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Race by Race US House Analysis – Part 1 of 8

August 1, 2010
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The race for the House is especially volatile, with pundits suggesting anywhere from a 15 seat gain for Republicans, to a 70 or 80 seat gain.  Most neutral observers project anywhere from 30 – 45 for the GOP.  The pure and simple flat line math suggested on this site says a 95 seat gain, but that is admittedly extreme and takes nothing else into consideration.  That projection will also rise and fall with the generic ballot poll.  But unless unemployment drops several percent in the next 3 months, Republicans are poised to make significant gains.

So in order to demonstrate where the takeovers or near takeovers will happen, we will look at every race in the country and make a projection (sometimes based on little evidence).  In wave elections, the party riding the wave rises virtually everywhere.  For instance, McCain’s vote percentage went down from Bush’s 2004 campaign in all but 2 states, and 1 of those 2 was an increase of 0.1%.  The wave is present so far this year, so I think that Democrat vote total percentages are going to decrease virtually everywhere.

With that being said, here are the races listing the state and all of the representatives within as well as the most credible challenger or challengers.  Money raised is the key factor in credibility.  Not all candidates are mentioned, and unfortunately, even the main challenger is not always credible.  In those cases, the seat is probably safe for the incumbent.

Part 1 features the Mid Atlantic states (5 original colonies and West Virginia).  Things happen and races change, but for now this is where it stands (IMO of course).

Mid Atlantic

Incumbent = (I)           Democrats listed on the left             Republicans on the right

Delaware 0-1 GOP                                                                +1 Dem

A (Open)   John Carney                                        Michele Rollins, Glen Urquhart

–         The Democrat is favored but both R’s have raised significant funds to make a credible challenge. Urquhart is the Conservative in the September 14th primary.  But Delaware is a D state even in this climate, CARNEY – D Takeover

Maryland 7-1 Dem                                                               +1 GOP

1            Frank Kratovil (I) Rob Fisher, Andy Harris

–         The only polling for this race that I’ve seen shows Harris with a lead over Kratovil in this rematch.  Harris should have won last time and should this time, but reportedly ran a sub par campaign.  Also, former GOP rep and moderate Wayne Gilchrest endorsed the Democrat.  Love those “Moderates”.  Fisher can self-finance, but Harris should win the primary.  Maryland’s primary is September 14th.  HARRIS – R Takeover

2          Charles Ruppersberger (I) Marcello Cardarelli, others

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   RUPPERSBERGER – D Hold

3          John Sarbanes (I) Greg Bartosz, Jim Wilhelm

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   SARBANES – D Hold

4          Donna Edwards (I) Robert Broadus

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   EDWARDS – D Hold

5          Steny Hoyer (I) Charles Lollar, Collins Bailey

–         Somewhere else, Lollar is a good candidate, but not against the Majority Leader.  This is a safe seat for the incumbent.   HOYER – D Hold

6 J. Casey Clark, Andrew Duck                  Roscoe Bartlett (I)

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   BARTLETT – R Hold

7          Elijah Cummings (I) Mike Vallerie, Ray Bly

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   CUMMINGS – D Hold

8          Chris Van Hollen (I) Mike Philips, Bruce Stearn

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   VAN HOLLEN – D Hold

New Jersey 8-5 Dem                                                      +1 GOP

1          Robert Andrews (I) Dale Glading

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   ANDREWS – D Hold

2 Gary Stein Frank LoBiondo (I)

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   LOBIONDO – D Hold

3          John Adler (I) Jon Runyon

–         Freshman Rep. Adler faces a huge challenge from former Eagle, Jon Runyon.  Adler is capable of raising huge amounts of money as he showed last cycle, but may have hurt his standing with the Unions by voting against Obamacare, although that may have helped him with moderates.  Adler will likely be heavily supported by the national party as well.  This district was Republican for nearly 20 years, Bush won this district in 2004, and Obama won it in 2008.     RUNYON – R Takeover

4 Howard Kleinhendler Chris Smith (I)

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   SMITH – R Hold

5 Tod Theise Scott Garrett (I)

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   GARRETT – R Hold

6          Frank Pallone (I) Anna Little

–         The long time liberal Congressman Pallone probably dodged a small bullet when potential self funding candidate Diane Gooch lost her primary to Tea Party candidate Anna Little.  Little brings enthusiasm, but not a lot of funding at this point.  Could Pallone lose, Gov. Christie won this district?  Probably not.  PALLONE – D Hold

7 Ed Potosnak                                             Leonard Lance (I)

–         The freshman won rather easily in a bad Republican year, so this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   LANCE – R Hold

8          Bill Pascrell (I) Roland Straten

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   PASCRELL – D Hold

9          Steve Rothman (I) Mike Agosta

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.  However, this race may get close.  Agosta has a money base and Rothman was video taped in a bit of a falsehood in a town hall meeting.  I still think this is a hold, but the Democrats will spend more than they like to save it.  ROTHMAN – D Hold

10        Donald Payne (I) Michael Alonso

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   PAYNE – D Hold

11 Douglas Herbert Rodney Frelinghuysen (I)

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   FRELINGHUYSEN – R Hold

12        Rush Holt (I) Scott Sipprelle

–         Rush Holt may have a race on his hands as self funder Scott Sipprelle will represent the GOP for this seat.  Sipprelle is a moderate who could make a showing here.  This district gave President Obama only 58% of the vote, although Holt did get 63% in 2008, so there is room to move this district given the mood of the electorate.  I’d still say that Holt will win this, but this race is worth watching and could change.  HOLT – D Hold

13        Albio Sires (I) Henrietta Dwyer

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   SIRES – D Hold

Pennsylvania 12-7 Dem                                                      +5 GOP

1          Robert Brady (I) Pia Varma

–         This seat is safe.  Varma’s write-in candidacy has no chance.  BRADY – D Hold

2          Chaka Fattah (I) Rick Hellberg

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   FATTAH – D Hold

3          Kathy Dahlkemper (I) Mike Kelly

–         Freshman Rep. Dahlkemper is in trouble given her health care vote in this socially conservative district.   KELLY – R Takeover

4          Jason Altmire (I) Keith Rothfus

–         Altmire is in for a tough race this cycle.  Keith Rothfus has proven to be a hard working candidate and may be able to prevail here.  The unions are unhappy with Altmire over his refusal to sign on to the health care bill and may not strongly support him, although I don’t think they’ll oppose him either.  Rothfus is a better candidate than former Rep Melissa Hart and in this conservative leaning district where the president is not very popular, Rothfus just might win this.   ROTHFUS – R Takeover

5 Michael Pipe Glenn Thompson (I)

–         At this time, this rural district is a safe seat for the incumbent.   THOMPSON – R Hold

6 Manan Trivedi Jim Gerlach (I)

–         Rep. Gerlach is in for a fight this cycle.  Trivedi has thus far run a good campaign and has been able to raise significant funds, but Gerlach knows this district and is also a very good campaigner.  Republican year, Gerlach squeaks it out.  GERLACH – R Hold

7 Bryan Lentz                                              Pat Meehan

–         Joe Sestak is running for the Senate and leaving this seat open.  Meehan and Lentz are both good, popular candidates.  Most prognosticators call this a pure toss up, but they are usually conservative in their predictions.  We’ll take this a step further.   MEEHAN – R Takeover

8          Patrick Murphy (I) Mike Fitzgerald

–         Like much of Pennsylvania, the residents of PA 8 have a close and interesting race to watch.  Obama didn’t win this by much, and this wealthy district could go back to its GOP roots.  FITZGERALD – R Takeover

9 J. Thomas Conners Bill Shuster (I)

–         At this time, this district is a safe seat for the incumbent.   SHUSTER – R Hold

10        Chris Carney (I) Tom Marino

–         This may be one of the toughest to call in Pennsylvania, if not the region.  Carney is vulnerable in this district since he supported Obamacare and the district went for McCain by 9 points.  But Marino has been a week fundraiser and I’m not sure he can compete.  CARNEY – D hold

11        Paul Kanjorski (I) Lou Barletta

–         2010 will mark the 3rd time these two candidates will face off.  Third time is the charm here as persistence pays off as Kanjorski gets weaker and weaker over the years.  BARLETTA – R Takeover

12        Mark Critz (I) Tim Burns

–         Here in my home district, Mark Critz is quickly taking over where Jack Murtha left off.  Tim Burns has not yet made the inroads throughout the district that he needs to, but he can self fund if necessary.  I’ll stand by a much earlier observation – whether or not I personally like it – Critz fits the district well.  The 12th is ripe for a future takeover, but not yet.  This will be closer than the Special Election, but not quite close enough for Mr. Burns.  CRITZ – D hold

13        Allison Schwartz (I) Dee Adcock

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   SCHWARTZ – D Hold

14        Mike Doyle (I) Melissa Ann Haluszczak

–         At this time, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   DOYLE – D Hold

15 John Callahan                                          Charlie Dent (I)

–         Charlie Dent has a tough race in an increasingly Democratic district.  Callahan has raised nearly as much as he incumbent.  But I still don’t see this year as anti-incumbent, just anti-democrat.  That could change, however, this is not the year that Dent gets knocked off.  DENT – R Hold

16 Lois Herr                                                  Joe Pitts (I)

–         At this time, this district is a safe seat for the incumbent.   PITTS – R Hold

17        Tim Holden (I) Dave Argall

–         A Democrat in a conservative district, Holden knows his constituents well and seems to have a lock on this district as long as he wants it.   HOLDEN – D Hold

18 Dan Connolly                                           Tim Murphy (I)

–         At this time, this district is a safe seat for the incumbent.   MURPHY  – R Hold

19 Ryan Sanders                                          Todd Platts (I)

–         At this time, this district is a safe seat for the incumbent.   PLATTS  – R Hold

Virginia 6-5 Dem                                                               +2 GOP

1 Krystal Ball                                                Rob Wittman (I)

–         This seat is safe, but you’d think Krystal Ball would have already known that before her challenge.  WITTMAN – R Hold

2          Glenn Nye (I) Scott Rigell

–         This military district, like so many other districts, tilted to the Democrats in the last cycle.  Probably not this year and the only thing that might hurt Rigell is an Independent run by disgruntled former GOP VA Beach leader, Kenny Golden.  RIGELL – R Takeover

3          Bobby Scott (I) Chuck Smith

–         At this time, this district is a safe seat for the incumbent.   SCOTT – D Hold

4          Wynne LeGrow                                         J. Randy Forbes (I)

–         At this time, this district is a safe seat for the incumbent.   FORBES – R Hold

5          Tom Perriello (I) Robert Hurt

–         Perriello squeaked out a victory in 2008 after counties kept finding more votes for him that weren’t turned in right away (a la Al Franken?).  Perriello is a liberal in a Conservative district, but the GOP chose the more moderate candidate in the primary.  Conservatives don’t love Hurt and may be discouraged to get out and vote here, and Hurt’s fundraising is awful.  He is currently polling about 20 points ahead, but it’s early.  This is probably a district where the incumbent will hold on because at this point he has such an extreme funding advantage.  PERRIELLO – D Hold

6 Stuart Bain (Libertarian)                         Bob Goodlatte (I)

–         At this time, this district is a safe seat for the incumbent.  GOODLATTE – R Hold

7 Charlie Diradour, Rick Waugh                 Eric Cantor (I)

–         Minority Whip Eric Cantor is looking to become Majority Leader.  The first step is winning his race.  CANTOR – R Hold

8          Jim Moran (I) J. Patrick Murray

–         Like Alan Grayson, Moran is kind of a jerk, but in VA 8 he has a ‘D’ after his name and therefore this district is a safe seat for the incumbent.  MORAN – D Hold

9          Rick Boucher (I) Morgan Griffith

–         Boucher is a conservative Democrat going against a Republican who doesn’t live in the district, but figures it will expand and include his home after redistricting.  Boucher is a “Cap and Trade” supporter and that may hurt him in coal country.   BOUCHER – D Hold

10 Jeff Barnett Frank Wolf (I)

–         At this time, this district is a safe seat for the incumbent.  WOLF – R Hold

11        Gerry Connolly (I) Keith Fimian

–         This race is a rematch of the 2008 contest in this affluent DC suburb.  This race should fall into the Republican wave, as Connolly seems a bit too far left for this district since he supported all of the most controversial Obama legislation.  FIMIAN – R Takeover

West Virginia 2-1 Dem                                                     +1 GOP

1 Mike Oliverio                                                David McKinley

–         Oliverio upset ethically troubled Rep. Alan Mollihan in the primary and has espoused very conservative views on most issues, including not committing to voting for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker.  McKinley’s fundraising has actually exceeded Oliverio’s to this point and both candidates seem to have very similar views.  But if you are a Democrat and your choice is to vote for Republican A or Republican B, who do you choose?  The only thing that might save Oliverio is the Senate race.  MCKINLEY – R Takeover

2 Virginia Graf                                                 Shelley Moore Capito (I)

–         At this time, this district is a safe seat for the incumbent.   CAPITO – R Hold

3          Nick Rahall (I) Spike Maynard

–         West Virginia is turning towards the GOP on the Federal level, but not this district yet.   RAHALL – D Hold

The Mid Atlantic states currently have a 35 to 20 seat advantage for the Democrats.  But in 2010, the GOP is poised to pick up many seats that it lost back in 2006 and 2008.  In this cycle in this region, the Democrats will pick up 1 GOP seat and the GOP will return the favor by taking 10 Democrat seats for a net +9 GOP gain or a 29 to 26 Republican advantage in the Mid Atlantic states for the 112th Congress.  Republicans will need a net total of 39 takeovers to gain control of Congress and the gain of 9 here gets them well on their way.  But will it continue … Stay tuned!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2010 9:23 pm

    I think you’re wrong about VA-05. SUSA just did a poll two weeks ago and Hurt was up 23 points over Perriello.

    • wildjim permalink*
      August 1, 2010 10:41 pm

      I hope I’m wrong. Yeah, I saw that poll too, although some of the internals give me pause, so I’d like to see another similar poll first. Also, Hurt’s fundraising sucks and until the NRCC jumps in with a lot of cash to dent Perriello’s $2 million or so, I’m not sure if he can compete long term.

  2. Th. Paine permalink
    August 2, 2010 1:43 pm

    I also believe that you are slightly wrong about VA-05. As long as Hurt can stay competitive money wise (meaning he must stay within 1:2 of Perriello). It’s the beginning of August. The majority of the population do not care about this election yet. When they do, the money will start to flow in.

    Also, the situation on the ground is a lot different than you characterized it to be. Conservatives and Tea-Party types are turning towards Hurt. There are vocal opponents of Hurt whose influence stops as soon as they log off their computers.

  3. August 4, 2010 3:34 pm

    Fundraising itself can be an indicator of a candidate’s chances. If the money is being raised in the district, things could be shifting in favor of Perriello. If the money is primarily being shipped in from outside, Perriello can blow it all on negative ads and still have a hard time damaging Hurt enough to overcome a 20 point gap.

    There’s no way to really know what’s going on behind the scenes here, but typically the candidate that brings in more money wins. Of course this isn’t shaping up to be a typical election season, but it would still be a mistake to ignore past election results.

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