House Election 2010
Charlie Cook, a political analyst and founder of the Cook Political Report, was on Morning Joe yesterday to discuss the mid-terms, which are now just five days away (it’s almost over!). Cook explained that if Republicans don’t take back the House of Representatives, he’ll be “sacking groceries”:
Nate Silver writes that a GOP takeover isn’t inevitable, but it is likely. His model is still showing a net pick-up of 52 seats in the House for Republicans.
Something tells me Cook doesn’t have anything to worry about:
In the latest poll from Florida’s Eighth Congressional District, Daniel Webster is maintaining a seven point lead over Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson, a controversial freshman who has hurt himself by running misleading and false ads about his opponent:
- Webster: 48%
- Grayson: 41%
- Other: 5%
- Undecided: 5%
Webster leads among independents, 48% to 33%, and viewed more favorably, 47/33, than Grayson, who is viewed unfavorably by 55% of voters in the district. But here is the kicker from the poll:
Since the Sunshine State News Poll shows Webster’s margin widening to 11 points among voters who say they are most likely to cast ballots (51-40), [Voter Survey Service President Jim] Lee projected that the Republican could top 50 percent on election night.
The seat has been viewed as a likely GOP pick-up for sometime, but even if the GOP doesn’t take the House and Alan Grayson loses, I’d be happy.
The latest picture of what to expect on November 2nd in the House of Representatives appears to be a worst-case scenario for Democrats as Gallup’s latest polling shows a huge lead for Republicans among likely voters, though there was a slight gain for the majority party. And to make matters worse for Democrats, it’s supposed to rain on election day in 20 states.
Before we dive into what the analysts are saying, Politico offers us 35 House races to keep our eyes on as returns come in.
Here is what Charlie Cook says about the mid-term:
A new poll released on Friday by Landmark Communications, a Georgia-based firm, in Georgia’s Eighth Congressional District showing Austin Scott with a double-digit lead over Rep. Jim Marshall (totals rounded):
- Scott: 51%
- Marshall: 35%
- Undecided: 14%
It looks like outside groups that have spent $414,514 in support of Marshall have given up on his prospects for re-election. Speculation arose last week that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) was pulling out of the district, even though they’ve only spent about $9,000.
While this seat has widely been viewed as a “toss-up,” the tea leaves indicate that there is something here and Marshall is likely done.
House Republican challengers continue to show impressive fundraising strength in the final stretch of the election, with 34 of the 56 most vulnerable House Democrats getting outraised by their Republican challengers, from October 1-13.
The late fundraising tallies are another sign that the Republican momentum is only growing, and the party’s momentum is being reflected in a surge of grassroots donations to GOP challengers.
As always, some Republican numbers jump off the page. Republican Kristi Noem (S.D.) continued her furious fundraising pace, hauling in $275,000 in her challenge to Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D). Herseth Sandlin only reported raising a mere $59,000. Noem now has double what the congresswoman has in the bank for the final stretch — $502,000 to $225,000, respectively. That’s an ominous sign for Herseth-Sandlin’s re-election prospects.
Democratic firebrand and fundraising dynamo Alan Grayson (Fla). was outraised by former state Sen. Daniel Webster (R), who has been a poor fundraiser thus far. Webster raised $395,000 in the first two weeks of October, while Grayson reported having raised $295,000 — but that included a $95,000 loan. Grayson still has a $814,000 to $340,000 cash on hand advantage.
House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank’s (D-Mass.) challenger, Republican Sean Bielat raised a stunning $654,000 in the two weeks, more than doubling Frank’s tally.
With just eight days left to go until election day, it is looking more likely that Republicans will ride into the House of Representatives in a wave. Here is an assessment from Stu Rothenberg, who sees 97 seats in play (emphasis mine):
The number of Democratic incumbents who are sitting in the middle or low 40s in ballot tests is mind-boggling, creating a stunning number of opportunities for the GOP. Democrats dispute that assessment, arguing that their incumbents are much better off. But Republican polling finds eight or nine dozen Democratic seats are at some risk, and national polls suggest that the Republican numbers are on the mark. We now believe that Republicans gains of 45-55 seats are most likely, though GOP gains in excess of 60 seats are quite possible.
In an average simulation, the model projected that the Republicans will control 230 seats when the new Congress convenes in January; that would reflect a 51-seat gain from their current standing and would be close to the 54-seat gain that they achieved in 1994. This is the first time we have published a forecast putting the Republican over-under line at a number higher than 50 seats.
Longtime Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank has given his re-election campaign $200,000 as he faces his toughest race in years.
A campaign finance report filed Tuesday showed that Frank, the chairman of the powerful House Financial Services committee, lent himself the money Tuesday.
Frank, a 15-term lawmaker from Newton, Mass., raised $316,644 last quarter and reported more than $1 million on hand with no debts.
Bielat seems to have Frank worried as even his partner recently heckled him, which has drawn criticism from local media. Here is the video (notice how Bielat is pretty amused by it all):
The latest round of polling from The Hill shows more bad news for House Democrats as Republicans are leading or tied in all but two races:
Two-term Democrats, whose victories helped secure the Speaker’s job for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), are facing the possibility of a near-wipeout in the Nov. 2 election.
Of 10 reelection races involving sophomore Democrats, Republican challengers are ahead in six and tied in two more, according to The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll.
Of 32 battleground districts polled so far by The Hill this fall, Democrats are leading in only three, with four races tied. Republicans are ahead in 25.
Thirty of the 32 seats surveyed are now held by Democrats.
Another race showing promise, though not surveyed by The Hill, is in NY-22, where George Phillips is tied with Rep. Maurice Hinchey. You may remember his name. He’s the guy that doesn’t know what deficit reduction is.
Here is a rundown of the seats in the latest poll from The Hill:
Rep. Harry Mitchell (D) 42%
David Schweikert (R) 45%
Rep. Bill Foster (D) 42%
Randy Hultgren (R) 43%
Rep. Phil Hare (D) 38%
Bobby Schilling (R) 45%
Rep. Travis Childers (D) 39%
Alan Nunnelee (R) 44%
As Democrats come off a bad weekend, Politico reports that 99 House seats currently held by the majority party are in play:
[T]he nonpartisan Cook Political Report predicts a GOP net gain of at least 40 House seats, with 90 Democratic seats in total rated as competitive or likely Republican.
“When Chairman [Pete] Sessions and Leader [John] Boehner said that 100 House seats were in play, Democrats scoffed,” said Ken Spain, the National Republican Congressional Committee’s communications director. “Today, they aren’t laughing anymore.”
The number of Democrats in danger is more than double the 39 seats Republicans need to seize control of the House. It reflects an elastic electoral environment that favors the GOP by every measure: money, momentum and mood of the country — in this case, sour on Democratic incumbents.
[T]he worst news for Democrats is the actual ballot test. In the Tossup/Leans R/Likely R districts, Republicans are leading the Democrats 48 percent to 44 percent. Moreover, in the districts that Charlie Cook presently has leaning toward the Democrats, the Democrats are tied with Republicans.
With two weeks to go more prognosticators are making their predictions for November 2nd and they’re pretty much saying the same thing…Republicans will take the House, but Democratics will hold majority in the Senate, though it will be much slimmer.
Charlie Cook notes that races for both chambers are tightening, but the momentum is still in Republicans’ corner:
Republicans are still headed for a big year. My hunch is that GOP gains will be roughly comparable to 1994, when the party picked up 52 House seats and eight Senate seats. Over the past two weeks, Democratic performance has improved in some places and deteriorated in others, making any sweeping generalizations difficult.