The guys at RealClearPolitics have made their list (in order) of the 25 most competitive House races. Some basic outlines of the House races: 1) GOP retirements have made this likely to be a good year for DEMs; 2) There are some DEM freshman in heavily GOP seats that the GOP could get back; 3) The Party ID advantage that DEMs have created is helping them more in House races.
Of the top 10 most competitive, 7 are GOP retirements (and 8 are GOP held). Overall, 17 of the top 25 are GOP held seats and 8 are DEM held seats. The top pickup chances for the GOP are:
(3.) Louisiana 06 — Cazayoux (D) — One of the harbingers of what could be a mounting Democratic wave could also be one of the shortest-term members of Congress. Rep. Don Cazayoux beat a weak Republican in June, but in November he will face much stronger State Senator Bill Cassidy(R) as well as independent State Rep. Michael Jackson. Jackson, who is African American, will eat significantly into Cazayoux’s Democratic base.
(6.) Texas 22 — Lampson (D): Rep. Nick Lampson won a very Republican seat in 2006 thanks to the resignation of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (and the fact that no Republican appeared on the general election ballot). Despite a large fundraising edge over Pete Olson (R), a former chief of staff to Sen. John Cornyn (R), the heavy GOP lean of the district and Olson’s talent as a candidate could spell defeat for the incumbent.
(11.) Pennsylvania 11 — Kanjorski (D) — Ethics issues, questionable earmarks and an unremarkable record, coupled with a near-celebrity opponent, put Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D) atop national Republicans’ target list. Kanjorski hasn’t faced a real race in decades, and John McCain is likely to win the Scranton-based district, aiding Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta (R). It’s one race in which the “change” mantra may benefit Republicans.
(13.) Kansas 02 — Boyda (D)
(15.) New Hampshire 01 — Shea-Porter (D)
(16.) Pennsylvania 10 — Carney (D)
(18.) Wisconsin 08 — Kagen (D)
(22.) Florida 16 — Mahoney (D)