Cook says Dems becoming more competitive nationwide

The latest Cook Political Report ratings offer really hopeful signs for Democrats in November.  Of the two categories of most competitive seats, Lean and Toss-up, only 10 Democratic seats are listed in the Lean Democratic category and NONE are in the Toss-Up category.  As for Republican-held seats, 14 are in the Toss-Up category and 21 are in the Lean Republican category, basically meaning that competitive Republican seats outnumber Democratic seats by a more than 3 to 1 margin.

You can see all the rankings in this pdf file: http://cookpolitical.com/races/report_pd fs/2006_house_comp_jul12.pdf

What is even more encouraging is when you compare these rankings with the ones Cook put out just two months ago in May.  At that time there were just 11 Democratic-held seats considered most competitive, but two of them were in the Toss-Up category: IL-08 (Melissa Bean) and OH-06 (OPEN-Strickland).  Both of those seats are now moved into the slightly safer Lean category.

The Republican rankings in May showed 9 seats in the Toss-Up category and 15 in the Lean category.  So while there are 11 more competitive seats in currently GOP districts from May, the Democrats went down one to just 10, and eliminated theirs in the Toss-Up category.

This momentum is a sign that: 1) The Republicans are in trouble with voters overall, nationally; 2) The Democrats have good candidates making more seats competitive, and 3) The  Democrats are being competitive when it comes to fundraising, as the current round of FEC filings illustrate.  The key will be moving more of these GOP held seats in the Likely category into Lean or Toss-up - which means getting more support to those challengers who are against the GOP incumbents in those seats.

But the critical element is the momentum:  As we get closer more GOP seats are competitive and more Democratic seats become safer.

Tags: Cook, Elections 2006, House Elections (all tags)

Comments

20 Comments

This from Charlie Cook

Who for a long time subscribed to the GOP line, "all is well, nothing to see here," when it came to the November elections.   He has consistantly been very conservative in his estimates as to how many GOP seats are in danger.

by dpANDREWS 2006-07-14 02:08PM | 0 recs
Look What's Missing

No Schmidt OH-2.  Not even in likely.  Obviously there's room to grow this list.

by Paul Rosenberg 2006-07-14 03:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Look What's Missing

Also no Robin Hayes in NC-08

by adamterando 2006-07-14 08:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Look What's Missing

NE-01 and TX-21 are the other two biggies

God knows what is goign to change for Texas after the new map is approved. I get the feeling Lloyd Doggett and Henry Bonilla are gonna fight it out in the new TX-23 while a new latino democrat takes TX-25. This could, however, result in TX-21 losing an opportunity to be added to the list.

by Trowaman 2006-07-14 11:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Look What's Missing

Room to grow?  Yes.  No Kissell/Hayes in NC-08 either.  That's another one we can win.

by Bear83 2006-07-14 08:36PM | 0 recs
TX-22

I'm pretty sure that Cook has mischaracterized the Lampson-DeLay (or whoever) race.  It's looking increasingly likely that the GOP slop on the ballot in TX-22 will be either be vacant or be filled by a wounded, broken Tom DeLay who is spending all his campaign money on legal fees and not raising any, while Nick Lampson has raised a TON of money and is campaigning actively for the seat.  And if the GOP slot is vacant, then hell, that's a sure pickup in a seat that leans Republican by 15 points.  So I wouldn't consider it "Republican favored" under any circumstance, even if the TXGOP pulls off a miracle and is allowed to put a more credible Republican on the ballot--someone who has raised no money and won't get to start campaigning until August at the earliest.

by lorax 2006-07-14 11:42PM | 0 recs
Re: TX-22

First off, there is no credible opponent for Lamson, they're all losers.  :-D

Second, I have been thinking the same thing, I think Cook is holding off re-ranking this one until the appeals are over.

I still look forward to having my old congress critter back in D.C. Considering I changed my registration from Denton (college) to Friendswood (home) last December, I had Tom DeLay as my rep for a full 6 months. It was too long.

by Trowaman 2006-07-14 11:50PM | 0 recs
A Look back

On the first Cook Report for this cycle thigns were really different.

http://www.cookpolitical.com/races/repor t_pdfs/2006_house_competitive_jan21.pdf

I want to focus on 1 thing though, republican seats that are not on the list now and leave us to ask why are they not still there.

They are:
AZ-01 (I know nothing here)
LA-07 (Dem candidate just appeared this week)
NE-01 (SHOULD BE ON NOW!)
KS-02 (Kansas???)
NE-02 (weird)
NM-02 (solidly red as I understand, oh well we dominate the state-wide races this year, why not?)
NC-08 (SHOULD BE ON NOW!)
PA-15 (write in dem candidate?)

Okaly, if you live in these districts, work on getting these seats back on the list, PLEASE!

by Trowaman 2006-07-14 11:56PM | 0 recs
Re: PA-15

Tony Barr got the Dem nomination through a late-starting write-in campaign. He's certainly got an enthusiastic core of supporters and Shuster has his share of detractors who haven't really had a choice but to vote for him the past couple of cycles since he's run unopposed.

Last cycle there was a pretty good primary fight which Shuster won, but IMO it showcased the anti-Shuster feeling in the district.

Still the 9th is only an outside shot for a pick-up,
IMHO.

by phillydem 2006-07-15 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Ooops, wrong candidate, the real PA-15
Chris Carney is doing well in the 15th. He's not too extreme for the district and presents a viable alternative to Sherwood. This race is all about Sherwood, though, not Carney. The voters in the 15th
will be using this election to pass judgement on Sherwood's affair. That did not sit well with them
and is shown by the fact that his primary opponent, who spent no money and had little name recognition,
got 45% of the vote. And there were no Dem or Indy "cross-over" votes either because Pennsy has a closed primary system.
by phillydem 2006-07-15 12:32PM | 0 recs
Still wrong candidate, the real PA-15

Carney is in PA-09

by Ian in DC 2006-07-15 05:31PM | 0 recs
You're both wrong.

Chris Carney is running against Sherwood in the 10th district.

by HellofaSandwich 2006-07-15 08:06PM | 0 recs
Re: too many competitive races in Pennsy

I guess there are just too many competitive races for my old brain to follow here in my Keystone State. :)

by phillydem 2006-07-16 10:41PM | 0 recs
PA 15

IIRC, the 15th is Pat Toomey's old seat.  The current GOP incumbent's name escapes me.  But whoever it is, I have a hard time believing that seat will be competitive.  Only one Democrat has had that seat in recent years, Paul McHale from 1992-98, and he was basically a DINO.  

I'd welcome evidence to the contrary, of course.  But as long as we already know we have FOUR Republican incumbents on the ropes elsewhere in PA (Sherwood, Weldon, Fitzpatrick and Gerlach), I'd just as soon concentrate our resources on them rather than spread them thinner on a longshot district like that.

by RamblinDave 2006-07-16 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: PA 15

It's Dertinger in the 15th. He made the ballot as a write-in on the Dem side.

Yes this is Toomey's old district. IIRC, it has a Dem registration edge and should be competitive, but Dent, the incumbent, was a moderate/pragmatic R state senator and is pretty popular.

by phillydem 2006-07-16 10:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Cook report

Donnelly MUST have Chocola sweating like a whore in church!  There have been no formal polls that I know of, but Chocola started his attack ads on May 31st (early!) and has been seen at quite a few parades in the district, something he reportedly dislikes quite a bit.  The FEC report will show that Chocola is ahead financially, but the real question is this: can he spend enough to reconcile his record with the  voters?  Also, will he be able to mobilize his base versus a Democratic base that is angry and a populace in general that is ready for a change?

by aguila del norte 2006-07-16 01:39PM | 0 recs
Tony Barr Can win!!!!

Hey, PhillyDem is right about the anti-shuster sentiment in the PA -09th and that the Tony Barr campaign is picking up speed.  

But make no mistake  Tony Barr can win this thing so back a winner and support Tony Barr

http://www.tonybarr2006.com

We're gonna WIN!!!!!!!

by DvilleDem 2006-07-16 01:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Tony Barr Can win!!!!

That's great news.  But just what has happened in the 9th to make it suddenly competitive?  If asked to name an empty-suit politician who has been successful only because of his or her last name, Shuster is one of the few who give Bush a run for his money.  But that's never stood in his way before.  What has changed?

by RamblinDave 2006-07-16 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Tony Barr Can win!!!!

DvilleDem can tell you better and I'm sure will correct any below statements I get wrong, but Bud Shuster always brought home the bacon as far as roads and bridges money to the district. And if you've driven around that part of Pennsylvania you'd know that outside the Turnpike, I-79 and I-80, there aren't that many good roads and the bridges are old and in need of repair or replacement, so that was/is a big deal.

About 5 or 6 years or so ago, Bud was caught in a pre-Abramoff lobbying scandal involving his former
chief of staff. IIRC, Bud and his CoS, Ann (something), had a romantic interlude, too, but anyway she quit and became a lobbyist. Bud steered work to her firm or something like that. "60 Minutes" did a story about it. The bottom line was Bud decided not to run for reelection pretty much
after the story got national attention. Bud arranged for his son, Bill, to replace him and it is he who is the incumbent in the 9th. I think that's what really rankles the locals - that and the scandal. In 2004, there was a very spirited GOP primary challenge from Michael DelGrosso(?) to Shuster, but he came up short.

So, yes, there is the potential that a combo of "not Shuster" Republicans and Dems could acheive
a victory here, but realistically I'd put it as less than 50-50.

Jack Murtha is a neighboring district and if he did some campaign appearances for Barr that would probably help the cause.

by phillydem 2006-07-16 11:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Tony Barr Can win!!!!

I know from your posts you guys are really working hard and understand your not going to get much financial help from the DCCC, etc.

Off topic, but you really ought to write that book when the campaign is done. I love reading your posts. Oh, and at least cut down on the smokes.

by phillydem 2006-07-16 10:51PM | 0 recs

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