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Race by Race US House Analysis – Part 8 of 8

August 26, 2010

The Rust Belt is rather even in its party distribution of seats (I know it’s not perfectly situated as we normally know the Rust Belt, but its close and covering the seats worked out mathematically).  But the region is culturally conservative and in general has supported government help fiscally.  But they also have some of the worst jobless rates in the country, and that will usually trump any ideology.  While the Democrats enjoy a 30 to 25 and 1 vacancy advantage in these seats for the 111th Congress, that number of course will change, but how much?  There are signs that this may be the most volatile area of the country as far as seat turnover, with many people predicting that Ohio alone may have 5 seats flip – all from D to R.  The states here are Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Wisconsin.  Here it is, by district… 

The Rust Belt 

Rust Belt 

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

Indiana   5-3-1 (Vacant) Dem                                               +3 GOP 

1          Peter Visclosky (I)                                       Mark Leyva 

–         The Indiana side of the Chicago suburbs should be safe Democrat territory.  VISCLOSKY – D Hold 

2          Joe Donnelly (I)                                           Jackie Walorski 

–         Joe Donnelly is running as far as he can from the Democratic establishment, creating commercials showing Obama and Pelosi as being out of touch.  Walorski is a solid candidate who will make this race tight.  This seat had as recent as 2004 been a pretty reliable GOP district.  This is the atmosphere in which it goes back.  WALORSKI – R Takeover 

3         Tom Hayhurst                                                     Marlin Stutzman 

–         This seat is vacant and it’s vacant do to the, uh, extracurricular activities of its former inhabitant, Mark Souder, who resigned.  In his place the GOP placed Marlin Stutzman, who earlier lost the Senate race to Dan Coats.  Stutzman is a solid conservative, who should easily hold this seat for the GOP in this conservative district.  STUTZMAN – R Hold 

4         David Sanders                                                      Todd Rokita 

–         Long time House Member, Steve Buyer is not seeking re-election due to his wife’s illness.  This is a solid GOP district, so Rokita shouldn’t have any problems.  ROKITA – R Hold 

5        Tim Crawford                                                         Dan Burton (I) 

–         Burton survived his primary, so the tough race is behind him.  BURTON – R Hold 

6        Barry Welsh                                                             Mike Pence (I) 

–         Conservative hero Mike Pence is very safe in this district.  PENCE – R Hold 

7          Andre Carson (I)                                            Marvin Scott 

–         Carson will roll over 2 time Senate loser and 1 time House loser Scott.  CARSON – D Hold 

8          Trent Van Haaften                                                Larry Bucshon 

–         Conservative Democrat Brad Ellsworth left this seat to run for the Senate and Van Haaften will be hard pressed to hold it.  This district is too conservative to stay in the hands of a non-incumbent Democrat in a GOP wave year.  BUCSHON – R Takeover  



Baron Hill

9          Baron Hill (I)                                                      Todd Young 

–         Baron Hill faces a conservative challenge in a rather conservative district that John McCain won.  Also, Baron Hill is well-known for a Town Hall meeting in which he arrogantly told a constituent that he made the rules and it was “his townhall”.  Didn’t go over so well.  YOUNG – R Takeover




Kentucky   2-4 GOP                                                                      No Change 

1          Charles Hatchett                                                     Ed Whitfield (I) 

–         Western Kentucky is safe GOP territory.  WHITFIELD – R Hold 

2          Ed Marksberry                                                        Brett Guthrie (I) 

–         Not quite as Western Kentucky is also safe for the GOP.  GUTHRIE – R Hold 

3         John Yarmuth (I)                                             Todd Lally 

–         This Louisville based seat is very Democrat, at least for Kentucky.  Yarmuth should win, and his internal polling shows Yarmuth up by 26, but TEA Partier Todd Lally has an outside shot as he outraised the incumbent in the 2nd quarter.  Just imagine the adverbs that Mr. Lally might use if he were to win.  Lally, Lally, Lally get your adverbs here … Anyone …  YARMUTH– D Hold 

4         John Waltz                                                                 Geoff Davis (I) 

–         Davis won by 26% in a bad GOP year.  DAVIS – R Hold 

5        Jim Holbert                                                                Hal Rogers (I) 

–         Rogers race might be a little tougher this year since he has a Democratic opponent, but still not that tough.  ROGERS – R Hold 

6        Ben Chandler (I)                                                Andy Barr 

–         The latest polling from July shows Chandler up by 14%.  This is a McCain district, but Chandler is personally popular,and the grandson of a former governor.  But he voted for Cap and Trade, and that may hurt him in coal country.  CHANDLER – D Hold 

Michigan   8-7 Dem                                                                       +3 GOP 

1          Gary McDowell                                                        Dan Benishek 

–         Bart Stupak’s meteoric rise and fall led to his retiring from Congress.  Benishek was running anyway, while the Democrats picked McDowell.  Conservative Dem versus conservative Republican, this is a close enough district that the mood of the nation pushes Benishek to DC.  BENISHEK – R Takeover 

2          Fred Johnson                                                           Bill Huizenga 

–         This seat, formerly held by Pete Hoekstra, is solid GOP territory.  HUIZENGA – R Hold 

3         Pat Miles                                                                      Justin Amash 

–         Another GOP retirement.  Amash is the most conservative Republican to run in this district once held by Jerry Ford in generations (or maybe ever).  But it’s hard to see a Harvard Law classmate of Barack Obama’s win in 2010 in a district that been in GOP hands since 1976.  AMASH – R Hold 

4         Jerry Campbell                                                         Dave Camp (I) 

–         Camp will hold the fort.  CAMP – R Hold 

5         Dale Kildee (I)                                                        John Kupiec 

–         Long-time Rep. Dale Kildee will win term number 18.  KILDEE – D Hold 

6         Don Cooney                                                                 Fred Upton (I) 

–         Upton will have no trouble winning term number 13.  UPTON – R Hold 

7         Mark Schauer (I)                                                 Tim Walberg 

–         A rematch of last election cycle’s battle when Walberg was the incumbent.  These candidates are parts of the liberal and conservative wings of their respective parties.  Schauer is the incumbent in an anti-incumbent/Democrat year and he will not have Obama’s coattails to ride to victory.  WALBERG – R Hold 

"Where's Kande"


8          Kande Ngalamulume                                                Mike Rogers (I) 

–         Ngalamulume packed the truck and moved to Pennsylvania, then suspended his campaign.  So I guess Rogers will win.  ROGERS – R Hold  


9         Gary Peters (I)                                                       Rocky Raczkowski 

–         This is another one of those districts that comes home to its roots.  Peters has a very liberal voting record and with Michigan’s horrible unemployment rates, I find it hard to see how an incumbent who only received 52% last time can solidify that in a wave election..  RACZKOWSKI – R Takeover  

10        Henry Yanez                                                               Candice Miller (I) 

–         Even McCain won this district in 2008.  MILLER – R Hold 

11        Natalie Mosher                                                            Thaddeus McCotter (I) 

–         McCotter could face trouble in the future, but not this time.  MCCOTTER – R Hold 

12        Sander Levin (I)                                                   Don Volaric 

–         And now, the Detroit districts.  Very little chance for any Republican because the people of Detroit apparently like 27% unemployment (45% when counting the discouraged and underemployed) since they keep voting for the policies that have destroyed the urban U.S.  OK, soapbox gone …  LEVIN – D Hold 

13        Hansen Clarke                                                             John Hauler 

–         Carolyn Kilpatrick lost her primary because of her son Kwame, the former Mayor of Detroit, who is now in prison for many abuse of power type crimes, among other things.  Oh yeah, Detroit, Democrat wins.  CLARKE – D Hold 

14       John Conyers (I)                                                   Don Ukrainec  

–         Same old story … Detroit … anti-freedom, job-killing socialist Democrat wins.  CONYERS – D Hold 

15        John Dingell (I)                                                     Rob Steele 

–         Elected in 1955, John Dingell has been working, in his own words, “a long time to control the people”.  That quote was made in reference to the anti-freedom Obamacare bill.  There is obviously more to that quote and you can find it HERE.  But my short snippet, doesn’t make his quote worse than it actually is.  Unfortunately, this damn Marxist will likely win another term, although Steele could potentially have the money to make Dingell sweat.  There is some mild sleeper potential here.  We’ll check back on this one.  DINGELL – D Hold 

Ohio   10-8 Dem                                                                              +5 GOP 

1          Steve Dreihaus (I)                                                 Steve Chabot 

–         There is apparently some buyer’s remorse out in Cincinnati.  Driehaus is behind in all of the polling I’ve seen to former Rep. Steve Chabot.  CHABOT – R Takeover 

2          Chili Yalamanchili                                                      Jean Schmidt (I) 

–         This is a very conservative district that doesn’t seem to like Schmidt very much.  But they seem to like her better than the others who challenge her.  SCHMIDT – R Hold 

3         Joe Roberts                                                                    Mike Turner (I) 

–         Turner will have no problems versus an underfunded Democrat in this Dayton district.  TURNER – R Hold 

4         Doug Litt                                                                          Jim Jordan (I) 

–         Jordan won’t break a sweat.  JORDAN – R Hold 

5        Caleb Finkenbiner                                                        Bob Latta (I) 

–         Solid GOP area.  LATTA – R Hold 

6        Charlie Wilson (I)                                                    Bill Johnson 

–         This is one of those weirdly consistent districts.  In the last 3 Presidential elections, the Republican got 50 or 51% of the vote.  The Democrat 48 or 49%.  When the Congressional seat has been contested, 62% Dem.  Is 2010 different?  Johnson is a great candidate.  I do not see much evidence that it is, but this could be a close one.  We’ll watch and see.  WILSON – D Hold 

7          Bill Connor                                                                      Steve Austria (I) 

–         Maybe it’s just my imagination, but there seem to be a lot of Steve’s running for office.  AUSTRIA – R Hold 

8          Justin Cousoule                                                            John Boehner (I) 

–         That’s Speaker Boehner to you!  BOEHNER – R Hold  

9         Marcy Kaptur (I)                                                     Rich Iott 

–         Iott is well-funded, but the Toledo area is almost certain to return Kaptur to Congress.  KAPTUR – D Hold  

10        Dennis Kucinich (I)                                             Peter Corrigan 

–         Some people are just kind of iconic and you want to keep them just because.  That’s kind of how I see Kucinich.  KUCINICH – D Hold 

11        Marcia Fudge (I)                                                      Thomas Pekarek  

–         Fudge faces a write-in candidate.  I just want to know why Pekarek wants to waste ink or pencil lead so badly?  FUDGE – D Hold 

12        Paula Brooks                                                                  Pat Tiberi (I) 

–         This Columbus district is getting more Democratic, but Tiberi shouldn’t have to worry too much.  Last poll showed him up 17.  It may tighten, but not that much..  TIBERI – R Hold 

13        Betty Sutton (I)                                                       Tom Ganley 

–         Sutton has been a reliable Obama vote and Ganley’s campaign is concentrating on jobs.  Sutton is leading 43 to 41 in the most recent poll and that far below 50% is not good for the incumbent.  GANLEY – R Takeover 

14       Bill O’Neal                                                                         Steve LaTourette (I) 

–         Another safe Steve.  LATOURETTE – R Hold 

15       Mary Jo Kilroy (I)                                                    Steve Stivers 

–         Kilroy squeaked by in the first match between these two, but Stivers is polling better and Kilroy’s (or should I call her Mrs. Roboto – a call out to all the Styx fans out there) record is too left for this centrist district.  STIVERS – R Takeover  

16        John Boccieri (I)                                                      Jim Renacci 

–         Renacci has a huge lead in the most recent polling and Boccieri’s vote for Obamacare is a little too left-wing for this GOP leaning area.  RENACCI – R Takeover  

James Traficant


17        Tim Ryan (I)                                                                 Jim Graham 

–         Tim Ryan has become a rising star in the Democrat Party after replacing Jim Traficant when the latter went to prison.  Now Traficant is back, and fighting to have his signatures approved to get on the ballot as an independent.  If Traficant doesn’t make it on the ballot, Ryan is safe.  If he does, Ryan still likely wins, but it’s more of a race.  RYAN – D Hold  

18        Zach Space (I)                                                             Bob Gibbs 

–         Space has been careful on his votes in this Republican district.  He voted against Obamacare, but for Cap and Trade.  As a result of his vote against health care, the bat-crap crazy SEIU has launched the “Skip a Space” campaign against him.  A recent GOP poll shows the race tied at 43%.  GIBBS – R Takeover 

Wisconsin   5-3 Dem                                                                    +3 GOP 

1         John Heckenlively                                                           Paul Ryun (I) 

–         Ryun has grabbed the national spotlight with his economic plans and is safe.  RYAN – R Hold 

2         Tammy Baldwin (I)                                                  Chad Lee, Peter Theron 

–         Baldwin is safe in this district that includes the liberal Mecca of Madison.  BALDWIN – D Hold 

3          Ron Kind (I)                                                                  Dan Kapanke, Bruce Evers 

–         Wisconsin’s late primary means a rush to the finish for the GOP winner.  But Kapanke is likely to overwhelm Evers for the nod.  In the general, Kind is polling at 44% to 38% for Kapanke, but his generic re-elect is only at 37%.  Dangerous territory for an incumbent.  KAPANKE – R Takeover 

4          Gwen Moore (I)                                                          Dan Sebring, Ken Lipinski  

–         As with the vast majority of urban districts, Milwaukee will remain in Democratic hands.  MOORE – D Hold 

5          Todd Colosso                                                                     Jim Sensenbrenner (I) 

–         Sensenbrenner has represented the Milwaukee suburbs since 1978, and it is not likely to change this year.  SENSENBRENNER – R Hold 

6          Joseph Kallas                                                                   Tom Petri (I) 

–         Sensenbrenner’s neighbor is in pretty much the same boat as Jim Sensenbrenner.  PETRI – R Hold 

7         Julie Lassa, Dan Raihala                                               Sean Duffy, Dan MielkeDuffy and family 

–         Most people see this race, post primary, as Duffy versus Lassa.  David Obey retired when Duffy entered the race and looked very competitive against the long-time incumbent.  Duffy, who first gained fame on MTV’s The Real World and is now the Ashland County District Attorney, has been running since last year and has a very good organization.  State Senator Lassa got a late start due to Obey’s late retirement.  Duffy has to be considered the favorite at this point.  DUFFY – R Takeover 

8          Steve Kagen (I)                                                            Reid Ribble, Roger Roth, Teri McCormick 

–         Until 2006, this district was a very strong GOP district.  After 4 years in office, Kagen has very high unfavorables and trails Reid Ribble in recent polling by 10 points.  I think health care is still a big issue and that it will cost Kagen this seat.  RIBBLE – R Takeover  

This year, it’s the Democrats who will pay the price of a bad economy and for being out of touch with the people.  The Rust Belt has felt the sting of joblessness, especially in Michigan, for several years, and their experiment with the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party looks as if it will come to an end.  

Fourteen seats will change between the 111th and 112th Congresses in the Rust Belt, and the GOP will hold the advantage in the 112th by a 40 to 16 margin.  How many of these are good candidates who will have staying power?  Hard to say.  But the electorate has been in the mood for a 3rd straight election cycle with percieved bad news in 2006, bad news in 2008, and the economic nightmare of 2010.  They will undo all of the gains and more that the Democrats got in 2006 and 2008.  With all regions reporting, the GOP will have gained 72 seats, leaving the GOP with a 251 to 184 advantage in the 112th edition of the House of Representatives.    

Of course upcoming events could change all of that.  The unemployment could go higher or come down, terrorists could attack, some scandal could erupt, the Democrats may successfully sell Obamacare, or even something else not on the radar at all could happen before the election.  But with just over 2 short months to Election Day, it’s hard to see significant changes in the mood of the country.  

But Wild Citizens are always watching. 

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Fed Up in Cleveland permalink
    August 27, 2010 2:12 am

    I wouldn’t bet the farm on Dennis the Menace retaining his seat. If someone were to actually run a poll here, they might just find that Peter Corrigan is either dead even or maybe, just maybe ahead in this race.

  2. tickedoffparmamom permalink
    August 27, 2010 2:34 am

    Dennis Kucinich is going down this year. Try actually talking to the folks that live here. Over and over, no matter what your political affiliation in the past the answer is the same. WE WANT HIM GONE! Give you an idea what has been going on, but our bias news paper refuses to cover. He has been booed repeatedly at public events, shortage of volunteers to show their support at parades while Corrigan has 50 to their 1, literature on Corrigan has been repeatedly ripped out of volunteers hands and that is the tip of the iceberg. People are HUNGRY for an alternative and that is Peter Corrigan! He is going to win this one!!

  3. Dagny Taggert permalink
    August 27, 2010 4:11 pm

    Huge upset potential with John Dingell’s historic defeat this year by interventional cardiologist Dr. Rob Steele. Dingell’s people are scared, pulling out the Detroit Machine politics. Unfortunately, their candidate can’t string a coherent sentence together without notes so they’re trying to see if he can be propped up and kept out of the public eye without the people noticing. Keep watching this one.

  4. September 7, 2010 4:29 pm

    Peters in MI 9th is running a mudslinging campaign. Rocky is running on the issues. Peters who ran as a moderate, sold out the the people in his district and his payback is coming in November. The 9th will vote for Rocky.

  5. Truth permalink
    September 16, 2010 9:52 pm

    You are dead wrong on two Ohio races. Republicans will pick up three seats, not five including Chabot, Stivers, and Renacci. Zack Space and Betty Sutton both win. You have to remember that Sutton’s district was the district drawn for Sherrod Brown to ensure that he would not run against Bob Taft for Governor. It is as liberal as it comes. In the Space seat, Gibbs has been invisible and running a lackluster campaign… it won’t be enough to defeat Space.

  6. wildjim permalink*
    September 17, 2010 2:52 am

    Truth, the 3 that you singled out are likely gone, but I still have to stick with those 5 races going GOP. The top of the ticket does not look like its going to help downballot Dems in Ohio at all with Fisher and Strickland both polling high 30’s. And with Space making the unions rather unhappy, there will probably be a lack of enthusiasm there. I think Ganley’s got the right message and tons of cash, so he looks like a good shot to win too, but there’s no doubt that the Space and Sutton races will be tight and could swing either way. I also don’t know that Charlie Wilson can hang on in Appalachia. I mean that district is one of those districts where people are conservative and independent, but conditioned to vote Democrat, much like West Virginia, but this year is just plain different.

  7. October 12, 2010 9:45 pm

    Kucinich loses…The old rules do not apply…reality is reality…”times are a-changin'”…this will be the most lopsided election in the past 100 years…the progressive movement in usa is dead — at least in our lifetimes….

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