The Democrats now have a non-negligible but a very difficult road to the majority. The polls for generic Congressional ballot are about tied, and Obama’s improved position is clearly helping. Still deep challenges remain.
The Democrats need to pick up 25 seats to gain a majority. The issue that they face is that they are on track to lose at least 4 seats [ AR 4, OK 2, NC 11,13, ] that they currently hold. Meaning they need to net about 29 . The Democrats are also on track to gain five seats, [ IL 8, IL 10, MD 6, NH 2, NY 24] which off sets the loses.
The Democrats still have another problem in that they have another 16 or so seats that could still be poached by Republicans. It isn’t that most of these seats will fall but the pressure that these 16 seats put on Democrats is great because it includes some seats the Republicans are favored in.
If Democrats were to say lose 4 or 5 of these seats[which is a reasonable estimate given where the seats are.] The Democrats would then need to gain 28 or 29 seats. The seats are there. Cook lists 31 seats as R held toss ups [ AZ 1, CA 7,26,52, CO 6, FL 18,26 IL,11,17, MI 1, MN 8 , NV 3, NH 1, NY 18,19, OH 16, TX 23] or lean R seats. [CA 10,36, CO 3, IL 13, IN 8, IA 4, MI 11, NJ 3,NY 11, OH 6, PA 8, VA 2, WI 7,8]
But the problem is Dems need to win about 90% of theses seats.
We have seen good polling in a number of these seats certainly good enough to believe that the vast majority of them are truly in play but we also seen some of seats falling a bit back, in particular[ MI 11,NY 11]
Therefore to actually regain control of the House Democrats are going to need to pick up a few seats that are either not currently on the radar or listed as Likely R’s. Between Cook and the DCCC Red to Blue list there are 16 such races. [ CA 21, FL 2,10,13,16, MI 3, MN 2,6 MT AL, NY 23, ND AL, OH 7, PA 6,7, SD AL, TX 14]
The best of these would seem to be the [FL 10, MI 3, MN 6, PA 6, TX 14]
Democrats need to find a way to win about five of these very difficult races to take pressure off the most competitive 31 seats, thereby needing to win something closer to 75 % as opposed to 90% of the most competitive races . We might also need to snag an Obama won seat `which is not anyone’s radar like a MN 3,WA 8, or MI 6. Basically we need to win a few shockers to in order to not have to completely run the table that would be exceptionally difficult. We are going to need some serious luck but it shouldn’t be impossible.