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Race by Race US House Analysis – Part 5 of 8

August 16, 2010


The Northeast – the bane of everything freedom loving and conservative, the American Socialist Workers Paradise – is the total package of a Democrat stronghold.  People talk about the South being Republican, but the South has nothing on the Northeast in terms of party unity.  There are 51 seats that stretch from Maine to New York, and 48 of them belong to the Democratic Party (49 if one includes the Democratic vacancy).  Here, the GOP has nowhere to go but up.  It actually seems next to impossible the Republicans won’t gain some seats.  But how many?  Well, that’s why we’re here.   

The Northeast! 


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

Connecticut   5-0 Dem                                                               +1 GOP 

1          John Larson (I)                                                 Anne Brickley  

–         This Hartford district has not been close in a long time.  LARSON – D Hold 

2          Joe Courtney (I)                                              Janet Peckinpaugh 

–         Peckinpaugh is a former news anchor who won the right to face Courtney.  However, this seat that Rob Simmons occupied who a number of years was long ago trending Democrat.  COURTNEY – D Hold 

3          Rosa DeLauro (I)                                             Jerry Labriola 

–         The liberal DeLauro has been in office since 1990.  I expect her to stay there after this election.  DELAURO – D Hold 

4          Jim Himes (I)                                                    Dan Debicella 

–         Himes is a freshman who barely knocked off long time RINO Congressman Chris Shays in 2008.  Most observers think this will be close, and Himes is not yet entrenched.  DEBICELLA – R Takeover 

5        Christopher Murphy (I)                              Sam Caligiuri 

–         Murphy first won this seat in 2006 over incumbent Nancy Johnson.  But unlike Jim Himes in the 4th, Murphy outperformed Barack Obama in this district.  MURPHY – D Hold 

Maine   2-0 Dem                                                                              No Change 

1         Chellie Pingree (I)                                           Dean Scrontras 

–         Pingree won by less than 10 points in the liberal Maine district, so some political observers are watching this race to see if the Republican Scrontras can get close.  He seems like a good candidate, but I’m just not sure that as a social conservative, he can overcome the district.  PINGREE – D Hold 

2         Mike Michaud (I)                                             Jason Levesque 

–         Levesque is running uphill against Michaud, but I just don’t think he can climb high and fast enough against the popular Michaud.  MICHAUD – D Hold 

Massachusetts   10-0 Dem                                                      +2 GOP 

1         John Olver (I)                                                     Bill Gunn 

–         Lange is getting his name and message out there, but will it be enough in this Democratic leaning district.  OLVER – D Hold 

2         Richard Neal (I)                                                Jay Scott Fleitman, Tom Wesley 

–         Richard Neal has not had a general election opponent since 1996.  This year he has 2 Republicans.  First Scott Brown, now 2 Republicans.  The GOP smells blood in the water in the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts.  Even the sharks are gathering off of Cape Cod.  Definitely a race to watch.  NEAL – D Hold 

3         Jim McGovern (I)                                           Brian Herr, Marty Lamb, Others 

–         Another formerly unopposed Democrat has 5 GOP challengers.  Massachusetts is going to be interesting.  I have to wonder if the death of Ted Kennedy broke the Democrat power structure.  But none of the Republicans are well-funded and the market is expensive.  MCGOVERN – D Hold 

4         Barney Frank (I)                                              Sean Bielat, Earl Sholley 

–         Massachusetts has tightened, but this race won’t be among them.  FRANK – D Hold 

5        Niki Tsongas (I)                                                 Jon Golnik, San Meas, Bob Shapiro, others 




–         Tsongas fought a close race winning a special election that took her to Congress, then she ran unopposed.  Golnick could be a bit better funded, but I think that will come.  GOLNIK – R Takeover 

6         John Tierney (I)                                              Bill Hudak 

–         Tierney was actually challenged in the last election and won with 70%.  He may lose a bit this year, but I don’t think Hudak will get that close.  TIERNEY – D Hold 

7         Ed Markey (I)                                                     Gerry Dembrowski 

–         Ed Markey has been in since 1976.  He probably will be there in 2011.  MARKEY – D Hold 

8         Mike Capuano (I)                                            Fred Golder 

–         Capuano faces a write-in campaign from Golder.  That means he will win.  CAPUANO – D Hold 

9        Stephen Lynch  (I)                                          Vernon Harrison, Keith Lepor 

–         I think Lynch could be vulnerable with the left and right unhappy with him.  However, he doesn’t seem to have drawn first tier challengers, so he should hold this.  LYNCH – D Hold 

10         Bill Keating, Robert O’Leary                          Joe Malone, Jeff Perry, others 

–         Bill Delahunt decided not to seek re-election, so the most Republican district in Massachusetts becomes competitive.  My expectation would see former District Attorney Keating versus the Scott Brown backed Jeff Perry.  Again the Bay State loses another Democrat seat..  PERRY – R Takeover 

New Hampshire   2-0 Dem                                                      +2 GOP 

1         Carol Shea-Porter (I)                                     Frank Guinta, Bob Bestani, Others 

–         Shea-Porter seems to be a bit liberal for her district.  In the lat 2 wave elections, she was able to eek out wins.  Guinta has some recent flip-flops and an issue emerging where it is alleged he may have forgotten to report a half million dollars.  That could be a campaign killer.  I think that any of the main GOP contenders could beat Shea-Porter this year, but I think Bestiani will pull it out – note: 8 Republicans kind of makes this a crapshoot.  BESTANI – R Takeover 

2         Katrina Swett, Anne Kuster                     Charlie Bass,  Jennifer Horn, Bob Giuda  

–         The fight for the seat Paul Hodes is vacating should be very competitive.  Former Rep. Bass is the early favorite, but both Democrats are better funded.  Bass doesn’t need to build name recognition, is a moderate, and was out of office well before the economic downturn.  BASS – R Takeover 

New York   26-2-1 Dem                                                              +7 GOP                         

1         Tim Bishop (I)                                                   Chris Nixon Cox, Randy Altschuler 

–         This is a very competitive district that Obama barely won and Bishop has not had a particularly good challenger in a while.  Altschuler is self-funding in the expensive New York media.  The winds are changing in Long Island.  ALTSCHULER – R Takeover 

2          Steve Israel (I)                                                  John Gomez 

–         Gomez will probably make this a closer race than Israel’s last election, but there is a lot of wiggle room when you receive 67% of the vote.  ISRAEL – D Hold 

3          Howard Kudler                                                      Peter King (I) 

–         Peter King is very popular and will have an easy time.   KING – R Hold 

4        Carolyn McCarthey (I)                                 Frank Scaturro, Peter Zinno, Fran Becker 

–         The extreme anti-gun McCarthey is safe in this district.  MCCARTHEY – D Hold 

5        Gary Ackerman (I)                                          Liz Berney, James Milano 

–         If Ackerman wins this race he will end this term on near his 30th anniversary as a U.S. House member.  Happy Early Anniversary Gary!  ACKERMAN – D Hold 

6        Gregory Meeks (I)                                            Asher Taub 

–         Like so many other places this year, the GOP has a victory in just fielding a candidate.  But Meeks will win big anyway.  MEEKS – D Hold 

7          Joe Crowley (I)                                                  Ken Reynolds 

–         Another heavy Democratic district.  CROWLEY – D Hold 

8          Jerry Nadler (I)                                                 Susan Kone 

–         The Democratic Socialists of America aligned Nadler will have an easy time in Brooklyn and Manhattan.  OBERSTAR – D Hold  

9         Anthony Weiner (I)                                        Bob Turner 

–         Weiner’s been in office for 12 years, but this district only gave Obama 55% of the vote.  It would seem there is room for movement here in this Queens and Brooklyn district, but Turner will have to have much better funding to compete.  WEINER – D Hold 

10        Ed Towns (I)                                                       Diana Muniz 

–         In the district rated the 3rd most Democratic in the country, Ed Towns will be safe under virtually any circumstance.  TOWNS – D Hold 

11        Yvette Clarke (I)                                               Hugh Carr  

–         Much like her neighbor Ed Towns, and where the president received 90% of the vote, Clarke is safe … forever.  CLARKE – D Hold 

12        Nydia Velazquez (I)                                          Alice Gaffney (Conservative Party) 

–         Not as strong Democrat as district 10 and 11, but still a fortress for the Dems.  VELAZQUEZ – D Hold 

13        Mike McMahon (I)                                          Mike Grimm, Michael Allegretti 

–         This Staten Island district had Republican Vito Fosella as its Rep. until he was involved in a DUI accident and to make it worse, he was found to have been returning from his mistress’s home where he was visiting his and her baby – Fosella was married.  Fosella did not run for re-election.  Now in 2010, proving that sometimes the GOP can have its head completely up its ass, the ir executive committee decided to endorse Fosella for the seat.  Thankfully Fosella later decided not to run.  McMahon has compiled a reasonably conservative voting record and opposed the health care bill, but this is winnable for the GOP.  The McMahon campaign’s statement critisizing Mike Grimm for raising “a lot of Jewish money …” will sink him.  GRIMM – R Takeover 

14       Carolyn Maloney (I), Reshma Saujani     David Brumberg, Dino LaVerghetta 

–         The real race will be to see which Democrat can out left the other.  Is DSA member Maloney to conservative?  For Saujani, perhaps she is. MALONEY – D Hold 

15        Charlie Rangel (I), Others                          Michael Faulkner 

–         Everyone knows about Rangel’s ethical difficulties, but he has been there so long and there are too many hats in the ring that Rangel should get through his primary.  At that point, barring a last-minute pre-election conviction or something, Rangel should be re-elected.  RANGEL – D Hold 

16        Jose Serrano (I)                                                 Frank Della Valle 

–         Serrano took 97% against a Republican last election.  Easy win in the most Democratic district in the nation.  SERRANO – D Hold  

17        Eliot Engel (I)                                                     York Kleinhandler, Tony Mele 

–         It is difficult to see how Engel doesn’t hold this seat in a heavily Democratic district with GOP infighting and underfunded candidates, one of whom who has been accused of taking advantage of the elderly in legal but questionable insurance practices.  Stranger things have happened, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.  ENGEL – D Hold  

18        Nita Lowey (I)                                                     Jim Russell 

–         Leaving the Long Island districts behind now, the Democrat stranglehold begins to lessen in New York with the 18th.  If Russell could be in the funding ballpark with Lowey, this could be competitive, but with Lowey up about $900K to $0 in cash on hand, well…  LOWEY – D Hold 

19        John Hall (I)                                                        Nan Hayworth, Neil Di Carlo 

–         The former Orleans singer is hoping that he’s ‘Still the One’ the 19th district will send back to Congress.  Hayworth dodged a bullet by getting the Conservative Party nod as well even though she is pro-abortion.  HAYWORTH – R Takeover 

20        Scott Murphy (I)                                             Chris Gibson 

–         Scott Murphy barely won in a normally GOP district in a 2009 special election against a weak opponent.  But Murphy has bolstered his status and has $1.2 million cash on hand.  The NRCC sees Gibson as being a legitimate contender and will likely fund him since he has about a third of the money with which to fight.  This one should be close, but I think the GOP will be more likely to show up.  GIBSON – R Takeover 

21        Paul Tonko (I)                                                   Ted Danz 

–         Albany will keep its current incumbent against an unfunded Republican.  TONKO – D Hold 

22       Maurice Hinchey (I)                                      George Phillips 

–         Hinchey will win easily just like Tonko in 22.  HINCHEY – D Hold 

23       Bill Owens (I)                                                      Doug Hoffman, Matt Doheny 

–         Owens won a special election last year by a couple of points because of GOP infighting and the standard moderate GOPer taking her ball and going home to cry.  Dede Scozzafava began to lose in the 3 way battle between Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman and Democrat Bill Owens.  When national Republicans began to turn towards Hoffman as more electable, Scozzafava suspended her campaign and endorsed the Democrat.  Unfortunately for the GOP, there is more drama this time.  Hoffman is running in the GOP primary against another conservative, but Hoffman is already on the ballot for the Conservative Party.  If Hoffman wins the GOP nod, no problem, but if he doesn’t there could be a repeat of last year.  Owens supported the public option after his election, so I think that and a rather liberal voting record will be the end of his short tenure.  HOFFMAN – R Takeover 

24       Michael Arcuri (I)                                           Richard Hanna 

–         Arcuri is considered by most experts to be the most likely New York Democrat to lose this year.  He has amassed a reliably liberal voting record in a GHOP leaning district, but angered liberals and unions when he said he’d vote for Obamacare, and then the next day voted against it.  On the right, he is thought to have been “released” by Nancy Pelosi, on the left, it’s a betrayal.  Sometimes you just can’ win, and Arcuri just can’t win this seat again.  HANNA – R Takeover 

25        Dan Maffei (I)                                                     Ann Marie Buerkle 

–         In this lightly leaning Democrat district, Maffei is seen as vulnerable with the right candidate.  To this point, Buerkle hasn’t raised enough to be competitive, but with a new Sarah Palin endorsement and a spot on the NRCC’s Young Guns ‘On the Radar’ list, that funding could jump and make this a tight race.  There is a GOP poll showing Buerkle leading, but for now…  MAFFEI – D Hold 

26        Philip Fedele                                                            Chris Lee (I) 

–         The Democrats are on defense this election year and they just aren’t putting up top-tier candidates in districts like this where John McCain won.  LEE – R Hold 

27        Brian Higgins (I)                                               Lenny Roberto 

–         A top-tier candidate could win against Higgins in a district that has consistently given Democratic presidential candidates 54% of the vote.  Not sure is Roberto qualifies at this point.  PETERSON – D Hold 

28        Louise Slaughter (I), Eddie Egriu             Jill Ann Rowland 

–         Slaughter is well entrenched in this district, but faces a challenge in her primary and in the general election.  Her “Slaughter Rule” of Deem and Pass for the health care bill was offensive to any thinking person, but I’m not sure it’s enough to hurt her in the primary.  It may even help her there.  For the general, Dr. Jill Rowland just entered the race, so it’s tough to say how she’ll work as a candidate.  This is a race that deserves watching, but right now, I just can’t predict anything other than a Slaughter win.  SLAUGHTER – D Hold  

29       Matt Zeller                                                                  Tom Reed 

–         After Eric Massa’s weird exit from Congress in a GOP leaning district, the GOP must be excited about getting this one back.  Reed is a good candidate who was going to be competitive with Massa.  Now that Massa is out, Reed is the front-runner.  REED – R Takeover 

Rhode Island     2-0 Dem                                                            No Change 

1         David Cicilline, Anthony Gemma, Others        John Loughlin  

–         With Patrick Kennedy’s retirement, RI 1 becomes open.  It is natural to assume that any Democrat in Rhode Island is the frontrunner, and that is the case here and I think that the frontrunner of the frontrunners is Cicilline.  But by most accounts, Loughlin has a fighting chance at capturing this seat.  He hasn’t raised as much money as he needs, but he has a great campaign organization and has some veterans from the Brown campaign in neighboring Massachusetts to lead the charge.  I still think he falls short.  CICILLINE – D Hold 

2          Jim Langevin (I)                                                 Bill Clegg, Mark Zaccaria 

–         Langevin has some challengers from his left since he is considered to be pro-life, with a 16% rating from National Right to Life in the 111th Congress.  Prior to expecting a leftward challenge, his pro-life creds were much stronger.  Langevin should be safe in both the primary and the general.  LANGEVIN – D Hold 

Vermont    1-0 Dem                                                                        No Change 

A          Peter Welch (I)                                                     Paul Beaudry, John Mitchell, Keith Stern      

–         One word – “Vermont”.  WELCH – D Hold 

Before I start looking at individual races, I generally look at the region and state to get an idea of where things may trend.  In that early analysis, I thought maybe 7 or 8 pickups.  But after looking at everything, I see 12 with more possible.  While that may sound extreme – I was surprised –  just think about why.  First, the entire Northeast has a number of low hanging political fruit.  After the Democrat wave in 2006 and 2008, a number of long time GOP reps were caught unaware, or retired to go out on their terms.  This left a number of less than stellar Democrats in these seats – think Eric Massa.  Additionally, the nationwide climate is about as bad as it can be for the Democrats.  Their turnout will be depressed, especially without any Obamamania and the GOP voters are chomping at the bit to vote.  Independents are tired of the economy being in shambles, and while it seems polls show that they blame Bush for the problem, they also seem to think that Obama’s policies have made things worse.  Some will also say the atmosphere is just bad for incumbents, but in the Northeast, the incumbents are Democrats.  

Then when looking at individual states, Massachusetts has barely had any GOP contenders in House races for a long time, and those that ran were second tier at best.  But then there was Scott Brown, and the Massachusetts GOP is energized.  New Hampshire has simply been close for a few years, siding to the Democrats lately.  But their new Representatives have been far more liberal than they bargained for.  New York has 29 seats, but only 2 of those currently belong to Republicans.  It hasn’t been that long since a Republican was their governor and the GOP controlled the state senate.  In earlier articles, I talk about a 16 point swing.  For several New York seats, it will take less to flip them.  Same thing in Connecticut.  Maine and Rhode Island have some good challenges, but I don’t think they will have enough to get across the finish line.  Then there is Vermont, and what can you really say about Vermont except that they march to their own drummer and have great ice cream and maple syrup.  I actually think it could be worse for Democrats since Pingree and Maffei have very serious challengers, and a few others could develop.  

Another problem the GOP faced was that moderates just don’t inspire trust in conservatives.  Many conservative voters just think moderates are taking the country the same place the liberals are, so why bother.  Conservative candidates inspire the base, and at a time when all economic news is bad, moderates and independents will vote for almost ANY alternative to the status quo.   In the Northeast, the status quo has a ‘D’ after his or her name. 

So we are left with a gain of 12 GOP seats here to transform the region into a more respectable 37 to 14 advantage for the Democrats.  It is over our 10 seat average, but it probably should be.  The gain of 12 moves the GOP to a gain of 51 seats in this midterm election with 3 regions to go.  

Just California, the Southeast, and the Rust Belt to go (Ohio is going to be rough for the Democrats). 

7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2010 4:40 am

    Very cool … I’m going to cross link to you over on

  2. August 16, 2010 5:06 am

    Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago on Technorati and have been reading it over the past few days.

  3. August 16, 2010 2:07 pm

    Majority Maker: CT-04

    The fourth district of Connecticut is in play in 2010. The district was the last New England district to have a Republican representative. In 2008, Democrat Jim Himes was able to squeak by incumbent Republican Chris Shays in large part due to a surge in newly registered Democrat voters in Bridgeport who turned out to support Barack Obama. If historical voting patterns return in 2010, then Himes will be in trouble.

    Himes is a vulnerable incumbent who has not earned re-election. The Cook Political Report lists incumbents by risk factors from zero to five. According to Cook, “even Democrats with just three risk factors could find themselves in serious political risk in 2010”. Himes has five risk factors – he supported the unpopular cap and trade bill, he supported Obamacare, his district leans Democrat only slightly, his opponent has over $200 k in cash, and he received under 55% in his last election (in fact, only 51%).

    Debicella is a worthy candidate who could benefit from a strong year for Republican challengers. If 2010 is a normal election year, Himes could be in trouble. If 2010 is a good year for Republicans, then Dan Debicella could be a new majority maker. That being said, Himes sits on powerful committees and he is well funded by the companies that he oversees. Himes has spread around a lot of taxpayer money and will be able to raise a lot of money in return. Anyone interested in an effective way to level the playing field can do so here: . Dan is a reformer in the mold of Paul Ryan. He is an effective advocate for the values of free enterprise and individual liberty who would well serve Fairfield County in Washington.

  4. SamJ permalink
    August 16, 2010 5:18 pm

    You are missing a candidate in NY-1. Former SEC Enforcement Attorny, George Demos, is one of three Republicans that are vying to defeat Liberal-Democrat Tim Bishop. Randy Altschuler has no chance of wining this seat – he is a former green party member, he is liberal, and he made millions outsourcing American jobs to India. Chris Cox also has no chance of wining. The truth is people don’t like the fact the he is running his legacy, grandson of Richard Nixon, and his father, State Party CHairman Ed Cox, is orchestrating eveything. In the end neither candidates are viable or have any record of service. The only candidate without these fatal flaws and with a record of service is George Demos and he will defeat Tim Bishop.

  5. Ralph permalink
    August 17, 2010 3:54 am

    I can’t take this political analysis from someone who misspells “Incumbant”…

    • wildjim permalink*
      August 17, 2010 5:32 am

      Hmm, the spell checker missed that … odd … It even missed it as I re-checked it. Oh well, I’ve always been more of a numbers guy anyway. Analysis good. Spelling, not so much.
      Also, isn’t it redundant to write both “this political analysis” because ‘this’ is specific, and follow it with another specific reference? With “this political analysis”, we already know you mean me. The “from someone who misspells ‘Incumbant’…” also means me, and just doesn’t flow well. Perhaps your grammar would be better served with “I can’t take political analysis from someone who misspells ‘Incumbant’…” or “I can’t take this political analysis because you misspelled ‘Incumbant’…”. If anyone else has suggestions, please lend a word or two. Anyway Ralph, hope that helps!


  1. Parties Watching Murray, Rossi Vote Totals for Clues North Capitol Street

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