ll ruin my life.  As a parting gift I present a quote from the late great Douglas Adams on a subject near and dear to my heart, quantum mechanics, which somehow feels relevant tonight.  Make of it what you will:

    [Improbability] generators were often used to break the ice at parties by making all the the molecules in the hostess’s undergarments leap simultaneously one foot to the left, in accordance to the Theory of Indeterminacy.

  17. I see I am not the only one who is skeptical.

    Why is NY-02, my district, on the line, while NY-01 is not? I haven’t seen a single ad on television from either Republican, nor have I see one from Steve Israel, my Rep. I’ve only seen ads from Bishop, in NY-01, against Randy Altschuler, and the last poll had him up by 12. Similarly, why would Carolyn McCarthy, whose Republican opponent has very little cash  (almost nothing, if memory serves me correctly) on hand? And as other New Yorkers have said, why is someone like Anthony Weiner falling?

    The potential for losses is large, but 93 seats is very unlikely. Even the most generous forecasts for Republicans place an upward limit on 80 seats, and even they, those making the predictions say the chances are decidedly small.

  18. It’s not likely to manifest itself in such a huge number of incumbents actually losing, just more than the average election (which often is very few).

    Even back in 1994, during the height of the “term limits” movement and the anti-incumbent craze it was affiliated with, only 34 incumbents in the house lost out of 350+ incumbents running. Keeping in mind that in many elections far fewer incumbents lose, 34 is relatively many. I’m not saying that 34 is the ceiling this year (and even if it was, Democrats are likely to lose many of the open seats too), but it’s not going to be some astronomically high number either. But…

    … let’s just say that the anti-incumbent fever is as high as you say it is. In that case, we would be seeing a fair share of GOP incumbents going down to defeat. As I implied earlier, Boehner’s as likely a candidate for this as many others, and Dan Burton (who lucked out with several challengers who split the opposition vote allowing him to win with a plurality of… 30%!) would also be a prime candidate to lose if the anti-incumbent mood is high everywhere. More realistically, Dent, Lundgren, Reichert, and Calvert (who all have strong challengers) would be vulnerable too.

    That is why I think your list has serious problems; it has nothing to do with tomato projectiles.

  19. So you’re in “chump” territory as far as I’m concerned, no matter how many we lose. How do we lose 9! seats in NY with NY-01, NY-13, and NY-20 (or NY-21) not being among them? And they’re not even on your “surprise” list but NY-18, NY-27, and NY-28 are.  

  20. showing “safe” incumbents barely ahead of their Republican challengers.


    Basically, most of these incumbents are safe because the types of polls released, including in Oberstar’s district, have been conducted in a way that benefits Republicans more than any other kind of polling. First, they’re internal polls so that adds 6% to the Republican. Then they’re robo polls which adds 4% (maybe more in House races) to the Republicans. After that you get into the merits of their likely voter screen which we can’t quantify that much but even then those polls are atleast 10% more favorable to the Republicans than independent, live interview polling would be.

  21. If you really think democrats are headed for a 1866-like blowout in the house, how many senate seats would the GOP pick up. I would say that 100 seat loss corresponds to a 15-20 seat loss in the senate. Do you agree?

    If so where would they come from?

  22. Even if you’ve been one of the most downbeat commenters here — even during the 2006/2008 boom times — your take is always appreciated.

    One of these days, you could actually be right!

    I’m surprised OH-06 is nowhere to be seen on your list, though.

  23. For months, I’ve tracking generic poll results showing that voters plan to dump THEIR OWN Congressman by a 2-1 margin.

    Also, you asked how many seats we have to lose so that your “dire predictions will be vindicated from ‘chump’ territory.” Sixty is definitely not the answer. You can’t be off by over a third and think you’ve made a helpful prediction. I mean, if I said I thought we’d lose 40 but we only lost 25, I think I’ve gotten things pretty wrong.

  24. The days of mega gains like that are long over. The best I think the Republicans will do is a very narrow majority, nothing commanding and the Democrats would have a very short walk back to the majority in 2012.

  25. does O’Donnell get elected to the Senate in Delaware? Do Republicans win the Governorship and/or a Senate seat in NY? Is Tom Tancredo poised for an upset victory in Colorado?

  26. As a fellow poster myself, I know that it takes a lot of energy and effort to create posts and predictions.

    Your post is definitely something that’s sparked a lot of debate, and, although I may disagree with your conclusions, I definitely feel it’s a refreshing addition to the conversation.

  27. I thought there was going to be some kind of “gotcha” at the beginning after clicking on the link. But this is serious business.

    With all due respect, this list is absurd. I’m pegging Democrats’ losses at around 45-50. This, however, seems more than a bit bizarre. I haven’t checked up on the identities of all of the Congressional districts you’ve listed, but could you explain why Anthony Weiner (?!?) and Walt Minnick will lose? The former is in a solidly Democratic district while the latter leads by a respectable margin in Republican polling.

    Do you have some sort of formula where if a Democrat is under 50% and the PVI is less than D +10, the Democrat will lose?

  28. It’s a prediction.  Nothing less, nothing more.  I’m undoubtedly wrong on a number of them while I’m undoubtedly right about others.  A month ago, races like KY-06 and WV-03 would have been on here too, but the polls have changed my mind and perhaps poll releases in other districts between now and election day will as well.  We’ll have to wait until November 3 to see how much of a “fucking joke” my list really is, but a willing suspension of disbelief is required to buy into some people’s loss projections.

  29. ….so it wasn’t necessarily “bravery”.  How many seats do you expect we’ll lose since my list is so silly?  Or are you thinking we’ll pick up seats?

  30. …but it’s a D+2 district in a Republican year with polls close and DeFazio under 50%.  He’s finished.

  31. My projection for both of the Massachusetts races is only partially related to Scott Brown’s wins there.  There’s been a slow-motion move away from Democrats in eastern Massachusetts for the last decade and I think in a year like this it will reach its tipping point.  Remember, Tsongas only won her special election by five points in an incredibly Democratic climate that no longer exists.

  32. The GOP needs 39 to take the House, and 44 to take into account (potential or likely) losses. So how can you say anything more than 35 is ridiculous, but Democrats are likely to lose the House?

  33. And, like I said, your reasoning boils down to phantom “generic poll results showing that voters plan to dump THEIR OWN Congressman by a 2-1 margin” without actually showing any of them.

    But hey, I’m going to have fun laughing at you on Election Day, a 90-seat loss now is as close to impossible as you can get in these times.

  34. I think I speak for, well, virtually everyone in the country who follows campaigns with any honesty at all, in saying your “right” calls and “wrong” calls are not remotely close to a wash.

  35. …but events are changing fast.

    Even if you don’t account for the slim five-point Walz lead in last night’s poll, Demmer is now flooding the airwaves and Walz appears flat-footed, having missed his chance to fully define Demmer other than generic anti-Republican position ads.

    Meanwhile, Oberstar’s getting hammered with reports than he’s only received one contribution in the past year from someone in his district and also that he’s spending the night in a swank hotel in the Cities when visiting Minnesota.  It all feeds into the very “out of touch” narrative that lends itself to “Congressman-elect Chip Cravaack” being a real possibility in 18 days.

  36. They’ll return Rep. DeFazio, or at least he’s a heavy favorite. Silver and other analysts have poked enough holes in the 50% rule for House incumbents that I think if they’re right, they throw your estimates off entirely.

  37. You are putting way too much stock in partisan polling here. DeFazio being “under 50” is based upon a single GOP poll showing it 48-42 DeFazio. Even if you don’t account for the six-point bump that, on average, accompanies sponsored polls, DeFazio would still need just 20% of the undecideds to win.

    To declare him finished is an absurdity.

  38. ….so it wouldn’t be anything new to me.  And I’d very much love looking foolish with these predictions being proven dramatically wrong.  Your predicted loss of 51 seats seems more realistic than some of the pollyannas around here though.

  39. Until I see contradictory data, I’ll predict Bishop hangs on.

    Low voter turnout among Latinos could make some of those L.A. County seats vulnerable.  As I said, I just threw out some seats I thought had the potential to be vulnerable in the second batch.  It doesn’t mean I believe Grace Napolitano or Jane Harman have strong odds of being defeated.

  40. It’s a 63% black district and Bennie Thompson isn’t under indictment for bribery. Saying that he could be competitive isn’t even serious.

  41. From what I heard, Dems in California are actually more pumped up than most other states, with very-high-profile governor and Senate races. So I will not be surprised to see a Dem slaughter in the Midwest and Northeast but losing proportionally little in the West.

  42. at the underwhelming Kerry performance in the district. Are the Republicans running a black candidate again? (Not that I think there’s any chance Thompson loses).  

  43. ….that would drive black turnout, which is why I think Childers and Taylor bite the dust.  And you’ll note I just put Thompson in the “races to watch list”.  I think it’s odds-against that he loses.

  44. I have corrected the CA-18 Wikipedia article to that effect.  That did seem to be an outlier; CA-18 seemed to be at most 5 points more Republican than CA-20 in all races except that one.

    Still, I think Cardoza is second domino.

  45. And how low do you think black turnout is possibly going to be exactly? It’ll never get below 55%, and there’s no way such an underfunded Republican can even get close to Thompson.

  46. ….but bear in mind my formula for a “throw the bums out” election is that being an “underfunded challenger” can work to the challenger’s advantage insofar as voters are willing to gamble on a generic Republican.  When the incumbent knows he or she has a serious race on their hands, they can define their opponent in a way that Bennie Thompson’s challenger won’t be.

    Now I’m allowing you to control this argument here with your implication that I think Bennie Thompson is a likely casualty for 2010.  I don’t.  I put it on the races to watch list.

  47. The topline: Thompson 35, Marcy 34

    The screwy part: The pollster though turnout would be 50% white, 50% black. The district is 63% black. Even screwier, only 37% of respondents were black, although their answers were weighted to create the 50/50 universe.

    The poll’s crosstabs show that Marcy gets 1% of the black vote and Thompson gets 7% of the white vote (oh, Mississippi.) Candidates who get 1% (!) of the black vote in black-majority districts don’t have much of a chance, methinks.

  48. Bright is up 4-8 right now. SD-AL…Herseth Sandlin is up by a small margin there.

    Walt Minnick is on there? If 90 seats go down, he’s not going to be in there. AR-04? Dude, the Democrat is leading by 10-15 points. A Republican internal couldn’t show Ross behind!!! CT-05? Murphy is winning 48-34 in the last poll.  

  49. I never implied that you think he’s likely to lose, I take serious issue with the notion that you think he could lose, and I’ve been very clear about that.

    And no, it is never to a candidate’s advantage to be underfunded, money is required to paint a picture, and that’s especially true when you’re a Republican running in a reflexively Democratic district like MS-02 (and no matter the turnout scenario the black vote in the district will be at least 55%, any scenario that assumes otherwise is junk).

  50. And looking back, I should not have been too surprised at Brown’s wins. Just because Brown won does not necessarily mean a mass Dem slaughter at the polls this year, unless all those Dems sleep at the wheel.

    At least with comparing Massachusetts and California, they are both blue states on the surface, but the dynamics from within couldn’t be more different. Massachusetts has been stagnant this decade with an overwhelming proportion of its voting populace ethic whites, especially Irish and Italian. Obama underperformed there while improving dramatically in growing, diversifying California in which ethnic whites make up a much smaller proportion of the voting population.

    California is still clearly trending Democratic, having gone from D+4.2 in 2000 to D+6.1 in 2004 and D+7.4 in 2008. Massachusetts, on the other hand, stayed steady at D+14.2 in 2000 and 2004 in spite of the native son on the ballot, and backslid to D+11.75 in 2008. (Funny that Kerry actually improved more in California than his own state!) IMO, Brown was only the beginning, as I did not expect an all-Dem delegation to last indefinitely in MA. So I see Tsongas, possibly Tierney, and the open MA-10 as more likely to flip than even CA-11. With so many wild polls out there for the House races, I will not post my predictions until Halloween weekend.

    Scott Brown’s election has actually gotten me more intrigued about county voting patterns. This interest inspired me to start a PVI project in which I go back as far as possible on finding the PVI of every county in the nation. I am starting right now with the earliest PVIs from after WWII, 1948. My new blog is just beginning, but you can check out what I have so far for Alabama and Arizona here. I will have diaries here and maybe on DailyKos and elsewhere later on.

  51. This is the tried-and-true way of predicting how races go. I wish I could get info on the races of 1994 and see how the Dems then did. I get the impression that too many of them took their races for granted.

  52. PPP showed Lujan only up by 6, it’s not as Democratic as a lot of the districts being shown, and it’s heavily Hispanic!

    Not to mention Lujan’s not all that popular in the district. That’s a big reason why I can’t take this list seriously, it’s both inconsistent and completely ignores the dynamics of a lot of states (not to mention it seems premised on the idea that having no money can somehow be a good thing…)

  53. It’s the Independents who can’t stand any of the four main candidates running. Whitman and Fiorina need to make the sell and get these Indies to hold their noses and vote GOP. ‘Cuz they’re not making the necessary inroads with Dems to allow for a tie among Indies.

  54. And Hispanics are not going to turn out at 60-80% below their Census proportion, which would be necessary to flip some of the Los Angeles County seats discussed.  That assumption is not within reasonable bounds.

  55. I’d like to see the voter breakdown by state in these “phantom” polls that show voters wanting to dump their congressman 2:1. My gut feeling the numbers in California are going to be very different from the numbers in Ohio.

  56. the lack of statewide races to drive turnout in Mississippi may depress turnout enough to hurt Thompson, Taylor, and Childers, but in spite of competitive governor and Senate races in California, voter turnout may still be depressed anyway.

  57. Though the pool of Dem voters has grown too big for any Republican to count on winning on the backs of Republicans and Indies alone. Arnold got over 20% of Democrats to cross over in 2006.

  58. and the Dems in those heavily-Hispanic seats still won anyway. I see to reason at all to think that their turnout this time around will be even lower than before, with the competitive statewide races up-ballot. (Jerry Brown is no Gray Davis!)

  59. A few names like Dave Loebsack, Carol Shea-Porter, Nancy Boyda, and Jason Altmire come to mind for “off the radar” pickups in 2006.

  60. because in at least a few of those districts, the DSCC has stopped advertising, although independent groups may not have. You’d think that they might be trying to juice the turnout for Beck in C0-04, but that wouldn’t apply in any of the others, except for perhaps FL-02, and even that is a stretch.

    Are they simply so flush with cash that they are trying to run up the totals to point out so incumbents were kicked out by huge margins? I don’t think they have that much cash.

    Like I said, the DSCC stopped spending in these districts, which is frustrating if understandable–adjusting to conditions as they change is what a good campaign does. But at the same time, if it’s unlikely that the Democrats keep those seats, why is the RSCC spending? Something doesn’t add up. Maybe, just maybe, things are getting slightly better for the Democrats, at least to the point where the first seats to fall are becoming tighter. If that is the case, then perhaps the bigger reaches for the Republicans are now, um, out of their reach.  

  61. Did I say there were none?  I said there were a handful.  You just named a handful, and your list is fairly exhaustive.  There may be just a few more.  Find me about 40 more and I’ll give you historical equivalency.

  62. You think that the Republicans will take at least 40 off-the-radar seats, see how there’s a real difference between the two?

  63. Burton makes me wonder how that dumbass is still in the House. At least he’s keeping his mouth shut.

    But anyway, isn’t Reichert somewhat likely to fall? A lot of people seem to think he’s very, very close to being the fifth or sixth pickup this year.

  64. and I think cilerder’s comment was more of a sarcastic take on it. If it has any basis at all, it might be based on the fact that Tierney’s in-laws have been indicted for something; Congressman Tierney himself has not been implicated in any way, though. Just as Hillary Clinton wasn’t sullied by Bill’s infidelity and was able to win election to the Senate easily, Tierney himself will win re-election.

    Maybe it’ll be just by 62% instead of the 67% he won with in 2008. Oh Noes!

  65. Because apparently the people of southern Brooklyn and Queens want to vote for underfunded candidates, because in this election cycle, being underfunded is a sign of strength! Man, I wish I would’ve run for something this year, I could have been governor this year, I have absolutely no fundraising prospects!

  66. The list itself is complete bunk.

    This list is useful only for the purpose of saying that whatever seats we lose will come from this list.

    Beyond that, it goes without saying there are dozens of seats on this list we WON’T lose, and indeed quite a few that we’ll win by double-digits.

  67. I think Reps. Reichert and Lungren and the open seat in FL-25 are the likeliest pickups behind The Four. Not sure what order I’d put them in; probably 1) FL-25, 2) WA-08, and 3) CA-03.

  68. Republican districts that were possible takeover opportunities in California. Something about the CA-02, where the guys supposedly had early Alzheimer’s perhaps? But I am not sure if that was serious talk or just speculation?

  69. CA-02 and CA-44 are on some folks’ radar screens. Not sure I see it happening there this year.

  70. unless he’s brutally unpopular in 2012, I want to see Obama make at least one visit to every Democrat running for the Senate that isn’t a sure thing. Off the top of my head, I don’t know which states have seats up for grabs, but if the Democrat campaigning in, say, Utah or Idaho isn’t a complete waste of time, would it really kill the White House to spend one day with each person to raise some awareness? In the end, it might not make a difference, but why not give it a shot? And why not try it for a few House races as well? When was the last time it happened? And what’s the worst that could happen? It might make no difference, but perhaps such a visit could end up giving a candidate a nice fund raising boost and perhaps a chance to turn it into a real race, at least for a few weeks. It wouldn’t eat up that much of his time, and it might encourage long shot candidates to take risks.  

  71. It is at a $15MM CoH disadvantage last I checked.  These are all districts where the Dem candidates have a lot more CoH than the Republican challenger, so the NRCC is trying to make up for that.

  72. I think we will pick up 5 House Districts and lose 30. i know 30 seems Dem optimistic but that is what i reckon. Admittedly I am at the other side of the world (Australia) but I believe that Team Blue has a slight case of the Henny Penny’s this year. Tell you what if my prediction is even close I will email you on election day and tell you why.

    PS on average 95% of incumbents get re-elected. Leaving aside the freshmen this makes a lot of incumbents Dems safe, despite your prediction.

    PPS every US blogger wants to pick the long shot flip. Do you really think the DCCC isnt on top of this already? Name 5 long shot Repub incumbents who lost in the house in 2006, or 2008. Seriously – REALLY long shot Repubs who lost. Safe not likely or lean or toss ups??

  73. what I thought as well. I just didn’t have the numbers in front of me.

    With that in mind, the spending makes even less sense. Sure, Democrats are pulling back heavily/dropping out of some districts, but why are the Republicans still spending in some districts that, in the event of a 50-seat-plus wave, they should have locked up? Part of me says that I am being too optimistic to think that all of the seats are still in play, but what other conclusion is there? Are they simply shoring them up, but with nearly millin dollar ad buys?

  74. But it hasn’t.  Particularly in the case of Oberstar, the poll fed media attention which has highlighted additional items which make Oberstar seem out of touch and now fill the headlines in a way they otherwise wouldn’t have.  And now that Oberstar has been caught flat-footed, Chip Cravaack gets to be the David battling Goliath good guy in the race, provoking people who at first thought a vote for Cravaack would be a wasted one into believing it no longer is.  The poll, however phony it was or wasn’t, has triggered momentum for Cravaack and scrutiny for Oberstar.  That is definitely not a good thing if you’re a 40-year Democratic incumbent in a district getting less Democratic.  

  75. Maybe MN-01 is one thing. I don’t know the ins and outs of Rep. Oberstar’s local reputation in his district, and I don’t know the first thing about the interestingly named Chip Cravaack.

    But Rep. Weiner is staying put. Rep. Israel is staying put. Reps. Wu, DeFazio, and probably Schrader are staying put.

    Just because the Midwest and Appalachia are going to suck for Democrats this cycle doesn’t mean the wave will hit the West Coast with equal aplomb. Washington, Oregon, and California remain reliably blue and fairly satisfied with President Obama.

  76. doesn’t look all that bad for Oberstar. I saw that he lost an anti-abortion endorsement but gained a different one. He was outraised in the district, but it was like that two years ago when he won by 35%. I’m not surprised that he does’nt have a ton of contributions from the 8th because we have the highest unemployment in the state so people don’t have a ton of money to donate to candidates. I think the increased funding for Cravaak isn’t caused by some shift away from Oberstar but by increased enthusiasm from the 32% that voted for Cummins two years ago. They’re getting excited because of the type of year it is and a slightly better candidate. I’m skeptical that many people have actually changed their minds about Oberstart becasue he has done so much for the district over the last 35 years.

  77. Obviously they’re out there but Oberstar isn’t a freshman representative in a Republican leaning district. He’s very popular because he’s been able to get a lot done for our area.

  78. With Washington and California hanging on by a thread and keeping the Senate nominally in Democratic hands barring a Lieberman caucus switch.  Connecticut and New York B seem to be stabilizing now, so I think they’re probably out of contention.  I think it’s historically unprecedented for the House to switch hands and not the Senate, but unless Boxer or Murray loses their lead, it’ll happen this time.

  79. …with a lead within the margin of error…one in particular.  They may well have been outliers, but there was a point last month at this time where she looked vulnerable.

  80. I don’t mean to pile on, but the idea that she’s truly vulnerable is nuts. It might not have been nuts a few months ago, but it is now, as are a lot of the other candidates on your list.

  81. Wasn’t that the same poll that had Paladino within range of Cuomo?

    Anyway, she’s leading him by almost 20 points. That’s not “stabilizing”; that’s crushing him, particularly when she was only appointed to the seat.

  82. ….that there will be a sufficient GOTV operation to save him now that he’s had a few weeks knowing he’s a top target.  Plus I haven’t seen any polls where he’s behind.

    But I actually forgot about OH-06 when making the list.  In other words, make that 94 seats!

    I actually wasn’t too much of a doomsayer in 2008 for the Congressional races.  I predicted seven gained Senate seats and 17 House pick-ups.  Pretty close all things considered.

  83. They had Cuomo up 49-40. There was also a Quinnipiac poll from the same time that showed a competitive race for NY-Gov and NY-Sen B. Every other poll has shown Gillibrand (and Cuomo) cruising.

  84. There may be a slight possibility the GOP gains 40, but 20-25 looks more likely to me. I’ll have my own list up Halloween weekend, as polls are too wild for me to make predictions right now, plus I have my county Cook PVI project I’m working on. I will have my California predictions up soon though. I feel I can make fairly reasonable predictions there because I’ve been paying close attention there.

  85. It said Oberstar had exactly one in-district donor in the most recent quarter (June-September.) He may be popular, but I think he’s vulnerable just because he’s apparently gotten a very late jump on his campaign this year.

  86. If things can keep trending upward, or at least stop falling off from where they are now, and there’s an equal or superior ground game. Losses will occur, but, assuming I am not being wayyyyyyyy too optimistic here, they can be minimized.  

  87. but in the Duluth News Tribune. I read through the story though and it seems like it was only one donor that donated enough to be specifically identified. He had other donors from MN-8 that didn’t give enough to be singled out by the FEC.

  88. I’m curious what you (Mark) thinks about our Senate prospects. Would it be fair to assume that you think that ND, AR, IN, CT, PA, DE, WV, WI, WA, CO, IL, and NV are all gone?

  89. if Republicans will abandon Miles with the speed they were doing of late. Other races are out of question, but this one, as unlikely as it seems, is still possible.

  90. if the Democrats were to lose 93 seats in the House, they’d lose 15-20 seats in the Senate. In other words, they’d lose 75-100 percent of the seats being contested. Schumer, Wyden, and Leahy, among others, would wall. Thus, it’s an absurd suggestion. Even the worst case scenarios for Democrats don’t predict something like that happening.  

  91. they’d lose more than seats typically regarded as contested. The most common number thrown around for seats in play is twelve on the Dem side; we’d end up losing something like 120% of seats contested. Among other things, we’d probably end up with Sen. Jim Huffman, Sen. Joe Dioguardi, Gov. Tom Tancredo, and Gov. Carl Paladino.

    That’s some fucked up shit, and it ain’t gonna happen.

  92. I can’t imagine that Maes will be allowed to sink any further. He’s flirting with the 10% mark and it would be incredibly humiliating for the CO GOP to become a minor party.

  93. There are only 20 incumbent Democrats running this year (or rather, Democrats running for seats where their party currently holds the seat). For that worst case scenario, almost every single one of them, if not every single one of them, would have to lose. Virtually nobody has suggested that people like Patrick Leahy are bound to fall.

  94. Mark predicted Dems would gain Missouri’s governorship, 7 Senate seats and 17 House seats in 2008, which were pretty close, and 5 governorships, 3 Senate seats, and 21 House seats in 2006, a little more conservative than what actually happened.

  95. And yes, I was too conservative in my 2006 predictions but pretty close in 2008.  I’m out on a limb in 2010 but so far the trendlines suggest I’m probably on to something.

  96. If it seems I’m getting at you a little but what “trendlines” are you referring to? Dodgy Republican internal polls and…?

  97. Phase 1:  Republican opposition releases internal poll showing a close race with Democratic incumbent nobody thought was vulnerable two or three weeks before a predicted wave election.

    Phase 2:  The flat-footed incumbent suddenly sees a barrage of media attention on this stealth opponent who they’ve done absolutely zero opposition research on, just as the media puts a spotlight on the incumbent in a way that otherwise wouldn’t have happened and frequently unearths some embarrassing info that makes them look out of touch.

    Phase 3:  The newly gaffe-prone incumbent stumbles back to his or her district to campaign for the first time in 20 years and runs some clumsy TV spots while his undefined, generic (R) opponent gets to be the crusading outsider taking down Goliath.

    Not a good scenario if you’re an incumbent in a year like this, yet a scenario that dozens of such incumbents are either already in or are about to be in.

  98. Democrats regularly poll themselves in internal polls to make sure they are not being caught flat-footed.

    The fact that you seem to think that Democrats get awaken by Republican internals…

  99. Could happen in a few cases. But that will not add up to anything like 94 seats. IMO you are more than 30 too high in even a worse case scenario.

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