Whilst the Massachusetts Senate Special and a series of dodgy house polls have Democrats convinced that the November midterms will be apocalyptic; the fact is that a number of Republican held House districts are in fact vulnerable to a takeover from Democratic challengers.
Below the fold for all the details and hey go check out the 2010 Race Tracker Wiki over at Open Congress for all your House, Senate and Gubernatorial needs.
***This diary should be read in conjunction with the diary by Silver Spring***
There are 5 groups of races that are or might become or potentially should be competitive in November. They include Obama Republican districts, districts with very good candidates and districts of a Republican PVI of R+4 and less.
The first ten races below are ranked in order of probability of takeover. These races WILL be competitive in November.
1. DE-AL (Castle) – D+7,
Stick a fork in this one it is done.
With Castle running for the Senate does anyone really think there is a Republican in Delaware who can hold this district for the GOP? Especially as the Democratic Party currently leads in voter reg – 288,380 to 180,620.
With Carney sitting on a 100/1 Cash on hand advantage as at the end of December and the only poll available showing Carney with a 23 point lead this 62% Obama district is certain to end up in the Democratic column in November.
2. LA-02 (Cao) – D+25,
Incumbent GOP Rep Anh Cao has one thing and one thing alone going for him – a Cash on Hand advantage of $91K as at the end of December – $316K-$225K.
Every other indicator tells us that presumptive Democratic nominee State Rep Cedric Richmond will steamroll his way through this race in November.
After all Obama got no less than 75% of the vote in this D+25 district. Also there are 237,103 registered Democrats and only 39,753 registered Republicans. And lastly of course, we can all remember how Cao only won in 2008 courtesy of an awfully corrupt Democratic incumbent – Bill Jefferson.
Cao is toast.
3. IL-10 (Kirk) – D+6,
With Republican Dold and Democrat Seals emerging from competitive primaries this open District race is definitely on the radar for 2010.
Dold leads in COH $198K/$145K (as at 13th January) but Seals has the rolodex to crank up the fundraising on his 3rd attempt at the district, particularly if supporters of his vanquished primary opponent – Julie Hamos – circle the wagons and pitch in (she did raise over $1 mill). To this point Seals has outraised Dold too.
Seals will win here for two interlinked reasons:
1) Obama got 61% of the vote here in 2008.
2) Dold is just not moderate enough to attract crossover votes the way Mark Kirk did.
– I should note I volunteered for Seals in 2008 and am ridiculously biased.
Presumptive nominee Doug Pike has more than $1 Mill COH as at 31st December, although it is largely self funded. BTW at this stage in 2008 Gerlach had raised almost $1.5 mill and still almost lost 52%/48% over a 2nd tier candidate.
This D+4, 58% Obama district (that also voted for Kerry like all of my top 6 races) is at worst a 50/50 pick up chance.
5. PA-15 (Dent) – D+2,
For the first time Dent has a serious top tier opponent. Having dispatched a serious of 2nd tier candidates Dent is in for the race of his life in 2010. Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan seems to be the real deal. As well as already being a public official Callahan has in the last quarter outraised Dent and they are basically equal in
Dent must be worried as his campaign released a very dodgy internal poll showing him leading 58%/27% but refused to release the internals to go with it (a sure sign of bodgy polling)as is the claimed Obama approval rating of 41% compared to a Pennsylvania wide 57% (According to Gallup). Obama won this district in 2008 56%/43%.
Callahan has a shot here. Either way it will be competitive.
6. WA-08 (Reichert) – D+3,
Washingtons’ 8th congressional district is one of a handful that are on the perennial target list for Democrats that we didn’t win in 2006 or 2008. Will 2010 be the year? Yeh quite possibly.
Obama carried this one 56%/42% in 2008 whilst Reichert was held to 52.78% by Darcy Burner.
So far so good.
As at the end of December Democrat Delbene led the COH race $773,327/$477,149 and had raised to that point $1,047,873 to Reicherts’$985,665. Whilst almost half of Delbenes’ total came from a loan from herself to the campaign she has shown herself to be adept at fundraising from others. Yep we have a self funder who can also fundraise.
Watch this one on election night – very closely.
7. CA-03 (Lundgren) – R+6,
Well whoever would have thunk it; CA-03 as a competitive race!
Democrat Amri has just come off a $249K fundraising quarter and has more COH than Republican Lungren ($739K/$526K), who only raised $138K. At this point in the cycle Amri has outraised Lungren as well ($871K/$732K).
Add to this the facts that Obama won the district 49.3%/48.8%, Lungren only won in 2008 by 49.49%/43.93% and the voter registration advantage for the GOP has decreased from 6.6% in 2006 to near parity (38.46%/39.04%)as of the start of 2010 and we have a race on our hands.
This one will be very interesting come November.
8. NE-02 (Terry) – R+6,
Yep hard to believe that a congressional district in Nebraska could be competitive but the 2nd shall be so. Remember that Obama carried this Omaha based district 50%/49% and the makings are there for a good race. State Senator Tom White is quite an adept fundraiser for a challenger too. After a 180K December quarter he has $343K COH compared to incumbent Republican Terry’s $543K COH. Given that challengers rarely lead the COH chase this one is set for a great race in November.
9. SC-02 (Wilson) – R+9,
SC-02 will be know as the 2010 Moneybomb District! Why? because at the end of December incumbent Republican Joe “you lie” Wilson and his Democratic challenger Robert Miller have raised a breathtaking $5.5 Million between them. Wilson has $2,341,915 COH and Miller has $1,678,436 COH! To be honest Millers’ COH should by itself make this one competive.
However when you consider that Wilson was held to 53.74% in 2008 and that whilst McCain won easily 54%/45%, that is only 1% better than the neighbouring 5th, held by Democrat John Spratt and you have a barn burner in the making.
This race will be fascinating on election night – no doubt about it!
10. KS-04 (Tiahrt) – R+14,
Despite its’ heavily Republican nature (McCain won here 58%/40%) this race will be competitive in November – absolutely.
Democrat Goyle is fundraising up a storm having raised $656K as at the end of December. His closest rival – Republican Pompeo – has only raised $429K. Last quarter Goyle managed a staggering (for a Kansas Democrat) $253K for the quarter and currently has $583K COH; a fair effort to say the least. Pompeo meanwhile managed only $78K for a COH total of $318K. Republican Kelsey FWIW, despite an impressive 233K quarter, has only $40K COH!
Love to see a poll here but definitely one to watch on election night.
This second group of Districts are likely to be competitive in November but are not there yet:
AL-03 (Rogers) – R+9,
Democrat Joshua Segall had a $100K December quarter and is behind in COH by only $216K/$392K.
He ran in 2008 and kept Rogers to 46%/54% as McCain carried the District 56%/43%.
Not a friendly district for Democrats but if Segall can file some 6 figure fundraising quarters then this race could well be up there in November.
CA-45 (Bono Mack) – R+3,
Democratic candidate (and Palm Springs Mayor) Stephen Pougnet is on the cusp of a very competitive challenge to GOP incumbent Mary Bono Mack – finally a top tier candidate here.
Obama carried this district 51.5%/46.9% and the GOP registration gap has shrunk from 10% to 3.48% between 2006 and the start of this year – 38.02%/41.50% currently.
The only fly in the ointment (apart from the national political environment!) is of course fundraising. Whilst Pougnet has outraised Bono Mack in two of the last three quarters and has slightly then than half as much COH as her $402K/$893K his COH actually went backwards by 10K last quarter despite a $150K quarter. Pougnet just needs a good solid $200K March Quarter IMHO to cash him up for the stretch and make this race definitely competitive.
FL-25 (Diaz-Balart OPEN) – R+5,
With Mario Diaz-Balart bolting to run in the 21st to replace his retiring brother Lincoln this race will be one to watch.
McCain carried this one 50%/49% whilst Diaz-Balart was held to 53%. The Republican Voter registration advantage is only 3364; 137,913/134,549 as at the 2008 election. This is down from 21818 at the 21006 midterms.
Diaz-Balart had only $178K COH as at the end of December too BTW. Expect a top tier Dem to jump in here, maybe 2006 nominee Joe Garcia, and at that point this one should become competitive. The only Democrat currently running, Luis Rivera has yet to file a fundraising report having jumped in only a month or so ago.
MN-03 (Paulsen) – R+0,
Despite missing out on our preferred candidate State Sen Terri Bonoff there is every chance that this district that Obama carried 52%/46% in 2008 will be competitive. Democratic presumptive nominee Maureen Hackett only got into the race in October and self funded $103K of her $138K quarter ($129K COH). The March quarter will be telling but if as I suspect she has a really good go at fundraising up a storm this one will be competitive. The cloud on the horizon, of course, is incumbent Republican Paulsens’ $943K COH!
MN-06 (Bachmann) – R+7,
As luck would have it we have two viable candidates in this district that McCain carried 53%/45%.
Maureen Reed has 388K COH after a $208K December quarter.
Tarryl Clark (who I think will be the nominee) has yep $388K COH after a $294K December quarter. These are great numbers for both candidates. The only reason this one isn’t yet on the competitive list is batshit crazy Michelle Bachmanns’ $1 million COH!
If either Democrat can manage another $250K March quarter then this race is on for young and old despite its’ Republican bent.
OH-12 (Tiberi) – D+1,
Democratic candidate Brooks has her work cut out running against incumbent Republican Tiberi. He and his $1.2 mill COH! And his $449K December quarter haul. Brooks must we wondering what more she needs to do after her 4th quarter haul of $231K, leaving her with $328K COH – a very respectable set of numbers. Will this district that Obama carried 54%/44% be competitive in November? Dunno – but another 200K quarter will at least make Brooks (already a top tier challenger) quite viable.
Time will tell.
The third group of Districts are those that may, but are unlikely, to become competitive:
CA-48 (Campbell) – R+6,
Obama won this district 49.5%/48.6% and the GOP voter reg advantage has declined from 22% to a still whopping 15% as at Jan 1. That stat and Republican Campbells’ $1.031M/$171K COH advantage over Democrat Krom makes it unlikely that this race will become competitive. But it may. After all Krom has raised $299K so far this cycle including a reasonable but not great $90K in the December quarter. Campbell’s $500K December quarter makes it very tough though.
CA-50 (Bilbray) – R+3,
A 60K odd December quarter does not a competitive race make, especially when the COH only increases by $10K!. Busby has been beaten twice before by the current incumbent, and unfortunately seems headed that way again. Working in her favor is the fact that Obama carried the district 51.3%/47.1% and the GOP voter reg advantage has declined from 14% in 2006 to 7.58% (39.91%/31.33%) as at the start of this year. However this will be a what might have been IMHO.
MN-02 (Kline) – R+4,
With former Democratic State Rep Shelley Madore only jumping in at the start of January this race has yet to solidify. On the down side is the fact that McCain carried this district 50%/48%. On the upside incumbent Republican Kline has (only!) $358K COH after a modest $152K December quarter.
Wait and see but it may be a bit late in the cycle for this one to fire up.
NJ-07 (Lance) – R+3,
Yet another district where the Democratic candidate (Potosnak) has only just got into the race so it may take some time for things to play out. Obama carried this district 50%/49% and Leonard has only $347K COH (not a lot for a congressional race in New Jersey) and raised only 60K in the December quarter. Interestingly enough the Democrats have a 16K voter registration advantage here as at November 2009 – 121,553/105,943.
TX-32 (Sessions) – R+8,
A $151K 4th quarter and $114K COH should be a promising start. Unless your opponent is the head of the NRCC and has $1.075 million COH. Oh dear.
Roggio seems to be quite a credible candidate but without a monster March quarter he just isn’t going to be in a position to be competitive in November.
McCain carried this district 53%/46% too btw – red but not ruby red.
And fourthly these districts have either 3rd tier candidates or candidates whose fundraising precludes a competitive race at this stage:
CA-24 (Gallegly) – R+4,
A 15K December quarter for leading Democrat Tim Allison means this one can’t be competitive; the resources simply aren’t there. This is all the more so given that Gallegly has $836K COH to Allison’s $35K . Pity because Obama carried this one 50.5%/47.7% and the GOP voter reg advantage has declined from 10% to 5.75% (41.53%/35.78%) between 2006 and the start of this year.
CA-25 (McKeon) – R+6,
Our candidate, 2008 nominee Jackie Conaway hasn’t even registered with the FEC – Game over.
Pity as Obama carried the district 49.4%/48.3% and the GOP voter reg advantage has declined to 2% over the last 3 years!
CA-26 (Dreier) – R+3,
2008 Democratic challenger Warner had a poor December quarter raising only 37K and his COH is only $123K compared to incumbent Republican Dreier’s $1.025 million! Obama won the district 51/47 and the GOP voter reg advantage has dropped from 11% to 4.5% as of the start of 2010.
Despite that the COH gap and Warners’ poor December fundraising means this one is unlikely to be competitive this November alas.
CA-44 (Calvert) – R+6,
Obama won this district 49.3%/48.6% and the GOP voter reg advantage has decreased from 15% in 2006 to 8% as at Jan 5th 2010. Competitive race right? Wrong. Democrat Hedrick who only lost in 2008 48.8/51.2 just can’t seem to crank up the fundraising. Having raised only 29K in the December quarter he now trails in the COH race $95K/$519K.
Such a shame.
FL-10 (Young) – R+1,
State Sen Charlie Justice – what a great name for a congressional candidate – is the best candidate that the Democrats have run against republican incumbent Bill Young in years and years. It is such a pity then that Justices’ fundraising is so poor – $59K last quarter and $91K COH.
This is a District that should be competitive; Obama carried it 52%/47% and the Repub voter reg advantage declined from 169,982/153,728 in 2006 to 170,749/164,400 in 2008.
Alas but for that poor fundraising.
FL-12 (Putnam OPEN) – R+6,
Democrat Lori Edwards won’t make this a competitive election with a $26K December quarter ($60K COH). This is all the more so given that presumptive Republican nominee Dennis Ross has $273K COH as at the end of December after an admittedly poor December quarter; raising only $76K himself.
This is a pity given that McCain only carried the District 50/49 and the Democratic voter reg advantage INCREASED from 2006 – 2008 from 153,189/166,794 to 164,780/192,958. WOW
As an open seat this one will almost certainly be a what might have been in November unless Edwards can seriously step up her fundraising.
FL-15 (Posey) – R+6,
The Democratic candidate Shannon Roberts has not filed a fundraising report despite filing to run over a year ago. Game over.
Pity as this 51%/48% McCain district, with it s’ repidly decreasing GOP voter reg advantage (189,872/158,363 – 2006 199,669/183,100 – 2008) should really have been competitive. Oh well.
IL-06 (Roskam) – R+0,
The race has not yet really taken shape in this district that Obama carried 56%/43%. Democratic challenger Ben Lowe filed for the race halfway through November and raised a scant $14K. Republican incumbent Roskam on the other hand after a $350K December quarter is sitting on $547K.
We really won’t know whether this will be competitive or not until after the March fundraising filings come in. I suspect it won’t as both parties will be focused on tussles in the 10th, 11th and 14th.
Maybe in 2012.
IL-13 (Biggert) – R+1,
2008 Democratic nominee Harper is back in 2010 in this district that Obama carried 54%/44%.
Unfortunately a $42K December quarter ($90K COH) does not cut the mustard against Republican incumbent Biggert who had a $142K December quarter ($637K COH).
Harper is a good, credible candidate who kept Biggert to 53% in 2008. Unless he has a monster March quarter this one just isn’t going to be competitive in November.
IL-16 (Manzullo) – R+2,
Whilst Obama carried this district 53%/46% this one only just scraped in as a potentially competitive race. And it won’t be with Democrat Gaulrapp raising a scant $14K ($7K COH) in the December quarter. Manzullo raised $150K ($355K COH) in the same period.
IA-04 (Latham) – R+0,
This race is really still just coming together. However that Democrat Maske managed to fundraise only $12K in the last 2 months of 2009 I think we can safely predict another cakewalk for Republican Latham in this district that Obama won 53%/46%. BTW as at Feb 1st the Democrats had a 8000 voter registration advantage 126503/118484.
Incumbent Republican McCotter has been on Democratic target lists for years in this 54%/45% Obama district. He was even held to 51% in 2008. Despite this the Democrats have always failed to get a top tier opponent against him. Will 2010 be the year? It is hard to tell honestly but i doubt it. When Democrat Mosher declared at the start of 2009 she struck me (and the party) as being at best 2nd tier.
And this turns out to be the likely case with Mosher raising only $37K in the December quarter ($44K COH) compared to McCotters’ $118K December quarter ($579K) COH. Lets see what the March quarter reports bring but don’t hold your breath.
OH-14 (LaTourette) – R+3,
With McCain just shading Obama by less than 1% this District should be competitive. But it is unlikely. Whilst 2008 Democratic candidate O’Neill is back for another shot he did get thumped by alomost 20% in 2008. The other Democrat in the race – Greene – hasn’t even registered with the FEC to fundraise despite being in the race since November. Whilst LaTourette only has a modest $447K COH as at the end of November this race is highly unlikely to be a show stopper.
VA-10 (Wolf) – R+2,
Another perennial Democratic target sees no less than 4 Democrats running here in 2010. And it is no wonder as Obama carried the district 53%/46% and this part of Virginia is rapidly bluing. Incumbent Republican Wolf has nothing to fear here though, as none of his putative opponents have more than $6K COH as at the end of December compared to Wolfs’ $346K COH. A really disappointing miss for team blue.
WI-01 (Ryan) – R+2,
Democratic challenger Garin has $546 COH as at the end of December; incumbent Republican Ryan has $1.565 million. Game over in this 51%/47% Obama district.
The last group of Districts are those that at this stage do not seem likely to competitive.
as we do not have declared Democratic candidates as yet!
FL-18 (Ros-Lehtinen) – R+3,
MI-04 (Camp) – R+3,
MI-06 (Upton) – R+0,
MI-08 (Rogers) – R+2,
NJ-02 (LoBiondo) – D+1,
NY-03 (King) – R+4,
VA-04 (Forbes) – R+4,
WI-06 (Petri) – R+4,
So in summary:
10 competitive races.
6 races that should become competitive.
5 races that may become competitive.
15 races that should be competitive but are highly unlikely to be so.
8 races that should be potentially become competitive but won’t be unless we find a candidate.
Not a particularly pretty scenario for Democrats but not nearly as terrible as the GOP and the traditional media would have you believe.
On to November!