Colorado-5: It could be said that Rep. Joel Hefley (R), retiring from this heavily Republican district, is a sore loser who cannot get over the defeat of his favored primary candidate, Jeff Crank (R), by conservative state Sen. Doug Lamborn (R). But that would be a gross oversimplification of the matter, since Colorado Springs Republicans say that the enmity goes both ways, with Lamborn's campaign doing its share of antagonizing the establishment unnecessarily.
Either way, it should be almost impossible for him to lose this 66 percent Bush district to Jay Fawcett (D) or anyone else, but he is underperforming right now, leading comfortably only in partisan Republican polls that should be regarded with suspicion. Leaning Republican Retention [...]
Nevada-3: Rep. Jon Porter (R) is now under water in his suburban Las Vegas district, caught in a tough race against Sen. Harry Reid's (D) press secretary Tessa Hafen (D). There is much fear that Mormon Republicans will pull the lever for Hafen, their co-religionist.
Republicans have ramped up the number of 72-hour campaigners in the district, and they do so at the expense of contested District 2 to the North. The logic here is that if Secretary of State Dean Heller (R) loses the state's most heavily Republican district, that one can be won back in 2008, but a loss of Porter's district would be permanent. The 2nd District race is also much closer than it should be. Leaning Democratic Takeover.
New Hampshire-2: Here's a surprise. No one expected Rep. Charlie Bass (R) to fall behind late in the game, but that's where he is. Bass appears to have been caught off his guard. He has been outraised by his repeat opponent, Paul Hodes, whom he defeated by 20 points in 2004. Republicans complain about Bass's lacksidaisical staffers and discuss the possible loss of his Northern New Hampshire seat. Bass's get-out-the-vote effort is extremely disorganized. He is also upsetting his base with ads that brought his pro-abortion stance into the race and that distance himself from the Republican Party.
It is unclear whether Bass can be saved in time. He just started a huge phone drive Tuesday to save his seat, and some Republicans remain hopeful that he can bounce back by November 7. Leaning Democratic Takeover.
New Mexico-1: Rep. Heather Wilson (R) is down in the polls and showing alarmingly soft support among the suburban Hispanic constituency that was key to her victories in the past. Her recent ad touting her vote to override President Bush's stem-cell veto is a huge miscalculation -- the stem-cell issue is good only for Democrats, it can only hurt Republicans, whichever side they fall on. Atty. Gen. Patricia Madrid (D) has superceded the scandal surrounding her prosecution of federal witnesses in a major corruption trial in New Mexico, and Republicans fear that Wilson, a tough campaigner, may be at the end of her rope. Likely Democratic Takeover.
New York Districts: Republicans were heartened earlier in the year by polls showing their New York incumbents in good shape, but suddenly there is panic in the Empire State over several incumbents and one open-seat race. New York Republicans usually don't need competitive statewide races to drive turnout, so the uncompetitive Senate and governor races -- both with Democrats strongly favored -- would not be a factor in a normal year. But this is not a normal year.
Rep. John Sweeney (R) in District 20 is sending up warning flags as his race against Kirsten Gillibrand (D) tightens. The public polls vary wildly, but Republicans are now fearful that they have another seriously wounded patient on their hands. Leaning Republican Retention.
The complaint in Washington is that state Sen. Ray Meier (R) in open District 24 won't go negative enough against Oneida County District Attorney Mike Arcuri (D). But Meier's campaign offices have become tense as publicization of Arcuri's personal scandals actually appear to be backfiring against Meier, even though he has avoided bringing them up himself. Meier feels enough pressure that he has convinced the retiring incumbent, Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R), to come out of hiding and help him. Leaning Democratic Takeover.
The alarming public poll showing Rep. James Walsh (R) losing to challenger and former Rangel staffer Dan Maffei (D) District 25 is not credible, but Walsh leads by only about five points, far less than he is accustomed to at this point in the cycle. This race will be close. Leaning Republican Retention.
NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds (R) has partially recovered from the initial shock of the Foley scandal. His wealthy District 26 opponent, Jack Davis (D), is an eccentric amateur. But the burden remains on Reynolds to make the comeback and cleanse himself of the Foley situation. The RNC is spending money on his behalf. Leaning Democratic Takeover.
Rep. Randy Kuhl (R) in District 29 has seen his support among women evaporate. Kuhl's dirty laundry -- including the old alleged threat against his wife with a shotgun -- had been aired before, but now perhaps it is finding a more receptive audience in this tough Republican election year. Eric Massa (D), a former naval aide to Wesley Clark, hopes to take advantage by Election Day. Leaning Democratic Takeover [...]
Wyoming-AL: Rep. Barbara Cubin (R) is now in danger of losing after she unwisely accosted and threatened to slap the no-chance libertarian third-party candidate in her race. Thomas Rankin (Lib) happens to be crippled, which makes it even worse. How badly this hurts her in the polls against businessman Gary Trauner (D) is yet to be determined. Leaning Republican Retention.
Novak has also upgraded Republican chances in FL-22, KY-02, KY-04, and OH-18 seeing those races trending the GOP's direction.
Novak is predicting that Democrats will pick up 21 House seats and 4 Senate seats -- an eminently sensible, well-within the CW, prediction. At this point, most prognosticators are predicting a Democratic House and a narrow GOP edge in the Senate.
Update: Huh. I didn't know you could find this online. Here's the full report.