The Biggest Losers – 2010 Edition

I went through the many losing Democratic candidates of 2010 and compared their losing margins to Obama’s 2008 margins.  It started out as an exercise to figure out who I would want to come back for a second run.  In any event, I have ranked them, separated by incumbents, open seats, and challengers to Republican incumbents.  As for challengers to Republican incumbents, I have only listed the top 10 challengers, as well as 9 heralded challengers who underperformed Obama by double digits.  Interesting to note that not a single Democratic challenger to any Republican incumbent outperformed Obama’s margin in his or her district.  

A positive number means the 2010 Democrat outperformed Obama by that much.  A negative number means Obama outperformed the 2010 Democrat by that much.


1. MS-04 – Gene Taylor +31: Could easily win if he came back.

2. AL-02 – Bobby Bright +25: Republicans better be careful how they draw Montgomery districts.

3. MO-04 – Ike Skelton +18: Could win if he came back, but presumably he will not.

4. ID-01 – Walt Minnick +16: Little hope of regaining this seat, with or without Minnick.

5. VA-09 – Rick Boucher +15: Same as Skelton.

6. TN-04 – Lincoln Davis +12: This seat is probably gone for good, with or without Davis.

7. MS-01 – Travis Childers +10: Childers comeback win unlikely but maybe not impossible.

8. TX-17 – Chet Edwards +10: This seat is gone for good.  Edwards lost by 25.

9. GA-08 – Jim Marshall +8: Would love to see Marshall mount a comeback.

10. MD-01 – Frank Kratovil +6: Maryland trifecta needs to draw Kratovil right back in.

11. SD-AL – Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin +6: A shame she is becoming a lobbyist.

12. AZ-01 – Ann Kirkpatrick +4: Kirkpatrick is a strong candidate.  Would love to see a comeback.

13. CO-03 – John Salazar -1: Definitely would like to see him run again.

14. NY-13 – Mike McMahon -1: Same.

15. PA-10 – Chris Carney -1: Same.

16. VA-05 – Tom Periello -1: Same, or even better he could run for Senate.  

17. ND-AL – Earl Pomeroy -2: Doesn’t sound like he plans to run for anything unfortunately.

18. FL-02 – Allen Boyd -3: Primary forced him to vote for HCR, which hurt in the general.

19. OH-06 – Charlie Wilson -3: I dream of Ted Strickland running for this one.

20. SC-05 – John Spratt -3: Too much to hope the old timer would mount a comeback.

21. AZ-05 – Harry Mitchell -4: Would not mind a comeback bid.

22. NC-02 – Bob Etheridge -6: The Choker sealed his own fate.

23. OH-18 – Zach Space -7: Surprisingly large margin of victory for Gibbs.

24. NJ-03 – John Adler -8: Not overly enthused with Adler.

25. NY-19 – John Hall -8: I like Hall, but he’s not the most energetic fundraiser.

26. TX-23 – Ciro Rodriguez -8: Would like to see a new Dem candidate here.

27. TX-27 – Solomon Ortiz -8: Same here.

28. IN-09 – Baron Hill -9: Huge enthusiasm problem for Indiana Dems.

29. NY-24 – Mike Arcuri -9: Arcuri was looking good in the polls.

30. OH-16 – John Boccieri -9: Thought Boccieri would do better than he did.

31. CO-04 – Betsy Markey -10: Pretty solid run by Gardner to beat Markey comfortably.

32. MN-08 – James Oberstar -10: I suspect Cravaack is going to be tricky to take out.

33. NM-02 – Harry Teague -10: Ran into tough candidate in former rep Pearce.

34. MI-07 – Mark Schauer -11: Thought he would do much better than he did.

35. PA-03 – Kathy Dahlkemper -11: Bad result for Dahlkemper against lackluster candidate.

36. NY-20 – Scott Murphy -12: Murphy ended up performing quite poorly.

37. FL-22 – Ron Klein -13: Not that excited about a Klein comeback.

38. IL-08 – Melissa Bean -13: Really amazing and scary that Walsh won this thing.

39. NV-03 – Dina Titus -13: Reid turnout almost pushed Titus over the top.

40. NY-25 – Dan Maffei -13: At least as bad a loss as Bean’s.

41. VA-02 – Glenn Nye -13: Mediocre run from mediocre candidate.

42. PA-08 – Patrick Murphy -16: Murphy ran into a tough opponent in Fitzpatrick.

43. FL-24 – Suzanne Kosmas -17: Kosmas really got shellacked here.

44. IL-14 – Bill Foster -17: Number inflated by strong Obama showing.

45. NH-01 – Carol Shea-Porter -18: Shea Porter was never the best fit for this district.

46. OH-01 – Steve Driehaus -18: Chabot beat the polls.  Tough district in midterms.

47. WI-08 – Steve Kagen -19: Kagen the victim of horrible WI enthusiasm.

48. IL-11 – Debbie Halvorson -23: Halvorson ran into a tough candidate in Kinzinger.

49. OH-15 – Mary Jo Kilroy -23: Kilroy never seemed to have much traction here.

50. FL-08 – Alan Grayson -24: Grayson, Hare, and Kanjorski tied for last … perfect.

51. IL-17 – Phil Hare -24: Please don’t run again, Phil.

52. PA-11 – Paul Kanjorski -24: You are the weakest link, goodbye.


1. WV-01 – Mike Oliviero +14: Heated primary probably made the difference.

2. AR-01 – Chad Causey +13: Same here, although Causey lost by a lot more.

3. AL-05 – Steve Raby +7: Solid run by Raby in very tough district.

4. AZ-03 – Jon Hulburd +4: Probably says more about Quayle than Hulburd.

5. SC-03 – Jane Dyer +3: Very strong run by Dyer in impossible district.  Good tea leaves in SC.

6. KS-04 – Raj Goyle -4: Very professional campaign by Goyle.

7. LA-03 – Ravi Sangisetty -4: Young attorney ran stronger than I expected.

8. TN-03 – John Wolfe -4: Beneficiary of third party taking 10% of the vote.

9. MO-07 – Scott Eckersley -5: Solid run in impossible district.

10. FL-12 – Lori Edwards  -6: Beneficiary of high profile Tea Party candidate.

11. TN-08 – Roy Herron -7: Impressive wins by Fincher in the primary and the general.  

12. AR-02 – Joyce Elliott -9: Dems can take this one back with a better district or candidate.

13. FL-25 – Joe Garcia -9: Garcia burdened by statewide Florida enthusiasm problem.

14. NY-29 – Matt Zeller -9: Decent run by young Zeller in a tough district.

15. OK-05 – Billy Coyle -10: Professional run here from Coyle.

16. KS-01 – Alan Jilka -12: Strong “recruit” in district that is beyond impossible.

17. WA-03 – Denny Heck -12: Meh.  I would have hoped for a better result here.

18. GA-07 – Doug Heckman -13: Credible run against impossible odds.

19. MI-01 – Gary McDowell -13: Disappointing candidate.  Fundraising was slow.

20. SC-04 – Paul Corden -13: Decent, uphill run against Teabagger Gowdey.

21. TN-06 – Brett Carter -13: Mediocre run in impossible district.

22. AR-03 – David Whitaker -14: Pretty well plastered in impossible district.

23. NH-02 – Ann Kuster -15: Overrated run by Kuster.  This is a district Dems should win.

24. IN-08 – Trent Van Haaften -16: Similar to McDowell.  Slow fundraising.

25. IN-03 – Tom Hayhurst -17: Hayhurst not really competitive here.

26. WI-07 – Julie Lassa -21: Bottom fell out of Wisconsin Dem enthusiasm.

27. FL-05 – Jim Piccillo -22: Easy win for Mike “don’t call me Ted” Nugent.

28. MI-03 – Pat Miles -22: Easy win for Justin Amash.

29. SC-01 – Ben Frasier -22: Not a particularly strong run here.  Other SC results were better.

30. CA-19 – Lorraine Goodwin -23: Easy win for Jeff Denham.

31. KS-03 – Stephene Moore -23: Definitely was not the year for a Dem legacy candidate.

32. PA-07 – Bryan Lentz -24: Probably says more about Meehan than Lentz.

33. IL-10 – Dan Seals -25: Dems really, really should have won this one.

34. IN-04 – David Sanders -29: Impressive margin for Rokita.

35. MI-02 – Fred Johnson -31: Bottom fell out in Michigan.


1. SC-02 – Rob Miller -1: Another good tea leaf out of SC.  Strong run by cash flush Miller.

2. CA-02 – Jim Reed -2: Did Herger hurt himself with the “proud, rightwing terrorist” incident?

3. MN-06 – Tarryl Clark -5: Decent run by Clark against lightning rod Bachmann.

4. OH-02 – Chili Yalamanchili -5: District has never fully embraced Mean Jean.

5. AL-03 – Steve Segrest -6: Rogers held under 60% again.  Hope Dems go after him in 2012.

6. CA-03 – Ami Bera -7: Good run by Bera fell considerably short.

7. NC-05 – Billy Kennedy -9: Credible run against the loathsome Foxx.

8. GA-03 – Frank Saunders -10: Unheralded Saunders probably knows the 10 commandments.

9. OK-03 – Frankie Robbins -10: Plowed by 50+, but really lopsided district.

10. MD-06 – Andrew Duck -10: Bartlett doesn’t ever seem all that popular here.

WE CAME, WE SAW, WE SUCKED – Heralded challengers who underperformed Obama by double digits.

1. FL-10 – Charlie Justice -36: Huge flop right in my backyard.

2. PA-06 – Manan Trivedi -31: By far the biggest margin of Gerlach’s career.

3. PA-15 – John Callahan -28: Dent cruised to double digit victory.

4. OH-12 – Paula Brooks -23: Brooks gave Tiberi very little trouble.

5. NE-02 – Tom White -23: White was tattooed in district Obama won.

6. WA-08 – Suzan DelBene -19: Overrated run like Kuster’s.  Dems should win here.

7. CA-45 – Steve Pougnet -14: Held Bono Mack to single digits in Obama district.

8. CA-44 – Bill Hedrick -12: Calvert has got to go in 2012.

9. MO-08 – Tommy Sowers -11: Well funded run against Emerson fell well short.

2012 House Outlook Sans Redistricting

1. IL-10 – Bob Dold – Dems should be able to beat Dold without changing district much.

2. NY-25 – Ann Marie Buerkle – How did Maffei lose this to an anti-abortion activist?

3. NH-02 – Charlie Bass – Would love to see Kuster run again.

4. NV-03 – Joe Heck – Harry Reid GOTV nearly carried Titus to victory.

5. MN-08 – Chip Cravaack – Dems should be able to beat this guy in historically Dem district.  

6. WA-08 – Dave Reichert – DelBene re-run would be fine with me.

7. IL-08 – Joe Walsh – Bean re-run would be OK.  Walsh a very poor candidate.

8. NJ-03 – John Runyan – Dems should find a candidate from outside Camden machine.

9. TX-27 – Blake Farenthold – Anybody but Ortiz.

10. PA-11 – Lou Barletta – Anybody but Kanjorski.

11. NC-02 – Renee Ellmers – Anybody but Etheridge.

12. WI-07 – Sean Duffy

13. PA-08 – Mike Fitzpatrick

14. WA-03 – Jaime Herrera

15. IL-17 – Bobby Schilling

16. OH-01 – Steve Chabot

17. FL-22 – Allen West

18. PA-07 – Pat Meehan

19. MI-07 – Tim Walberg

20. IL-14 – Randy Hultgren

21. NY-24 – Richard Hanna

22. OH-06 – Bill Johnson

23. PA-06 – Jim Gerlach

24. NY-19 – Nan Hayworth

25. NY-13 – Mike Grimm

26. WI-08 – Reid Ribble

27. TX-23 – Quico Canseco

28. PA-15 – Charlie Dent

29. OH-15 – Steve Stivers

30. NH-01 – Frank Guinta

31. NY-20 – Chris Gibson

32. CO-03 – Scott Tipton

33. VA-05 – Rob Hurt

34. OH-12 – Pat Tiberi

35. CA-45 – Mary Bono-Mack

36. IL-11 – Adam Kinzinger

37. MI-01 – Dan Benishek

38. AZ-05 – David Schweikert

39. PA-03 – Mike Kelly

40. CA-03 – Dan Lungren

41. MI-11 – Thad McCotter

42. FL-25 – David Rivera

43. FL-12 – Dennis Ross

44. OH-16 – Jim Renacci

45. MN-03 – Erik Paulsen

46. FL-08 – Dan Webster

47. IL-06 – Peter Roskam

48. AZ-01 – Paul Gosar

49. VA-02 – Scott Rigell

50. NJ-07 – Leonard Lance

2010 Downticket Statewide Races Rundown

What follows is a state-by-state rundown of the results of downticket statewide races in 2010.  The universe of races covered is defined by those that appear on  

The trends were similar to the overall trends, with Democrats showing strength in the Northeast and the West Coast, with emerging pockets of blue in the Mountain West/Southwest.  Republicans dominated the South and the redder areas of the Midwest and Mountain West, and also had success in some of the blue/swingy areas of the upper Midwest, particularly in Ohio, where they flipped all three Democratic-held downticket statewide seats.  Republicans also ran the table in swing states like Colorado, Florida, and Michigan.  Meanwhile, Minnesota was an oasis of blue, with Dems taking all of the statewide offices, including of course the Governor’s mansion.

True Blue

California – Democrats ran the table (6 for 6), easily defeating incumbent Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado and easily taking the open Insurance Commissioner seat left by Steve Poizner.

Connecticut – Democrats ran the table (4 for 4), as they did in 2006.

Delaware – No change, with Democrats still holding 3 of 4 seats.  Republican Auditor Tom Wagner narrowly held on.

Maryland – Democrats ran the table (2 for 2), as they did in 2006.

Massachusetts – Democrats ran the table (4 for 4), as they did in 2006.

Minnesota – Democrats ran the table (3 for 3), as they did in 2006.

Nevada – All incumbents held, with Democrats continuing to hold 4 of 5 seats.

New Mexico – Static, with Democrats still holding 4 of 5 seats.  The Democrats flipped the open Public Lands Commissioner seat left by Pat Lyons, while Republicans defeated incumbent Secretary of State Mary Herrera.

New York – Democrats ran the table (2 for 2), as they did in 2006.

Oregon – The only election was the special election for Treasurer, which the Democrats held.

Rhode Island – Democrats ran the table (4 for 4), as they did in 2006.

Mixed Nuts

Arkansas – Republicans only contested 3 of 6 seats, and flipped all three of them.  They took the open Lieutenant Governor seat left by Bill Halter, the open Secretary of State seat left by Charlie Daniels, and the open Land Commissioner seat left by John Thurston.  Incumbent Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, incumbent Treasurer Martha Shoffner, and outgoing Secretary of State Charlie Daniels, who ran for the open Auditor seat, all ran without Republican opposition.  Ominously, none of them managed to top 70% of the vote.

Illinois – Republicans now hold 2 of 4 seats, flipping the open Treasurer seat left by Alexi Giannoulias and the open Comptroller seat left by Dan Hynes.

Iowa – Republicans now hold 3 of 5 seats after defeating incumbent Secretary of State Michael Mauro.

Vermont – All seats held, leaving Democrats with 3 of 5 seats.  Republicans held the open seat for Lieutenant Governor left by Brian Dubie and Republican Auditor Tom Salmon held on.

Wisconsin – Republicans now hold 2 of 3 seats after defeating incumbent Treasurer Dawn Marie Sass.

The Redder the Better

Alabama – Republicans ran the table (6 for 6), narrowly defeating incumbent Lieutenant Governor Jim Folsom and easily flipping the open Ag Commissioner seat left by Ron Sparks.

Arizona – Republicans ran the table (5 for 5), narrowly flipping the open Attorney General seat left by Terry Goddard.

Colorado – Republicans ran the table (3 for 3), defeating incumbent Secretary of State Bernie Bueschler and incumbent Treasurer Cary Kennedy.

Florida – Republicans ran the table (3 for 3), easily flipping the open Chief Financial Officer seat left by Alex Sink.

Georgia – Republicans ran the table (7 for 7), flipping the open Attorney General seat left by Thurbert Baker, the open Ag Commissioner seat left by Tommy Irvin, and the open Labor Commissioner seat left by Mike Thurmond.

Idaho – Republicans ran the table, (6 for 6), as they did in 2006.

Indiana – Republicans ran the table (3 for 3), as they did in 2006.

Kansas – Republicans ran the table (4 for 4), defeating incumbent Secretary of State Chris Biggs, incumbent Attorney General Steve Six, and incumbent Treasurer Dennis McKinney.

Louisiana – The only election was the special election for Lieutenant Governor, which the Republicans held.

Michigan – Republicans ran the table (2 for 2), as they did in 2006.

Missouri – The only election was for Auditor, where Republicans defeated incumbent Auditor Susan Montee.

Nebraska – Republicans ran the table (4 for 4), as they did in 2006.

North Dakota – Republicans ran the table (5 for 5), as they did in 2006.

Ohio – Republicans ran the table (4 for 4), defeating incumbent Attorney General Richard Cordray and incumbent Treasurer Kevin Boyce, and taking the open Secretary of State seat left by Jennifer Brunner.

Oklahoma – Republicans ran the table (8 for 8), flipping an incredible 7 seats.  They defeated incumbent Auditor Steve Burrage, incumbent Labor Commissioner Lloyd Fields, and incumbent Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland.  They also took the open Lieutenant Governor seat left by Jari Askins, the open Attorney General seat left by Drew Edmondson, the open Treasurer seat left by Scott Meacham, and the open Superintendent of Education seat left by Sandy Garrett.

South Carolina – Republicans ran the table (8 for 8), flipping the open Superintendent of Education seat left by Jim Rex.

South Dakota – Republicans ran the table (5 for 5), as they did in 2006.

Texas – Republicans ran the table (6 for 6), as they did in 2006.

Wyoming – Republicans ran the table (4 for 4), as they did in 2006.

Dispassionately Taking Stock

Herein I will project the remaining uncalled races without commenting on my current apoplexy, or anyone else’s.  Actually quite pleased with the Senate and Governor picture.  Let’s not talk about that other thing.


Called Republican Pickups (6): AR, IL, IN, ND, PA, WI

Uncalled Republican Holds (1):

AK – Murkowski up 7% with 100% in.  AK moved formal write-in ballot counting up to next week.


Called Democratic Pickups (3): CA, HI, VT

Called Republican Pickups (11): IA, KS, ME, MI, NM, OH, OK, PA, TN, WI, WY

Called Independent Pickups(1): RI

Uncalled Democratic Pickups (2):

CT – Malloy now up 6,000 votes with 98% in. SoS says final tally is today.

MN – Dayton up 9,000 votes with 100% in.  Final canvass on November 23.

HOUSE – R+63

Called Democratic Pickups (3): DE-AL, HI-01, LA-02

Called Republican Pickups (63): AL-02, AR-01, AR-02, AZ-01, AZ-05, CO-03, CO-04, FL-02, FL-08, FL-22, FL-24, GA-08, ID-01, IL-11, IL-14, IL-17, IN-08, IN-09, KS-03, LA-03, MD-01, MI-01, MI-07, MN-08, MO-04, MS-01, MS-04, NC-02, ND-AL, NH-01, NH-02, NJ-03, NM-02, NV-03, NY-13, NY-19, NY-20, NY-24, NY-29, OH-01, OH-06, OH-15, OH-16, OH-18, PA-03, PA-07, PA-08, PA-10, PA-11, SC-05, SD-AL, TN-04, TN-06, TN-08, TX-17, TX-23, VA-02, VA-05, VA-09, WA-03, WI-07, WI-08, WV-01

Uncalled Republican Pickups (3):

IL-08 – Walsh up 550 votes with 100% in.  Absentees left to count.

NY-25 – Buerkle up 650 votes with 100% in.  Absentees left to count.

TX-27 – Farenthold up 800 votes with 100% in.  Absentees left to count.

Uncalled Democratic Holds (6):

AZ-08 – Giffords up 3,000 votes wih 100% in.  Apparently “early votes” still being counted.

CA-11 – McNerney up 121 votes with 100% in.  Absentees left to count.

CA-20 – Vidak up 1,700 votes with 100% in.  However, tens of thousands of absentees outstanding, almost all in Costa strongholds.

KY-06 – Chandler up 600 votes with 100% in.  He has declared victory.

VA-11 – Connolly up 800 votes with 100% in. Provisionals left to count.

WA-02 – Larsen up 1,450 votes with 80% in.  Lots of votes remain all over the district.  Tough call, but I’ll go with Larsen since he’s up.

SpiderDem’s House of Denial – Governor’s Edition

Same drill as my prior efforts this week.  Net gain of 3 1/2 for the Republicans.  They pick up 10 seats.  Democrats pick up 6.  Indy Lincoln Chafee picks up RI.  Pickups in bold.

AK – Parnell (R) 53, Berkowitz (D) 42 – Bet Berkowitz wishes he had run for Senate.

AL – Bentley (R) 57, Sparks (D) 42 – Thanks for putting Davis out to pasture, Ron.

AR – Beebe (D) 60, Keet (R) 38 – Beebe a red state powerhouse.

AZ – Brewer (R) 52, Goddard (D) 44 – Few less deserving candidates will win this year than Brewer.

CA – Brown (D) 50, Whitman (R) 44 – What a turnaround for Brown.

CO – Hickenlooper (D) 48, Tancredo (C) 41, Maes (R) 8 – Hickenlooper seems to be fending off the Tanc.

CT – Malloy (D) 50, Foley (R) 48 – Furious comeback for Foley comes up just short.

FL – Sink (D) 49, Scott (R) 48 – This one’s in my backyard.  Please voters, come to your senses!

GA – Deal (R) 51, Barnes (D) 45 – Amazing that things are so bad that GA voters will elect a guy like Deal.

HI – Abercrombie (D) 53, Aiona (R) 45 – Not quite buying the massive enthusiasm gap.

IA – Branstad (R) 53, Culver (D) 44 – Culver keeps it barely close enough to avert statewide disaster.

ID – Otter (R) 57, Allred (D) 40 – Allred a decent statewide candidate for Idaho.

IL – Quinn (D) 45, Brady (R) 45 – Illinois Dems work magic with turnout.

KS – Brownback (R) 61, Holland (D) 38 – Poor Kansas.  Four years (at least) of Brownback.

MA – Patrick (D) 47, Baker (R) 42, Cahill (I) 9 – Patrick will be quite the survival story if he pulls it off.

MD – O’Malley (D) 54, Ehrlich (R) 44 – Nice job by O’Malley taking control of this one.

ME – LePage (R) 40, Cutler (I) 34, Mitchell (D) 24 – Cutler surging here, but hard to imagine a win.

MI – Snyder (R) 57, Bernero (D) 41 – This one was over the day Snyder was nominated.

MN – Dayton (D) 44, Emmer (R) 39, Horner (I) 14 – Dayton has maintained the lead since primary.

NE – Heineman (R) 70, Meister (D) 30 – No contest in this one.

NH – Lynch (D) 53, Stephen (R) 45 – Comfortable win for Lynch.

NM – Martinez (R) 54, Denish (D) 46 – Outgoing administration a huge drag on Denish.

NV – Sandoval (R) 53, Reid (D) 40 – Why did we nominate Reid the Younger again?

NY – Cuomo (D) 61, Paladino (R) 35 – What a piece of work Paladino turned out to be.

OH – Strickland (D) 49, Kasich (R) 48 – Surging Strickland takes it with base turnout.

OK – Fallin (R) 58, Askins (D) 42 – Will be interesting to see if Dems can compete in OK going forward.

OR – Kitzhaber (D) 49, Dudley (R) 46 – Amazing sign of the times that bricklayer Dudley is even in it.

PA – Corbett (R) 52, Onorato (D) 48 – Onorato growing on people, but too little too late.

RI – Chafee (I) 40, Robitaille (R) 31, Caprio (D) 27 – Off-message Caprio goes down hard.

SC – Haley (R) 54, Sheheen (D) 44 – Alvin Greene can’t be helping matters here.

SD – Daugaard (R) 59, Heidepriem (D) 41 – Heidepriem actually not a bad candidate.

TN – Haslam (R) 61, McWherter (D) 37 – Haslam’s strong candidacy may sink Dems throughout state.

TX – Perry (R) 53, White (D) 45 – Wrong year for White to try to pull this off.

UT – Herbert (R) 63, Corroon (D) 34 – Republicans still able to get by in Utah.

VT – Shumlin (D) 51, Dubie (R) 45 – Dubie gets smoked, as someone said yesterday.

WI – Walker (R) 54, Barrett (D) 45 – Outgoing administration a huge drag on Barrett.

WY – Mead (R) 63, Peterson (D) 35 – Wonder how Freudenthal would have done here.

SpiderDem’s House of Denial – Senate Edition

After seeing my prediction of 32 House seat pickups for the Republicans yesterday, most of you probably think I’m a lunatic.  Well I’m just getting warmed up.  

In the Senate, here’s what I’m confident of.  First, Republicans will pick up no fewer than four seats: AR, IN, ND, and WI.  Second, Republicans will not pick up more than eight, which is confirmed by Charlie Cook of all people.  So the question becomes who wins seats five through eight: CO, IL, NV, and PA.  And what does a Democrat in deep denial say to that?  Clean sweep, baby.  Democrats win all four seats, and drop four seats total.

Why, you ask?  The only good reason I can give is that Democrats have varying degrees of boots on the ground, GOTV advantages in all of these states.  Otherwise, the answer is self-delusion and an inability to cope with anything worse.  And as a side note, for the time being, I am discounting the possibility of a surprise pickup in Alaska, although I hope for it more than anything.  I think Murkowski will win there.

Without further ado, here are my predictions:

AK – Murkowski (WI) 40, McAdams (D) 30, Miller (R) 28 – Not quite feeling the McMagic.

AL – Shelby (R) 64, Barnes (D) 36 – Shelby probably safe until he retires.

AR – Boozman (R) 56, Lincoln (D) 40 – For all that happened, losing this seat may have been inevitable.

AZ – McCain (R) 57, Glassman (D) 38 – Remember how J.D. Hayworth was going to take out McCain?

CA – Boxer (D) 49, Fiorina (R) 44 – If Cook says it’s over for Team Red, it’s over.

CO – Bennet (D) 49, Buck (R) 48 – Dems apparently pleased with the early voting results.

CT – Blumenthal (D) 55, McMahon (R) 43 – McMahon may as well have lit her millions on fire.

DE – Coons (D) 56, O’Donnell (R) 42 – Amazing that O’Donnell seems somewhat likely to reach 40%.

FL – Rubio (R) 45, Crist (I) 36, Meek (D) 16 – Rubio on cruise control here.

GA – Isakson (R) 60, Thurmond (D) 36 – Isakson appears to have blown the barn doors off of this.

HI – Inouye (D) 61, Cavasso (R) 35 – Not buying Rasmussen’s massive enthusiasm gap.

IA – Grassley (R) 61, Conley (D) 38 – Wrong cycle for nice Democratic recruit.

ID – Crapo (R) 72, Sullivan (D) 26 – Not a serious challenge at all.

IL – Giannoulias (D) 47, Kirk (R) 46 – Dems work magic with base turnout.

IN – Coats (R) 57, Ellsworth (D) 40 – Wonder if Bayh would have held this one in the end.

KS – Moran (R) 66, Johnston (D) 32 – Dems will be blown out across the board in Kansas.

KY – Paul (R) 55, Conway (D) 45 – Oh what might have been in this one.

LA – Vitter (R) 51, Melancon (D) 41 – Sadly Melancon is about the best LA Dems can do.

MD – Mikulski (D) 58, Wargotz (R) 39 – No problem here for Mikulski.

MO – Blunt (R) 53, Carnahan (D) 45 – Carnahan can win a big statewide race in a better cycle.

NC – Burr (R) 54, Marshall (D) 42 – Marshall never really had the resources to compete.

ND – Hoeven (R) 70, Potter (D) 28 – Glad we didn’t have to watch Dorgan go up in flames.

NH – Ayotte (R) 55, Hodes (D) 41 – I don’t think Hodes would have beaten Lamontagne either.

NV – Reid (D) 47, Angle (R) 45 – I’m going with Jon Ralston all the way here.

NY-A – Schumer (D) 63, Townsend (R) 35 – This one was never in question.

NY-B – Gillibrand (D) 60, DioGuardi (R) 37 – Remember all those weird polls in the low single digits?

OH – Portman (R) 57, Fisher (D) 39 – Everyone’s favorite Kamikaze A-wing pilot goes down hard.

OK – Coburn (R) 69, Rogers (D) 29 – Coburn will get to continue rooting out OK’s lesbian problem.

OR – Wyden (D) 57, Huffman (R) 39 – A lesser Dem would be in a dogfight here.

PA – Sestak (D) 50, Toomey (R) 50 – Democratic machine pulls out all the stops for Joe.

SC – Demint (R) 63, Greene (D) 24 – What a fiasco for South Carolina Dems.

SD – Thune (R) unopposed.

UT – Lee (R) 65, Granato (D) 31 – Utah just might be a tough place for a Dem to win this year.

VT – Leahy (D) 65, Britton (R) 32 – No contest for Leahy.

WA – Murray (D) 53, Rossi (R) 47 – If Cook says it’s over for Team Red, it’s over.

WI – Johnson (R) 52, Feingold (D) 46 – Washington needs more Russ Feingolds, not less.

WV – Manchin (D) 51, Raese (R) 46 – If Cook says it’s over for Team Red, it’s over.

F@%k it. Dems keep the House.

What you are about to witness is equal parts political prognostication and mental health breakdown.  I am officially predicting that the Democrats will keep the House with a small but sustainable majority.  Republicans pick up 37 seats and Democrats pick up 5, leaving a net of 32.  Pick your own justification: the polls are wrong, the pundits are wrong, the scientific modelers are wrong.  You name it.  It’s all true in my world.  The real truth is that I cannot emotionally handle the Republicans winning a majority or even being within striking distance with the help of a few party switchers.  So fuck it.  The Democrats keep this mo fo.  Below is the most plausible scenario I could muster for my fantasy to become reality.  Pickups in bold:

AL-02 – Bright (D) 51, Roby (R) 49 – DCCC polling and investment very stable here.

AR-01 – Causey (D) 49, Crawford (R) 48 – DCCC has invested heavily.  Lots of persuadable Dems here.

AR-02 – Griffin (R) 56, Elliott (D) 42 – Little Rock base keeps Elliott over 40%.

AZ-01 – Gosar (R) 50, Kirkpatrick (D) 46 – Have never seen tangible evidence that Kirkpatrick can win.

AZ-05 – Mitchell (D) 49, Schweikert (R) 48 – DCCC internal showed 7-point lead.

AZ-07 – Grijalva (D) 52, McClung (R) 45 – DCCC does not appear overly concerned here.

AZ-08 – Giffords (D) 52, Kelly (R) 45 – Or here.

CA-03 – Lungren (R) 51, Bera (D) 42 – Too tough a district for this cycle.

CA-11 – McNerney (D) 52, Harmer (R) 48 – Improved upticket performance may help.

CA-20 – Costa (D) 52, Vidak (R) 47 – Tough race for Costa in the Central Valley.

CA-47 – Sanchez (D) 51, Tran (R) 43 – Demographics here very tough for Tran.

CO-03 – Salazar (D) 48, Tipton (R) 48 – Salazar holds on by the narrowest of margins.

CO-04 – Gardner (R) 50, Markey (D) 45 – Markey hanging tough despite DCCC abandonment.

CO-07 – Perlmutter (D) 51, Frazier (R) 46 – DCCC taking this challenge very seriously.

CT-04 – Himes (D) 53, Debicella (R) 47 – Obama rally should help boost Himes.

CT-05 – Murphy (D) 53, Caliguiri (R) 46 – Late DCCC spending may boost Murphy.

DE-AL – Carney (D) 54, Urquhart (R) 43 – Smooth sailing for Carney.

FL-02 – Southerland (R) 51, Boyd (D) 46 – Lots of registered Dems here to come back to Boyd.

FL-08 – Webster (R) 51, Grayson (D) 44 – Hopefully Webster will be defeated in 2012.

FL-12 – Ross (R) 44, Edwards (D) 37, Wilkinson (TP) 18 – Ross gets by on big financial advantage.

FL-22 – Klein (D) 51, West (R) 49 – West seems too crazy for the district, but could very well win.

FL-24 – Adams (R) 54, Kosmas (D) 46 – Adams another one who could be ripe for the picking in 2012.

FL-25 – Garcia (D) 48, Rivera (R) 48 – Republicans really picked a live one here.

GA-02 – Bishop (D) 53, Keown (R) 47 – Demographics of this district very tough for Keown.

GA-08 – Scott (R) 53, Marshall (D) 47 – Why didn’t either party committee really get into this one?

HI-01 – Hanabusa (D) 50, Djou (R) 49 – Djou will pull a lot of Case supporters, but not quite enough.

IA-01 – Braley (D) 53, Lange (R) 45 – Braley prevails in spite of huge outside spending.

IA-02 – Loebsack (D) 51, Miller-Meeks (R) 46 – Early voting may save Loebsack.

IA-03 – Boswell (D) 52, Zaun (R) 46 – Boswell did a great job of defining Zaun here.

ID-01 – Minnick (D) 52, Labrador (R) 44 – NRCC has ignored this one for a reason.

IL-10 – Seals (D) 53, Dold (R) 47 – If Cooks says Lean D this cycle, it’s Lean D.

IL-11 – Kinzinger (R) 54, Halvorson (D) 46 – Halvorson simply drew a very, very tough candidate.

IL-14 – Foster (D) 49, Hultgren (R) 47 – Huge DCCC spending may bail out Foster.

IL-17 – Schilling (R) 50, Hare (D) 48 – My gut tells me that huge DCCC spending cut was not a good sign.

IN-02 – Donnelly (D) 51, Walorski (R) 46 – Donnelly has run a very strong campaign.

IN-08 – Bucshon (R) 55, Van Haaften (D) 43 – Not the year for Dems to win an R+8 open seat.

IN-09 – Young (R) 49, Hill (D) 49 – Sinking feeling that Young is emerging here.

KS-03 – Yoder (R) 55, Moore (D) 43 – Still have NEVER seen a poll, but does not seem competitive.

KY-03 – Yarmuth (D) 52, Lally (R) 44 – Neither party committee has taken an interest.

KY-06 – Chandler (D) 53, Barr (R) 47 – DCCC does not seem overly concerned here.

LA-02 – Richmond (D) 58, Cao (R) 41 – Demographics impossible for Cao.

LA-03 – Landry (R) 61, Sangisetty (D) 38 – This part of Louisiana going red fast.

MA-10 – Keating (D) 46, Perry (R) 43 – Crazy how Perry hangs around here with his baggage.

MD-01 – Harris (R) 51, Kratovil (D) 47 – Amazing campaign for Kratovil, but out with the tide.

MI-01 – Benishek (R) 47, McDowell (D) 46 – Sleeper race narrowly goes to the GOP.

MI-07 – Schauer (D) 50, Walberg (R) 46 – Schauer somehow seems to be out-performing 2008.

MI-09 – Peters (D) 51, Raczkowski (R) 46 – Late DCCC spending may boost Peters.

MN-01 – Walz (D) 50, Demmer (R) 44 – DCCC does not seem overly concerned here.

MN-08 – Oberstar (D) 54, Cravaack (R) 45 – Oberstar survives tough challenge.

MO-03 – Carnahan (D) 53, Martin (R) 43 – Well-funded but crazy challenger for Carnahan.

MO-04 – Skelton (D) 51, Hartzler (R) 47 – Skelton survives the political fight of his life.

MS-01 – Nunnellee (R) 50, Childers (D) 47 – Like Kratovil, out with the tide in spite of great campaign.

MS-04 – Taylor (D) 50, Palazzo (R) 48 – Hard to believe a guy who won by 50 last time is in this position.

NC-02 – Etheridge (D) 52, Ellmers (R) 45 – Neither party committee has taken an interest.

NC-07 – McIntyre (D) 53, Pantano (R) 46 – DCCC does not seem overly concerned.

NC-08 – Kissell (D) 51, Johnson (R) 47 – Nothing from the NRCC in this district.

NC-11 – Shuler (D) 53, Miller (R) 47 – DCCC does not seem overly concerned.

ND-AL – Berg (R) 51, Pomeroy (D) 49 – Pomeroy ran a great campaign, but too red a district.

NH-01 – Guinta (R) 52, Shea-Porter (D) 46 – No more rabbits to pull out of the hat for Shea-Porter.

NH-02 – Kuster (D) 49, Bass (R) 48 – Strong campaign from Kuster has won her big-time DCCC support.

NJ-03 – Adler (D) 49, Runyan (R) 48 – Difficult to imagine this district electing a dummy like Runyan.

NM-01 – Heinrich (D) 51, Barela (R) 48 – Heinrich turns back strong challenge in Dem district.

NM-02 – Pearce (R) 53, Teague (D) 47 – Teague fought a good fight, but looks to be out of it.

NV-03 – Heck (R) 49, Titus (D) 46 – NBC just moved this one to Lean R.

NY-01 – Bishop (D) 53, Altschuler (R) 46 – No spending from the DCCC here.

NY-13 – McMahon (D) 53, Grimm (R) 43 – No sign of life from Grimm.

NY-19 – Hall (D) 50, Hayworth (R) 49 – Strong top of ticket and late DCCC spending save Hall.

NY-20 – Murphy (D) 50, Gibson (R) 50 – Murphy pulls out extremely tough race.

NY-23 – Owens (D) 47, Doheny (R) 45 – Doug Hoffman saves the Dems again.

NY-24 – Arcuri (D) 52, Hanna (R) 48 – Arcuri somehow matches 2008 performance.

NY-25 – Maffei (D) 55, Buerkle (R) 45 – No recent signs of life from Buerkle.

NY-29 – Reed (R) 59, Zeller (D) 41 – No real contest from Dems here.

OH-01 – Chabot (R) 52, Driehaus (D) 44 – Chabot has been well ahead all along.

OH-06 – Wilson (D) 49, Johnson (R) 46 – Strickland running stronger may help.

OH-15 – Stivers (R) 51, Kilroy (D) 44 – DCCC never invested anything significant here.

OH-16 – Renacci (R) 50, Boccieri (D) 46 – Environment carries the day in free-spending race.

OH-18 – Gibbs (R) 49, Space (D) 48 – One of the biggest spending races in the country.

OR-05 – Schrader (D) 50, Bruun (R) 47 – Somewhere between Elway and Survey USA.

PA-03 – Kelly (R) 53, Dahlkemper (D) 46 – DCCC gave up on this weeks ago.

PA-04 – Altmire (D) 54, Rothfus (R) 45 – Altmire cruises in tough district.

PA-07 – Meehan (R) 50, Lentz (D) 50 – Huge DCCC spending makes it close, but Meehan holds on.

PA-08 – Fitzpatrick (R) 51, Murphy (D) 49 – Fitzpatrick one of the stronger Republican candidates.

PA-10 – Carney (D) 50, Marino (R) 49 – Amazing that a scoundrel like Marino is even in it.

PA-11 – Kanjorski (D) 50, Barletta (R) 50 – Survivor Kanjorski holds on once again.

PA-12 – Critz (D) 51, Burns (R) 49 – Burns may fare better with general electorate, but Critz holds on.

PA-15 – Dent (R) 54, Callahan (D) 44 – Callahan could take this seat in a better year.

RI-01 – Cicilline (D) 53, Loughlin (R) 44 – It’s friggin’ Rhode Island.

SC-05 – Mulvaney (R) 52, Spratt (D) 48 – Pundits don’t seem bullish on Spratt at all.

SD-AL – Herseth-Sandlin (D) 49, Noem (R) 49 – Noem baggage just enough for SHS to squeak by.

TN-04 – DeJarlais (R) 49, Davis (D) 48 – Trajectory looks awful for Davis.

TN-06 – Black (R) 63, Carter (D) 35 – Carter will not have to worry about Pelosi vote.

TN-08 – Fincher (R) 54, Herron (D) 45 – Wonder if Tanner would have won this.

TX-17 – Flores (R) 51, Edwards (D) 46 – Late gaffes from Flores make it semi-competitive.

TX-23 – Rodriguez (D) 50, Canseco (R) 47 – Buzz seems to be that Rodriguez has the edge.

TX-27 – Ortiz (D) 53, Farenthold (R) 43 – Farenthold lacks gravitas somewhat in those ducky pajamas.

VA-02 – Rigell (R) 50, Nye (D) 45 – Environment carries the day.

VA-05 – Hurt (R) 49, Periello (D) 46 – Will be sad to see Periello go if that is what happens.

VA-09 – Boucher (D) 52, Griffin (R) 45 – Still no spending from the DCCC here.

VA-11 – Connolly (D) 51, Fimian (R) 47 – Huge spending in DC by the DCCC saves the day.

WA-02 – Larsen (D) 52, Koster (R) 47 – Larsen seems to have taken control somewhat.

WA-03 – Heck (D) 50, Herrera (R) 50 – Lazy Herrera deserves to lose as much as anyone.

WA-08 – Reichert (R) 54, DelBene (D) 45 – Slightly larger than typical win for Reichert.

WI-03 – Kind (D) 52, Kapanke (R) 46 – Party committees just starting to spend here.

WI-07 – Duffy (R) 50, Lassa (D) 47 – Duffy has been ahead all along here.

WI-08 – Ribble (R) 53, Kagen (D) 47 – Ribble has been ahead in every poll I have seen.

WV-01 – Oliviero (D) 51, McKinley (R) 49 – Manchin turnaround helps Oliviero.

I.E. Analysis Week 4

Week four of my five-part series shows encouraging stability, rather than a rapidly growing wave.  There is only one race (NY-23) where the NRCC spent in Week 4 but not Week 3.  There were 10 races (CO-07, FL-02, IA-01, MN-01, NC-11, NY-19, PA-07, SD-AL, TX-17, WA-02) where the DCCC spent in Week 4 but not Week 3.  Three of those (FL-02, PA-07, and TX-17) were positive for Dems, in that they were finally spending in what I had long assumed were uphill districts to say the least.  Four (CO-07, IA-01, NC-11, and WA-02) were emerging Republican targets, but not sufficiently emergent for the NRCC to pay attention to them.  The buys in IA-01 and NC-11 were under $100K.  I consider these all to be in an abundance of caution.  The remaining three (MN-01, NY-19, and SD-AL) were all modest investments in races that have already been on the map.  There were no three alarm fires in the bunch.

Nor has the NRCC locked down any more seats than last week.  In fact, this week saw two Democratic districts (FL-02 and PA-11) achieve battleground status from the jaws of death, while only one new district (NM-02) was downgraded to the “I’m not quite dead yet” category.  As a result, I spotted the Republicans 17 seats last week, and I spotted them 16 seats this week.  The NRCC did, however, officially stop spending in five districts (CO-04, FL-08, FL-24, PA-03, TN-08) that it pretty much already had locked up as of last week.

Another interesting development is the emergence of a Democratic firewall.  There were very large increases in DCCC funding for certain districts, including CA-11, FL-25, IL-10, IL-14, IL-17, IN-09, MI-07, MO-04, NH-02, NM-01, OH-18, OR-05, PA-12, WA-03, and WV-01.  I suspect that these are some of the closest races in the country, and that the majority will hinge on the outcome of some combination of these races.  I am actually slightly more hopeful of retaining the House than I was last week, but to be clear I was not hopeful at all last week, and am only a little hopeful this week.  In any event, here is your weekly I.E. analysis.  

Goners (14D, 2R):

AR-02 – Nothing from either side ever.

CO-04 – NRCC stopped spending here this week.  DCCC never did.

DE-AL – Nothing from either side ever.

FL-08 – NRCC stopped spending here this week.  DCCC never did.

FL-24 – NRCC stopped spending here this week.  DCCC never did.

IL-11 – NRCC continued its token $30K spending here.  DCCC never spent here.

IN-08 – NRCC has not spent for a few weeks.  DCCC never did.

KS-03 – Nothing from either side ever.

LA-02 – Nothing from either side ever.

LA-03 – Nothing from either side ever.

NY-29 – Nothing from either side ever.

OH-01 – DCCC continued its token $30K ad buy.  NRCC never spent here.

OH-15 – DCCC stopped even its token ad buys this week.  NRCC never spent here.

PA-03 – NRCC stopped spending here this week.  DCCC stopped spending a few weeks ago.

TN-06 – Nothing from either side ever.

TN-08 – NRCC stopped spending here this week.  DCCC never did.

“I’m not quite dead yet!” (4D, 0R):

NH-01 – DCCC has never spent here.  NRCC stable at $320K.  Guinta must have a solid lead.

NM-02 – DCCC reduced its investment from $180K to $20K.  NRCC maintained a $175K pace.  Things are not going well for Dems in NM.

TX-17 – DCCC spent $60K here this week, its first spending to date.  NRCC stopped spending here this week.  Republicans seem to believe they have finished off Edwards.

WI-08 – DCCC stopped spending here this week.  NRCC decreased its investment from $110K to $100K.  Close Penn poll and Kagen self-funding ability are rays of hope.

Battlegrounds (39D, 1R):

AL-02 – DCCC increased from $245K to $265K.  NRCC increased from $220K to $240K.  Stable race, probably with a modest Bright lead.

AZ-01 – DCCC increased from $230K to $250K.  NRCC decreased from $250K to $225K.  Probably a modest, stable lead for Gosar.

AZ-05 – DCCC decreased from $250K to $240K.  NRCC decreased from $380K to $320K.  Would have expected Dems to increase here.  Not a great sign.

AR-01 – DCCC increased from $440K to $470K.  NRCC stable at $250K.  Dems clearly believe they can win this district.  Spending huge here for some time.

CO-03 – DCCC decreased from $330K to $250K.  NRCC increased from $270K to $340K.  I actually suspect that Salazar may be out in front a bit here.

FL-02 – DCCC spent $150K here this week, its first significant spending to date.  NRCC decreased from $400K to $155K.  Republicans must be feeling very good here.

FL-22 – No spending from either side amidst incredibly well funded candidates.  Polls show a toss-up.  I won’t argue.

GA-02 – DCCC increased from $150K to $180K.  NRCC increased from $120K to $160K.  Bishop may have a modest, stable lead.

HI-01 – Both parties maintained their level of investment, with DCCC at $160K and NRCC at $130K.  Seems like a stable race that could go either way.

IL-17 – DCCC increased from $320K to $390K.  NRCC increased from $150K to $440K.  Part of the emerging Democratic firewall.

IN-09 – DCCC increased from $270K to $450K.  NRCC stable at $200K.  Part of the emerging Democratic firewall.

MA-10 – DCCC increased from $130K to $160K.  NRCC decreased from $310K to $275K.  Dems seem relatively unconcerned here.  I take that as a good sign.

MI-01 – DCCC decreased from $270K to $250K.  NRCC increased from $210K to $245K.  This could be a big surprise Dem victory.

MI-07 – DCCC increased from $220K to $300K.  NRCC increased from $210K to $230K.  Another Dem firewall district.

MD-01 – DCCC decreased from $360K to $310K.  NRCC increased from $355K to $370K.  Kratovil is amazing to even be in this thing.

MO-04 – DCCC increased from $227K to $350K.  NRCC stable at $280K.  Yet another firewall disctrict.

MS-01 – DCCC maintained its investment at $230K.  NRCC decreased from $300K to $200K.  Republicans may be feeling good about this one.

ND-AL – DCCC maintained its $255K investment.  NRCC decreased from $240K to $170K.  Probably a modest but stable lead for Berg.

NH-02 – DCCC increased its investment 10-fold, from $34K to $340K.  NRCC maintained its $130K investment.  Dems may sense some momentum here, and are clearly all in.

NM-01 – DCCC increased from $115K to $370K.  NRCC maintained $160K investment.  Another firewall district for Democrats.

NY-19 – DCCC spent $90K here this week, its first spending to date.  Nothing from the NRCC.  I suspect both parties are reluctant to dive headlong into big NYC media buys.  Polls show a very close race.

NY-20 – DCCC increased from $110K to $230K.  NRCC decreased from $200K to $175K.  I suspect Murphy still has a decent lead.

NY-23 – DCCC increased from $160K to $220K.  NRCC spent $175K, its first spending to date.  Not sure why Republicans did not spend here previously.

OH-06 – DCCC increased from $65K to $290K.  NRCC increased from $100K to $130K.  This one is emerging as a significant concern, and part of the firewall.

OH-16 – DCCC stable at $295K.  NRCC decreased from $427K to $332K.  Renacci may be taking control a little here.

OH-18 – DCCC increased from $270K to $620K.  NRCC decreased from $550K to $315K.  One of the most heavily sought after districts in the country.

OR-05 – DCCC doubled its investment from $230K to $470K.  NRCC decreased its investment from $270K to $100K.  Republicans may be feeling good about this one (UPDATE – or maybe they’re bailing out if today’s Elway poll is believed).

PA-07 – DCCC spent $250K here this week, its first spending this week.  NRCC upped its spending from $45K to $70K.  Nice to see Dem investment, but I suspect Meehan is ahead.

PA-10 – DCCC increased from $140K to $170K.  NRCC decreased from $220K to $190K.  I fear that Marino may have a modest lead.

PA-11 – DCCC increases from $35K to $200K, putting this race back on the table.  Republicans maintain investment at $155K.  Kanjorski back from the dead.

PA-12 – DCCC increased from $250K to $400K.  NRCC decreased from $280K to $260K.  This is another firewall district, despite special election result.

SC-05 – DCCC decreased from $270K to $230K.  NRCC increased from $200K to $300K.  Spratt may be faring better than many think.

SD-AL – DCCC spent $80K here this week, its first spending to date.  NRCC decreased from $226K to $150K.  Noem is clearly making a race of it.

TN-04 – DCCC increased from $110K to $175K.  NRCC decreased from $310K to $220K.  I’m guessing Davis still has a modest lead.

TX-23 – DCCC decreased from $235K to $170K.  NRCC decreased from $265K to $245K.  Rodriguez may have a modest but stable lead here.

VA-02 – DCCC increased from $150K to $180K, while NRCC decreased from $150K to $130K.  Rigell probably has a modest but stable lead.

VA-05 – DCCC increased from $95K to $230K.  NRCC maintained $185K pace.  Real vote of confidence in Periello from the Dems here.

WA-03 – DCCC increased from $280K to $500K.  NRCC decreased from $310K to $275K.  Dems have been going after this district hard for a long time.

WI-07 – DCCC increased from $170K to $190K, while NRCC decreased from $155K to $140K.  Duffy probably has a small but stable lead.

WV-01 – DCCC increased from $250K to $330K.  NRCC increased from $190K to $220K.  Part of the Democratic firewall.

Head Scratchers (3D, 1R):

GA-08 – DCCC still spending a token $10K.  NRCC maintained its spending at about $75K.  I would have guessed Marshall was ahead, but Landmark Communications says Scott up big.  

IL-10 – DCCC increased from $125K to $670K.  NRCC maintained its token $50K spending.  I would suspect Seals is ahead, but We Ask America says different.

NV-03 – DCCC spent its typical $400K.  No spending from the NRCC here this week.  Truly do not know what to make of it.  Early voting may be telling Republicans they are either way ahead or behind.

PA-08 – NRCC continued its token $40K spending.  Still nothing from the DCCC.  I’m hesitating to downgrade this only because of the Penn poll showing Murphy up.

Lean Retention (21D, 1R):

AZ-07 – DCCC cut its spending for Grijalva from $60K to $30K.  Nothing from the NRCC.  I think this was a good wakeup call and nothing more.

CA-11 – DCCC made huge increase in spending from $50K to $350K.  NRCC continued its token $50K spending.   Seems the Dems are trying to put this one away.

CA-20 – DCCC increased its spending from $40K to $115K.  A little disconcerting, but probably just precautionary.  Nothing from the NRCC.

CO-07 – DCCC spent $164K here this week, its first spending to date.  Appears precautionary for now.  Nothing from the NRCC.

FL-25 – DCCC spent $362K here this week, a huge increase.  Encouraging, but the NRCC still has not felt the need to get involved.

IA-01 – DCCC did a $14K media production here this week, probably to counteract big outside spending.  Nothing from the NRCC.

IA-02 – DCCC spent $215K here this week.  Nothing from the NRCC.  This is probably the most endangered of the IA seats.

IA-03 – DCCC continued its weekly spending in the $125K range.  Nothing from the NRCC.  Boswell is in control.

IL-14 – DCCC made huge increase in spending from $75K to $400K.  NRCC maintained its token $50K spending.  Like CA-11, Dems are going for the jugular here.

IN-02 – DCCC increased its spending from $190K to $220K.  Republicans maintained spending at $80K.  Donnelly seems to be ahead.

KY-06 – DCCC spent a modest $140K, while the NRCC stopped spending this week.  I suspect Chandler has a high single digit lead or maybe better.

NC-07 – DCCC reduced its investment to $60K from $80K.  NRCC increased its investment from $45K to $75K.  Spending is not reflective of a great pickup opportunity.  

MN-01 – DCCC spent $125K here this week, its first spending to date.  NRCC decreased from $180K to $160K.  Dems probably just being cautious here.

MS-04 – DCCC still has not spent here.  NRCC decreased from $175K to $140K.  I suspect Taylor has a stable lead.

NC-08 – DCCC increased from $250K to $375K.  Still nothing from the NRCC.  I suspect this is precautionary to make up for the usual, sloppy Kissell fundraising.

NC-11 – DCCC spent $95K here this week, its first spending to date.  Nothing from the NRCC.  Again I suspect it is precautionary from the DCCC.

NJ-03 – NRCC increased its token spending from $30K to $45K.  Nothing from the DCCC.  Polls show this one close, but I am skeptical given lack of spending from both sides.

OH-13 – DCCC has stopped spending here this week.  NRCC not spending on self-funder Ganley.  Sutton is in good shape.

NY-24 – DCCC increased its spending from $190K to $230K.  NRCC increased from $70K to $80K. Arcuri seems to be ahead.

VA-09 – DCCC has never spent here.  This is the NRCC’s Moby Dick, as it increases from $180K to $200K.  Boucher seems to have the lead.

VA-11 – DCCC spent $240K here this week, buying its first TV ads.  Nothing from the NRCC.  It’s a big buy, but it’s an expensive district.  Probably precautionary.

WA-02 – DCCC spent $260K here this week, its first spending to date.  Nothing from the NRCC.  Virtually the same analysis of WA-02.

New and Improved House I.E. Analysis

This is the third in my five-week series focusing on House independent expenditures and what they tell us about the races.  This one should be much better than the previous ones because I have now taken into account not just whether the party committees are spending in a particular district, but how much and for how long.  The Republicans have relatively few seats in the bag compared to the apocalyptic conventional wisdom that this is the mother of all wave elections.  I would generously give them 17 – all of the ones listed in the first two categories below.  At the same time, the Republicans have genuinely put a lot of seats in play.  One or both parties has made I.E.’s in 73 districts – 68 Democratic and 5 Republican.  That is the problem for the Democrats – a broad playing field that is modestly expanding week by week.  The problem for the Republicans though, which will probably keep them from running up huge numbers, is that they are bogged down in pitch battles over seats that were seen as goners according to the early conventional wisdom (MD-01, MS-01, NM-02, and VA-05 to name a few).  Republicans are spending hundreds of thousands weekly on these types of districts.  The fact that these deeply endangered Democratic incumbents have refused to say die two weeks out is good news for the Democrats, as it focuses resources on those races instead of broadening the playing field even further.  All in all, I expect Republicans to take the House with a net gain of 40-55 seats.  I would love to be pleasantly surprised, but I don’t expect to be.  In any event, here is your weekly I.E. analysis:

Goners (9D, 2R)

AR-02 – Nothing from either side.

DE-AL – Nothing from either side.

IL-11 – DCCC has done nothing.  NRCC has been spending about $30K per week.

IN-08 – DCCC has done nothing.  NRCC had been spending but stopped this week.

KS-03 – Nothing from either side.

LA-02 – Nothing from either side.

LA-03 – Nothing from either side.

NY-29 – Nothing from either side.

OH-01 – One small, token ad buy from the DCCC.  Nothing from the NRCC.

OH-15 – Same shit, different district.

TN-06 – Nothing from either side.

“I’m not quite dead yet” (10D, 0R)

CO-04 – DCCC has not spent a dime here, yet the NRCC spent over $400K this week.

FL-02 – Exactly the same story as CO-04.  

FL-08 – DCCC has done nothing, and the NRCC spent over $200K this week.  Actually surprised it was not more given Grayson’s cash advantage.  Webster may be in good shape.

FL-24 – Exactly the same story as FL-08.

NH-01 – Still nothing from the DCCC, but the NRCC is spending over $300K per week.

PA-03 – Both parties have made persistent, small ad buys here, although the DCCC’s have declined.  Does not look good for Dahlkemper.

PA-11 – The DCCC seems to be waving the white flag here, reducing its ad buy from over $100K to $34K this week.  But the NRCC is still spending over $100K per week here.

TN-08 – Herron has only a faint pulse.  DCCC has not spent a dime here, but the NRCC still spent over $100K this week, although it reduced its buy.

TX-17 – The DCCC has not spent anything here either.  The NRCC has significantly increased its ad buys for the past two weeks, but they are still slightly under $100K.

WI-08 – The DCCC spent $45K here this week, while the NRCC spent just over $100K.  Looks uphill for Kagen.

Battlegrounds (31D, 1R)

AL-02 – Both parties pumped over $200K into this district this week.  Dueling internal polls.

AR-01 – DCCC just dumped over $400K into this race this week, while the NRCC spent over $250K.  Sorry Mark Penn, but this is a low single digit race and not a 12-pointer.

AZ-01 – Both parties spent over $200K each in this district this week.  Rumors of Kirkpatrick’s demise may be exaggerated.

AZ-05 – DCCC spent about $250K in this race this week, while the NRCC went for the jugular with about $375K.  Dueling internal polls.

CO-03 – DCCC spent $350K here this week, while the NRCC spent $275K.  NRCC poll showed a tie.

FL-22 – Nothing from either side, but huge fundraising from both candidates.  Dueling internal polls.

HI-01 – DCCC spent over $160K here this week, while the NRCC spent $120K in its first week of spending to date.  Polls consistently show a very tight race.

IL-17 – DCCC spent over $300K here this week, while the NRCC spent $150K.  This one is the real deal.  Hare should win it if he can lift Dem turnout just a little.

IN-09 – DCCC spent about $275K here this week, while the NRCC spent $215K.  Classic battleground.  No polling for a while.

MA-10 – NRCC must like what they see here, busting out over $300K this week.  DCCC spent about $150K.  Still have not seen a poll of this race.

MD-01 – Both parties spent in the mid $300’s here this week.  Kratovil is doing an amazing job of hanging in there.

MI-01 – DCCC spent about $275K here this week, while the NRCC spent just over $200K.  Toss-up race, as several recent polls have shown.

MI-07 – Both parties spent just over $200K here this week.  Another pure toss-up.

MO-04 – DCCC spent $225K here this week, while the NRCC spent $280K.  Skelton seems to be in a real fight, but there is a dearth of recent polling.

MS-01 – DCCC spent about $215K here this week, while the NRCC spent nearly $300K(!).  Like Kratovil, Childers is doing a great job of pulling a Houdini act so far.

ND-AL – Look who’s back from the dead.  Pomeroy has both parties spending $200K plus this week after weeks of silence from the DCCC.

NM-02 – Both parties spent just under $200K here this week.  Like Kratovil, Teague is a red-district freshman with unusual staying power.

NV-03 – One of the hottest districts in the country.  Both parties’ expenditures approached $400K this week.  Pure toss-up.

NY-19 – Neither party has deigned to spend in the NYC media market on this one.  Public polls paint a pretty clear picture of a toss-up race.

OH-16 – Huge battleground.  DCCC spent $300K this week, while the NRCC spent over $400K.  Like Kratovil and Teague, impressive staying power for Boccieri in red district.

OH-18 – Republicans see blood in the water here, spending well over $500K here this week.  DCCC spent about $370K.  SEIU pitching in for Team Red does not help Space.

OR-05 – Both parties spent well over $200K here this week.  Sleeper battleground seat.  NRCC poll showed a virtual tie.

PA-10 – DCCC spent $140K here this week, while the NRCC spent just over $200K.  Amazing that a guy like Marino can even be in a race like this, but that’s the kind of year it is.

PA-12 – Both parties spent in the mid-to-high $200K range here this week.  Republicans only started spending here this week.  They may see an opening in spite of the May result.

SC-05 – DCCC spent $170K here this week, while the NRCC spent $200K.  Spratt is in a serious fight, but no polling for a while.

TN-04 -DCCC has only spent about $100K, but the NRCC spent a whopping $310K here this week.  DeJarlais internal shows a 5 point lead.

TX-23 – Both parties spent in the mid-$200K range this week.  This one should be very close.  Have not seen any polling for a while.

VA-02 – Both parties spent in the mid-$100K range this week.  Nye has done a good job of hanging around in this one.

VA-05 – The DCCC is still spending here, although its latest ad buy was under $100K.  The NRCC spent about $185K this week.  Periello is still very much alive, but behind.

WA-03 – DCCC spent nearly $280K this week here, while the NRCC spent over $300K.  No, Survey USA, this is not a double digit race.

WI-07 – DCCC spent $175K here this week, while the NRCC spent about $155K.  This one is probably competitive, although I suspect Duffy is ahead by single digits.

WV-01 – DCCC spent $250K here this week, while the NRCC spent nearly $200K.  Manchin’s recent surge could help Olivieri.

Head Scratchers (6D, 1R)

CA-11 – Both parties spent about $50K here this week.  I suspect McNerney is up, but as usual a Survey USA poll creates confusion.  

IL-10 – DCCC spent $125K here this week, while the NRCC spent $55K.  Mirror image partisan polls with double digit leads for either candidate have my head spinning.

NH-02 – DCCC spent a paltry $35K here last week, while the NRCC spent $128K.  My sense has been that Bass is ahead, but that screwy UNH poll has me doubting myself.

NY-23 – Doheny internal shows a double digit race in his favor.  Siena shows a double digit race in Owens’s favor.  The NRCC has spent nothing.  The DCCC spent $160K this week.  Huh?

PA-07 – Polls have this one close, but the DCCC has not spent a dime.  The NRCC has made small, sub-$50K ad buys.

PA-08 – Same shit, different district.  Cannot figure these two districts out.

SD-AL – DCCC has not spent here in spite of Noem’s enormous 3Q haul.  DCCC internal showed a double digit SHS lead, while Rasmussen showed a 3-point Noem lead.

Lean Retention (21D, 1R)

AZ-07 – DCCC spent about $60K here this week, which is disconcerting.  Until the NRCC starts spending, I will assume it is precautionary.

CA-20 – DCCC spent about $40K here this week.  I view it the same way as AZ-07.

FL-25 – DCCC spent $75K on advertising on 10/5 and cut that to $18K on 10/12.  Not a good sign for Garcia.

GA-02 – DCCC spent $150K here this week, while the NRCC spent $100K.  Does not seem like an all hands on deck effort for the Republicans yet.

GA-08 – DCCC is spending virtually nothing here, while the NRCC spent about $85K this week.  I suspect Marshall is ahead.  Otherwise, both parties would be investing more.    

IA-02 – DCCC spent over $90K here this week, which is disconcerting.  But the NRCC has not taken an interest yet, so I will wait and see.

IA-03 – DCCC spent nearly $130K here this week, but the NRCC has never engaged.

IL-14 – DCCC spent $90K here this week, while the NRCC spent just over $50K.  DCCC internal showed a double digit Foster lead.

IN-02 – DCCC spent $190K here this week, while the NRCC spent $80K.  Like GA-02, seems like a tepid level of investment from the Republicans.

KY-06 – Both parties spent about $100K here this week.  Does not seem like an inspired effort from the Republicans.

MN-01 – NRCC invested about $180K here this week after targeting the race last week, but the Dems have not yet felt the need to reciprocate.  

MS-04 – NRCC invested $176K here this week, but nothing from the Dems yet.  This one could be real trouble.  Taylor is sub-Coakley in the hubris department here.

NC-07 – NRCC has made modest, $40K weekly ad buys here.  The DCCC finally started spending this week ($75K).  Seems like McIntyre is in decent shape.

NC-08 – DCCC has invested over $200K per week here, but that is probably just to counteract Kissell’s sorry fundraising.  Nothing from the NRCC yet.

NJ-03 – DCCC has done nothing here.  Modest, sub-$30K, weekly buys from the NRCC.  Have to believe that Adler is up here.

NM-01 – DCCC spent $115K here this week, while the NRCC spent over $160K.  Could be trouble, but I will wait to see if the DCCC ups the ante next week.

NY-20 – DCCC spent $110K here this week, while the NRCC spent $172K.  Like NM-01, I will wait to see if the DCCC feels the need to pick up the pace.

NY-24 – DCCC spent nearly $200K here this week, but the NRCC only spent about $70K.  Not an inspiring effort from the NRCC here.  Arcuri is probably up.

OH-06 – DCCC spent $65K here this week, while the NRCC spent just over $100K.  Both parties seem to be just feeling out this race at this point.

OH-13 – DCCC has reduced its ad buy from $220K on 9/21 to about $65K this week.  Dems have to be feeling good about this one.

VA-09 – The DCCC has not spent here, and polls have consistently given Boucher double digit leads.  Nevertheless, the NRCC upped its ad buy to $180K this week.

VA-11 – The DCCC has been spending token amounts of money primarily on mailers.  Nothing from the NRCC.

As to all of the other races where there have been no I.E.’s on either side, including AZ-08, CA-47, CO-07, CT-04, CT-05, ID-01, KY-03, MI-09, NY-01, NY-13, PA-04, and WA-02, I am expecting retention at this point.  I’m sure there will be some surprises, but I’m not going to predict them here.  I expect the overwhelming majority of the pickups to come from races targeted by one or both party committees.

NRCC/DCCC Tea Leaves – Week 2 of 5

This is the second in what will be hopefully be a weekly segment, wherein I attempt to read the tea leaves of the independent expenditures made by the NRCC and the DCCC.  The battle lines have become much clearer this week, with both parties significantly expanding their targeted seats.  As a result, I have been able to come to more resolute opinions about what the behaviors of the party committees mean.  My opinions are probably ham handed and wrong, but I feel more resolute about them.  Without further ado:

Battlegrounds – Both parties engaged (36)

AL-02 – Dueling internals.  Still think Bright is slightly ahead.

AR-01 – Confident that Causey has made a race of this.  He may even be ahead now.

AZ-01 – Cook moved this to Lean R.  Republican polls show modest Gosar leads.

AZ-05 – Dueling internals, all very close.  Should be one of the closer races.

CA-11 – Very little reliable polling here.  Harmer is a good candidate.  Sleeper race.

CO-03 – Salazar destroyed Tipton just a few cycles ago.  Good chance he will win again.

FL-02 – Boyd awfully quiet in spite of two Southerland internals with double digit leads.

GA-08 – Dueling internals with big margins.  Somebody’s way off.  I think Marshall is ahead.

IL-14 – Unrebutted Republican polling suggests to me that Hultgren leads.

IL-17 – A good campaign should win this one for Hare.  A lot of unmotivated Dems here.

IN-02 – Polls reassuring for Donnelly.  Walorski does not seem like the best candidate.

IN-09 – Slightly dusty Republican poll showed a dead heat.  Seems like a true toss-up.

KY-06 – Race clearly tightening but Chandler seems to be ahead.

MA-10 – Don’t know how Perry survives the strip search scandal with the general electorate.

MD-01 – Kratovil hanging in there.  Could be the surprise of election night.

MI-01 – Dems investing a lot of money here.  They must see something worth pursuing.  

MI-07 – Schauer seems to be coming back on Walberg.

MO-04 – Skelton is in for the fight of his life here.

MS-01 – Polling suggests that Nunnellee is modestly ahead.

NH-02 – Public polling shows a surprisingly close race here.  Bass should win though.

NM-02 – Every poll of this race has been tight.  Teague is a strong candidate.

NV-03 – Mason-Dixon has been showing modest Titus leads.

NY-20 – Murphy seems to have a clear but surmountable lead here.

NY-24 – Similar to NY-20.  Clear but surmountable lead for Arcuri.

OH-16 – Boccieri seems to be coming back here.  Trajectory like MI-07.

OH-18 – Gibbs must be clawing his way into it for Dems to invest here.

OR-05 – Republican poll shows a toss-up race.  I think Schrader is slightly ahead.

PA-03 – Dahlkemper is in big trouble.  Would greatly surprise me if she won.

PA-11 – Surprised the Dems are spending anything here.  Kanjorski seems to be behind.

SC-05 – This is a very serious challenge for the veteran Spratt.  He could definitely lose.

VA-02 – Nye seems to be a little behind.

VA-05 – Glad the Dems are playing here, but Periello is behind.

WA-03 – Interesting news that Herrera is barely lifting a finger.  Heck seems to be closing a little.

WI-07 – Duffy seems to be ahead here.

WI-08 – Atrocious polling for Kagen.  This seems uphill for him.

WV-01 – No polling for a while.  Oliviero is the right kind of Dem to win here.

The Goners – Races where Dems are running behind and neither party committee is engaging (6)

AR-02 – After November 2, Elliott will not have to worry about whether to vote for Pelosi.

KS-03 – No polling, but Yoder must be in control.

LA-03 – Sangisetty will not have to sweat that Pelosi vote either.

NY-29 – Thanks Eric Massa.  Love ya!  Tickle, tickle…

OH-01 – Consistent, double digit leads for Chabot.

TN-06 – Carter will not have to sweat that Pelosi vote either.

The Triage List – Races where Dems are running behind, the NRCC is spending, and the DCCC is not (11)

CO-04 – Markey behind or tied in every poll.

FL-08 – Grayson may have done himself in with “Taliban Dan” ad.

FL-24 – Kosmas way down in several polls, statistically tied in her own.

IL-11 – Every poll shows a big lead for Kinzinger.

IN-08 – Big lead for Bucshon in internal poll.

ND-AL – Pomeroy holding his own on huge warchest, but seems to be slightly behind.

NH-01 – Shea-Porter down big in public polls, but Guinta is a poor candidate.

PA-07 – Could be a triage candidate, but the last public poll was close.

PA-08 – Murphy down double digits in last public poll.  Seems like DCCC would spend here.

TN-08 – Republican polls show solid Fincher lead.

TX-17 – Edwards down in his own internals.

Ambitious Republican Targets – Races where Dems are running ahead, NRCC is spending, and DCCC is not (7)

MN-01 – Recent addition to NRCC target list.  Must be tightening.

NC-07 – This one is definitely tightening, but DCCC has not stepped in yet.

NJ-03 – Dems may be milking Adler cash advantage before getting in.

NM-01 – Heinrich seems to be ahead, but NRCC has recently engaged.

OH-06 – Like MN-01, another recent addition to the target list.  Probably tightening.

PA-10 – Carney seems to be slightly ahead against damaged Marino.

SD-AL – Same shit, different district.

VA-09 – Boucher seems relatively safe, but NRCC keeps getting after him.

Emerging Democratic Firewall – Races where Dems are running ahead, DCCC is spending, and NRCC is not (7)

GA-02 – Self-inflicted wounds and poor fundraising force DCCC to spend here.

IA-03 – Zaun seems to be damaged, but Dems clearly don’t feel out of the woods.

NC-08 – Kissell is an awful fundraiser, but I suspect he is ahead.

OH-13 – May be able to stop worrying about this one given Ganley’s S&M scandal.

PA-12 – NRCC understandably reluctant to invest in Tim Burns again.

TX-23 – Surprised NRCC has not made a run at this.  Rodriguez may be ahead.

VA-11 – Connolly did not beat Fimian THAT overwhelmingly in 2008.

Confident Republicans – Races where Dems are running behind, DCCC is spending, and NRCC is not (2)

NY-23 – Doheny poll showed a big lead, but I would expect the NRCC to spend due to Owens $$$ advantage.

OH-15 – Stivers probably does not need the help.

No News is Good News – Pundit-declared, endangered Dem seats where neither party committee has made I.E.’s (16)

AZ-08 – NRCC has been pretty ambitious but has not gone after Giffords.

CA-47 – Lack of NRCC investment leads me to believe Sanchez is ahead.

CO-07 – No attention for Perlmutter from the NRCC.

CT-04 – Given the lack of NRCC investment, I suspect Himes is up more than 2.

CT-05 – I believe Murphy’s internal, not that weird Merriman poll.

FL-22 – Huge candidate money on both sides.  Klein is endangered.

IA-02 – No help for Miller-Meeks yet from the NRCC.

ID-01 – Consistent double digit leads for Minnick.

KY-03 – Yarmuth seems to be comfortably ahead.

MI-09 – No NRCC investment in spite of Rossman Group poll showing Peters trailing.

NY-01 – No polling here for a while, but lack of NRCC investment is comforting.

NY-13 – McMahon and Grimm internals show comfortable McMahon leads.

NY-19 – Neither party is spending, yet two public polls show a tight race.  Strange.

PA-04 – Dusty DCCC poll showed Altmire very comfortably ahead.

TN-04 – Davis up double digits in his internal.  Lack of NRCC involvement comforting.

WA-02 – No NRCC help for Koster so far.  Larsen seems to be ahead.

The Endangered Species – Dems on Offense (5)

DE-AL – No investment by either party.  Carney seems to be well ahead here.

FL-25 – Refreshing that DCCC is spending here.  Rivera is a loose cannon.

HI-01 – DCCC is spending here.  NRCC will surreptitiously fund the state party if anything.  

IL-10 – Only Dem target where both parties have engaged.  Seals seems to be ahead.

LA-02 – No investment by either party.   Cao down 11 in DCCC internal taken before Obama ad.