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….
Now for the GOP pickups….
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?