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This is the third in a series of ACTION diaries to get Kossacks to stop thinking the House is lost and focus on the individual District races we need to, and can win to retain the House.  While the pundits describe our chances of retaining control of the House to be slim, I don’t think its overly optimistic to say that the pundits can be proven wrong if we work to retain and flip "swing" districts.  If you’re having trouble getting motivated because you feel Democrats have not delivered all you expected, just think of what the next term will be like if we allow Boehner ("Bow-ner") to occupy the Speaker’s chair and be third in line to the Presidency.

As you shake off the chill that just ran up your spine, I’d like you to know that this diary series is based on Nate Silver's latest predictive model of House races that are in play.

Please join me after the jump /\ where I will cover the status of swing district races in Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, New Hampshire Indiana, Illinois and California, and link you up with each Dem. candidate so you can show him/her a little financial love and/or volunteer for GOTV activities.

Before I get started, I would like to briefly touch upon the week’s negatives and positives in terms of the House elections.  I promise not to ramble on too much and get to the Dem. candidates in swing House districts who need and deserve our help.  I’ll start out with the "negative" so I can end on a "positive" note.

As many of you already know, the House decided this week to postpone any votes on extending tax cuts until after the election.  Many of us, myself included, felt that taking a simple vote, under suspension of the rules, on extending or making permanent the tax cut on everyone’s first $250,000 or less of income (i.e., Obama’s Middle Class Tax Cut) was the way to go.  It would have given many Dems. a chance to cast a vote to help the middle class and forced Repubs. to either vote against it and go back to their districts having to try to explain an obviously unpopular vote, or vote for it which would de-link the middle class tax cut from the super rich tax cut making it harder to get the latter passed after the election break.  But a handful of Blue Dog" Democrats in tough swing races who did not want any tax votes before the election won the day.  They claimed that any tax vote would be a negative for them in their tight races, but rumor has it that many were being threatened with substantial loses of campaign donations by "Big" contributors who want their super rich tax cut.  I know this sucks, and it will mean that many other Dems. will likely have to beat back Republican ads that allege the Democrats avoided a vote on tax cuts before the election because they secretly intend to let taxes increase on everyone at the end of the year.  But, I’ll admit, the postponement may not have much of a negative effect at all if President Obama and the Dems. can continue to effectively drive home the message of the Republicans’ plans to hold middle class tax cuts hostage until they get the added tax cut for their super rich friends through ads like this one.

A lot has been said and written about the Dems. poor standing in the "Generic Polls" in August and early September.  The pundits have continuously pointed to these early generic polls to justify their predictions that the Democrats are going to be beaten badly in November.  But look at where the Generic Polls are now, and more importantly, where they are trending.  Take a look at the Gallup Poll graph’s in deaniac83’s diary.  All age groups in all regions of the country are trending towards the Democrats in September.  The shift from August to September showing Republicans dropping and Democrats surging, is even more dramatic in the composite shown in Chris Bowers FP post which also demonstrates that the Dems. do not necessarily need to lead in the generic poll to retain the House.   Why the shift?  As I pointed out in my first diary, Democrats pretty much sat out August allowing Republicans to pummel them, and then lead by President Obama, began to play effective offense in September.  That, combined with some of the scary tea party candidates the Republicans selected, and it shouldn’t be surprising to see this shift in the polls.  Now that we are entering October, I think we are a lot better off being down and trending upwards, than the Republicans are being up and trending downwards.    

Now to get down to business.   Nate's latest predictive model indicates a total of 78 "swing" seats which range from "likely" to "possible" takeover by the opposite party, with 4 seats being a Dem. takeovers.  Running the numbers, Republicans need between 39 & 43 takeover seats in the House to take control, depending on whether Dems. can flip any of their 4 swing seats in Nate’s model.  So of the 74 Republican takeover threats, Democrats have to beat back about half of these challenges to retain the House.  In 24 of these seats Republicans have a less than 50% chance of a takeover, meaning that Dems. only need to retain 15 of the remaining 50 seats where Republicans have a better than even chance of a pickup.  In this series of diaries I will review the 57 seats which Nate’s model ranks in categories of "lean", "even chance" and "possible" takeover opportunities.  Today I will focus on such seats in Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, New Hampshire Indiana, Illinois and California.

Presented below are the swing districts, the % chance of a Republican takeover in the district based on Nate’s model, the names of the candidates, campaign cash on hand, any recent polling results, and of course, links to the Dem. candidate’s site.


WI-7 - 78% takeover chance     Duffy (R) vs.  Lassa (D)

        Polls:  9/22/10 -   47% R     43% D       ("Rep. poll")
                  9/27/10 -   42% R     41% D     7% I       ("Dem. poll")

        Cash: Duffy (R) = $694,356;      Lassa (D) = $402,915

        Web Site:  Help Lassa

This is David Obey’s seat who is retiring.  The difference in the polls on this race could be due to bias because one is a republican poll and the other is a Democratic poll, or it could have something to do with the fact that the Dem. poll includes the independent candidate in this race.  However, a September 15 Republican poll showed Duffy with a 14 point lead, so his lead is shrinking fast even if you ignore the Dem. poll.  Let’s show Julie some financial love and help her close her money gap.

WI-8 - 74% takeover chance     Ribble (R) vs.  Kagen (D)

        Polls: 9/14/10 -   57% R     39% D       ("Rep. poll")

        Cash: Ribble (R) = $70,832;      Kagen (D) = $777,232

        Web Site:  Help Kagen

Don’t worry too much about that lopsided Republican poll, this race isn’t the landslide this poll makes it seem.  Historically this has been a swing district and most ratings agencies are still indicating it as lean GOP to toss up, with Nate’s model indicating Kagen is on an upward trend.  Also, Kagen has the cash differential to allow him to finish strong, but if you live in this district, please sign up for some GOTV.


MI-7 - 78% takeover chance     Walberg (R) vs.  Schauer (D)

        Polls:   9/19/10 -   42% R     38% D       ("Dem. poll")
                  9/20/10 -   43% R     45% D     ("Dem. poll")
                  9/22/10 -   45% R     49% D     7% I       ("Dem. poll")

        Cash: Walberg (R) = $244,214;      Schauer (D) = $1,652,609

        Web Site:  Help Schauer

The polls all indicate that this is a close race, much closer than the 78% takeover chance would lead you to believe.  However, since these are all Dem. polls, there is always a chance of candidate bias.  But, I like Schauer’s significant cash advantage going into the stretch.  Again, consider GOTV if you live in/near this district.

MI-9 - 34% takeover chance     Raczkowski (R) vs.  Peters (D)

        Polls: 9/13/10 -   45% R     41% D       ("Independent poll")

        Cash: Raczkowski (R) = $215,088;      Peters (D) = $1,927,846

        Web Site:  Help Peters

The lone poll shows a close race, but Peters has a substantial cash advantage.  GOTV will probably make a big difference in this small district.  So if you live in the Detroit area, please sign up for some GOTV activities.


FL-24 - 76% takeover chance     Adams (R) vs.  Kosmas (D)

        Polls:  9/23/10 -   49% R     39% D       ("Rep. poll")
                  9/23/10 -   43% R     45% D      ("Dem. poll")

        Cash: Adams (R) = $115,268;      Kosmas (D) = $1,284,158

        Web Site:  Help Kosmas

The average of the conflicting polls indicates that Kosmas is trailing by a tad.  So get off the beach around the Cape and help Suzanne with some GOTV.  BTW:  I hate party sponsored polls which leave you wondering which one, if either, is accurate, or which one, or both, are designed to produce favorable results for their candidate.  I hope most Dems. are putting out accurate polls.

FL-8 - 61% takeover chance     Webster (R) vs.  Grayson (D)

        Polls:  8/25/10 -   27% R     40% D       ("Dem. poll")
                  9/27/10 -   43% R     36% D      ("Rep. poll")

        Cash: Webster (R) = $105,095;      Grayson (D) = $1,369,286

        Web Site:  Help Grayson

What can I say!  This is Alan Grayson!  The most vocal, and best friend of progressives like you and me, we have in Congress.  Get out and help him keep his seat.  We can’t afford to lose him.

FL-22 - 47% takeover chance     West (R) vs.  Klein (D)

        Polls:  9/22/10 -   48% R     42% D       ("Rep. poll")
                  9/22/10 -   43% R     48% D      ("Rep. poll")
                  9/16/10 -   40% R     48% D      ("Dem. poll")

        Cash: West (R) = $2,247,903     Klein (D) = $2,841,166

        Web Site:  Help Klein

Another close race, but I always feel better when both Republican and Democratic polls show the Dem. candidate ahead.  The candidates are also pretty much equal in terms of cash-on-hand.  As a result, this is one of my contributor picks of the week.  If you can only afford to contribute to a race or two, this is one I would suggest you consider.

FL-2 - 35% takeover chance     Southerland (R) vs.  Boyd (D)

        Polls:  None

        Cash: Southerland (R) = $84,504     Boyd (D) = $762,201

        Web Site:  Help Boyd

I didn’t find any polls on this race.  So without any polls, I am reluctant to take much comfort in a low 35% takeover probability.

New Hampshire:

NH-2 - 64% takeover chance     Bass (R) vs.  Kuster (D)

        Polls:  9/26/10 -   38% R     36% D       ("Independent poll")
                  9/29/10 -   43% R     38% D      ("Independent poll")

        Cash: Bass (R) = $311,820     Kuster (D) = $449,891

        Web Site:  Help Kuster

The two polls indicate this is a very close race.  If the 9/29 poll had included the other minor candidates in the race as was done in the 9/26 poll, its outcome may have similar.  The race is also tight in terms of cash, so this is another of my contributor picks of the week.  Please show Ann some financial love.


IN-9 - 57% takeover chance     Young (R) vs.  Hill (D)

        Polls:  7/28/10 -   41% R     42% D       ("Rep. poll")

        Cash: Young (R) = $259,638     Hill (D) = $1,108,668

        Web Site:  Help Hill

The only poll is a Republican poll which shows a tight race.  But that was in July, so it may be meaningless at this point in the race.  Although we have a good cash advantage in this race, we will need folks for GOTV activities to retain this seat.


IL-10 - 54% DEM. takeover chance     Dold (R) vs.  Seals (D)

        Polls:  9/2/10 -   36% R     49% D       ("Dem. poll")

        Cash: Dold (R) = $747,704     Seals (D) = $792,021

        Web Site:  Help Seals

This is one of the four (rare) Democrat pick up opportunities in this mid-term.   Although Seals has a 13 point lead in the most recent poll, I wouldn’t be complacent about this race.  Previous polls have only shown Seals to be ahead by a few points, well within the MOE.  Due to the importance of getting Dem. takeovers this year and the tightness in terms of each candidates cash-on-hand, I would highly recommend giving to Dan if you can afford it.  This is definitely one of my must contribution picks of the week.

IL-14 - 51% takeover chance     Hultgren (R) vs.  Foster (D)

        Polls:  8/4/10 -   44% R     37% D       ("Dem. poll")

        Cash: Hultgren (R) = $244,669     Foster (D) = $1,549,401

        Web Site:  Help Foster

I wouldn’t put much stock in an early August poll from back when Democrats were getting hit hard and playing defense.  Nate’s forecast indicates a tied race with Foster trending up and Hultgren trending down.  Good cash advantage, however we will need a good GOTV effort to win this seat.

IL-17 - 51% takeover chance     Schilling (R) vs.  Hare (D)

        Polls:  9/2/10 -   41% R     38% D       ("Independent poll")
                  9/25/10 -   44% R     43% D      ("Rep. poll")
        Cash: Schilling (R) = $211,224     Hare (D) = $855,863

        Web Site:  Help Hare

When a Republican poll indicates it’s a tight race, that’s probably a good sign.  Still Phil could use a little more cash.


CA-11 - 55% takeover chance     Harmer (R) vs.  McNerney (D)

        Polls:  8/28/10 -   45% R     44% D       ("Rep. poll")

        Cash: Harmer (R) = $233,046     McNerney (D) = $1,246,577

        Web Site:  Help McNerney

Again, when a Republican poll indicates it’s a tight race, that’s probably a good sign, especially when its an August poll.  Still will need GOTV help if we are to win this seat.

Well, those are the swing seats (according to Nate) for this week.  Please get out and support these candidates.  Also, please check out my previous diaries here and  here where I cover the swing races in PA, CO, NY & OH.  Below are the links to those Dem. candidates who need our help, and any new polling:

NY-19 - 73% takeover chance     Hayworth (R) vs.  Hall (D)

        Web Site:  Help Hall

NY-24 - 62% takeover chance     Hanna (R) vs.  Arcuri (D)

        Web Site:  Help Arcuri

NY-23 - 20% takeover chance     Doheny (R) vs.  Owens (D)

        Web Site:  Help Owens

OH-16 - 80% takeover chance     Renacci (R) vs.  Boccieri (D)

        Web Site:  Help Boccieri

OH-15 - 73% takeover chance     Stivers (R) vs.  Killroy (D)

        Web Site:  Help Kilroy

OH-18 - 36% takeover chance     Gibbs (R) vs.  Space (D)
        Web Site:  Help Space

OH-6 - 25% takeover chance     Johnson (R) vs.  Wilson (D)

        Web Site:  Help Wilson

PA-3 - 74% takeover chance     Kelly (R) vs.  Dahlkemmper (D)
        Polls: 9/19/10 -   44% R     38% D       ("Independent poll")

        Web Site:  Help Dahlkemper

PA-4 - < 20% takeover chance     Rothfus (R) vs.  Altmire (D)
        Web Site:  Help Altmire

PA-7 - 76% takeover chance     Meehan (R) vs.  Lentz (D)
        Web Site:  Help Lentz

PA-8 - 71% takeover chance     Fitzpatrick (R) vs.  Murphy (D)

        Polls:  9/19/10 -   49% R     35% D       ("Independent poll")
                  9/22/10 -   46% R     49% D      ("Dem. poll")

        Web Site:  Help Murphy

PA-11 - 81% takeover chance     Barletta (R) vs.  Kanjorski (D)

        Polls:  9/23/10 -   43% R     32% D       ("Independent poll")

        Web Site:  Help Kanjorski

PA-12 - 53% takeover chance     Burns (R) vs.  Critz (D)

        Web Site:  Help Critz

CO-3 - 56% takeover chance     Tipton (R) vs.  Salaza (D)

        Web Site:  Help Salazar

CO-4 - 80% takeover chance     Gardner (R) vs.  Markey (D)

        Web Site:  Help Markey

CO-7 - 21% takeover chance     Frazier (R) vs.  Perlmutter (D)

        Web Site:  Help Perlmutter

That’s all for this week!  Hope to do more races next week.  But, before I go I would like to point out something I’ve observed in many, if not most of the House races I have reviewed.  Even though Nate’s model predicts the Dem. to lose by high percentages (as high as 80% in the races I’ve reviewed), the model and the district polls both show the Dem. trailing by about 5 points or less.  I’ll explore this phenomenon further next week.


Originally posted to Doctor Who on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 04:48 PM PDT.

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