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First thing to know: it's really tough.  Redistricting alone won't help Republicans expand their majority, but they were able to shore up quite a few vulnerable incumbents that would be toast in anything but a GOP wave year.

Second thing to know: it's still doable.  We need a net gain of 25 seats to retake the House, and as the swings of the past three elections have shown, such numbers are not out of the question when one party has the wind at their backs.

First off, we'll take a look at what I consider a worst-case scenario, one where the 2010 wave has mostly subsided but Obama still struggles in the presidential race, ultimately losing by a smidgen to Romney.  This would be consistent with a political atmosphere something like that of the mid Bush years.  Not overwhelmingly GOP, but still tough for Dems.

Even still, the House outlook wouldn't be too bad, and with some luck we might even be favored to claw back a few seats at least since we're pretty close to rock bottom as is.  In what would best be described as a neutral environment, House victories would come largely on the strength of individual candidates and on the partisanship level of each seat, with multiple seat pickups by both sides.

(Note: short of some kind of national catastrophe or massive scandal on Obama's part, I do not think a landslide Romney win/repeat GOP wave year is worth even considering at this point.).

For ease of counting, I focus only on changes to the number of Dem-held seats.  For instance, Louisiana loses a seat this year due to reapportionment (and it will certainly be a Republican), but that alone does not put us one seat closer to 218.  It's much simpler to assess the 2012 landscape in terms of how many more or less Democrats each state will send to Congress, then add up all the numbers.

Bad year

Arkansas: -1 (GOP picks up Ross' seat and sweeps delegation)
California: +2 (Dems only beat Miller and take what's left of Dreier's seat)
Florida: +2 (GOP pretty much gave us a new Orlando seat and the old one of Allen West)
Georgia: -1 (Barrow defeated in tougher seat)
Illinois: +4 (Even in a bad year, Dold, Schilling, Biggert, and Walsh now have unwinnable seats in Dem gerrymander)
Indiana: -1 (Donnelly's old seat is tough to hold)
Iowa: -1 (Latham defeats Boswell in a swingy seat)
Maryland: +1 (Bartlett is not the kind of Republican who can win the new 6th)
Massachusetts: -1 (Lost due to reapportionment)
Michigan: -1 (Peters and Clarke combined)
Missouri: -1 (Clay and Carnahan combined)
Nevada: +1 (only the new 4th is really a slam dunk for us)
New Jersey: -1 (Pascrell and Rothman combined)
New York: -1 (Dems and GOP swap Hochul and Buerkle, Hinchey and Turner seats eliminated)
North Carolina: -4 (GOP gerrymander gets seats of Miller, Shuler, Kissell, and McIntyre)
Ohio: -1 (Renacci defeats Sutton in GOP-leaning seat)
Oklahoma: -1 (GOP finally gets East Oklahoma seat)
Pennsylvania: -1 (Critz and Altmire combined)
Texas: +2 (Dems and GOP split new seats)
Utah: -1 (Matheson defeated in unfamiliar territory)
Washington: +1 (GOP candidate too conservative for Dem-leaning new seat)
All other states: no changes.

Total: -4 Dems.  Keep in mind this is pretty much what I think the absolute best (yet realistically possible) GOP year could get them, consistent with a narrow Romney victory through just barely sweeping the swing states.

Now let's look at something consistent with another big Obama win, as the current polls show.  Let's say Obama wins every state he did in 2008 by the same or larger margins, and even manages to pick off a few more like Arizona and Missouri.  Republicans up and down the ballot struggle and our candidates overperform, changing the map quite drastically.

Good year

Arizona: +2 (Dems win the new Phoenix seat plus take back the friendlier 1st)
Arkansas: 0 (yellow dog Dems come back, hold Ross' seat)
California: +6 (Dems sweep the competitive races as Obama wins those districts big)
Colorado: +2 (Dems beat Tipton and Coffman, now in a swing seat)
Florida: +5 (We get West's old seat, plus beat him in a new one, and take out Southerland in a bluer seat, and defeat Rivera)
Georgia: 0 (Barrow might be conservative enough to hold his new seat)
Illinois: +5 (Dems also pick up Johnsons' newly swingy seat)
Indiana: +1 (Donnelly's seat saved, and Bucshon defeated in the perpetually volatile 8th)
Iowa: +1 (Boswell beats Latham, and Steve King defeated by a strong candidate in a swingier seat)
Maryland: +1 (as before)
Massachusetts: -1 (our most unavoidable loss)
Michigan: 0 (Dems beat Benishek in swingy 1st)
Minnesota: +1 (Cravaack defeated)
Missouri: -1 (even in a good year, it's a tough map)
Montana: +1 (Dems are contesting this open seat hard)
Nebraska: +1 (Obama will win the 2nd again, and maybe we'll get the seat too)
Nevada: +2 (Heck also defeated)
New Hampshire: +2 (the swingy state flips back in our direction, both Bass and Guinta booted)
New Jersey: 0 (Runyan's seat still in reach)
New York: +4 (Dems sweep the state save for King and Reed)
North Carolina: -2 (Kissell may very well hang on in a good year)
North Dakota: +1 (Dems also contesting this open seat)
Ohio: +1 (Sutton beats Renacci, and we win back Johnson's ancestrally Dem seat)
Oklahoma: 0 (East OK continues to support conservative Dems)
Pennsylvania: 0 (Fitzpatrick bounced again from swingy seat)
Texas: +4 (Canseco defeated in swingy seat, and Lampson returns to Congress in what was Ron Paul's seat)
Utah: 0 (Matheson again defies GOP attempts to draw him out of Congress)
Washington: +1 (Burner or DelBene cruises to victory)
Wisconsin: +2 (Dems retake Duffy's and Ribble's swing seats)

Total: +39 Dems, giving us easy control of the House.

Is that likely?  I don't know yet.  My initial impression of this coming election is that Democrats have a big advantage building, but it may not be enough to gain us back the House.  I really doubt Romney is going to pose much of a threat to Obama, so I see Democratic gains as a near certainty, but 25 may just be too much to ask for unless the country as a whole sours on Republicans and Dems start picking up seats that were leaning GOP before.

One thing is for sure, the House is definitely in play this election.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I think he's right on California (4+ / 0-)

      A lot of these republican congressmen have never even run in a competitive race before.  I could easily see a swing of D+6 in that state if Obama is crushing Romney as bad as recent polls in CA have shown.  Even in 2010 Dems did very well in California despite the national tide.  We still won every statewide race, lost no congressional seats and I believe had a net gain of a seat or two in the legislature.

      •  it could potentially be more than 6 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        if the state GOP start to really come unglued, orly taitz is the senate candidate, etc. we've been creeping towards a breaking point fort some time, and the new maps + the new primary system + disheartened conservatives + DTS voters bailing on the GOP + demographic shifts could be really brutal for the GOP.

        •  If you look at the pres results by district (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, wu ming

          Obama only lost like 7 of them by a significant amount.  Even Republicans considered safe like Darrell Issa and Buck McKeon now sit in Obama-won seats.  Give it time, and the next Dem wave to hit California will wipe out a bunch of them.

        •  that would be tough (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Skaje, Englishlefty, MichaelNY

          The Dems should be in good shape to pick up these four districts:

          7 (Sac burbs, Lungren v Bera)
          21 (Fresno-Bakersfield Hispanic majority, mostly Costa's old district)
          26 (Ventura, Brownley v Strickland v Parks)
          31 (Berdoo-Cucamonga, Gary Miller probably loses a district that even Boxer won)

          Of those, 21 is the most in doubt as Valadao looks like a better candidate than either of the Dems running.

          Next would be 10 (Modesto, Denham v. spaceman Hernandez) and 52 (San Diego, Bilbray) both of which I have at lean R for now but are definitely in play. The last one would have to come from 36 (east Riverside county) where Sonny's widow will be very tough to beat in a district that Obama won by just 3, and Brown lost by 6 and Boxer by 9.

          It would take a perfect storm for Dems to compete in 25 (Palmdale, McKeon), 39 (east Orange/west Riverside, Royce) or 49 (N San Diego county, Issa) as Brown and Boxer were both blown out there although Obama was competitive. The other 9 districts are out of reach under any circumstances.  

          SSP poster. 42, CA-5, -0.25/-3.90

          by sacman701 on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:59:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  We gained one assembly seat (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, KingofSpades

        Richard Pan (D) beat the sponsor of Prop 8, Andy Pugno (R). Also, the seat was in the Sacramento suburbs which are a large part of Lungren's district, it's a good sign that we can soon win Lungren's seat, especially with it becoming a few points more Democratic after redistricting.

        For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog

        by Alibguy on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 06:44:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, the House is in play. (8+ / 0-)

    I just pray we learned from 2010 and don't screw it up this time.

    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

    by Whimsical on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 05:41:49 PM PDT

  •  If the OFA would campaign in very blue areas (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lcrp, MrSandman, bluestatedem84

    For example, I think that we could win back Maryland 1 if there was more of an effort to register the college students on the eastern shore.

    Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

    by JamieG from Md on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 05:46:20 PM PDT

    •  MD-06 is much more worthy of the resources. (3+ / 0-)

      Delaney may be douchey but it's a much better district.

      I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

      by James Allen on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:07:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The thing is that democrats (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      win elections by expanding their margins in areas they are already strong in. It might make it harder to win house and senate elections but we'll see. Even if you take gerrymandering out of the equation, there are just a lot more ultrademocrat districts then there were 30 years ago. There were only 26 CDs where Carter got more than 70 percent of the vote. I'm sure there are a lot more than 26 where Obama got that much which is impressive since so many of those districts in the big cities would now be very underpopulated.

      also known as "AquarianLeft" on RedRacingHorses

      by demographicarmageddon on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:40:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Probably more House than Senate (0+ / 0-)

        Many states have urban areas where Dems are strong and getting stronger, and even some suburban areas that are becoming purple rather than red due to social issues. But yes, at the House level there are a lot more 75% Obama districts than 70% McCain districts (note the two are of equivalent PVI).

        Male, 21, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, unapologetic supporter of Obama and Occupy. Tammy Baldwin for Senate and Recall Walker!

        by fearlessfred14 on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 09:16:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Vote sink (0+ / 0-)

      MD-01 has become even more Republican than it was in 2010, now including northern Harford County and much of conservative Carroll County including the area around Manchester. While conducting voter registration drives at UMES and Salisbury might increase numbers on the Eastern Shore, they won't be enough to counteract the new western areas they took from Bartlett. There's also the issue that many college students don't live in the district, or would prefer to register in the district they came from.

      MD-06 however is a good district to work on picking up, and they should focus on voter registration at Frostburg and Allegany College. I think it's especially important to focus on this district because Delaney won and the GOP will attack his glaring weaknesses.

  •  We Need to Hang Flashing Strobe Lights on the (6+ / 0-)

    war on women. It's utterly unconscionable with that going on so blatantly, that a Republican should be leading a Democratic woman in a state like MA.

    ANY Republican elected ANYWHERE will join the attack on birth control, health care and women's rights. And every woman everywhere needs to be constantly reminded of this.

    Never in half a century have the Democrats had such an intensely personal, power motivator of mainstream voters. We'll be able to judge how strongly conservative the Democratic party really is by the weakness they show in this messaging.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:15:26 PM PDT

  •  so...simplistically splitting the diff gets +12 as (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChadmanFL, killjoy, gabjoh, MichaelNY

    a 'median' outcome -- I know it's simplistic but that's also I believe the average house pickup in a winning pres year?  In any case, that feels about right to me -- I think the House is an uphill climb even in the likely event of an Obama win.   Maybe by October that event will seem SO likely that we can all focus all of our efforts on the house and senate...

    •  I'd put the over/under of +15 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, gabjoh, MichaelNY

      The way things are looking at the moment I'd put the over/under of net change at +15 Dems with a likely range of 10-20 seats.  The GOP just overshot in 2010 thanks to the national mood and are bound to give back seats.  Unfortunately redistricting did lock up a good many seats they picked up in 2010.

      That's working under the assumption Obama wins re-election by a decent, but not landslide margin.  If things start looking up more closer to election day then ya, I do think Dems could wind up taking the House and holding the Senate with about the same majority we have now.

      •  How is that possible? (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:

        Most objective analyses of the House races suggest no appreciable gain by either side. Where are you finding these 10-20 seats for dems to pickup? The GOP is just as likely to pick up seats from dems.

        As far as the Senate goes, there is probably no way dems can hold it. Their best case scenario would be to offset certain losses in ND and NE with gains in MA and ME, and not lose any other seats, which is highly unlikely to happen, but you never know.

        The most likely scenario today would be that Obama gets re-elected narrowly, dems pick up maybe 3-5 seats in the House and the GOP flips the Senate. Neither party really wins 2012.

        •  that's crap. (6+ / 0-)

          If you look at how actual races are going,

          NE: We're fucked, yes, we'll lose it.

          ND: Tossup.  Berg is unpopular and our candidate is not.

          MT: Tester is down by like 2 points in every poll.  But he just started running ads.  Considering how we're contesting the gubernatorial and congressional races hard, too, I think it's too early to say we're doomed.  We're going to fight hard for it.

          MO: Claire has led by 2-3 points in just about every poll, and she's raised a ton more money than any of her opponents.

          VA: Kaine has led by 2-3 points in just about every poll.

          WI: Baldwin is competitive with Thompson and leads the other potential R nominees.

          So we may lose a few, but we may only lose one.

          MA: this race is a tossup now, but Warren is raising crazy money and it's hard to see Brown winning while Obama wins the state by 20 points.

          ME: Nobody will beat Angus King.  If King drops out or his campaign collapses, we're still favored.

          NV: Heller leads most polls narrowly, but can he win while Obama wins the state by 8-10 points?

          IN: We can't beat Lugar, but in the last poll he only barely led his Republican primary opponent, who we can beat.

          AZ: Carmona is proving he's a credible candidate.  With Obama contesting the state and the potential for three big House races driving up turnout, we've got a chance to take this.

          Overall, I think we're favored to retain the senate.  We're probably likely to net lose a seat, maybe even two, but with the strength we're showing in seats we hold, and the opportunities for gains, it's hard to believe we'll lose very many seats unless the national environment turns against us.

          I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

          by James Allen on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 11:22:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Dem gains in the high single digits/low teens (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, MichaelNY

      would probably be indicative of a decent, but not wave, Dem year.  And probably more normal than the back to back wave elections of 2006, 2008, and 2010.  From 1996 to 2004 House elections were fairly mundane, with neither party ever making double digit gains.

      We need another 2006/2008 type wave to have a good shot at reclaiming the House.  Republicans universally unpopular, Democrats resurgent, and straight ticket voting from Obama all the way down to state legislature.

  •  Florida is still up in the air (4+ / 0-)

    It's really the last big question mark since the Florida Supreme Court hasn't yet ruled on the congressional map.  My gut feeling it two scenarios.

    Court upholds the GOP map - In this scenario:
    Dems pickup 22nd (open seat vacated by West).
    GOP-held 18th is a tossup with West running there.
    Dems gain new Orlando based seat, GOP gains new south FL seat.
    The GOP-held 2nd (Southerland), 26th (Rivera), 16th (Buchanan) are solid Dem pickup opportunities

    Probably results in something like D+3 seats, R-1 seat.

    Court strikes down parts of the map, forcing GOP to make fixes
    There are quite a few possible problems with the current map as others have posted.  The big one is Corinne Brown's absurd looking district.  If that gets dismembered is has the potential to transform a few neighboring GOP districts into tossup to leans Dem seats.  Another possibility is Young's 10th district being cracked, likely turning it into a seat a good Dem would be favored to win.  Could also be changes to south Florida, leaving one or two of the largely Cuban GOP-held districts in serious jeopardy of Dem-takeover.

    If the FL Supreme Court finds some of these problems it could end up creating a map with around 4 or 5 Dem pickups and GOP losing 2 or 3 seats.

    •  That's my thinking too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, MichaelNY

      if the Florida map gets thrown out, gaining 7 seats in that state isn't so far-fetched.  As you mentioned, West's old seat, West's new seat, the Orlando seat of course, Southerland, Buchanan, Young, and Rivera could all fall in a Dem wave year.

      Under the current map we're headed for at least 2, but probably 3 or 4 pickups.

  •  This is a great round-up and I mostly agree... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skaje, MichaelNY, Englishlefty

    I will say that in a true landslide even more seats will be in play. For instance in the Philly area alone, the Republicans could theoretically lose all of the Philly suburbs seat and Labiondo could theoretically lose his seat. Although all of these would be unlikely in isolation, in a landslide a number of unexpected seat usually fall your way.

    26, originally OK-1, currently NY-8. Former swingnut.

    by okiedem on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 08:32:02 PM PDT

    •  Quite true (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, MichaelNY

      And in New York a total delegation sweep could actually happen in a landslide year.  Obama won every single congressional district now except for Hanna (tied), Grimm (narrowly lost) and Hochul (by 10 points, our toughest hold but not impossible).

      If things get crazy we could also start picking up seats in Michigan or Virginia, where Republicans drew themselves a ton of lean-GOP seats but they may have over-extended themselves.

      For the moment though, I'm just hoping for a mini-landslide that gets us a bunch of easier seats, enough to take back the majority.

      •  And in a GOP landslide... (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:

        They could pickup 20+ seats this year, wiping out remaining conservative dems and taking some moderate districts they narrowly missed last time.

        Point is, neither side is likely to have such a "landslide," and Obama will be lucky just to get re-elected at all. This means that neither side will probably see many gains or losses.

        One thing though that I am pretty sure about: the House is really not in play. That's just reality. Dems should focus on keeping the Senate, which they are about to lose as well.

        •  We're Doomed!!! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Englishlefty, askew

          26, originally OK-1, currently NY-8. Former swingnut.

          by okiedem on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:19:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Feeding the troll (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Skaje, bfen, sacman701, Englishlefty

          Just because I think I have a good, substantive reply:

          Point is, neither side is likely to have such a "landslide," and Obama will be lucky just to get re-elected at all.
          (1) The unpopularity of House Republicans, as a group, is - correct me if I'm wrong - unprecedented, as is the unpopularity of Congress in general, which redounds to the detriment of the incumbent party.

          (2) Obama is indeed lucky that his opponent has turned out to be so awful, and awfulness can make the difference between a landslide and a narrow win, just as it made the difference between a win and a loss in Martha Coakley's senatorial campaign.

          (3) However, Obama is very likely to get reelected mostly not because he's lucky but because the economy is improving and he's an excellent campaigner with a terrific organization.

          (4) If Obama wins in a landslide, the combination of his coattails and the unpopularity of the House Republican Caucus seems to me to make a Democratic wave down ballot a likelihood.

          (5) A Republican wave looks very unlikely this year, for the reasons I've given. The only way I could see it happening is some new national disaster (e.g., a sudden depression, an unforeseen scandal, a horrendous act of terrorism the president somehow is blamed for by the public) that prompts a substantial victory for Romney. Even a narrow victory by Romney, due to an economic downturn, is unlikely to help House Republicans much, as they will share the blame, and many of the freshmen won elections only because the last wave swept through some pretty Democratic districts.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 05:24:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  LoBiondo isn't losing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, MichaelNY

      he beat his challenger 64-35 in 2006 (it's the same person running this year) and his district got slightly redder in redistricting.

      22, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

      by sapelcovits on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 08:48:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think there's more potential, e.g., (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, ndrwmls10

    in Pennsylvania and Ohio. But I like your roundup.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 08:47:20 PM PDT

  •  Too optimistic? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, Englishlefty

    I hope this is not too optimistic of a House scenario.

    I can easily imagine the Democrats losing one additional seat in upstate NY (Owens) and losing a seat in Washington in a neutral to bad year (WA-1). There might also be a surprise or two out there as well.

    The reason for this lack of optimism is that Democratic candidates are not polling as well as they should to this point. Berkley is down in Nevada, Inslee is even or down in Washington, and Warren is even or down in Massachusetts. I recognize these are tough states this cycle, with strong Republican candidates, but if we are going to take the House, these types of candidates must win.

    It is not to say that Democrats can (and should) do better. But it is going to come down to getting out the vote in suburban and ancestrally Democratic areas. If those things happen, we can pull off a surprise or two, especially against Republicans who have not had a strong challenge in a while.

  •  New York (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skaje, MichaelNY

    I'm fairly sure Richard Hanna is not going anywhere, even in a bad year for Republicans. I'm also fairly sure Hochul is losing in her very Republican seat, even in a bad year for Republicans.

    •  You may be right on Hanna (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, James Allen

      he's certainly a great fit for that seat, and the fact that he almost won in 2008 says a lot.  But it is a swingy seat, and he will never be truly safe in Dem wave years.

      As for Hochul, her seat isn't so impossible to hold.  Unlikely in anything that's not a Dem wave year, but I think she's also a good fit for that seat, as best as a Democrat can be.  She hit 47% in the special election which was higher than people expected.  True, her district is like 4 points worse for her now, but I don't think it's a lost cause in a great year for Dems.

      Most of the election prediction websites seem to have this one as only lean-GOP.

  •  Re: Wisconsin (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Englishlefty, MichaelNY

    It is certainly possible to get a 6-2 delegation in a good year, as WI-01 is by no means a safe seat. This is especially true if Ryan is the VP candidate and takes his reelection money to use against Obama.

    Male, 21, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, unapologetic supporter of Obama and Occupy. Tammy Baldwin for Senate and Recall Walker!

    by fearlessfred14 on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 09:06:35 AM PDT

  •  That is your "worst case" scenario?? (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    Your first scenario is the most likely one, but hardly the worst possible for democrats. Whoever wins this race, it will probably be by a close margin. There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Obama will outperform his 2008 numbers, and virtually every political analyst acknowledges that. 2008 was likely the best year possible for dems.

    The GOP currently has a lead on the generic ballot which, when compared to past years, would seem to indicate gains for them. I think the House will be a wash overall, but the GOP could definately gain up to 10 seats or lose up to 10.

    In short, I really don't think it is possible for dems to win back the House. Not this year. The Senate is an even worse story so we won't talk about that. 2004 was not a "good" year for the GOP, it was pretty much average. A successful presidential win by them would include picking up states like PA, WI, MN, MI, and other places they haven't won in years. Currently, I do not see that happening, but it could.

    I do think Obama will be re-elected but that it will be close; by a point or two. The House will remain comfortably in Republican hands and the Senate will likely flip as well. We can be more certain this far out about congress than we can about the presidential election.

    •  Troll. (7+ / 0-)

      20, Dude, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus! (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren for Senate!

      by ndrwmls10 on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 09:35:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, he's on the morning digest thread (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, ChadmanFL

        saying that I was twisting Scott Brown's words when he lumped LGBT rights with "pet projects" and then claims to be gay.  And then he spreads old, worn lies about Brown being real popular (which he isn't so much anymore, and he's about tied with Warren on favorability) and that Warren is pandering to liberal groups and is ignoring the state.  If she's ignoring the state, why the heck has she been trekking most of it the past month?

        Then he goes out on a limb to predict Brown wins 5-10% despite being behind in the latest PPP poll.

        "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Theodore Seuss Geisel

        by KingofSpades on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:15:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think this is Pebbles but I'm not sure (0+ / 0-)

      26, originally OK-1, currently NY-8. Former swingnut.

      by okiedem on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:20:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I appreciate your work here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skaje, Englishlefty, MichaelNY

    But there are two things I think might help:
    1. A "neutral/baseline" scenario
    2. Putting in the PVIs of the seats in question, so we can easily separate, e.g., Democrats winning swing seats from Democrats winning red but "ancestrally Democratic" seats.

    Basically, we can suspect from regression analyses like twohundertseventy's that the results will be highly correlated with PVI and incumbency.  The question is: how well do Democrats have to be doing overall, or how much do they have to have idiosyncratic overperformances, to win the House?  Do they need to get, say, 53% of the national House popular vote?  55%?

    Adding some context would allow more of a sense of what each scenario means in terms of the national mood, and also allow for more of a "sliding scale" between the best and worst case scenarios.

    Still, thanks for taking a national view--I look forward to seeing more diaries like this, and this is a great start to the discussion.

    26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

    by Xenocrypt on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 09:40:22 AM PDT

    •  I went back and forth on that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This diary is long enough and number heavy as it is, that I didn't want to scare away more readers by throwing even more info in.  House roundups are tough to get through, even when written well.  So many competitive seats.  I was just going for more of a quick overview...there's probably close to a dozen at least somewhat competitive races in California this year, all of them unique and which deserve thorough write-ups, but in terms of taking back the House all we need to know is that we should be winning at least 5 of the GOP seats in CA and not losing any of ours.

      It's also tough since seats are moving between the states, numbering has changed, and just listing offense/defense by district as in previous years isn't as clear.

      As for baseline, I guess I could have reposted my initial predictions from last week, but it didn't seem particularly useful since it's basically just an average of the two extremes I wrote about above.

      This diary was more about looking at it from a national perspective, I may try again later to write about specific races in likelihood of determining control of the House, with PVI and such, as superribbie used to do.

  •  some more seats in play (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, MichaelNY

    MI3 (Amash): It isn't clear how well Paulism is going to play in a middle-income, R+3 district and Pestka looks like a serious challenger.

    MI7 (Walberg): I think Schwarz would be favored to beat him. Another credible Dem would probably still have a shot, as the district is just R+2 and Walberg barely beat Schauer in the 2010 wave.

    PA11 (Barletta): This seat was made much more red, but Barletta has some baggage and Bill Vinsko seemed to be a credible challenger based on his web page.

    WA3 (Beutler): This seat is that much different or more red than the version that Brian Baird held for a long time, and JHB does not like to meet with constituents.

    SSP poster. 42, CA-5, -0.25/-3.90

    by sacman701 on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 11:07:23 AM PDT

    •  I definitly think JHB is at risk. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      20, Dude, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus! (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren for Senate!

      by ndrwmls10 on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 12:23:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That would be good (0+ / 0-)

        Is there some evidence you know of pointing in that direction, other than the points sacman made above?

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 05:27:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If we ran a populist Democrat (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          we'd have a shot.  I don't know enough about Haugen to know if he fits that.  It's a district where our people are either lower income folks in Clark County or ancestral Democrats in the coastal/border counties, many in communities that used to be tied to logging.  Running a liberal Democrat here would be a non-starter.

          I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

          by James Allen on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 05:50:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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