The 20 House races you should be watching

posted at 10:04 pm on October 4, 2012 by Patrick Ishmael

Two years ago I did a projection of how many seats Republicans would net in the 2010 general election. The experiment turned out… pretty well. So I decided to dive back into the numbers. This time, the map of possible flipped seats is a bit smaller, and of those, a majority are held by Republicans.

But while Republicans have greater exposure this year, that doesn’t mean they’re destined to bear the majority of the losses. A month out from the election, the number of net seats changing hands is roughly somewhere between +3 GOP and +1 Democrat. These numbers can and will shift as micro- and macro-political events evolve, but the fact is there’s a real chance that Republicans could actually add seats in the House.

Whether Republicans do make gains will depend in no small part on these 20 races.

The bad news? A majority of these twenty races constitute what is effectively an exposed Republican seat.

The good news? First, Republicans hold a 3 seat advantage in races that fall outside these 20 most competitive races; by my count, 9 seats are primed to be flipped by Republicans, compared to 6 seats for the Democrats. I’m comfortable saying this because in 2010, when races ended up outside the 57%-43% band, the seats very rarely changed hands. Republicans, then, start off with a roughly 3 seat advantage before we get to these 20 races.

Second, while Republican exposure is higher among these 20 seats, the risk of losing individual seats is not necessarily very high. Republicans can expect to win a supermajority of the races rated 57% and 53%, half the races at 50%, but much less than half the races rated below 50%. Why does this matter? Democrats have already started to cut their ad buys in races that may be moving out of their reach at the top of the chart; assuming GOP groups have the capital and studied confidence to do it, there’s lots of upside to shifting resources from races at the top of this list to the bottom, reasonably and responsibly done. There are many very vulnerable, but very, very winnable, Republican seats at the bottom of this list and up through the safer section of the list. A strategic pivot may be in order to support them, assuming such a pivot isn’t already underway.

Will these races shift? Absolutely, and the GOP can’t get complacent. But just in case you didn’t know, I wanted to make clear that Republicans are well positioned to achieve better than a draw from the coming Congressional election. That would be something. It will be interesting to see how the GOP plays its cards.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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Bishop!

Scrumpy on October 4, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Thanks Patrick..
Good info.

Electrongod on October 4, 2012 at 10:08 PM

We need to get busy in our respective states and get busy and make sure Conservatives/Republicans are voted in!

Scrumpy on October 4, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Just hoping PA-12 goes for Keith. Critz is a Murtha type POS.

reddevil on October 4, 2012 at 10:10 PM

We need to get busy in our respective states and get busy and make sure Conservatives/Republicans are voted in!

Scrumpy on October 4, 2012 at 10:09 PM

No worries here in Idaho..

Electrongod on October 4, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Well I have fumble thumbs tonight lol…get busy and get busy. lol

Scrumpy on October 4, 2012 at 10:11 PM

I think it would be smarzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Bishop on October 4, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Yes, seat will flip… But who is going to clean all the chicken poo off of Romney’s new seat? Or will we just buy him a new seat?

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:11 PM

No one in my state, good sign!! I believe OK has always been a strong Repub state…

Scrumpy on October 4, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Very good news, indeed. Now if we can just do something productive in the Senate races.

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Scrumpy on October 4, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Good evening, Scrumpy! Oklahoma is the only state in which Obama didn’t carry one single county in the election of ’08. A solid red state.

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:14 PM

uh, I was told, uh, that there would be no math.

Micah on October 4, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Has anyone seen any polling for Allen West?

JPeterman on October 4, 2012 at 10:16 PM

I want a freakin’ veto-proof majority.

SouthernGent on October 4, 2012 at 10:16 PM

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:11 PM

I’m thinking he’ll get a brand new one! You know, Michelle redecorated the Oval office, and it’s only fair if Ann gets the same privilege.

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Now I get Obama’s super secret debate plan!!!!

Lose the debate, so all of Mitt’s campaign donations shift to him, instead of Congressional races.

Super genius.

faraway on October 4, 2012 at 10:17 PM

JPeterman on October 4, 2012 at 10:16 PM

I’d check with Flora Duh… she’ll know.

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Go JOE!

I think Nevada will send Heck to DC, but they will also send, Dina Titus. She’s Harry Reid with hair, DWS with a southern accent.

Please do not hold her against me.

Jvette on October 4, 2012 at 10:18 PM

I’ve read the DCCC has also pulled out of North Carolina, which should flip 3, if not 5 seats.

SouthernGent on October 4, 2012 at 10:20 PM

You all DO know that Grayson is running again, right?

Lanceman on October 4, 2012 at 10:20 PM

I want a freakin’ veto-proof majority.

SouthernGent on October 4, 2012 at 10:16 PM

…DITTO!
The Senate is my worry!

KOOLAID2 on October 4, 2012 at 10:22 PM

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:11 PM

I’m thinking he’ll get a brand new one! You know, Michelle redecorated the Oval office, and it’s only fair if Ann gets the same privilege.

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Is that going to be legal? I mean,after all Moochell is so just like Jackie O that, well how can her decorating sense be improved on?

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Scrumpy on October 4, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Good evening, Scrumpy! Oklahoma is the only state in which Obama didn’t carry one single county in the election of ’08. A solid red state.

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:14 PM

OK is solid red now. Dan Boren isn’t running this year in district 2. I think he is the only dem from the state. I’ve moved out of that district and I’ve wondered if it will go R this year. Does anybody have any info on that?

tj4osu on October 4, 2012 at 10:23 PM

One of these, toward the bottom, is my current congressman. I hope he wins. In the past, I’ve been represented by such stellar congressmen as Henry Waxman and Jim Moran; I finally live in a GOP district and I’d like to keep it that way.

besser tot als rot on October 4, 2012 at 10:25 PM

That’s looking positive. I think we will way underperform in the senate, however.

mrscullen on October 4, 2012 at 10:26 PM

Wow! Cool! I missed this last time. As a bit of a Math Geek, I’m curious as to metrics or formulas your using. Is it a review & adjustment of polling or something else, as to how your coming up with the percentages.

http://www.paratisiusa.blogspot.com

God Bless America!

paratisi on October 4, 2012 at 10:27 PM

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:22 PM

I’m pretty sure that Barry hasn’t signed an EO making the Oval Office a museum or anything, so I’m thinking its a green light for Ann to redecorate.

I’d be willing to bet that when she gets around to it, the Churchill bust will be coming back, and that she’ll use antiques from the storehouse that the White House maintains for pieces not currently in use, like tables, etc., along with some reupholstered soft furnishings like chairs and sofas, or perhaps soft furnishings if nothing suitable can be found. A new rug, or the one G.W. Bush used, and new drapes, and taking that ugly beige stripped wallpaper off and returning the walls to white.

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:27 PM

tj4osu on October 4, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Here you go, tj40su. Most recent I could find for you. District 2 race

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:31 PM

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:22 PM

I’m pretty sure that Barry hasn’t signed an EO making the Oval Office a museum or anything, so I’m thinking its a green light for Ann to redecorate.

I’d be willing to bet that when she gets around to it, the Churchill bust will be coming back, and that she’ll use antiques from the storehouse that the White House maintains for pieces not currently in use, like tables, etc., along with some reupholstered soft furnishings like chairs and sofas, or perhaps soft furnishings if nothing suitable can be found. A new rug, or the one G.W. Bush used, and new drapes, and taking that ugly beige stripped wallpaper off and returning the walls to white.

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:27 PM

I’m sure anything Ann chooses will be a 1000 percent improvement over Moochells fashion/decorating sense. I’m not even a gay male and for the love of god even I can tell Moocheel is the Titanic of the fashion/decorating world.

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:33 PM

You all DO know that Grayson is running again, right?

Lanceman on October 4, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Grayson is going to win. I don’t know whether to rejoice because the Democratic circus will be so amusing, or to be saddened that the run of the mill psycho Democratic will seem sane in comparison to Grayson.

thuja on October 4, 2012 at 10:34 PM

tj4osu on October 4, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Sorry… wrong link… try this… its recent… Here you go.

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:35 PM

Important Obama debate highlights. Do not disregard his powerful public speaking prowess.

bloggless on October 4, 2012 at 10:36 PM

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:33 PM

I’m with you, there! However, Michelle didn’t even choose it herself, she’s addicted to designers, so she hires people to have that awful taste for her. How sad is that?

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:37 PM

We need to get busy in our respective states and get busy and make sure Conservatives/Republicans are voted in!

Scrumpy on October 4, 2012 at 10:09 PM

I’d prefer your trying to make sure republicans – small ‘r’ – win.

Dante on October 4, 2012 at 10:37 PM

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:33 PM

I’m with you, there! However, Michelle didn’t even choose it herself, she’s addicted to designers, so she hires people to have that awful taste for her. How sad is that?

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:37 PM

Wow, that’s just plain pathetic, apparently she insists on hiring junkies and LSD freaks to help her make her decisions.

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Scrumpy on October 4, 2012 at 10:09 PM

I’d prefer your trying to make sure republicans – small ‘r’ – win.

Dante on October 4, 2012 at 10:37 PM

I’m pretty sure nobody gives a flying phuck what you would prefer.

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:40 PM

I’m sure anything Ann chooses will be a 1000 percent improvement over Moochells fashion/decorating sense. I’m not even a gay male and for the love of god even I can tell Moocheel is the Titanic of the fashion/decorating world.

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:33 PM

I hate to tell you this, but as gay Republican, I must admit that Michelle has good taste. Seriously, the left tends to be good at fashion. We shouldn’t politicize our relative weaknesses.
On the other hand, Ann also has excellent taste and will do an amazing job!

thuja on October 4, 2012 at 10:40 PM

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:39 PM

lol! I think that’s called ‘chic’ and ‘trendy’ in her world! :)

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:41 PM

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:33 PM

I hate to tell you this, but as gay Republican, I must admit that Michelle has good taste. Seriously, the left tends to be good at fashion. We shouldn’t politicize our relative weaknesses.
On the other hand, Ann also has excellent taste and will do an amazing job!

thuja on October 4, 2012 at 10:40 PM

You soooooo just lost youy gay fashion sense card… right straight into the shredder it went…

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:42 PM

You soooooo just lost youy gay fashion sense card… right straight into the shredder it went…

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Well, this isn’t the first time I’ve been called a failure as a homosexual.

thuja on October 4, 2012 at 10:46 PM

I am of the opinion that the House and Senate are more important than the presidency. If you donate or volunteer, I respectfully suggest that your Senate and House candidates could probably use your help more than Romney.

Johnny 100 Pesos on October 4, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Did I miss Mia Love somewhere?

ccrosby on October 4, 2012 at 10:48 PM

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Well, this isn’t the first time I’ve been called a failure as a homosexual.

thuja on October 4, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Well technically I called you a failure as a stereotype… But hey, what ever… ;p

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:50 PM

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Yes…and she’s paying around $2000 for those sweaters, too. I was really pretty irritated when I found that out when the Democrats were slamming Ann for wearing a $900 shirt, that she bought and paid for with her own money, and Michelle is paying $2000 a pop for designer cardigans with OUR money, that look exactly like the one’s you can get at any department store for about $50/each.

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:51 PM

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Yes…and she’s paying around $2000 for those sweaters, too. I was really pretty irritated when I found that out when the Democrats were slamming Ann for wearing a $900 shirt, that she bought and paid for with her own money, and Michelle is paying $2000 a pop for designer cardigans with OUR money, that look exactly like the one’s you can get at any department store for about $50/each.

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:51 PM

No kidding, if you absolutely have to spend $2000.00 dollars of tax payer money for a single sweater, can’t you for the love of god at least buy one that looks GOOD…

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:56 PM

Yes…and she’s paying around $2000 for those sweaters, too. I was really pretty irritated when I found that out when the Democrats were slamming Ann for wearing a $900 shirt, that she bought and paid for with her own money, and Michelle is paying $2000 a pop for designer cardigans with OUR money, that look exactly like the one’s you can get at any department store for about $50/each.

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:51 PM

Too bad they still look like rags on her. You can’t buy style no matter what all of her azz kissers say.

riddick on October 4, 2012 at 10:58 PM

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:35 PM

Thanks for the link. Very good info. Looks good for my state to have an all R contingent in Washington. I’m getting more and more hopeful they’ll be working with President Romey!

tj4osu on October 4, 2012 at 10:59 PM

tj4osu on October 4, 2012 at 10:59 PM

Most welcome! Me, too!:)

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 11:01 PM

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:35 PM

Thanks for the link. Very good info.

tj4osu on October 4, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Thank you for pulling the list of these races together, Patrick!

Let’s show some link love for our Republican candidates so we can all learn more about them.

Here is a link to the campaign site for Republican Allen West (FL-18)
http://www.allenwestforcongress.com/about/

wren on October 4, 2012 at 11:21 PM

Here is a link to the campaign website for Republican Chris Gibson (NY-19):

http://www.chrisgibsonforcongress.com/

wren on October 4, 2012 at 11:25 PM

CAREFUL! Kathy Hochul is listed as a DEMOCRAT in the NY-27 race
http://www.ccofal.org/New-York/new_york_candidates_for_congress.html

Chris Collins is the Republican candidate in the NY-27 Congressional race.

Here is the link to Chris Collins’ campaign website:

http://collinsforcongress.com/

wren on October 4, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Too bad they still look like rags on her. You can’t buy style no matter what all of her azz kissers say.

riddick on October 4, 2012 at 10:58 PM

You also can’t buy grace and Michelle Obama is as graceless as they come.

Jvette on October 4, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Here is a link to the campaign website for Republican Rep. Quico Canseco (TX-23)

http://www.cansecoforcongress.com/

wren on October 4, 2012 at 11:36 PM

Here is a link to the campaign website for Republican Rep. Frank Guinta (NH-01):

http://teamguinta.com/

wren on October 4, 2012 at 11:42 PM

Chip Cravaack in MN-8 slew a giant in 2010.

Jimbo Oberstar had been in Congress 30+ years, and the Donks held that seat since the 1940′s.

Chip could use 25 bucks from y’all.

Sent him mine.

Bruno Strozek on October 4, 2012 at 11:45 PM

Here is a link to the campaign website for Republican Rep. Joe Heck (NV-3):

http://heck4nevada.com/

wren on October 4, 2012 at 11:48 PM

Here is a link to the campaign website for Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth (NY-18):

http://nanhayworth.com/

wren on October 4, 2012 at 11:58 PM

I live in a very blue area of NENC
Butterfield is safe here

conservative tarheel on October 4, 2012 at 11:59 PM

CAREFUL! Mark Critz is the DEMOCRAT in the PA-12 race.

http://www.congress.org/election/guide/pa

The Republican candidate for PA-12 is Keith Rothfus.

Here is a link to the campaign website for Republican Keith Rothfus:

http://keithrothfus.com/index

wren on October 5, 2012 at 12:13 AM

Here is a link to the campaign website for Republican Dan Lungren (CA-07):

http://www.danlungren.com/

wren on October 5, 2012 at 12:17 AM

Here is a link to the campaign website for Republican Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-06):

http://coffmanforcongress.com/

wren on October 5, 2012 at 12:21 AM

Here is a link to the campaign website for Republican Rep. David Rivera (FL-25):

http://www.davidrivera.org/

Note: Patrick’s list has David Rivera as FL-26, but David Rivera’s campaign website says he is running for Florida district 25.

Perhaps Patrick can tell us if Florida District 25 or 26 is the one to watch.

wren on October 5, 2012 at 12:31 AM

Here is the link to the campaign website for Republican Rep. Dan Benishek (MI-01):

http://www.benishek2012.com/

wren on October 5, 2012 at 12:35 AM

Here is a link to the campaign website for Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack (MN-08):

http://chipcravaack.com/

wren on October 5, 2012 at 12:42 AM

Here is a link to the campaign website for Republican Brian Bilbray (CA-52):

http://bilbrayforcongress.com/

wren on October 5, 2012 at 12:46 AM

Here is a link to the campaign website for Republican Rep. Judy Biggert (IL-11):

http://www.biggert.com/

wren on October 5, 2012 at 12:49 AM

Here is a link to the campaign website for Republican Rep. Charlie Bass (NH-02):

http://www.votebass.com/

wren on October 5, 2012 at 12:52 AM

Rep. Tom Latham is the Republican candidate who is running for Congress in Iowa’s 3rd district.

Here is a link to Rep. Tom Latham’s campaign website:

http://www.tomlatham.com/

wren on October 5, 2012 at 1:20 AM

Rep. Jim Renacci is the Republican candidate who is running for the newly combined 16th district in Ohio.

Here is a link to Rep. Jim Renacci’s campaign website:

http://www.renacciforcongress.com/

wren on October 5, 2012 at 1:26 AM

Tony Strickland is the Republican who is running for the open seat in CA-26.

Here is a link to Tony Strickland’s campaign website:

http://www.tonystrickland.com/

wren on October 5, 2012 at 1:34 AM

Thanks, an excellent analysis – please keep updating!

Personally, I would like to see the traditional items removed from the Oval Office by Obama restored, and a polite request to the British Embassy that, if they please, we would be delighted to place again the bust of Churchill in an honored place in the Oval Office – and do they have one of Thatcher they could spare?

Adjoran on October 5, 2012 at 1:34 AM

Jason Plummer is the Republican candidate who is running for the open seat in Illinois Congressional District 12:

Here is a link to the campaign website for Jason Plummer:

http://www.jasonplummer.com/default.aspx

wren on October 5, 2012 at 1:39 AM

OK, we have the links to the campaign websites for all of the Republican candidates who are running in Patrick’s 20 key Congressional races, so we can all learn more about them.

If you live in or near any of these congressional districts, please share your local perspective on these races with the rest of us.

We all know how badly Rep. Nancy Pelosi wants to get back the Speaker of the House gavel and the big airplane that she had with it.

Never underestimate Nancy Pelosi’s ability to consolidate political power! I am sure she has made regaining a Democrat majority in the House her mission in life for the past 2 years.

So it is up to us to make sure we elect enough Republicans to Congress to prevent Nancy Pelosi from becoming Speaker again!

Hold the House! Seize the Senate! NObama 2012!

wren on October 5, 2012 at 1:49 AM

So are you telling me Joe Walsh IL-8 is safe despite polls to the contrary?? I really don’t believe Duckworth will win this seat, because she only does limited appearances. Her campaign is completely machine run with lots of machine money. Roskam beat her for IL-6 in 2006, tho she beat a hardworking candidate in the 2006 CD-6 primary. Walsh should be able to win with his high intensity ground game.

KenInIL on October 5, 2012 at 2:07 AM

Where is Ok-2 on this list? That should be an easy Republican pick up. McCain won the district by 32 points and the Democrat is retiring.

billy on October 5, 2012 at 2:26 AM

Can we assume that WI-7 and WI-8 are looking good now? I live in Minnesota and there are a lot of ads on television here for WI-7 in particular, so it’s clearly being contested as hard as MN-8.

Mr. D on October 5, 2012 at 6:23 AM

Consider adding this one to your list

Sean Bialat vs. a Kennedy grandson in the newly redistricted MA, Barney Frank seat, now with more Scott Brown voters than ever.

Fleuries on October 5, 2012 at 7:53 AM

Somehow Ishmael is under the belief that it’s “good news” if Republicans win, voting records be damned.

Dante on October 5, 2012 at 7:56 AM

Yes, seat will flip… But who is going to clean all the chicken poo off of Romney’s new seat? Or will we just buy him a new seat?

SWalker on October 4, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Let’s buy Romney a new seat, and give Obama’s old one to Clint Eastwood.

Steve Z on October 5, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Bilbray, as a RINO, is always vulnerable here in SoCal. But his latest ad, as a 60-something out surfing the beautiful San Diego coast, and claiming that as his heritage of caring for the environment, might be the most genius thing he’s ever done, in or out of office. The most powerful local political groups are the Surfrider Foundation and similar coastal-focused green folks.

His opponent’s ads are the usual boilerplate “grinch” type attacks. I’m no fan of Bilbray overall, but he has a good chance to hold his seat.

Freelancer on October 5, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Michelle is paying $2000 a pop for designer cardigans with OUR money, that look exactly like the one’s you can get at any department store for about $50/each.

thatsafactjack on October 4, 2012 at 10:51 PM

but the designers of those 50 dollar cardigans didn’t contribute a ton
of money to Obama’s reelection ….

conservative tarheel on October 5, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Late for this thread, but just found this while looking for something else.

http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2012/Senate/Maps/Oct05-s.html

Introduction to the 2012 Senate Races

Good info on Senate Seats for all States (if applicable)

bluefox on October 5, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Good info on Senate Seats for all States (if applicable)

bluefox on October 5, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Thank you, bluefox! I have been looiking for good summaries of the Senate races.

In case it is helpful, this is the site I have been using to follow the Senate races.

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball
http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/category/2012-senate/

You can also use the Sabato site to follow the House and Presidential races.

Hold the House! Seize the Senate! NObama 2012!

wren on October 5, 2012 at 8:06 PM