This is the second installment Taking Back the House. I've tried to put together a simple list of competitive House races to identify the potential net takeovers for both the Democrats and the GOP. Here is some background:
Current House Makeup: 242 GOP; 193 Dem
(includes 5 vacant seats allocated to the party that most recently held it).
Number of Seats Required to Control the Majority: 218
Number of net gains for Democrats to retake the House: 25
Other Notes: Seats marked with (N) mean new congressional seats which were created following the 2010 census.
I put together a few tables to identify the competitive races.
Group 1: Districts Identified by DCCC and Confirmed by Independent Analysts (Roll Call, Rothenburg and Crystal Ball)
- There are 39 districts on this list.
Group 2: Potential GOP takeover opportunities (as identified by independent analysts).
- There are 15 districts on this list.
Group 3: Additional Red to Blue Races Identified by DCCC (but not necessarily confirmed by independent analysts).
There are 19 districts on this list.
Total Number of Potentially Competitive Districts: 73
Number of Lean Democratic Seats: 33
Number of Lean GOP Seats: 25
Current Trend: Dems +8 . This trend is based on data from polling, electionprojection.com, and other assessments by the independent analysts.
The Dems have a lot of targets, but the GOP has enough takeover opportunities to reduce the Dems' overall advantage. For the Democrats to win the House, they need to convert some tossups and also need to make real headway in the Group 3 list. There is some evidence that is happening as Michele Bachman seems to be in a tighter than expected race. However, we can't just run close with her, we need to beat her to take the House. Currently, Democrats in Senate races are experiencing a boost as many voters are taking a good look at the overall Senate makeup and have decided that they want to keep the Senate in Democratic hands. Those same voters need to have a similar realization moment with respect to the House of Representatives.
Though I have currently labeled most of the Group 3 races as lean GOP, a number of them could flip the other way due to a good crop of candidates and more engagement from Democrats since the DNC which suggests a higher turnout than 2010 and which may approach that of 2008.
I welcome any comments or suggestions.