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Race by Race US House Analysis – Part 6 of 8

August 17, 2010
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The Southeast is a GOP stronghold, the opposite of the Northeast, right?  Not quite.  While the GOP does enjoy a 31 to 26 advantage in these seats for the 111th Congress, that number is still in the ballpark of 50-50.  The four states in this analysis are Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.  For the most part, the last round of Gerrymandering seems to have made this area safe for incumbents, so it is difficult for a challenger to break through.  Anyway, here is how the states break down by district and what we can expect on November 2nd.

The Southeast!

Southeast

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

Florida   10-15 GOP                                                               +3 GOP

1          Jim Bryan                                                                Jeff Miller (I)

–         Miller is safe in the Florida panhandle.  MILLER – R Hold

2          Allen Boyd (I)                                                  Steve Southerland, Barbara Olschner

–         Boyd has represented this Florida panhandle disrict since 1996.  He is facing some serious GOP opposition and the DCCC has set aside large amounts of cash for the final 2 weeks of the campaign.  His vote for Obamacare will hurt him, but I think he pulls through.  BOYD – D Hold

3          Corrine Brown (I)                                         Dean Black, Chris Nwasike, Mike Yost

–         Corrine Brown will get a general election opponent for the first time since 2002 when she only won 60% of the vote.  Regardless, Brown should cruise to victory.  BROWN – D Hold

4          Troy Stanley (No Party)                                   Ander Crenshaw (I)

–         Another term for Crenshaw without breaking a sweat, which I will add is hard to do in this heat.  CRENSHAW – R Hold

5           Jim Piccillo                                                           Rich Nugent, Jason Sager

–         Ginny Brown-Waite announced her retirement in April.  This is still a safe seat for the GOP and specifically Nugent..  NUGENT – R Hold

6          Steve Schonberg (No Party)                            Cliff Stearns (I)

–         Stearns will win easily.  STEARNS – R Hold

7          Heather Beaven                                                    John Mica (I)

–         Not the cakewalk that Stearns has, but an easy win.  MICA – R Hold

8          Alan Grayson (I)                                             Dan Webster, Kurt Kelly, Others

–         This obnoxious Democratic Socialist of America is one of the political scalps that would be most satisfying to Republicans and Dan Webster is very likely to do it.  Grayson is a wealthy attorney who can pour lots of money into the race, but sometimes it just doesn’t matter.  WEBSTER – R Takeover
 
 9          Anita de Palma, Phil Hindahl                            Gus Bilirakis (I)
 
–         Nothing to look at here.  BILIRAKIS – R Hold
 
 
10         Charlie Justice                                                        Bill Young (I)

–         Young has been in this seat since 1970 and is personally popular in this district that is gradually moving left.  Young considered retirement, but his running keeps this seat Republican.  YOUNG – R Hold

11          Kathy Castor (I)                                                Mike Prendergast, Eddie Adams

–         An easy win for Castor in this Tampa district.  CASTOR – D Hold

12         Lori Edwards, Doug Tudor                                Dennis Ross, John Lindsey

–         Republican Adam Putman is leaving this seat to run statewide.  But he is leaving it in the able hands of Dennis Ross.  Ross could find himself in a race, but it is unlikely that the challenge will leave the outcome in serious jeopardy.  ROSS – R Hold

13          James Golden, Rick Eaton                                Vern Buchanan (I)

–         Buchanan has over a million in the bank while none of his opponents are hitting the $10K mark.  This is normally a safe GOP seat anyway.  BUCHANAN – R Hold

14          James Roach                                                          Connie Mack (I)

–         Safe GOP district in a safe GOP year and his name is Connie Mack, son of former Florida Senator, Connie Mack – as well as the great-granson of legendary baseball manager, Connie Mack.  Can’t lose. MACK – R Hold

15          Shannon Roberts                                                  Bill Posey (I)

–         Posey won by 10 points last time in what would be considered close for the 15th.  But after a drift towards the left, this district should “right” itself.  POSEY – R Hold

16          Jim Horn, Ed Tautiva                                         Tom Rooney (I)

–         The Freshman Rooney faces second tier opponents and should win easily.  ROONEY – R Hold

17          Marliene Bastien, Frederica Wilson, Rudy Moise        Roderick Vereen (No Party)

–         Kendrick Meek is running for the Senate, leaving this open.  I’ve seen one poll in this race and it has Bastian up 22% to 21% over Frederica Wilson.  The Democrat primary winner is the next Congressman.  BASTIEN – D Hold

18           Rolando Baciella                                                   Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (I)

–         Ros-Lehtinen wins this district as usual.  ROS-LEHTINEN – R Hold

19           Ted Deutch (I)                                                   Joe Budd

–         Heavy Democratic district.  Deutch wins easily.  DEUTCH – D Hold

20          Debbie Wasserman Schultz (I)               Karen Harrington, Robert Lowry, Donna Milo

–         Wasserman Schultz will have no trouble winning this race.  WASSERMAN SCHULTZ – D Hold

21             N/A                                                                              Mario Diaz-Balart

–         Mario’s brother Lincoln held this seat and decided to retire, so naturally, Mario, himself the sitting Congressman in the 25th district, gave up that seat to move into a different area to run for his brother’s safer seat.  It seems to have paid off since Mario has no opponent.  I wonder why people sometimes feel a bit cynical about politics…  DIAZ-BALART – R Hold

22           Ron Klein (I)                                                         Allen West

–         Klein is known as a great fundraiser, but West has raised much more than the incumbent in this rematch fromm 2008.  West lost by less than 10 points in a big Democrat year, and then was able to channel his loss into a fundraising powerhouse.  This district has a slight GOP registration edge and in this year, West wins.  WEST – R Takeover

23         Alcee Hastings (I)                                              Bernard Sansaricq

–         Hastings is a former judge who was impeached and removed from office for allegedly taking a $150,000 bribe – his co-conspirator refused to testify, and later the Senate convicted him.  But he makes a good living as a Congressman in these ‘hanging chad’ counties.  Go figure.  HASTINGS – D Hold

24        Suzanne Kosmas (I)                                          Craig Miller, Sandy Adams, Others

–         The Freshman Kosmas beat a damaged GOP incumbent last time.  This time she will face 1 of 5 Republicans eager to take back this seat.  Most likely it will be Craig Miller, former Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse CEO and a self-funder.  This district is probably just a little too much on the conservative side to accept her vote for final pasasage of Obamacare, especially after she opposed it in November.  MILLER – R Takeover

25         Joe Garcia, Luis Meurice                                       David Rivera, Marili Cancio

–         Mario Diaz-Balart left this seat for his brother’s and, as such, this more competitive seat is now open.  This district’s demographics are changing and is not as Cuban as it once was.  As a result, it is less Republican.  Both favored candidates, Garcia and Rivera, have proven to be good fundraisers, so it will come down to turnout.  That favors the Republican in 2010.  RIVERA – R Hold

Georgia   6-7 Dem                                                                  +1 GOP

1              Oscar Harris                                                           Jack Kingston (I)

–         Kingston usually wins by healthy margins.  No reason to expect anything different this time.  KINGSTON – R Hold

2            Sanford Bishop (I)                                         Mike Keown

–         There is a poll out showing long time Rep Bishop up only by 6%.  Keown is also close to even with Bishop in the money game.  Normally this is not a race that would be on the radar, but it is now worth watching.  Stilll better to be up by 6 than down by 6.  BISHOP – D Hold

3            Frank Saunders                                                   Lynn Westmoreland (I)

–         This seat is safe for Westmoreland.  WESTMORELAND – R Hold

4          Hank Johnson (I)                                           Liz Carter

–         There is no way Johnson loses this seat.  JOHNSON – D Hold

5          John Lewis (I)                                                   Fenn Little

–         John Lewis wins in this Atlanta based district.  LEWIS – D Hold

6          N/A                                                                         Tom Price (I)

–         No opponent – safe district.  PRICE – R Hold

7         Doug Heckman                                                    Rob Woodall

–         John Linder retired after holding this seat for 18 years.  Now his former Chief of Staff will take over after winning a crowded primary and then beat Linder’s last opponent.  WOODALL – R Hold

8          Jim Marshall (I)                                           Austin Scott

–         Can Jim Marshall parley his conservative voting record into another victory in the 8th?   Austin Scott is a good candidate who entered the race after dropping a bid for governor.  Scott’s entry makes this competitive and the most likely seat to flip this year in Georgia.  SCOTT – R Takeover

9          N/A                                                                       Tom Graves (I)

–         No race at all here.  GRAVES – R Hold

10        Russell Edwards                                               Paul Broun (I)

–         The 10th went for John McCain in a huge way and will continue to re-elect the very conservative Broun.  BROUN – R Hold

11           Jeff Anderson (No Party)                            Phil Gingrey (I)

–         Gingrey will easily scribble on Anderson’s write-in campaign.  GINGREY – R Hold

12          John Barrow (I)                                         Ray McKinney

–         Barrow was one of the more endangered Democrats a few years ago.  Now, he seems to be on solid ground and he voted against health care, which subjected him to a primary.  His GOP opponent shouldn’t cause him too much difficulty, but if the tide gets topo high, he could be swept overboard.  For now though, Barrow should be safe.  BARROW – D Hold

13        David Scott (I)                                               Mike Crane

–         Scott will have no difficulty keeping this seat.  SCOTT – D Hold

North Carolina   8-5 Dem                                                No Change

1             G.K. Butterfield (I)                                    Ashley Woolard

–         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           Bob Etheridge (I)                                        Renee Ellmers

–         Etheridge would have had a relatively easy time with this race had he not threatened to hit to college students asking him questions while they had a camera on him.  Two million video hits later, and Etheridge is infamous.  Unfortunately for Ellmers, she hasn’t been able to raise a lot of money to combat Etheridge, but she leads by 1 in the only poll I’ve seen.  She should also be helped by Etheridge’s left turn in the 111th Congress where he has supported all the big Obama policies.  But only if she can get the message out…  ETHERIDGE – D Hold

3             Johnny Rouse                                                  Walter Jones (I)

–         Jones will continue to represent this northern North Carolina coastal district after the election..  JONES – R Hold

4          David Price (I)                                                 B. J. Lawson

–         This Price is Right (OK, left … whatever).  PRICE – D Hold

5          Billy Kennedy                                                        Virginia Foxx (I)

–         Although she underperformed John McCain in 2008, Foxx will keep her seat.  FOXX – R Hold

6           Sam Turner                                                           Howard Coble (I)

–         Coble will win easily.  COBLE – R Hold

7          Mike McIntyre (I)                                          Ilario Pantano

–         McIntyre usually gets re-elected with about 70% of the vote.  Pantano has some money to bring that vote percentage down, but probably not enough to win.  MCINTYRE – D Hold

8          Larry Kissell (I)                                                Harold Johnson

–         Kissell is very vulnerable in his swing seat in a GOP year.  Johnson is the establishment candidate with some RINO leanings that the GOP wanted.  However, the primary was a bruising affair and the D’Annunzio supporters do not like Johnson.  Johnson also moved to this district to run.  In a race where every vote counts, Johnson may lose enough due to bitterness and carpetbagging to keep him from the House.  KISSELL – D Hold

9            Jeff Doctor                                                           Sue Myrick (I)

–         Myrick will have no problem winning her 9th term in the 9th district.  The Doctor is out!  MYRICK – R Hold

10          Jeff Gregory                                                          Patrick McHenry (I)

–         McHenry has been a pretty reliable conservative in a safe district and will continue to represent the 10th until at least 2012.  MCHENRY – R Hold

11        Heath Shuler (I)                                               Jeff Miller

–         Shuler has done nearly everything he can to keep his seat in this Republican district, although he did support Cap and Trade.  That vote will come at a price for him and Miller seems like a strong candidate, but his funding needs to improve quickly.  SHULER – D Hold

12        Mel Watt (I)                                                        Greg Dority

–         Watt has very little to worry about.  WATT – D Hold

13        Brad Miller (I)                                                   Bill Randall

–         Miller is most likely safe, but this is one of those districts that can be competitive under all of the right circumstances.  First circumstance is a GOP wave, but Randall will need more than that.  MILLER – D Hold

South Carolina   2-4 GOP                                                 +1 GOP

1             Ben Frasier                                                             Tim Scott

Tim Scott

–         Tim Scott will almost definitely be the first Republican of African decent in the House of Representatives since JC Watts a few years back and that will give him and this district some spotlight time.  In addition, as the Club For Growth endorsed candidate, he should do a great job for the people of the 1st district and the United States.  SCOTT – R Hold

2                Rob Miller                                                          Joe Wilson (I)

–         Two little words have propelled this race into the national spotlight.  How powerful was the phrase “You Lie” yelled at our fearless leader during his State of the Union address?  Well, it seems they are over $6 million powerful!  For a rematch of the 2008 race that Wilson won by 7.5%, it most likely won’t be as close this time, Wilson has raised $4 million and Miller $2.5.  And what does that kind of money buy in Hilton Head?  People of the 2nd district are going to see Joe Wilson and Rob Miller commercials in their dreams while getting to answer a barrage of robocalls extolling the virtues of each candidate while ripping each other apart.  They will know more about Rob and Joe than they ever wanted.  WILSON – R Hold

3               Jane Dyer                                                        Jeff Duncan

–         Gresham Barrett left this extremely safe seat to run for Governor.  He lost, and now Jeff Duncan will go to Congress in South Carolina’s safest GOP seat.  DUNCAN – R Hold

4               Paul Corden                                                       Trey Gowdy

–         Representative Bob Inglis found homself in local disfavor by supporting carbon taxes, opposing the surge, opposing offshore oil drilling, and was one of seven Republicans to vote to critisize Joe Wilson’s “You Lie” comment.  After this election, he will be ex-Rep Inglis and replaced by Trey Gowdy who crushed him in a primary run-off.  And no, the Democrat in this race doesn’t matter.  GOWDY – R Hold

5           John Spratt (I)                                                     Mick Mulvaney

–         Spratt is a Democrat in a GOP district and that makes him endangered.  Just how endagered?  Mulvaney has nearly the same amount of cash on hand and is quickly rising through the ranks of the SC Senate.  Spratt voted in favor of Obamacare and Cap and Trade, and as a result, the voters will likely vote in favor of Mick Mulvaney.  MULVANEY – R Takeover

6            Jim Clyburn (I)                                                Jim Pratt

–         Clyburn is safe for another cycle and will win his 10th term.  CLYBURN – D Hold

The Southeast is close to evenly divided in the 111th Congress, but the GOP will expand its seat advantage in the 112th by 5 to move to 36 to 21.  The Sortheast simply doesn’t have as far to go for a correction as the Northeast does, and it finishes well under the average that we’ve seen in the first 5 installments.  But 5 seats is 5 seats and that presses the overall number of takeovers for the GOP to 56 – more than the 1994 landslide.  If the GOP candidates can press their advantage better when mistakes are made, or if there is more post primary healing, perhaps the number can be higher.  Generally, I don’t think that Democrats have much control over the cycle.  They have the much touted Senate Supermajority and a big House advantage.  And we can’t forget the President.  Whatever is going on, good or bad, the Democrats own it, and fairly or unfairly, it’s bad so we need “Change”.  It’s pretty much that simple.

With two more regions to go, the GOP will make that 56 grow.  There just are not many vulnerable GOP incumbents or open seats in the House.  The Democrats took those the last two cycles.  They just happen to be coming back this time.

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