Cook says Dems becoming more competitive nationwide
by Ian in DC, Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 01:24:25 PM EDT
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.