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House Ratings - Seats Switching and Shifting Rapidly

by: bushy08

Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 9:09 AM EDT

(Editors' Note: These are NOT the Swing State Project's official race ratings. There has been some confusion on this point in the past. SSP's official House race ratings can be found here.)

Since the economic crisis has nullified the social issue agenda, more Republican incumbents are becoming vulnerable.  More seats (101 Republican seats in total or half of the entire Republican caucus) are at risk of being pink ticketed.  The downward trend in the stock market, gas shortages in the South, Obama's surging campaign, voter registration favoring Democrats, and the bailout bill have all contributed to the addition of even more Republicans to the "at risk" list.

Based on this model if the election were held today, Republicans would lose 23 seats, with an additional 18 seats in the extremely vulnerable column.  The likelihood of Republicans losing 40 or more seats on election night is highly probable, yet thirty seats is more less a guarantee.  Races in the Likely/Leans or Leans/Toss Up are the races considered likely to have the most momentum in the final two weeks.  

Each rating shows the current incumbent followed by state, district, and the current party controlling the seat.  A double asterick represents a Democratic gain. (Following the ratings is an explanation detailing the few recent Republican additions to the list).  

Only two Democrat, Nick Lampson and Tim Mahoney, are considered likely to lose their seat.  The next five vulnerable Democrats are: Cazayoux, Boyda, Shea-Porter, Carney, and Kanjorski.  

Here are the ratings:

Republican Favored (Seats considered to be at risk based on known factor)
Dreier (CA-26 Rep)
Bono (CA-45 Rep)
Rohrbacher (CA-46 Rep)
Bilbray (CA-50 Rep)
Open Seat (CA-52 Rep)
Lamborn (CO-5 Rep)
Crenshaw (FL-4 Rep)
Brown-Waite (FL-5 Rep)
Stearns (FL-6 Rep)
Putnam (FL-12 Rep)
Kingston (GA-1 Rep)
Westmoreland (GA-3 Rep)
Linder (GA-7 Rep)
Biggert (IL-13 Rep)
Buyer (IN-4 Rep)
Latham (IA-4 Rep)
King (IA-5 Rep)
Scalise (LA-1 Rep)
Bartlett (MD-6 Rep)
Camp (MI-4 Rep)
Rogers (MI-8 Rep)
McCotter (MI-11 Rep)
Kline (MN-2 Rep)
Akin (MO-2 Rep)
Rehberg (MT-AL Rep)
LoBiondo (NJ-2 Rep)
Foxx (NC-5 Rep)
McHenry (NC-10 Rep)
Tiberi (OH-12 Rep)
Open Seat (PA-5 Rep)
Pitts (PA-16 Rep)
Wilson (SC-2 Rep)
Sessions (TX-32 Rep)
Hastings (WA-4 Rep)

Likely/Favored Republican (Seats considered vulnerable previously, yet less vulnerable now)
King (NY-3 Rep)
Turner (OH-3 Rep)
Open Seat (OH-7 Rep)
Murphy (PA-18 Rep)

Likely Republican (Seats considered vulnerable)
Rogers (AL-3 Rep)
Castle (DE-AL Rep)
Young (FL-10 Rep)
Buchanan (FL-13 Rep)
Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18 Rep)
Roskam (IL-6 Rep)
Open Seat (IL-18 Rep)
Boustany (LA-7 Rep)
LaTourette (OH-14 Rep)
Brown (SC-1 Rep)
McCaul (TX-10 Rep)
Goode (VA-5 Rep)
Capito (WV-2 Rep)

Likely/Leans Republican (Seats which were previously vulnerable, yet are becoming even more vulnerable)
Lungren (CA-3 Rep)
Bachmann (MN-6 Rep)
Terry (NE-2 Rep)
Heller (NV-2 Rep)
Garrett (NJ-5 Rep)
Gerlach (PA-6 Rep)
Dent (PA-15 Rep)
Culberson (TX-7 Rep)
Wolf (VA-10 Rep)

Leans Republican (Extremely vulnerable)
Shadegg (AZ-3 Rep)
Open Seat (CA-4 Rep)
Mahoney (FL-16 Dem)
Diaz-Balart, Mario (FL-25 Rep)
Souder (IN-3 Rep)
Open Seat (MO-9 Rep)
Drake (VA-2 Rep)

Leans Republican/Toss Up (Extremely vulnerable seats constantly shifting between Toss Up and Leans Republican)
Shays (CT-4 Rep)
Open Seat (KY-2 Rep)
Open Seat (NM-2 Rep)
Open Seat (NY-26 Rep)
Lampson (TX-22 Dem)
Reichert (WA-8 Rep)
Open Seat (WY-AL Rep)

Toss Up (Top Tier Races)
Open Seat (AL-2 Rep)
Kirk (IL-10 Rep)
Cazayoux (LA-6 Dem)
Open Seat (MD-1 Rep)
Graves (MO-6 Rep)
Schmidt (OH-2 Rep)
Open Seat (OH-16 Rep)

Toss Up/Leans Dem (Extremely vulnerable seats showing recent shifts from Toss Up to Leans Democrat)
Keller (FL-8 Rep) **
Diaz-Balart, Lincoln (FL-21 Rep) **
Boyda (KS-2 Dem)
Open Seat (MN-3 Rep) **
Shea-Porter (NH-1 Dem)
Open Seat (NJ-3 Rep) **
Carney (PA-10 Dem)

Leans Democrat (Extremely vulnerable)
Young (AK-AL Rep) **
Musgrave (CO-4 Rep) **
Feeney (FL-24 Rep) **
Marshall (GA-8 Dem)
Sali (ID-1 Rep) **
Open Seat (IL-11 Rep) **
Walberg (MI-7 Rep) **
Knollenberg (MI-9 Rep) **
Porter (NV-3 Rep) **
Open Seat (NJ-7 Rep) **
Open Seat (NM-1 Rep) **
Gillibrand (NY-20 Dem)
Open Seat (NY-25 Rep) **
Kuhl (NY-29 Rep) **
Hayes (NC-8 Rep) **
Chabot (OH-1 Rep) **
Open Seat (OH-15 Rep) **
English (PA-3 Rep) **
Kanjorski (PA-11 Dem)
Open Seat (VA-11 Rep) **
Kagen (WI-8 Dem)

Leans/Likely Democrat (Seats which were previously vulnerable, yet are becoming less  vulnerable)
Open Seat (OR-5 Dem)

Likely Democrat (Seats considered vulnerable)
Open Seat (AL-5 Dem)
Open Seat (AZ-1 Rep) **
Mitchell (AZ-5 Dem)
Giffords (AZ-8 Dem)
McNerney (CA-11 Dem)
Foster (IL-14 Dem)
Hill (IN-9 Dem)
Moore (KS-3 Dem)
Walz (MN-1 Dem)
Childers (MS-1 Dem)
Arcuri (NY-24 Dem)
Altmire (PA-4 Dem)
Sestak (PA-7 Dem)
Murphy (PA-8 Dem)

Democrat Favored (Seats considered to be at risk based on known factor)
Murphy (CT-5 Dem)
Bean (IL-8 Dem)
Yarmuth (KY-3 Dem)
Hodes (NH-2 Dem)
Bishop (NY-1 Dem)
Open Seat (NY-13 Rep) **
Hall (NY-19 Dem)
Pomeroy (ND-AL Dem)
Space (OH-18 Dem)
Davis (TN-4 Dem)
Rodriguez (TX-23 Dem)

Meet a few of the NEW additions:

Adam "Howdy Doody" Putnam (FL-12th)
Putnam has been part of the Republican leadership for the past eight years.  His district has also grown more Democratic, in large part to the growing Hispanic population of Poinciana and the college student population of Temple Terrace.  Senior citizens (aka: those that lost large investments courteousy of Putnam tailoring the Republican agenda) compose a large percentage of the population within the district.  Lakeland, the stomping ground of former Governor Lawton Chiles, is the epicenter of the district.  To Howdy Doody's disadvantage, Democrats have a 20,000 voter registration advantage over Republicans.  However, to his advantage, or to the dismay of Polk County Democrats, a strong Democratic challenger had not stepped forward to challenge Howdy Doody.  Democrat Doug Tudor has attacked Putnam for vacationing in Nantucket, yet with very few funds in the bank, Tudor will have a hard time getting his message out.  His only hope, which is probable due to Putnam's position in the Republican caucus, is to hope that Democrats and independents vote against Putnam, thereby giving Tudor their vote.  

Michael Castle (DE-AL)
Castle is the most noticeable recruiting failure on the part of the DCCC.  The state is largely Democratic, 46% of the electorate is registered as Democrats.  Working against Castle are several factors: Bush (the obvious), age (that which took down Sen. Roth in the past), a large African-American population, and the likelihood that turnout, including a large percentage of registered Democrats, will indeed turnout to vote.  The economic crisis also spells trouble for the state since they are largely dependent on banks incorporating within the state due to lax banking laws.  Castle normally takes 68% of the electorate on average, yet whether or not a solid Democratic electorate votes straight party is something which remains to be seen.

Lynn Westmoreland (GA-3)
Recently Westmoreland created controvery when he used a word which many took to be racist.  However, one should not worry, this is the same Westmoreland that wanted to mandate the posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools, yet when appearing on the Colbert Report, he struggled to even name one.  Westmoreland's district is 17% minority and he should not have a hard time losing at least 99.99% of them.  However, the recent gas shortages in Georgia led many in the public to blame public officials for the crisis.  This in part could be a contributing factor in the narrowing of the US Senate race here.  While Westmoreland is likely to prevail against his poorly funded Democratic challenger, forcing him to stay home and learn the Ten Commandments may be worthwhile.

Joe Wilson (SC-2)
The demographics of the district are starting to pose a challenge.  Recent registration numbers indicate that 27% of the electorate is non-Caucasian.  Furthermore, Wilson's challenger is Rob Miller, an Iraq War veteran.  Miller has managed to raise considerable funds in his quest to defeat Wilson, coming rather close in individual donations, yet still giving Wilson an advantage, courteousy of PAC's.  Should the African-American electorate deliver, then Miller only needs a quarter of the Caucasian vote in order to defeat Wilson, not a difficult task, yet one which may require more attacks on Wilson.  Making the argument that Bush and Wilson's high gas prices and free trade policies were contributing factors to the economic collapse (who said you have to tell the truth in politics, especially in SC, where religion triumps the issues at times) may be convincing.

Danny Rehberg (MT-AL)
Only in Big Sky Country have things seem to have gone the opposite direction.  The Republican Senate candidate wants to nationalize the oil companies, end the war in Iraq, and dissolve the US Congress in its current form.  The Democratic candidate against Rehberg hasn't been much different.  He too wants to end the war in Iraq, but he also doesn't want to spend a single dime winning the election, vowing to prove that office can be won without spending a single cent.  To the surprise of many, including the DCCC, John Driscoll won the House primary against a challenger whom actually spent money.  Driscoll's message may resonate with voters, yet it would be the first of its kind if he did indeed prevail.  The most recent debate between all three candidates (yes there is a Libertarian also), was probably the most civil debate held amongst challengers.  All three practically agreed with eachother.  In fact, Democratic nominee Driscoll, even pledged to vote for Rehberg in November.  However, Rehberg is obviously disillusioned when it comes to the issues facing the country.  He stated that the two main issues were health care and illegal immigration (so much for that downward economy).  A Driscoll victory, while improbable, simply cannot be ruled out.  He's proven he could win the primary, absent funding, and Rehberg's proven that he's been living in a glass bottle for the past eight years.

Pete Sessions (TX-32)
Dallas County has become more friendly to Democrats in recent years.  In fact, it has become so friendly that outside groups oppossed to immigration, have stated that 333,000 non-citizens are registered to vote in Texas, including a large number in Dallas County.  Of course, the nuts are basing this all on unreliable (non-Census) population projectings over the actual number of registered voters.  Obviously, right wingers have concerns.  The problem which is finally confronting these radicals is that Hispanics, of which 33% compose the population of Sessions district, are registering in large numbers.  However, since they're Hispanic, it's assumed they're illegal according to the loose set of rules established by the right wing racists.  It surely takes an elementary education to even believe that illegals are running over the border simply to register to vote.  I guess it's all part of the American dream.  Sessions had a rather dismal performance in 2006 and with a Libertarian sharing the ballot, the GOP is once again predicting an equally dismal performance.  However, should Sessions lose, then expect Republicans and their radical buddies to blame it on the illegal immigrants.    

Doc Hastings (WA-4)
Revelations that Hastings Chief of State pressured the US Attorney to investigate voter fraud in the 2004 gubernatorial race and to share details of the investigation with Hastings office, was sufficient enough for Hastings to be named one of the most corrupt members of Congress.  Subsequently, the US Attorney whom was pressured, was fired when he refused to disclose information to Hastings office.  For the first time, since the revelation had been disclosed, Hastings stands for re-election.  However, Jerry Lewis and Gary Miller, two other corrupt Republicans from California, seemed to have gotten a pass this year.  Hastings may also survive, yet his district is less Republican than either of them.  

bushy08 :: House Ratings - Seats Switching and Shifting Rapidly
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Some very early voting numbers for AL-03 Segall around 80%
Those 80% numbers were from a blog on

Segall has a hell of a ground game. Look at all these signs.

They say Mike Rogers made his every two year visit to most places in Alabama. Segall has been going all over the district talking to constituents while Mike's been rubber stamping George Bush and living up in Washington.

The locals are mad as hell about the bailout and Josh has come out strongly against it. And he was proven to be right, as Bush and Paulson have moved completely away from the original terrible bailout. Now they are moving to the British method.

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