Green Room

If these trends continue, Republicans could gain 60 seats in the House

posted at 11:48 pm on September 9, 2010 by

Since April, I’ve been predicting a House GOP pick-up in the low 50s. Subsequent months of data seemed to strenghthen the likelihood of a 52-seat-or-so outcome without greatly expanding the field of Democratic representatives at genuine risk, but only recently has the direness of the party’s electoral predicament really crystallized. In all, a remarkably high number of Democratic seats — 118 to be exact — are now, in one way or another, in play. Forty-four seats are now pure toss-ups or worse.

The last month has been particularly bad for Democrats. From April to August, the average rating (solid/likely/lean/tossup) of Democratic seats steadily moved downward in my survey; even so, August to September turned out to be worse than all previous months combined.

4/19/2010 Δ 5/14/2010 Δ 6/6/2010 Δ 7/12/2010 Δ 8/12/2010 Δ 9/9/2010
0.96 -0.04 0.92 -0.02 0.91 -0.05 0.85 -0.03 0.83 -0.16 0.67

While I don’t think future declines will accelerate exactly quite as much as the August to September period, I do think that Democrat fortunes will continue to fall at a more modest rate for the remaining two months of the campaign season. Thus, assuming declines roughly equal to the declines in those first months and distributing them evenly to all of the races, and Democrats are looking at 52 seats that are just toss-ups or worse on election day. From seat 53 to seat 78, pretty much anything can happen, as all are between the toss-up and lean Democrat categories. Seat 79, currently Dan Maffei’s NY-25, looks to be the high end of GOP gains. However, assuming the GOP wins a third of those intervening seats, the math is pretty straightforward: about 60 new GOP seats.

This all assumes some pretty fierce wave action, which I think is reasonable to believe will happen. Moreover, the 60 most vulnerable seats listed are simply the most likely to me to flip; given the countless factors at the macro and micro levels, the actual list of 60 flipped seats will be different. Regardless of the particular Ws and Ls, the seismic political impact would be the same.

Here’s the data graphically. The first graph is sorted by congressional seat, worst score to best; the second, by monthly raw score, regardless of congressional seat.

Below is the complete list of House seats, most vulnerable to least. Press CTRL-F to search for the seats you’re interested in.

District Dem incumbent
1 TN-6 OPEN (Gordon)
2 LA-3 OPEN (Melancon)
3 NY-29 OPEN
4 AR-2 OPEN (Snyder)
5 IN-8 OPEN (Ellsworth)
6 MD-1 Frank Kratovil
7 MS-1 Travis Childers
8 KS-3 OPEN (Moore)
9 TN-8 OPEN (Tanner)
10 AR-1 OPEN (Berry)
11 NM-2 Harry Teague
12 ND-AL Earl Pomeroy
13 TX-17 Chet Edwards
14 CO-4 Betsy Markey
15 SD-AL Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
16 FL-24 Suzanne Kosmas
17 IN-9 Baron Hill
18 SC-5 John Spratt
19 WV-1 Alan B. Mollohan
20 FL-2 Allen Boyd
21 OH-1 Steve Driehaus
22 OH-15 Mary Jo Kilroy
23 NH-1 Carol Shea-Porter
24 OH-16 John Boccieri
25 NH-2 OPEN (Hodes)
26 VA-5 Tom Perriello
27 WA-3 OPEN (Baird)
28 FL-8 Alan Grayson
29 NV-3 Dina Titus
30 PA-7 OPEN (Sestak)
31 AL-2 Bobby Bright
32 MI-7 Mark Schauer
33 IL-11 Debbie Halvorson
34 WI-7 OPEN
35 VA-2 Glenn Nye
36 AZ-1 Ann Kirkpatrick
37 MI-1 OPEN (Stupak)
38 PA-11 Paul Kanjorski
39 ID-1 Walter Minnick
40 NY-24 Michael Arcuri
41 IL-14 Bill Foster
42 NC-8 Larry Kissell
43 VA-9 Rick Boucher
44 MO-4 Ike Skelton
45 GA-8 Jim Marshall
46 TN-4 Lincoln Davis
47 PA-3 Kathy Dahlkemper
48 PA-8 Patrick Murphy
49 OH-18 Zack Space
50 TX-23 Ciro Rodriguez
51 PA-10 Chris Carney
52 AZ-5 Harry Mitchell
53 KY-6 Ben Chandler
54 IA-3 Leonard Boswell
55 AZ-8 Gabrielle Giffords
56 CA-11 Jerry McNerney
57 NC-11 Heath Shuler
58 NY-20 Scott Murphy
59 CO-3 John Salazar
60 PA-12 Critz
61 NY-23 Bill Owens
62 WI-8 Steve Kagen
63 NJ-3 John Adler
64 FL-22 Ron Klein
65 IN-2 Joe Donnelly
66 OR-5 Kurt Schrader
67 MA-10 OPEN (Delahunt)
68 NY-13 Mike McMahon
69 NY-19 John Hall
70 NY-1 Tim Bishop
71 OH-13 Betty Sutton
72 NM-1 Martin Heinrich
73 VA-11 Gerald Connolly
74 MI-9 Gary Peters
75 PA-17 Tim Holden
76 PA-4 Jason Altmire
77 WV-3 Nick Rahall
78 CA-47 Loretta Sánchez
79 NY-25 Dan Maffei
80 UT-2 Jim Matheson
81 IL-8 Melissa Bean
82 MS-4 Gene Taylor
83 NC-7 Mike McIntyre
84 GA-2 Sanford Bishop, Jr.
85 IL-17 Phil Hare
86 NC-2 Bob Etheridge
87 CT-5 Christopher Murphy
88 OK-2 Dan Boren
89 MN-1 Tim Walz
90 AR-4 Mike Ross
91 WI-3 Ron Kind
92 WA-2 Rick Larsen
93 CA-18 Dennis Cardoza
94 KY-3 John Yarmuth
95 CT-4 Jim Himes
96 CO-7 Ed Perlmutter
97 NJ-12 Rush Holt
98 GA-12 John Barrow
99 OH-6 Charlie Wilson
100 ME-2 Michaud
101 OR-1 David Wu
102 OR-4 DeFazio
103 CA-20 Jim Costa
104 TN-5 Cooper
105 RI-1 Kennedy
106 IA-1 Bruce Braley
107 IA-2 Loebsack
108 TX-27 Solomon Ortiz
109 MO-3 Russ Carnahan
110 WA-9 Adam Smith
111 NC-4 Price
112 ME-1 Chellie Pingree
113 MA-5 Tsongas
114 MA-6 John F. Tierney
115 NM-3 Ben R. Luján
116 NY-4 McCarthy
117 NJ-6 Pallone
118 CA-39 Sanchez

Update: Numbers guy Nate Silver weighs in today with what I believe is his first House prediction. Worth a read, but to sum his findings: it’s very likely that the GOP will take the House, and there’s a one-in-four chance that it takes 60+ seats. My obvious suspicion is that his “60+” probability will be revised up later, but we shall see.


(I’m on Twitter.)

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Dammit, I want to see CA-15 in there!

cthulhu on September 10, 2010 at 1:59 AM

They’re dancin’ on the ceilin’
they’re dancing’ on the floor
People everywhere comin’ through the door
They know there’s a party goin’ on

EliTheBean on September 10, 2010 at 6:34 AM

Damn. I was hoping this post was about the senate.

gh on September 10, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Dang, I’m still not seeing Marcy Kaptur. Even though Rich Iott is running an aggressive campaign and Toledo is, well, we aren’t Detroit, but that’s the best that can be said about us. Houses on my block have been on sale for over a year. And some in my neighborhood have been reduced from $80K to $70K.

rbj on September 10, 2010 at 9:55 AM

I’d like to see MA-1 in there, but that ain’t going to happen… 🙁

oddball on September 10, 2010 at 10:11 AM

The Sanchez rating doesn’t make sense. Wasn’t there a poll lately that had Van Tran down only a few.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on September 10, 2010 at 10:50 AM

I was surprised to see CO-7 so far down the list. Its basically a 50-50 district, and the republican candidate is Ryan Frazier, a black, young well spoken veteran who has great appeal going against a guy who is a vote every time for the Obama agenda.

torerodrizzle on September 10, 2010 at 12:04 PM

The link to this Green Room post from the Headlines section reads, “60 seats isn’t out of the question.” For a minute there, I thought you meant 60 seats in the Senate.

Emperor Norton on September 10, 2010 at 12:31 PM

The link to this Green Room post from the Headlines section reads, “60 seats isn’t out of the question.” For a minute there, I thought you meant 60 seats in the Senate.

Emperor Norton on September 10, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Ha, pretty sure in the Senate 60 seats is out of the question, but I have considered using some of the House data to figure out the Senate races.

Patrick Ishmael on September 10, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Anyone know: have we ever seen a trend this strong and continuous in, say, the last 40 years? That is one powerful graphic.

J.E. Dyer on September 10, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Yay for flipping PA-8!

Rosmerta on September 10, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Chet Edwards is going down!

txmomof6 on September 11, 2010 at 10:00 PM

I can say that FL-24 (Suzanne Kosmas) is my (non)representative, and I will be doing my part to enforce this flip in November.

Scott H on September 12, 2010 at 11:32 AM

This post has been promoted to

Comments have been closed on this post but the discussion continues here.

Ed Morrissey on September 13, 2010 at 3:49 PM

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