Daily Kos Elections is pleased to announce our first set of House race ratings for the 2014 election cycle. Republicans currently hold 233 seats in the House of Representatives, while Democrats hold 200. Two seats are vacant: The GOP-held FL-13 and the Democratic-held NC-12. As Democrats are expected to retain NC-12, the party therefore needs a net gain of 17 seats in order to take control of the chamber—a tall order.

Our full chart rating the competitiveness of each contest is below (with Democratic seats shaded in blue and Republican seats in red), along with a description of our ratings categories.

We have also rated seats where we expect two members of the same party to face off in the November general elections. These ratings list the two leading candidates, though these names are subject to change. Note: "(i)" indicates an incumbent.
All seats not listed above are considered "safe" for the party that currently holds them. Note that our FL-13 rating is for the March 11 special election. All others are for the regularly scheduled November general elections.

Courtesy Stephen Wolf, we've also put our ratings into map form:

United States congressional district map shaded to show Daily Kos Elections' initial House race ratings for 2014
(click for larger)
Here's how we define our ratings categories:
Safe: Barring unforeseeable developments, one party (or candidate) is certain to win.

Likely: One party (or candidate) has a strong advantage and is likely to win, though the race has the potential to become more competitive.

Lean: One party (or candidate) has an identifiable advantage, but an upset victory is possible for the other party (or candidate).

Tossup: Both (or all) parties (or candidates) have a strong (though not necessarily perfectly equal) chance of winning.

Given the large number of races, we haven't provided writeups for each one. However, as the election cycle unfolds and we make adjustments to our ratings, we will provide full explanations on each occasion.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 07:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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