Diary

A Conservative (but not that kind!) Prediction of the Republican Pickup in the U.S. House in 2010: Part 3

 

PA

Modest.  Republicans Tom Corbett and Pat Toomey should both cruise to solid victories for Governor and Senate.

PA 3, PA 4, PA 6, PA 7, PA 8, PA 10, PA 11, PA 12, PA 15 & PA 17

This will be a bad year for Democrats in PA.  The two Republican targets – Gerlach and Dent – will both win re-election by impressive margins, as this is just the wrong year for the strong Democrats challenging them.  Meanwhile, the GOP is likely to pick up PA 3, PA 7, and PA 11, and still has credible chances in the remaining target districts.  However, a safe bet in this state would be a three seat pickup for the Republicans.

+3

RI

None.  Lincoln Chafee, Republican turned Independent should win a three party race for Governor.

RI 1

Republican Jon Loughlin would have made a good contrast against the laughable incumbent Democrat Patrick Kennedy, but Loughlin should fall short against one of the other Democrats. 

0

SC

Huge.  Republicans Nikki Haley and Jim DeMint will win by strong margins.

SC 5

It is likely that only two incumbents will win re-election in the SC delegation – Republican Joe Wilson and Democrat Jim Clyburn.  The other incumbent still on the ballot, Democrat John Spratt, seems likely to lose to Republican state Senator Mike Mulvaney, who has released an internal poll showing him down only two points down in what should be a solid Republican district.

+1

SD

Huge.  The GOP will hold the Governor’s office, and Republican Senator John Thune isn’t even opposed by a Democrat.

SD At- Large

Democrat incumbent Stephanie Herseth Sandlin fell behind Republican state Representative Kristi Noem after the SD primaries.  Sandlin and her allies have been spending heavily to regain her edge, but when the battle is finally joined she will probably come up short in the final count in this environment in this Republican leaning state.

+1

TN

Huge.  Any Republican will pick up the Governorship by a large margin this year.

TN 4, TN 6 & TN 8

Right now, the Republicans are almost guaranteed to pick up the vacant TN 6, and they probably have at least a fifty-fifty chance at TN 8.  TN 4, where Democrat Lincoln Davis is seeking re-election also bears watching, although it should still be considered likely Democrat at this point.

+1

TX

None.  In any other year, GOP Governor Rick Perry would be a likely loser in seeking his third full term.  However, thanks to the current environment he still has about a fifty-fifty chance of winning another term.

TX 17 & TX 23

Longtime incumbent Democrat Chet Edwards is nip-and-tuck with Republican Bill Flores in a district that should have become Republican a longtime ago.  This year, it likely will.  Also, the GOP candidate has a decent chance of ousting unimpressive Democrat Ciro Rodriguez in the other competitive district, TX 23.  If I were a betting man, I would put money on both Republicans, but the safe bet is just Flores.

+1

VA

None.  There are no statewide races.

VA 2, VA 5, VA 9 & VA 11

Survey USA recently released a poll with state Senator Bob Hurt up 58% to 35% over Freshman Democrat Tom Perriello, who barely beat a long term Republican two years ago by a few hundred votes.  Perriello will have enough money to get his message out, but it is unlikely to make up a gap like this.  Of the three remaining targeted districts, all three Democrats are individually favored.  However, I think it likely that one other seat will go Republican, most likely Democrat Glenn Nye’s.

+2

WA

None.  Republican Dino Rossi has a good chance to oust Democrat Patty Murray, but even if he does, it will be a narrow victory.

WA 2, WA 3 & WA 8

The open seat in WA 3 is almost too close to call.  However, with any sort of Republican wave, state Representative Jaime Herrera – the favorite on the Republican side – would have to be considered a likely winner, probably by a slim margin.  In this environment Republican Dave Reichert should easily win re-election.  However, I still have to give the edge to Democrat Rick Larsen.

+1

WV

None.  Assuming the Republicans run a credible candidate, the special election for the Senate will be close.

WV 1 & WV 2

In a state and district trending more and more Republican, WV 1 is likely to go Republican, even though the Democrats managed to make things harder by ousting the corrupt incumbent.  Meanwhile, Democrat incumbent Rahall is the favorite in WV 3, although an upset is certainly possible.

+1

WI

None.  Both the Governor’s race and the Senate race are likely to be extremely close.

WI 3, WI 7 & WI 8

In this year, Republicans Sean Duffy – running as the outsider – should win the open WI 7, which is normally a competitive district.  Duffy has prior political experience, is pretty well known, and has raised a lot of money.   Republicans have a good candidate in WI 3, and should be competitive in the normally Republican leaning WI 8, but right now the incumbent Dems still are favored.

+1

 

The Final Count = There are +35 Seats for the GOP under my conservative, baseline approach. 

Conclusions:

1.      If +35 is the GOP floor, then it seems likely that the Republicans will win the House.  Consider that the latest Rasmussen reports has the GOP up ten in the generic.  In a landslide like that, the GOP could easily pick up over sixty seats.  Besides, even if the GOP only wins a net +35 seats, it is quite possible that four surviving blue dog Democrats switch parties to avoid bad presidential coattails in 2012.

2.      As I stated before, I am more optimistic regarding the above targets than my table indicates.  Among those who don’t make my list of safe picks but I believe will nonetheless win their races are: Charles Djou, Jon Barela, Martha Roby, Keith Fimian, and Elliot Maynard.

3.      With new polls coming out each day showing previously safe Democrats in potential danger, the NRCC and its allies should constantly be evaluating the field to find new targets.  Based on history, they should probably be looking for a long term (i.e., more than three terms) incumbent representing – at worst – a Democrat leaning district who has long since forgotten how to campaign.  A good example of such potential targets are Congressmen Colin Peterson of MN, and Congressmen Carolyn McCarthy and Hinchey of New York, whose districts once were competitive and may yet be again.  Remember, even Congressman David Price lost in 1994. 

4.      The New York GOP – all factions and all members – are the most COLLECTIVELY incompetent state political party in the nation.  In 2009, they squandered away not one but two House seats, first by nominating a candidate who couldn’t make up his mind about his view of the stimulus for over a month, even though EVERY REPUBLICAN IN THE HOUSE HAD VOTED AGAINST IT, and second by (the establishment faction) nominating an untrustworthy Republican far to the left of the Democrat and by (the conservative faction) backing a candidate who lived outside the district and had no recognizable political skills.   In 2010, the NY Republicans have kept up their collective incompetence, failing to produce even strong second tier candidates for governor and two Senate races (one of which is very doable), and bumbling away more House races by pushing bad candidates and/or creating unnecessarily bitter primaries.  The New York GOP now reminds me of a less funny version of “Seinfeld’s” George Costanza, and like him they would probably benefit by first making their decisions, and then doing the exact opposite of what they planned to do.