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Race by Race US House Analysis – Part 2 of 8

August 4, 2010
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Part 2, the West, begins the cycle with a 28 to 17 advantage for the Democrats.  Hope and Change is coming yet again to this frontier.  But does this Hope of better policies make conservatives feel really good, or does Obama-Change keep our liberal friends Hopeful?  Either way, Hope and Change are awesome words simply due to their pure meaninglessness.

Over the last couple election cycles, Democrats made significant progress in what used to be a GOP stronghold.  Like everywhere else, there are a number of seats in play in the West, and many of thse will change parties.  The most volatile states in the region look to be Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado.  But whether it’s a temporary blip for Democrats or the region is returning to the GOP, remains to be seen.  In the meantime, we can observe with the joy, sorrow, and passion that these election cycles bring to all of us political followers.

And now, the western snapshot.  Have fun!

West

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

Alaska   0-1 GOP                                                                No change

A          Harry Crawford                                               Don Young (I), Sheldon Fisher

–         Don Young is seeking term #20, but is yet again being challenged from the right in a primary. I think that if Young were going to lose, it would have happened last cycle to either Sean Parnell or Ethan Berkowitz.  That didn’t happen, so in this GOP state, Young should be safe.  YOUNG – R Hold

Arizona   5-3 Dem                                                              +3 GOP

1           Ann Kirkpatrick (I)                                  Bradley Beauchamp, Rusty Bowers, Paul Gosar                                                                                             Sidney Hay, Others

–         Freshman Rep. Kirkpatrick is very vulnerable in this middle of the road district.  She won her last race by a healthy margin in a district tainted by GOP Rep. Rick Renzi’s scandal.  This year, Renzi is out of the spotlight and several Republican\s have lined up to challenge her.  Multi person races in an open primary is a crap shoot, but the best funded are Gosar and Hay, but Hay lost big last time.  Immigration reform is big here, Republican’s are motivated.  GOSAR – R Takeover

2           John Thrasher                                                Trent Franks (I)

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

3           John Hulburd                                              Ben Quayle, Vern Parker, Pamela Gorman, Steve Moak

–         There are no shortage of Republicans wanting John Shadegg’s open seat.  HulBurd is well-funded, but so are the Republicans.  Gorman has the Pro-Life endorsement, but has little money, she’ll need a huge Tea Party type buy to take this.  Quayle has a huge money advantage and with such a crowded field, he probably buys the 20% or so that he needs to win, but that probably makes the general closer than it should be.  At this time, this is a likely hold seat for the Republicans.   QUAYLE – R Hold

4          Ed Pastor (I)                                                  Janet Contrares

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

5          Harry Mitchell (I)                                        Jim Ward, Susan Bitter Smith, David Schweikert

–         Mitchell is another Arizona incumbent in a tough district who was the beneficiary of good Democratic years.  This year the Republican wave washes him away.  Jim Ward likely wins the primary for the GOP.   WARD – R Takeover

6           Rebecca Schneider                                            Jeff Flake (I)

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

7           Raul Grijalva (I)                                           Ruth McClung, Others

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

8          Gabrielle Giffords (I)                                  Jonathan Paton, Jesse Kelly

–         Giffords, like Mitchell and Kirkpatrick, is in a tough race and likely to lose.  Republicans seem excited about their primary choices here, and immigration is a huge issue in this border district.  Both GOP candidates are well funded, so I think this is the year when all else is equal, Tea Party bests establishment.  KELLY – R Takeover

Colorado          5-2 Dem                                                     +2 GOP

1           Diana DeGette (I)                                         Steve Barton, Mike Fallon

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

2           Jared Polis (I)                                                Stephen Bailey, Bob Brancato

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

3           John Salazar (I)                                             Bob McConnell, Scott Tipton

–         Rep. Salazar has been elected as a conservative Democrat in this conservative district.  But you have to wonder if his vote for Obama care may have pushed some of his support away.  If any Republican can raise a competitive sum, Salazar is beatable.  But that is the question.  Something is nagging at me to call this for the Republican that emerges from the primary, Tipton I think, but I just don’t see any evidence to convince me so far.  SALAZAR – D Hold

4            Betsy Markey (I)                                            Cory Gardner

–         For some reason, whenever I think about this race (and a couple others), all I can see and hear is Keifer Sutherland’s vampire face screaming “You’re dead meat!” at Corey Heim (poor Corey … RIP).  Anyway, Markey is a goner.  GARDNER – R Takeover

5            Kevin Bradley                                                      Doug Lamborn (I)

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

6            John Flerlage                                                       Mike Coffman (I)

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

7            Ed Perlmutter (I)                                           Ryan Frazier

Perlmutter is working on his 3rd term in a district that seems to be tilting Democrat little by little.  Frazier is a good candidate who has proven his ability to raise significant funds.  FRAZIER – R Takeover

Hawaii          1-1 Tie                                                            No Change

1             Colleen Hanabusa                                               Charles Djou (I)

–         This special election rematch should fall to Hanabusa given that Djou won in a 3 way competition with 2 Democrats.  Should and will are 2 different things however, as the polling shows the voters of Hawaii’s 1st district seem inclined to give Djou a full term.  DJOU – R Hold

2             Mazie Hirono (I)                                            Ramsay Wharton, John Willoughby

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

Idaho          1-1 Tie                                                               +1 GOP

1              Walt Minnick (I)                                            Raul Labrador

–         Walt Minnick is vulnerable simply because this is Idaho.  Minnick votes the way a conservative district would expect him to on most issues.  To win in these dog days of summer (yes, bad joke), Labrador and the NRCC needs to raise enough money to tie him completely to Pelosi.   I think they can.  LABRADOR – R Takeover

2              Mike Crawford                                                      Mike Simpson (I)

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

Montana     0-1 Tie                                                            No Change

A              Dennis McDonald                                                 Denny Rehberg (I)

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

Nevada   2-1 Dem                                                               +1 GOP

1               Shelley Berkley (I)                                         Kenneth Wegner

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

2               Nancy Price                                                          Dean Heller (I)

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

3               Dina Titus (I)                                                   Joe Heck

–         Dina Titus won over incumbent Jon Porter in the last election (which took out a potential Harry Reid threat as well).  But this district has been hit really hard by unemployment and general economic crisis.  Titus will not hold this seat.  HECK – R Takeover

New Mexico  3-0 Dem                                                        +2 GOP

1               Martin Heinrich (I)                                       John Barela

–         In this very even district, previously represented by Republican Heather Wilson, Heinrich will be close but no cigar for term 2.  Barela is probably the best candidate the GOP could have chosen.  BARELA – R Takeover

2                Harry Teague  (I)                                          Steve Pearce

–         Steve Pearce is looking to get his old job back that he left to run for the Senate.  It looks like he will since the Democratic agenda is just to liberal for this conservative district despite Harry Teague trying to stradle that fine conservative Democrat line.  PEARCE – R Takeover

3                 Ben Ray Lujan (I)                                         Tom Mullins

–         Polling in February by a Democratic pollster showed this to be a 6 point race.  Lujan won with 57% last time, but there was a left wing Independent who won 13%.  At this point, there doesn’t appear to be any third party on the ballot for this seat.  Unless things change a lot, this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   LUJAN – D Hold

Oregon          4-1 Dem                                                         +1 GOP

1                 David Wu (I)                                                  Robert Cornilles

–         Last cycle, Wu ran unopposed and only won 70% against unknown independents (one was the former GOP challenger who left the party 2 months before the election and endorsed Obama and the Dem Senate candidate.  This time he faces a well funded challenger in Cornilles. WU – D Hold

2                 Joyce Segers                                                      Greg Walden(I)

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

3                 Earl Blumenauer (I)                                   Delia Lopez

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

4                 Peter DeFazio (I)                                          Art Robinson

–         Robinson has raised a lot of money and should prove competitive, DeFazio is popular here, so this is a safe seat for the incumbent.   DEFAZIO – D Hold

5                 Kurt Schrader(I)                                           Scott Bruun

–         Republicans got the candidate they wanted in this race and Schrader only took 54% of the vote against a terrible Republican candidate in a good Democrat year.  This seat should flip.   BRUUN Takeover

Utah    1-2 GOP                                                                       No Change

1                  Morgan Bowen                                                   Rob Bishop (I)

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

2                  Jim Matheson (I)                                          Morgan Philpot

–         Is it possible that Matheson could lose this race?  Yes.  But not probable … yet.  MATHESON – D Hold

3                  Karen Hyer                                                         Jason Chaffetz (I)

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

Washington   6-3 Dem                                                      +1 GOP

1                  Jay Inslee (I)                                                   James Watkins, Matthew Burke

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

2                  Rick Larsen (I)                                               John Coster

–         I suspect that this race is going to get closer as we get closer to election day.  Maybe too close to call.  But for now, I’ll give the edge to Rick Larsen.   LARSEN – D Hold

3                  Cheryl Crist, Denny Heck                                 Jaime Herrera, Dave Hetrick, David Castillo

–         Brian Baird is retiring and leaving this seat open.  After the primary the 2 parties will get their preferred candidates in Heck and Herrera.  And this open seat will turn to the GOP.  HERRERA – R Takeover

4                  Jay Clough                                                           Doc Hastings (I)

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

5                  Clyde Cordero, Daryl Romeyn                          Carol McMorris Rodgers (I)

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

6                  Norman Dicks (I)                                          Jesse Young, Douglas Cloud

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

7                  Jim McDermott (I)                                       Bob Jeffers-Schroder (Independent)

–         Jim McDermott is a completely crazy liberal, and that makes him the conservative in this race against the ultra left independents.  No Republican entered the fray in this Seattle based district.  This is a safe seat for the incumbent.   MCDERMOTT – D Hold

8                  Suzan DelBene, Tom Cramer                           Dave Reichert (I)

–         Reichert is always on the watch list to lose his race.  But given that he survived 2 Democratic cycles in a row, he should be just fine this time.  REICHERT – R Hold

9                   Adam Smith (I)                                            Dick Muri, James Postma

–         For now, this seems like a safe seat for the incumbent.  However, If the wave gets really big for the GOP, this is the type of district where an incumbent Democrat could be surprised.  This one is worth watching.  SMITH – D Hold

Wyoming     0-1 Tie                                                            No Change

A                  David Wendt                                                      Cynthia Lummis (I)

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

The Western states currently have a 28 to 17 seat advantage for the Democrats.  But in 2010, just like in the Mid Atlantic section, 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 not pick up any GOP seats, but the GOP will take 11 Democrat seats for a net +11 GOP gain or a 28 to 17 Republican advantage in the Western states for the 112th Congress.  Republicans will need a net total of 39 takeovers to gain control of Congress and the gain of 11 here plus 9 more in the Mid Atlantic takes them to 20 total.  This may indeed geet ugly for the Democratic Party.

One note to add.  Watching the returns come in from the Missouri ballot question about rejecting the insurance mandates of the Obama Care bill which showed over 70% of actual voters – not just theoretically likely or registered voters, but ACTUAL – voting to opt out says a lot in this traditionally evenly divided state.  That is a vote count I’d expect in Utah or Oklahoma.  Missouri’s overwhelming rejection of the individual mandate is a distinct sign that November will be very bad for Democrats.  Have the American people finally woken up to the insanity of Marxist Progressivism and Liberalism?  And if so, November will be an epic blood bath.  But, there is a long time to November, so thing are always capable of changing, but for now, lather up the sunscreen, break out the board, and prepare to ride that wave.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 4, 2010 7:41 pm

    In Oregon, the buzz…and the cash… is with Cornilles in OR1 more than Bruun in OR5, but both are viable R pickups. Check out the cash on hand differences in those two races, and you may want to re-assess OR-1

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