Welcome one, welcome all to another edition of StephenCLE’s House Ratings. Today we find ourselves just 5 weeks away from the 2010 midterm elections, and indeed, the battle for the House of Representatives still rages on.
You may have noticed that the Democrats have gotten a bit of a bounce in the last 2 weeks in the generic ballot and in some individual district polls. As a result, the ratings changes were a mixed bag this update, some moving rightward, some moving leftward. The total takeover math changed very little though, in fact it didn’t change at all. Two seats ended up flipping, Michael Arcuri’s seat in NY-24 went from red to blue, while Patrick Murphy’s seat in Pennsylvania went from blue to red. This leaves Republicans 10 seats away from taking over the House, just like 2 weeks ago.
One enlightening trend, if you’re a Republican, is that there are still democratic seats moving onto the board from the safe category. That’s an indication that the national environment is still difficult for the Blue Team, and that democrats usually considered safe are having to work harder than normal. On the other hand, the fact that the republicans don’t seem to be polling as well as the generic ballot would suggest in the swing districts has to be disheartening. Many marginal districts that the democrats will have to hold to hold the majority, like that of Harry Teague, Stephanie Herseth, Baron Hill, Lincoln Davis, and Jason Altmire, team blue is polling well in. Even if the Republicans make inroads to some democratic leaning districts, it’s hard to imagine them winning the majority without winning seats like those I just mentioned.
Old House – 256 Democrats, 179 Republicans
New House – 227 Democrats, 208 Republicans
National Swing – Republicans +29
Democratic Pickups (5) – DE-1, FL-25, IL-10, LA-2, HI-1
Republican Pickups (34) – AR-1, AR-2, AZ-5, CO-4, FL-2, FL-8, FL-24, IL-11, IL-14, IN-8, KS-3, LA-3, MD-1, MI-1, MI-7, MS-1, NH-2, ND-1, NY-19, NY-29, OH-1, OH-15, PA-3, PA-7, PA-8, PA-10, PA-11, SC-5, TN-6, TN-8, TX-17, VA-2, VA-5, WA-3,
Pickup Changes from last month:
Democrat to Republican – PA-8
Republican to Democrat – NY-24
Net Seats Changing By Region:
Northeast (New England & Mid-Atlantic) – R+8
Southeast (Border South & Deep South) – R+11
Midwest (Great Lakes & Plains) – R+8
West (Rocky Mountains & Pacific Coast) – R+2
Ratings changes for period September 14-27
1.Washington-9 – Safe D to Likely D – Some polling from SurveyUSA put this as a 5-point race. While I don’t think this is a great candidate for a takeover, it’s plausible that given the D+5 PVI that the margin could be in the lower teens or even high single digits, making it a likely race.
2.Pennsylvania-13 – Safe D to Likely D – We’ve seen some rather conflicting data from Pennsylvania in recent days, but one thing that’s relatively certain, dem fortunes in the Philly suburbs have turned downward. It’s enough that Allyson Schwartz’s seat is probably on the fringes of being in play. Not a great GOP chance here though.
3.California-18 – Likely D to Lean D – SurveyUSA came out with some polling a ways ago that showed this race in a virtual dead heat. While that’s not likely, given the fact that Whitman/Fiorina will likely run close or win here (This district is more republican than California as a whole), it’s not implausible that Cardoza could lose.
4.Colorado-3 – Likely D to Toss Up – One republican that has seen his fortunes rise in recent weeks is Scott Tipton, who is now polling competitively with democrat John Salazar. What is depressing for democrats is that John Hickenlooper’s impending blowout victory in the governor’s race doesn’t seem to be impacting the downballot much, as the Maes + Tancredo share seems to be chugging along well not only here, but over in CO-4 too, where Betsy Markey is fighting for her life against Cory Gardner.
5.Kentucky-3 – Likely D to Safe D – John Yarmuth has polled extremely well in most surveys taken in KY-3, and with Jack Conway set to obliterate Rand Paul here in the Senate race, I’m taking this district off the board.
6.New York-20 – Likely D to Safe D – This has been one tremendous fail for the NRCC from the very beginning, and on the heels of a poll putting Scott Murphy ahead by 17 points, this one is getting yanked from the board as well.
7.Rhode Island-1 – Likely D to Safe D – Here’s an open seat contest that looked somewhat interesting at the outset, but with a democratic/democratic independent surge expected in the governor’s race and with a heavy democratic PVI, I don’t see this one as winnable for the GOP at this point. Safe.
8.West Virginia-1 – Lean D to Toss Up – We haven’t seen any polling here for a while, but with Joe Manchin flagging in the Senate race, it seems as though anti-national-democratic sentiment might be running exceptionally high in West Virginia. My gut instinct is telling me that the GOP will ultimately pick this seat up, but for now I will wait on polling to corroborate that hunch.
9.Pennsylvania-7 – Toss Up to Lean R – This is perhaps a belated move, and it’s one that I didn’t want to have to make. I still think there’s a good chance that a late Sestak surge could get Lentz across the line, but there’s no doubting Meehan’s standing as a very solid candidate at a time when the philly burbs seem to be moving rightward.
10.Texas-17 – Toss Up to Lean R – With Bill Flores taking a fairly sizeable lead in recent polling, I have no choice but to move this seat further into the red column despite Edwards’s past electoral success. With all statewide offices except maybe the governorship expected to go republican, Edwards is all alone on his island, defending against the massive red tide of rural Texas.
11.Arkansas-1 – Lean R to Toss Up – Chad Causey’s internal polling is still showing him ahead by a point or two. In all reality that probably means he’s losing, but probably by less than 5, which is enough to make this race a toss-up affair. I’m still very ambivalent about this race because of how badly Blanche Lincoln is likely to get crushed, but from what I’m hearing, Causey’s campaign has been quite good.
12.Kansas-3 – Lean R to Toss Up – Something strange is going on in Kansas. It seems as though, despite Brownback and Moran crushing at the top of the ticket, that the democrats are fairing much better in the downballot. One other house candidate, Raj Goyle, is doing very well in red territory, and everything I’ve read about this race suggests that Stephanie Moore is positioning herself very well too. Unbelievably we still have no polling on this race, I’d love to see some because I think it’s likely that this race has tightened significantly.
13.California-3 – Lean R to Toss Up – Polling from last week shows that Dan Lungren’s lead has shrunk a bit, but more importantly, that his favorables are slipping. Given that Ami Bera has led in the cash-on-hand race all the way here and that this district is moving quickly to the left, I’m feeling much better about Bera’s prospects to spring the upset. Remember that back in the initial picks back in February that I had Bera winning this one.
14.Pennsylvania-16 – Safe R to Likely R – There was a poll earlier this week that showed Joe Pitts in a bit of trouble in PA-16. I’d ignore it, but numbers like these have been repetitive, so it’s on the board now.
2010 House Big Board (as of September 28 update)
Solid Dem – 152 seats:
AL-7, AZ-4, AZ-7, CA-1, CA-5, CA-6, CA-7, CA-8, CA-9, CA-10, CA-11, CA-12, CA-13, CA-14, CA-15, CA-16, CA-17, CA-23, CA-27, CA-28, CA-29, CA-30, CA-31, CA-32, CA-33, CA-34, CA-35, CA-36, CA-37, CA-38, CA-39, CA-43, CA-51, CA-53, CO-1, CO-2, CT-1, CT-2, CT-3, FL-3, FL-11, FL-17, FL-19, FL-20, FL-23, GA-4, GA-5, GA-13, HI-2, IL-1, IL-2, IL-3, IL-4, IL-5, IL-7, IL-8, IL-9, IN-1, IN-7, KY-3, MD-2, MD-3, MD-4, MD-5, MD-7, MD-8, MA-1, MA-2, MA-3, MA-4, MA-6, MA-7, MA-8, MA-9, MI-5, MI-12, MI-13, MI-14, MI-15, MN-4, MN-5, MN-7, MN-8, MS-2, MO-1, MO-3, MO-5, NV-1, NJ-1, NJ-6, NJ-8, NJ-9, NJ-10, NJ-13, NY-2, NY-4, NY-5, NY-6, NY-7, NY-8, NY-9, NY-10, NY-11, NY-12, NY-14, NY-15, NY-16, NY-17, NY-18, NY-20, NY-21, NY-22, NY-27, NY-28, NC-1, NC-4, NC-12, NC-13, OH-9, OH-10, OH-11, OH-17, OK-2, OR-3, OR-4, PA-1, PA-2, PA-14, RI-1, RI-2, SC-6, TN-5, TN-9, TX-9, TX-15, TX-16, TX-18, TX-20, TX-25, TX-27, TX-28, TX-29, TX-30, VT-1, VA-3, VA-8, WA-1, WA-6, WA-7, WV-3, WI-2, WI-4
Likely Dem – 33 seats:
North Carolina-2 (Etheridge)
North Carolina-7 (McIntyre)
North Carolina-11 (Shuler)
New Jersey-12 (Holt)
New Mexico-3 (Lujan)
New York-25 (Maffei)
Lean Dem – 26 seats:
New Jersey-3 (Adler)
New Mexico-1 (Heinrich)
New York-13 (McMahon)
New York-23 (Owens)
North Carolina-8 (Kissell)
South Dakota-1 (Herseth)
Toss Up – 38 seats:
New Hampshire-1 (Shea-Porter)
New Mexico-2 (Teague)
New York-1 (Bishop)
New York-19 (Hall)
New York-24 (Arcuri)
North Dakota-1 (Pomeroy)
South Carolina-5 (Spratt)
West Virginia-1 (Open)
Lean Rep – 17 seats:
California-45 (Bono Mack)
New Hampshire-2 (Open)
Likely Rep – 14 seats:
New York-29 (Open)
South Carolina-2 (Wilson)
Solid Rep – 155 seats:
AL-1, AL-3, AL-4, AL-6, AK-1, AZ-2, AZ-6, AR-3, CA-2, CA-4, CA-19, CA-21, CA-22, CA-24, CA-25, CA-26, CA-40, CA-41, CA-42, CA-46, CA-48, CA-49, CA-50, CA-52, CO-5, CO-6, FL-1, FL-4, FL-5, FL-6, FL-7, FL-9, FL-10, FL-13, FL-14, FL-15, FL-16, FL-18, FL-21, GA-1, GA-3, GA-7, GA-9, GA-10, GA-11, ID-2, IL-6, IL-13, IL-15, IL-16, IL-18, IL-19, IN-4, IN-5, IN-6, IA-4, IA-5, KS-1, KS-2, KY-1, KY-2, KY-4, KY-5, LA-1, LA-4, LA-5, LA-6, LA-7, MD-6, MI-2, MI-4, MI-6, MI-8, MI-10, MI-11, MN-2, MN-3, MS-3, MO-2, MO-6, MO-7, MO-9, MT-1, NE-1, NE-3, NV-2, NJ-2, NJ-5, NJ-4, NJ-7, NJ-11, NY-3, NY-26, NC-3, NC-5, NC-6, NC-9, NC-10, OH-2, OH-3, OH-4, OH-5, OH-7, OH-8, OH-14, OK-1, OK-3, OK-4, OK-5, OR-2, PA-5, PA-9, PA-18, PA-19, SC-1, SC-3, SC-4, TN-1, TN-2, TN-3, TN-6, TN-7, TX-1, TX-2, TX-3, TX-4, TX-5, TX-6, TX-7, TX-8, TX-10, TX-11, TX-12, TX-13, TX-14, TX-19, TX-21, TX-22, TX-24, TX-26, TX-31, TX-32, UT-1, UT-3, VA-4, VA-6, VA-7, VA-10, WA-4, WA-5, WV-2, WI-1, WI-5, WI-6, WY-1