House Race - 3 weeks out

Comment: From NYTimes


  1. Interesting read from the WSJ: 90 to 7: The speaker whistles toward the political graveyard

    "The highest number of competitive seats was 56 in 1998, the year of Bill Clinton's impeachment, when expected Republican gains did not materialize. In the big Democratic years of 2006 and 2008, 52 and 54 seats, respectively, were listed as competitive. The low point was 2004, when Republicans made modest gains, and only 34 seats were competitive.

    Silver corroborates the trend by listing a series of other measures--polling, fund-raising, the presence of candidates from both parties, and Silver's own predictive algorithm--by which this year features many more competitive House elections than in the past. And Silver actually understates the Cook numbers, which list 92, not 87, House races as either "leaning" or "toss-up."

    Of these, only 14 are open seats, so that 78 incumbents are in serious jeopardy. Now, if you talk to a Democratic partisan, chances are at some point he'll characterize the public mood as "anti-incumbent." But this turns out to be a dodge.

    To see why, consider what Silver doesn't mention: the partisan breakdown of the competitive seats: Two Republican seats are listed as leaning Democratic, two as toss-up, and three as lean Republican. The Democratic numbers: 17 lean Republican, 38 toss-up, 30 lean Democratic.

    It gets even worse for Democrats when we take uncompetitive races into account. Whereas Cook lists five open Democratic seats as likely Republican, no Republican-held seats are likely Democratic. This brings the total number of seats in play to 97: 90 Democratic, 7 Republican.

    Of course, things could move back in the Democrats' direction between now and Election Day. Then again, they could also move even further toward the GOP. Leans could become toss-ups, likelies could become leans, solids could become likelies. "

  2. Another view: RCP: Only 133 Safe Democrat Seats

    "Real Clear Politics now rates 133 Democratic held seats as safe. That means 123 Democratic held seats are in play, almost half of the current total. The number in play rises every few days. Seats move from Safe Democratic to Likely Democratic, or Likely Democratic to Lean Democratic, or Lean Democrat to Tossup, or Tossup to Lean Republican.

    This does not mean that the GOP will pick up 123 seats. But RCP now rates the GOP as ahead in 211 races, the Democrats ahead in 185, and 39 tossups. A split of the tossups would give the GOP, 230 or 231, a gain of 51 or 52 net seats, and control with a bit to spare. "

  3. I absolutely love election nights. It's tougher now that I'm older, but I used to stay up well into the night watching returns.

    Sadly this year I will be in Charlotte NC on business (11/1-4). Glad I voted absentee already!


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