Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal

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Congressional Races: Forecasting the Coming Wave

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A favorite political language exercise these days is describing the wave seemingly destined to crash ashore this November. Is it anti-Obama, anti-Democratic, anti-incumbent, or anti-Washington?

Or maybe all the above?

The much seems certain. If the forecasters at Congressional Quarterly are reading their charts correctly, it’s House Democrats who’ll be the first to be swept out to see.

Here’s CQ’s assessment:

— 42 of the 49 House races deemed “most competitive” now belong to Democrats;

— of the 18 races rated as “toss-ups” (i.e., no clear favorite), just one belongs to a Republican (Illinois Rep. Mark Steven Kirk, who’s now running for Barack Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat);

 —  7 seats have shifted from “likely” to “lean” Democratic (translation: no longer safe);

— 4 seats were added to the “safe Republican” list, the significance being that are all held by incumbents who received 53% or less in the last election.

The current makeup of the House is 255 Democrats, 178 Republicans and 2 vacancies in Democratic-held districts.

btw, if you’re curious about where California and its 53 seats (34 Dems, 19 Reeps) fits into the scheme of the “wave” election:

— 0 seats are toss-ups;

— 1 leans Democratic and 1 leans Republican (respectively, Reps. Jerry McNerney and Dan Lungren);

— 1 is likely Democratic (Loretta Sanchez in CD47);

— 2 are likely Republican (Ken Calvert in CD44 and Mary Bono Mack in CD45)

In others words, unless things change between now and November , just one-tenth of the delegation will be sweating it out on Election Night in the political fallout shelter we call California.


Written by Bill Whalen

February 20, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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