Thirty-Seat Pickup In The House Starting To Look Reasonable
by Chris Bowers, Tue Oct 10, 2006 at 10:19:22 AM EDT
Republican campaign officials said yesterday that they expect to lose at least seven House seats and as many as 30 in the Nov. 7 midterm elections, as a result of sustained violence in Iraq and the page scandal involving former GOP representative Mark Foley. If Republicans are placing their maximum house losses at thirty seats, then the maximum number of losses might even be higher. The NRCC has conducted surveys in more than forty Republican-held districts since July 1st, reflective of their fear of huge losses.
The latest House rankings from the Cook Political Report (PDF) also reflect the possibility of a huge wave. Currently, the report lists three Republican-held seats as "lean Democratic," twenty-five as "toss-ups," and fifteen more as only "lean Republican." By contrast, only nine Democratic-held seats are in the "lean" category, and none are in "toss-up." This makes for an overall Democratic advantage of twenty-eight seats when it comes to the districts most likely to switch control, and thirty-four seats in the broader view. Certainly, a thirty-four seat pickup would not be very likely in this forecast, but it is not outside the range of possibility.
Another indicator is Electoral-vote.com, which only uses the most recent independent polls in House district forecasts. Currently, this indicator shows Republicans ahead in 215 districts, and behind in 219. However, they do not list polls in numerous competitive districts, including CA-04, CA-11, CO-05, CT-05, ID-01, KS-02, MN-01, NY-19, NY-25, NY-29, NC-08, OH-01, OH-15, PA-04, and WI-08. Every district I just listed has recently produced an internal poll either showing the Democrat in the race ahead, tied, or within the margin of error. Again, while it is in the upper-range of possibilities, a thirty-seat takeover is clearly on the table now.
I feel a little strange writing this post, because I have held this thirty-seat fantasy so close to my vest for so long. Now that it is out in the open, I worry that somehow by saying it I guarantee that it won't happen. I should also say that I will of course that any Democratic majority, even if it is only one or two seats. In the extended entry, there is a poll asking you how many seats you think Democrats will pick up this year.