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If you're a political junkie, you're probably used to seeing charts that break competitive Senate and House races down into columns with categories like Tossups, Lean Democratic, Likely Republican, published by pundits like Charlie Cook or Stu Rothenberg. (Or by Daily Kos Elections... we've got our own, too, here, here, and here.)

Charts like that only tell part of the story, though. Looking at pundits' scorecards, you might think that races just spontaneously burst into being as competitive, based on the sheer force of will of the participants. That's not the case, though; almost all House races, for instance, draw highly-motivated, well-intentioned participants, and yet somehow we don't end up with 400+ competitive races every cycle.

Instead, there are two limiting factors: one is the range of districts. More than half of all House districts are too red or too blue to be competitive; they're going to elect someone from one party unless highly unusual circumstances pop up (and if that happens, that person from the wrong party is usually only renting the district for two years). Only that other half of the districts, where the presidential vote falls within 10% of the national average, is fertile ground for a competitive race. (And that band is getting narrower, as gerrymandering becomes a more precise, computer-driven science, with more districts getting turned uglier but also dark-blue or dark-red.)

So, with that, I thought it might be interesting to tip the typical House ratings chart on its side, and look at it by sifting through all the districts in that potentially-competitive band, digging layer by layer based on the percentage that Barack Obama got in 2008 (in the newly-configured post-redistricting districts, rather than the districts as they existed in 2008). That way, it encompasses not just the races that the pundits and the national committees are paying attention to, but it also reveals what races are getting left behind. (There's a lot of them. And while it's a little late in the cycle to do anything about them now, it should give us some food for thought about what else we might be targeting in 2014.)

The other factor is money. Competitive races don't happen without advertising, PR, and a lot of groundwork, and that costs a lot. Unfortunately, the money is a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem: a candidate needs money to get the pundits to consider a race competitive in the first place, but a race needs to be considered competitive before the big money donors and the national committees (like, say, the DCCC) will start sending money. That's the basic reason why, despite how much we'd like to see it, Generic Well-Meaning Progressive rarely gets any traction in a potentially-interesting swing-district race. Successful candidates need to either bring their own seed money, or have enough fundraising chits to call in from donors to get the ball rolling, either connections made from holding lower office, from a prominent business position, or, in a few cases, from a long-track record in local activism.

By adding money to the mix, we can see just how much money determines what races get taken seriously and which ones don't. At each percentage level, even the ones that are right at the national average (53%, according to Obama's 2008 vote share) you can see there are races that are competitive and ones that aren't. Invariably, the competitive ones involve hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars on both sides and the non-competitive ones are woefully lopsided.

(Before you start complaining about Citizens United and Super PACs, bear in mind that the numbers that we're reporting are merely the contributions to the campaigns themselves. They don't account for spending by outside groups, either the national committees or third party groups (most of which hasn't occurred yet, as they save up for the stretch run). All of this fundraising is of the fully disclosed, dollar-limited variety, and was perfectly legal for many decades before CU was a twinkle in John Roberts' eye. That isn't to say that CU hasn't magnified the problem, but this speaks more generally to the outsized influence of money in politics.)

At any rate, let's start our excavations. I've narrowed it down to districts where Obama's vote share ranged between 60% and 45% (which, if you prefer Cook's Partisan Voting Index, would range (imprecisely, since PVI also incorporates 2004 figures) from D+7 to R+8). There are a few districts, however, where there are competitive races despite having an Obama percentage over 60; we'll start there. These are either because of aggressive Democratic gerrymandering leaving GOP incumbents marooned in dark-blue territory (the three Illinois districts) or a scandal-tarred Dem incumbent (in Rhode Island). The GOP may still has a shot at salvaging some of their incumbents here too, thanks to the power of incumbency.

CD O% Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
RI-01 67 David Cicilline Brendan Doherty $1.7m | $1.1m 51-44 92% 94.03 (60th) Tossup
IL-10 63 Brad Schneider Bob Dold $1.6m | $2.9m 51-49 61% 21.18 (196th) Tossup
IL-08 62 Tammy Duckworth Joe Walsh $2.5m | $1.5m 49-48 26% 6.95 (277th) Likely D
IL-11 61 Bill Foster Judy Biggert $1.7m | $1.8m 64-36 48% 13.10 (209th) Tossup

The "money" column is the fundraising to date for the entire cycle (up to the June 30 FEC reporting deadline), with the Dem figure on the left and the GOP figure on the right. The 2010 column shows the incumbent's re-election percentage in the last election, which gives some indication of whether they're perpetually in trouble or not used to a stiff challenge (bear in mind that some of the candidates skated by before because they were in easier districts and find themselves in much worse districts post-redistricting). The "R%" column shows what percentage of their old district made it into their new district (for example, just above, only 26% of Joe Walsh's constituents from the old IL-08 are still in his new IL-08... he'd probably still be losing even if he had all his same constituents, but this only makes it worse for him). And "PP score" is the incumbent's Progressive Punch score (overall votes for 2011-12), which scales how liberal they are from 0 to 100 (and also includes their rank, 1 through 435, with 1 being most liberal), which helps give a picture of how well an incumbent fits his swing district ideologically. (Naturally, we don't include 2010, Redist., or PP score for open seats where there's no incumbent.) "Rating" is how we at Daily Kos Elections currently view the state of that race.

For the remaining races, continue below the fold...


CD Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
CT-04 Jim Himes Steve Obsitnik $2.3m | $863K 53-47 99% 86.85 (143rd) Likely D
FL-09 Alan Grayson Todd Long $2.8m | $34K -- -- -- Likely D
IL-17 Cheri Bustos Bobby Schilling $1.3m | $1.5m 53-43 46% 8.11 (256th) Tossup
MA-02 Jim McGovern Rich Eustis $912K | $0 57-39 43% 97.58 (3rd) Safe D
MA-04 Joe Kennedy III Sean Bielat $3.1m | $476K -- -- -- Safe D
MD-03 John Sarbanes Eric Knowles $979K | $14K 61-36 67% 94.90 (47th) Safe D
NM-01 Michelle Lujan Grisham Janice Arnold-Jones $991K | $249K -- -- -- Lean D
OR-01 Suzanne Bonamici Delinda Morgan $2.2m | $1K 54-40* 98% 95.71 (33rd) Safe D
RI-02 Jim Langevin Michael Riley $909K | $510K 60-32 94% 90.88 (108th) Safe D
TX-34 Filemon Vela Jessica Puente-Bradshaw $413K | $19K -- -- -- Safe D
WA-02 Rick Larsen Dan Matthews $1.0m | $224K 51-49 71% 85.80 (149th) Safe D

At the 60% level, we're mostly looking at safe races, though the few open seats require attention. The one tough race, again, involves an Illinois GOP incumbent targeted by redistricting, though he too has a shot at survival.


CD Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
CA-41 Mark Takano John Tavaglione $758K | $790K -- -- -- Tossup
CT-02 John Courtney Paul Formica $1.2 mil | $37K 60-39 100% 88.42 (136th) Safe D
MA-03 Niki Tsongas unopposed $1.2m | $0 55-42 77% 91.44 (97th) Safe D
NY-25 Louise Slaughter Maggie Brooks $1.1m | $773K 65-39 38% 94.50 (53rd) Lean D
WI-03 Ron Kind Ray Boland $1.5m | $63K 50-47 76% 84.55 (158th) Safe D

At the 59% level, things still are mostly Safe; there's one major "pickup" opportunity thanks to California's epic redistricting. (The new 41st, based in Riverside, doesn't really have a precursor district; it's a low-turnout, Hispanic-plurality district that's enough of a blank slate that it's not a Democratic slam dunk.)


CD Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
AZ-03 Raul Grijalva Gabriela Saucedo Mercer $625K | $160K 50-44 88% 96.78 (15th) Safe D
CA-46 Loretta Sanchez Jerry Hayden $1.4m | $70K 53-39 69% 91.90 (90th) Safe D
CA-47 Alan Lowenthal Gary DeLong $511K | $863K -- -- -- Lean D
GA-02 Sanford Bishop John House $801K | $103K 51-49 78% 71.65 (173rd) Safe D
IA-01 Bruce Braley Ben Lange $1.9m | $427K 50-48 48% 91.96 (88th) Likely D
IL-03 Dan Lipinski Richard Grabowski $645K | $5K 70-24 71% 77.95 (165th) Safe D
MA-08 Stephen Lynch Joe Selvaggi $470K | $24K 68-26 65% 90.12 (117th) Safe D
MA-09 William Keating Adam Chaprales $860K | $38K 47-42 59% 93.13 (72nd) Safe D
MI-09 Sander Levin Donald Volaric $1.4m | $19K 61-35 75% 91.49 (96th) Safe D
NJ-06 Frank Pallone Anna Little $1.4m | $188K 55-44 63% 97.25 (7th) Safe D
NY-17 Nita Lowey Joe Carvin $1.7m | $1.1m 62-38 49% 91.10 (102nd) Likely D
NY-20 Paul Tonko Bob Dieterich $743K | $111K 59-41 83% 95.10 (43rd) Safe D
TX-20 Joaquin Castro David Rosa $1.1m | $14K -- -- -- Safe D
TX-28 Henry Cuellar Unopposed $1.1m | $0 56-42 78% 63.6 (178th) Safe D

At the 58% level, again, it's mostly Safe Dem races, with the biggest challenge coming in another California open seat thrown into chaos through redistricting.


CD Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
CO-07 Ed Perlmutter Joe Coors $1.8m | $1.3m 53-42 57% 80.75 (164th) Lean D
FL-22 Lois Frankel Adam Hasner $2.3m | $2.4m -- -- -- Lean D
IA-02 David Loebsack John Archer $1.1m | $326K 51-46 54% 85.24 (156th) Likely D
MA-06 John Tierney Richard Tisei $1.5m | $1.4m 57-43 89% 96.27 (27th) Tossup
PA-17 Matt Cartwright Laureen Cummings $951K | $6K -- -- -- Safe D
TN-05 Jim Cooper Brad Staats $925K | $55K 56-42 87% 73.57 (171st) Safe D
TX-15 Ruben Hinojosa Dale Brueggemann $447K | $17K 56-42 63% 85.35 (153rd) Safe D
WA-06 Derek Kilmer Bill Driscoll $901K | $871K -- -- -- Likely D
WA-10 Denny Heck Dick Muri $1.4m | $167K -- -- -- Likely D

Things start to get a little more interesting at the 57% level, including a Tossup in Massachusetts thanks to a scandalized Dem incumbent (John Tierney), an open seat in Florida left behind by Allen West that leans in the Dems' direction, and a race in Colorado where Coors family money makes it competitive.


CD Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
CA-09 Jerry McNerney Ricky Gill $1.5m | $1.8m 48-47 50% 88.66 (135th) Lean D
CA-16 Jim Costa Brian Whelan $924K | $299K 52-48 24% 56.35 (183rd) Likely D
CA-24 Lois Capps Abel Maldonado $2.2m | $1.0m 58-38 64% 93.60 (68th) Lean D
CA-26 Julia Brownley Tony Strickland $923K | $1.4m -- -- -- Tossup
CA-31 No Democrat Gary Miller $169K | $858K 62-32 0% 3.48 (371st) Safe R
CT-05 Elizabeth Esty Andrew Roraback $2.1m | $573K -- -- -- Tossup
KY-03 John Yarmuth Brooks Wicker $661K | $6K 55-44 97% 93.74 (64th) Safe D
MD-06 John Delaney Roscoe Bartlett $3.0m | $849K 62-33 52% 9.92 (233rd) Lean D
NH-02 Ann McLane Kuster Charlie Bass $2.1m | $1.4m 48-47 99% 19.51 (198th) Tossup
NV-04 Steven Horsford Danny Tarkanian $875K | $575K -- -- -- Tossup
NY-24 Dan Maffei Ann Marie Buerkle $1.1m | $1.1m 50-50 80% 2.54 (402nd) Lean D
WA-01 Suzan DelBene John Koster $2.5m | $489K -- -- -- Lean D

At the 56% level (or D+3, if you prefer), we've gotten to the point where nearly every race is competitive. There are tossups in newly-created seats (CA-26 and NV-04), and in CT-05, an open seat in the wake of Chris Murphy's Senate run. There are even two potential Dem pickups (in Maryland and New York) where redistricting left incumbent Republicans with the short end of the stick. And one of the only uncompetitive races in this tier -- a Safe GOP one in CA-31 -- is uncompetitive only because of a fluke, where California's top 2 primary system blew up in our faces, with two Republicans advancing to the general election after four Dems split the vote among them.


CD Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
CA-03 John Garamendi Kim Vann $1.2m | $646K 59-38 23% 92.39 (82nd) Likely D
CA-52 Scott Peters Brian Bilbray $2.0m | $1.4m 57-39 40% 10.87 (225th) Tossup
IL-12 William Enyart Jason Plummer $178K | $541K -- -- -- Tossup
IL-13 David Gill Rodney Davis $428K | $441K -- -- -- Lean R
ME-02 Mike Michaud Kevin Raye $919K | $353K 55-45 96% 86.56 (146th) Likely D
NY-04 Carolyn McCarthy Francis Becker $1.7m | $55K 54-46 81% 86.03 (148th) Safe D

The 55% level has two different Illinois races thrown into chaos by redistricting and recruiting problems, with GOP Rep. Tim Johnson's post-primary retirement in the 13th and Dem candidate Brad Harrimann's post-primary dropout in the 12th. In fact, it's not hard to imagine the parties trading open seats here, with the Dems picking up IL-13 and the GOP picking up IL-12.


CD Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
CO-06 Joe Miklosi Mike Coffman $802K | $2.4m 66-32 58% 6.80 (283rd) Lean R
NV-03 John Oceguera Joe Heck $926K | $1.8m 48-48 88% 11.26 (221st) Lean R
NY-03 Steve Israel Stephen Labate $2.4m | $188K 56-43 39% 90.73 (109th) Safe D
OR-04 Peter DeFazio Art Robinson $829K | $597K 55-44 96% 89.03 (132nd) Safe D
WI-08 Jamie Wall Reid Ribble $711K | $1.6m 55-45 92% 4.82 (329th) Lean R

At the 54% level, even though we're still at D+1, we're starting to get into territory where many of the Republicans are likely to survive. Mike Coffman in Colorado got a much swingier district out of redistricting and will have to learn how not to keep saying inflammatory conservative things (though he has enough money for a lot of damage control); on the other hand, freshman Joe Heck in Nevada barely squeaked into office in the 2010 wave but seems in better shape now.


CD Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
MI-06 Mike O'Brien Fred Upton $103K | $3.2m 62-34 94% 8.58 (246th) Safe R
MN-08 Rick Nolan Chip Cravaack $358K | $1.5m 48-47 99% 7.44 (264th) Tossup
NH-01 Carol Shea-Porter Frank Guinta $804K | $1.4m 54-42 99% 4.26 (343rd) Tossup
NJ-02 Cassandra Shober Frank LoBiondo $33K | $1.1m 66-31 94% 19.83 (197th) Safe R
NY-19 Julian Schreibman Chris Gibson $533K | $1.4m 55-45 44% 28.37 (192nd) Lean R
OR-05 Kurt Schrader Fred Thompson $1.3m | $8K 51-46 91% 75.79 (167th) Safe D
PA-06 Manan Trivedi Jim Gerlach $710K | $1.7m 57-43 49% 16.60 (203rd) Likely R
PA-08 Kathy Boockvar Mike Fitzpatrick $673K | $1.8m 53-47 89% 21.78 (194th) Lean R
WI-07 Pat Kreitlow Sean Duffy $799K | $1.8m 52-44 76% 6.66 (287th) Lean R

At the 53% level, there are a few GOP moderates who've proven themselves adept at surviving in Philadelphia's suburbs and are likely to do so again (Jim Gerlach, Mike Fitzpatrick). But there are also some of the seemingly most-accidental members of Congress, driftwood that got swept in with the 2010 wave looking poised to get swept back out in 2012 (Chip Cravaack, Frank Guinta). Amazingly, at the national average level (seeing as how Obama got slightly less than 53% nationwide in 2008), only of the Dem seats is currently Dem-held (by Kurt Schrader), though it certainly looks like that district will stay that way.


CD Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
CA-21 John Hernandez David Valadao $40K | $844K -- -- -- Likely R
IA-03 Leonard Boswell Tom Latham $1.2m | $2.6m 51-47 | 66-32 57% | 17% 77.91 (166th) | 10.90 (224th) Tossup
MI-08 Lance Enderle Mike Rogers $40K | $1.5m 64-34 85% 4.13 (348th) Safe R
NY-18 Sean Patrick Maloney Nan Hayworth $646K | $2.1m 53-47 73% 12.72 (210th) Lean R
NY-21 Bill Owens Matt Doheny $1.3m | $758K 48-46 62% 62.89 (179th) Tossup
PA-15 Rick Daugherty Charlie Dent $19K | $1.3m 54-39 71% 16.43 (204th) Safe R

You'll notice that we're starting to see a lot more red now that we're down to 52%. One of those races is a formerly Dem-held seat opened up by Jim Costa's decision to run in a safer seat further north instead of in CA-21; recruiting woes left Dems with an underfunded candidate, John Hernandez, unlikely to be able to hold the seat. Dems also have two other tough holds here, including of the nation's two member-on-member battles in November (where GOPer Tom Latham has a big money edge, but Dem Leonard Boswell brings many more of his constituents with him).


CD Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
AZ-09 Kyrsten Sinema Vernon Parker $747K | $211K -- -- -- Tossup
CA-07 Ami Bera Dan Lungren $2.0m | $1.7m 50-43 77% 6.87 (280th) Tossup
FL-13 Jessica Ehrlich Bill Young $238K | $525K 66-34 83% 9.94 (231st) Safe R
FL-18 Patrick Murphy Allen West $2.4m | $10.8m 54-46 23% 6.09 (301st) Tossup
IL-06 Leslie Coolidge Peter Roskam $204K | $2.4m 64-36 25% 4.66 (334th) Safe R
IL-14 Dennis Anderson Randy Hultgren $76K | $1.1m 51-45 41% 4.76 (331st) Safe R
MI-07 Kurt Haskell Tim Walberg $15K | $1.3m 50-45 76% 3.02 (388th) Safe R
MN-01 Tim Walz Allen Quist $1.5m | $237K 49-44 90% 81.74 (162nd) Likely D
MN-03 Brian Barnes Erik Paulsen $217K | $2.2m 59-37 91% 6.66 (287th) Safe R
NJ-03 Shelley Adler Jon Runyan $633K | $1.4m 50-47 78% 11.11 (222nd) Lean R
NY-01 Tim Bishop Randy Altschuler $1.9m | $1.4m 50-50 97% 91.37 (100th) Lean D
NY-02 Vivienne Falcone Peter King $0 | $1.4m 72-28 47% 12.14 (213th) Safe R
PA-07 George Badey Pat Meehan $313K | $2.0m 55-44 56% 15.73 (205th) Safe R
VA-10 Kristin Cabral Frank Wolf $138K | $752K 63-35 89% 13.13 (208th) Safe R
WA-03 Jon Haugen Jaime Herrera Beutler $0 | $1.3m 53-47 97% 10.41 (226th) Safe R
WA-08 Karen Porterfield Dave Reichert $62K | $1.3m 52-48 67% 18.61 (200th) Safe R
WI-01 Rob Zerban Paul Ryan $1.2m | $4.3m 68-30 97% 3.84 (359th) Likely R

The Dems have two potentially good pickups down at the 51% level, thanks to two monster fundraisers, in the form of Ami Bera in CA-07 and Patrick Murphy in FL-18 (who benefits, fundraising-wise, from running against the GOPer with one of the biggest targets painted on his back, Allen West). One other sleeper race is in Wisconsin's 1st, where Paul Ryan hasn't been seriously challenged before despite the district's swingy turf. Rob Zerban can benefit from more national attention being shined on Ryan and has raised decent money, though he still has a major uphill fight ahead of him.


CD Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
CA-10 Jose Hernandez Jeff Denham $844K | $1.8m 65-35 38% 4.76 (331st) Lean R
CA-36 Raul Ruiz Mary Bono Mack $847K | $1.5m 52-42 75% 6.32 (291st) Likely R
FL-26 Joe Garcia David Rivera $554K | $417K 52-43 69% 9.03 (243rd) Tossup
IL-16 Wanda Rohl Adam Kinzinger $5K | $1.7m 57-43 31% 9.14 (242nd) Safe R
IN-02 Brendan Mullen Jackie Walorski $804K | $1.1m -- -- -- Lean R
MI-01 Gary McDowell Dan Benishek $927K | $1.3m 52-41 75% 6.12 (299th) Lean R
MI-03 Steve Pestka Justin Amash $799K | $902K 60-38 76% 15.00 (206th) Likely R
MI-04 Debra Wirth Dave Camp $0 | $3.6m 66-31 72% 6.30 (292nd) Safe R
MI-11 Syed Taj Kerry Bentivolio $338K | $283K -- -- -- Lean R
MN-02 Mike Obermueller John Kline $308K | $1.8m 63-37 87% 1.67 (427th) Likely R
NE-02 John Ewing Lee Terry $297K | $1.4m 61-39 94% 8.24 (252nd) Likely R
NY-23 Nate Shinagawa Tom Reed $320K | $1.4m 57-43 54% 9.94 (231st) Likely R
PA-16 Aryanna Strader Joe Pitts $61K | $1.0m 65-35 86% 4.31 (341st) Safe R
TX-23 Pete Gallego Quico Canseco $845K | $1.7m 49-44 70% 2.02 (419th) Lean R
VA-02 Paul Hirschbiel Scott Rigell $1.2m | $1.7m 53-43 85% 6.69 (285th) Likely R

The marquee race at the 50% level is FL-26, where Republican Rep. David Rivera seems more concerned with keeping one step ahead of indictment than one step ahead of Joe Garcia. Other races that have Dems optimistic include Gary McDowell's rematch with GOP frosh Dan Benishek in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and astronaut Jose Hernandez, against GOPer Jeff Denham in a seriously-redistricted part of California's Central Valley.


CD Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
AZ-02 Ron Barber Martha McSally $1.8m | $430K 52-45* 90% -- Lean D
CA-25 Lee Rogers Buck McKeon $237K | $1.5m 62-38 77% 6.26 (294th) Safe R
CA-49 Jerry Tetalman Darrell Issa $35K | $1.4m 63-32 44% 2.21 (412th) Safe R
FL-07 Jason Kendall John Mica $6K | $1.6m 69-31 42% 4.18 (347th) Safe R
FL-27 Manny Yevancey Ileana Ros-Lehtinen $0 | $1.8m 69-31 67% 11.90 (215th) Safe R
KS-03 No Democrat Kevin Yoder $0 | $1.5m 58-39 98% 3.43 (375th) Safe R
NJ-05 Adam Gussen Scott Garrett $0 | $1.9m 65-33 79% 5.13 (320th) Safe R
NV-02 Sam Koepnick Mark Amodei $0 | $1.0m 58-36* 100% 3.99 (352nd) Safe R
NY-22 Dan Lamb Richard Hanna $153K | $779K 53-47 57% 17.05 (202nd) Likely R
OH-10 Sharen Neuhardt Mike Turner $340K | $846K 68-32 62% 11.32 (220th) Safe R
OH-14 Dale Blanchard David Joyce $0 | $0 -- -- -- Safe R
VA-04 Ella Ward Randy Forbes $34K | $703K 62-38 96% 6.10 (300th) Safe R
WI-06 Unopposed Tom Petri $0 | $592K 71-29 80% 10.20 (228th) Safe R

Things are really starting to go awry here at the 49% level, which is only R+4. Not only is only one of these seats held by a Dem (Ron Barber, whom you remember from the special election to replace Gabby Giffords), but there's only one other one that's remotely competitive. Perhaps most galling is the failure by the Dems to find any challenger at all for Kansas freshman Kevin Yoder, just recently in the headlines for his drunken skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee.


CD Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
AZ-01 Ann Kirkpatrick Jonathan Paton $1.4m | $611K -- -- -- Tossup
CO-03 Sal Pace Scott Tipton $1.2m | $1.6m 50-46 94% 7.60 (262nd) Lean R
FL-16 Keith Fitzgerald Vern Buchanan $963K | $1.9m 69-31 96% 6.25 (295th) Lean R
IA-04 Christie Vilsack Steve King $2.1m | $2.1m 66-32 47% 4.46 (336th) Lean R
IN-08 David Crooks Larry Bucshon $743K | $845K 58-37 88% 4.44 (337th) Lean R
MI-02 Unopposed Bill Huizenga $0 | $752K 65-32 77% 4.07 (351st) Safe R
MI-10 Chuck Stadler Candice Miller $0 | $554K 72-25 95% 7.59 (263rd) Safe R
NM-02 Evelyn Erhard Steve Pearce $47K | $1.2m 55-45 97% 5.61 (310th) Safe R
NY-11 Mark Murphy Michael Grimm $373K | $1.8m 51-48 88% 12.39 (212th) Lean R
VA-05 John Douglass Robert Hurt $662K | $1.4m 51-47 90% 3.39 (376th) Likely R

Things actually look better at the 48% level, where Democratic ex-Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick is on track to pick her old seat in Arizona back up (since the guy who beat her in '10, Paul Gosar, decided to run in a safer seat). In addition, there are a number of other GOP-held seats that are at least on the table, thanks either to incumbents who are having legal troubles (Michael Grimm, Vern Buchanan), trouble squaring their right-wing loose-cannonishness with new swing districts (Steve King), or just terminal anonymity (Larry Bucshon).


CD Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
CA-39 Jay Chen Ed Royce $500K | $2.1m 67-33 31% 6.30 (292nd) Safe R
FL-02 Al Lawson Steve Southerland $187K | $1.2m 54-41 91% 3.93 (356th) Likely R
FL-10 Val Demings Daniel Webster $1.1m | $887K 56-38 56% 5.05 (322nd) Likely R
FL-12 Jonathan Snow Gus Bilirakis $9K | $577K 71-29 57% 5.14 (319th) Safe R
IN-05 Scott Reske Susan Brooks $284K | $894K -- -- -- Safe R
MN-07 Collin Peterson Lee Byberg $823K | $377K 55-38 94% 45.56 (187th) Safe D
MT-AL Kim Gillan Steve Daines $379K | $1.1m -- -- -- Likely R
NJ-07 Upendra Chivukula Leonard Lance $443K | $919K 59-41 61% 11.93 (214th) Likely R
NJ-11 John Arvanites Rodney Frelinghuysen $28K | $736K 67-31 64% 11.08 (223rd) Safe R
OH-01 Jeff Sinnard Steve Chabot $0 | $805K 52-46 64% 3.84 (359th) Safe R
OH-07 Joyce Healy-Abrams Bob Gibbs $411K | $1.2m 54-41 29% 4.42 (339th) Likely R
OH-16 Betty Sutton Jim Renacci $1.5m | $2.1m 56-44 | 52-41 21% | 42% 90.98 (105th) | 8.12 (255th) Tossup
PA-05 Charles Dumas Glenn Thompson $5K | $944K 69-28 73% 9.86 (235th) Safe R
PA-11 Gene Stilp Lou Barletta $36K | $980K 55-45 35% 9.44 (238th) Safe R
VA-01 Adam Cook Rob Wittman $92K | $624K 64-35 76% 6.68 (286th) Safe R

Amidst mostly "Safe R" races at the 47% level is one Dem-held seat; long-time Minnesota Blue Dog Collin Peterson, in fact, is the Dem with the reddest district to merit the "Safe D" award. There's also one other member-on-member battle; given that Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton is pretty liberal, behind on the fundraising front, and deprived of most of her former constituents thanks to GOP redistricting, you'd expect her to be getting hosed in her fight with GOP frosh Jim Renacci, but polling has shown her right in the thick of things.


CD Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
CA-45 Sukhee Kang John Campbell $477K | $1.0m 60-35 62% 9.92 (233rd) Safe R
CA-48 Ron Varasteh Dana Rohrabacher $0 | $385K 62-38 61% 8.49 (248th) Safe R
FL-15 Unopposed Dennis Ross $0 | $727K 48-41 53% 2.70 (397th) Safe R
FL-25 No Democrat Mario Diaz-Balart $0 | $696K Unopp. 51% 11.47 (219th) Safe R
IN-09 Shelli Yoder Todd Young $134K | $1.3m 52-42 64% 3.19 (385th) Safe R
MO-02 Glenn Koenen Ann Wagner $10K | $1.9m -- -- -- Safe R
OH-05 Angela Zimmann Bob Latta $196K | $713K 68-27 55% 2.00 (420th) Safe R
OH-15 Patrick Lang Steve Stivers $67K | $2.1m 54-41 36% 10.19 (229th) Safe R
PA-03 Missa Eaton Mike Kelly $131K | $809K 56-44 70% 7.10 (274th) Safe R
WA-05 Rich Cowan Cathy McMorris Rodgers $206K | $1.4m 64-36 100% 3.30 (379th) Safe R

There's literally nothing to see at the 46% level, other than a few California and Florida districts that demographic change might put into play eventually.


CD Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
FL-06 Heather Beaven Ron DeSantis $123K | $491K -- -- -- Safe R
IN-04 Tara Nelson Todd Rokita $13K | $937K 67-26 65% 3.44 (373rd) Safe R
KS-02 Tobias Schlingensiepen Lynn Jenkins $59K | $1.5m 63-32 84% 2.19 (413th) Safe R
KY-06 Ben Chandler Andy Barr $1.5m | $1.0m 50-50 92% 65.23 (176th) Lean D
NC-09 Jennifer Roberts Robert Pittenger $253K | $2.3m -- -- -- Safe R
NC-13 Charles Malone George Holding $6K | $1.0m -- -- -- Safe R
ND-AL Pam Gulleson Kevin Cramer $627K | $593K -- -- -- Likely R
NJ-04 Brian Froelich Chris Smith $23K | $388K 69-28 68% 18.68 (199th) Safe R
OH-06 Charlie Wilson Bill Johnson $686K | $1.4m 50-45 74% 4.84 (327th) Lean R
OH-12 James Reese Pat Tiberi $10K | $2.5m 56-41 54% 9.33 (241st) Safe R
PA-04 Harry Perkinson Scott Perry $44k | $245K -- -- -- Safe R
PA-12 Mark Critz Keith Rothfus $1.7m | $877K 51-49 29% 67.50 (174th) Tossup
SC-07 Gloria Tinubu Tom Rice $340K | $697K -- -- -- Safe R
SD-AL Matt Varilek Kristi Noem $480K | $2.1m 48-46 100% 6.17 (298th) Likely R

The 45% level (or R+8) is where things should start trailing off for Democrats, but there are still a couple Blue Doggish types here who have unique appeal to their Appalachian-flavored districts and seem better-than-even shots to survive (Kentucky's Ben Chandler, SW Pennsylvania's Mark Critz). There's also a brand-new South Carolina seat that started competitive but took a wrong turn with Ted Vick's arrest, and unfortunately, Brad Miller's old seat in North Carolina, left in Safe R territory after being redistricted into oblivion and Dem recruiting fails.

CD O% Dem GOPer Money 2010 R% PP score Rating
GA-12 44 John Barrow Lee Anderson $1.9m | $529K 57-43 53% 54.63 (184th) Lean R
NY-27 44 Kathy Hochul Chris Collins $3.2m | $260K 47-42 53% 74.57 (169th) Lean R
PA-18 44 Larry Maggi Tim Murphy $499K | $1.9m 67-33 79% 7.12 (271st) Likely R
MN-06 43 Jim Graves Michele Bachmann $578K | $15.9m 53-40 95% 4.91 (323rd) Likely R
MO-04 42 Teresa Hensley Vicky Hartzler $492K | $1.1m 50-45 61% 3.23 (383rd) Likely R
NC-07 42 Mike McIntyre David Rouzer $1.4m | $695K 54-46 64% 56.67 (182nd) Tossup
NC-08 42 Larry Kissell Richard Hudson $973K | $631K 53-44 55% 62.50 (180th) Tossup
TX-14 42 Nick Lampson Randy Weber $555K | $625K -- -- -- Lean R
WV-03 42 Nick Rahall Rick Snuffer $913K | $212K 56-44 96% 73.74 (170th) Likely D
UT-04 41 Jim Matheson Mia Love $1.6m | $495K 51-46 33% 40.00 (189th) Tossup
NC-11 40 Hayden Rogers Mark Meadows $492K | $494K -- -- -- Likely R
AR-01 39 Scott Ellington Rick Crawford $150K | $1.0m 52-44 94% 6.70 (284th) Likely R
AR-04 37 Gene Jeffress Tom Cotton $58K | $1.4m -- -- -- Safe R
TN-04 36 Eric Stewart Scott DesJarlais $367K | $907K 57-39 36% 3.85 (358th) Likely R
OK-02 34 Rob Wallace Markwayne Mullin $669K | $994K -- -- -- Likely R

Remarkably, there are still a number of seats below the 45% mark that are still competitive, more so than GOP chances above the 60% mark. That has to do with more Dem incumbents getting hosed in redistricting than GOP incumbents; while it's mostly in the South that Reps. found themselves pushed down from swing districts to red districts (John Barrow in Georgia, Mike McIntyre and Larry Kissell in North Carolina), it also happened to Kathy Hochul, who just famously won a special election in upstate New York. There are also a few compelling Dem challengers and open-seat contestants in districts that still retain some Blue Doggish sympathies (including ex-Rep. Nick Lampson, who's represented parts of Texas's Gulf Coast off and on for decades). There's also Nick Rahall, still an immovable object despite his West Virginia district keeping on getting redder and redder at the presidential level. (Finally, there's also AR-04, one of only two Dem-held seats to go straight to Safe R; it's an open seat that'd be a tough hold even if Dem candidate Gene Jeffress were bothering to raise money.)

So what do we do with all this knowledge? Perhaps most troubling is how many of these swing-district races held by Republicans are just being left on the table by the Dems; perhaps many of you are already mentally composing sternly-worded letters to the DCCC, complaining of their neglect of so many sleeper races (probably with some invocation of how "Howard Dean would never have let this happen"). While that's an excellent sentiment, it also ascribes powers to the DCCC that they don't actually have.

First, their resources are finite -- they can't bestow large sums of money on every well-intentioned progressive in a potentially-winnable race, but have to make financial targeting decisions based on where they can have the maximum leverage and where they're likeliest to break through the Republican lines. If they spread their money around too much, with only weak or token ad buys in hundreds of races... well, that'd be like trying to win a chess game with only a wave of dozens of pawns, not a winning strategy.

And second, folks like the DCCC are, by their very design, reactive. They wait and see where the competitive races develop, and then they weigh in with vast amounts of cash in the closing months of the race, when voters are actually paying attention. The chicken-and-egg nature of fundraising and 'competitiveness' that I mentioned earlier really highlight the importance of contributing money early in the cycle. (As a certain List once said, Early Money Is Like Yeast.) Granted, it's hard to know a year and a half before an election who is worth supporting financially -- it's hard enough to know that even at this point in the cycle -- but it behooves us as progressives to do some research early on and help get like-minded candidates get their ball rolling early on, before things start to snowball. More money early on ensures that more races with candidates that we like -- and more races, period -- get taken seriously by the establishment later.

Originally posted to David Jarman on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:59 PM PDT.

Also republished by California politics, Daily Kos Elections, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A Spike in self destructive behavior (8+ / 0-)

    from the likes of Roscoe Bartlett & Joe Walsh

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:16:39 PM PDT

    •  Indeed. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      llbear, JML9999, devtob

      I think the only reason Dold isn't in as much trouble is because he doesn't have as big a mouth as Walsh, nor a problem with failure to pay child support.

      "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

      by Marjmar on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:41:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, both are likely to lose (4+ / 0-)

      because of redistricting, though Walsh has been sticking his foot in his mouth almost from Day One, and his legal issues don't help either.  Bartlett hadn't made many mistakes until his nonsensical comments on student loans and the Holocaust and probably also abortion, but again the new district is probably too much to overcome even with a flawless campaign.

      Unlike Bartlett, though, I don't think Anne Marie Buerkle (also an underdog in a 56% Obama seat) was really hurt by redistricting; 80% of the district has been represented by both her and Maffei.  In tone and voting record, she's likely too far to the right for this district, and it would have been hard to draw a seat in New York State where someone like her could count on winning.  She would probably have to be given a conservative GOP vote sink to be clearly favored, and the Dems who held most of the redistricting cards were not going to do that.

      36, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

      by Mike in MD on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:45:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for a very useful analysis (14+ / 0-)

    I have been waiting for this and looking for this.  Nice to see it all in one place.

    "Democracy is only real if we all participate" -- Bea Bookler, 94 year-old voter disenfranchised by Voter-ID

    by 8ackgr0und N015e on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:17:43 PM PDT

    •  Here are some interesting races grouped together (8+ / 0-)

      First the TOSSUPS

      CD Dem GOPer
      IL-17 Cheri Bustos Bobby Schilling
      CA-41 Mark Takano John Tavaglione
      MA-06 John Tierney Richard Tisei
      CA-26 Julia Brownley Tony Strickland
      CT-05 Elizabeth Esty Andrew Roraback
      NH-02 Ann McLane Kuster Charlie Bass
      NV-04 Steven Horsford Danny Tarkanian
      CA-52 Scott Peters Brian Bilbray
      IL-12 William Enyart Jason Plummer
      MN-08 Rick Nolan Chip Cravaack
      NH-01 Carol Shea-Porter Frank Guinta
      IA-03 Leonard Boswell Tom Latham
      NY-21 Bill Owens Matt Doheny
      AZ-09 Kyrsten Sinema Vernon Parker
      CA-07 Ami Bera Dan Lungren
      FL-18 Patrick Murphy Allen West
      FL-26 Joe Garcia David Rivera
      AZ-01 Ann Kirkpatrick Jonathan Paton
      OH-16 Betty Sutton Jim Renacci
      PA-12 Mark Critz Keith Rothfus
      NC-07 Mike McIntyre David Rouzer
      NC-08 Larry Kissell Richard Hudson

      "Democracy is only real if we all participate" -- Bea Bookler, 94 year-old voter disenfranchised by Voter-ID

      by 8ackgr0und N015e on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:39:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here are the totals you gave = only 185 races (4+ / 0-)
        13 Lean D
        12 Likely D
        30 Safe D
        23 Lean R
        25 Likely R
        60 Safe R
        22 Tossup
        185 Total

        "Democracy is only real if we all participate" -- Bea Bookler, 94 year-old voter disenfranchised by Voter-ID

        by 8ackgr0und N015e on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:48:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here are the lean R for completeness (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ignacio Magaloni, Seneca Doane
        CA-10 Jose Hernandez Jeff Denham Lean R
        CO-03 Sal Pace Scott Tipton Lean R
        CO-06 Joe Miklosi Mike Coffman Lean R
        FL-16 Keith Fitzgerald Vern Buchanan Lean R
        GA-12 John Barrow Lee Anderson Lean R
        IA-04 Christie Vilsack Steve King Lean R
        IL-13 David Gill Rodney Davis Lean R
        IN-02 Brendan Mullen Jackie Walorski Lean R
        IN-08 David Crooks Larry Bucshon Lean R
        MI-01 Gary McDowell Dan Benishek Lean R
        MI-11 Syed Taj Kerry Bentivolio Lean R
        NJ-03 Shelley Adler Jon Runyan Lean R
        NV-03 John Oceguera Joe Heck Lean R
        NY-11 Mark Murphy Michael Grimm Lean R
        NY-18 Sean Patrick Maloney Nan Hayworth Lean R
        NY-19 Julian Schreibman Chris Gibson Lean R
        NY-27 Kathy Hochul Chris Collins Lean R
        OH-06 Charlie Wilson Bill Johnson Lean R
        PA-08 Kathy Boockvar Mike Fitzpatrick Lean R
        TX-14 Nick Lampson Randy Weber Lean R
        TX-23 Pete Gallego Quico Canseco Lean R
        WI-07 Pat Kreitlow Sean Duffy Lean R
        WI-08 Jamie Wall Reid Ribble Lean R

        "Democracy is only real if we all participate" -- Bea Bookler, 94 year-old voter disenfranchised by Voter-ID

        by 8ackgr0und N015e on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:22:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Indiana 8: Don't know what to expect, but prob. be (5+ / 0-)

    Republican.  Dan Burton retired from his House Seat, Lady who won Republican Prirmary has campaigned so little, I don't even know her name.  That's how confident Repugs are that this seat won't shift.  For several elections Democrats haven't even run a candidate. There is a person in that spot this year, but again, very little publicity.

    Govenor's race is different.  Polls show virtual tie and it shows same numbers for Richard Lugar's Senate seat.  Although Teabagger defeated Lugar in primary, the total vote only represented about 10% of total expected voters for the general election. Since Lugar carried 85% of total general election voters in his last campaign, obviously many Democrats supported him.  The Democratic candidate, Donnelly, is openly campaigning to win the moderate center of both parties.  He has a real chance since the Tea Bagger is so radical that even Republicans apologize for him.

  •  Third, much like Clinton in the 90s, the party (9+ / 0-)

    is focused on the Presidential outcome rather than focusing enough effort on down ticket races.

    •  I don't know about other states (5+ / 0-)

      but in Ohio there's a ton of focus on downticket races.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

      by anastasia p on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:28:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is no over all theme about it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that you would expect like what happened in 2010 or 2006 or 1994

        That's just my impression from reading the news and seeing sporadic polling data.

      •  Nancy Pelosi had a list (0+ / 0-)

        Well, sort of a list, groupings. And as she was going thru things, at Iowa she stopped herself to say, "Oh, that is where Obama is."

        I took that to mean that Team Obama and its famous ground game will handle the House races in the battleground states, while the DCCC will take all others.

        See Joan McCarter's good report here!

      •  NY, too (0+ / 0-)

        There are the six tea party freshman, plus well-funded challenges to Dem incumbents Tim Bishop, Nita Lowey, Bill Owens, and Louise Slaughter.

        To win back the House, we need a couple three net win in NY.

        Right now, the odds of that are a bit longer than tossup.

        A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

        by devtob on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:22:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  At the DNC, I heard "elect President Obama" (14+ / 0-)

      too many times when it would have been good to hear "elect Democrats".

      I know that we need to re-elect Obama. But we need to do a whole lot more.

      •  From what little I saw of it, felt the same way (5+ / 0-)

        e.g, Why would Elizabeth Warren who is running a tough race against Brown in MA not mention her own tough race and link Brown's voting record to the conservative agenda?

        How would that have harmed her as far as also mentioning both elect obaam and elect democrats like me to make sure you are protected against the GOP extremism in DC?

        Instead, what we got was "elected obama"

        Its been the pattern for a while. Including at this site. I was surprised to see this post here considering the daily stream of content is "obama, obama, obama" with some passing mention of the fact other people are running when there's an outrage of the day involved.

        •  But if the top of the ticket loses, down-ticket... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bumiputera, seriously70

          ... is pretty doomed in a presidential election year.

          I'm with you (see my tag line below). Keeping and, hopefully, strengthening the Senate, and converting the GOP House are huge priorities.

          But recognize that putting Elizabeth Warren so prominently on the podium was, itself, very significant. What I would not have done was give the allegedly Democratic Mayor of Boston Menino any place on the podium ... unless he got off his kick of being neutral but saying nice things about Scott Brown and (1) personally endorsed Warren and (2) promised to commit his supporters to work for her.

          It's follow-through on the street level that's going to pull those close races our for Democrats, and I don't see a lot of "party" active where it can be most effective.

          Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

          by TRPChicago on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:27:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Any help anyone can give IL is truly appreciated (8+ / 0-)

    Joe Walsh is a...oh hell you know what he is.  He has to go & it's likely Tammy Duckworth will beat him.

    But we really need to help Brad Schneider & Bill Foster any way we can.  I live in Schneider's district & believe be, Dold is a true dolt.  He has voted against women right down the line.  And for the 1%.  In fact, I will bet you any money that he'll be at the Lake Forest fundraiser for Romney on Sept. 11.  

    Please help us any way you can to kick these damn rethuglians out of Congress.  Let's make IL true blue so that we can give Pres. Obama a Congress that will do what's right for the majority of the country, not just the rethuglians.

    What it is, is up to us. ~ Howard Rheingold

    by madame defarge on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:23:18 PM PDT

  •  A couple of comments about Ohio (12+ / 0-)

    In your 49% list, Oh-14 is kind of a swingy district. The Republicans doing the redistricting didn't worry too much about it because of the inexplicably invincible popularity of Steve LaTourette.

    Then he retired.

    And this was the first year in five cycles the Democrats didn't bother to put up a REAL challenger. In the last four elections, they had someone who probably could have on the seat. This year they have Dale Blanchard who has run every year since 2000 (people have told me he ran before that but that's as far back as I have figures). Whenever he has had primary opponents — like the last four years — he has lost, usually finishing last.

    No one could have seen LaTourette's retirement coming. But this could be a pickup opportunity — in 2014.

    In your 47% list, the race in Oh-16 between incumbents Betty Sutton and Teabaggin' Jim Renacci is interesting — and apparently tied up, according to polling her campaign has released (his campaign has been silent).

    While it's true as you say that Betty was deprived of most of her former constituents, she was given a new batch who have been relentless on her behalf: a big new chunk of southwestern Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) that is extremely auto industry dependent. And Betty wrote Cash for Clunkers – and she supported the auto bailout which Renacci did not.

    These people's passion for working on Betty's behalf was summed up by the 50ish guy in the UAW jacket standing behind me when they opened an OFA office in Parma in February. When Debbie Schultz-Wasserman was introducing Betty and brought up her role in helping the auto industry, the man shouted out, "She saved my job!"

    Lotta guys like that in that part of town.

    Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

    by anastasia p on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:26:38 PM PDT

  •  Redistricting (7+ / 0-)

    Why, when we have such powerful computers, can't we just let them slice up the states into districts that make geographic sense.  This is such bull shit that if your in one party, and the other party draws you  into a funky district , just to cancel out your vote, that should not be right in any way shape or form.   I live in Kansas where they tried to take a democratic leaning area, that is very urban, and slice it and dice it,  and extend it all the way across the state to make it republican.  Now the people in the western part of the state really have nothing in common and have different legislative priorities than the poor, more ethnic region in the urban part of the state.  That redistricting is really in essence disenfranchising those voters.  
    Tell me what you thing?

    •  Of course. (12+ / 0-)

      We are fighting in Ohio to pass Voters First Ohio (Issue 2) which would do just that — it would create a nonpartisan commission with guidelines to draw compact, contiguous districts that don't split communities arbitrarily, like the ones submitted to Draw The Line, all of which were ranked higher on these factors than the one the Republicans came up with.

      They are fighting it tooth and nail. They tried to keep it off the ballot with a massive number of signature disqualifications.. They dubbed it Issue 2 and made the vote yes, to confuse voters who last year voted NO on issue 2 to repeal the anti-union law. They have written deceptive and confusing ballot language that is currently in court. They have gotten their shills at our state's conservative dailies to yell about how partisan it is because union money is involved (they have been silent on the secret corporate millions opposing it). They have called the lead group, the League of Women Voters, a "special interest snake in the grass group."

      They desperately do NOT want fair districts.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

      by anastasia p on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:34:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is (16+ / 0-)

      that you still have to give the computers some parameters, and there's no one monopoly on "geographic sense." Even if everyone agrees that redistricting shouldn't seek to create political advantage, what else do you prioritize? County lines? Compactness? Communities of interest? Those three rarely overlap in a useful way, and when you also throw in the requirements of the Voting Rights Act (which requires creation of minority-majority districts possible, which is what's responsible for some of the weirdest looking districts anyway), there's no one right "common sense" way to do it.

      One thing that should be high on progressives' action lists is, at least in states where there's an initiative process, to try and get the creation of independent redistricting commissions, and take it out of the hands of state legislators. Theoretically-neutral humans can just do a better job of it than computers, because they can make the subjective judgments on balancing compactness vs. community of interest. There was a lot of hand-wringing when California did it this cycle, assuming that it would make things worse, but the results were great, not only more cohesive and normal-looking but creating a number of potential Dem pickups too. It's on the ballot in Ohio, and if it passes that's a big Republican gerrymander we can undo. Now imagine how great that would be if we had it in every state.

      Editor, Daily Kos Elections.

      by David Jarman on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:49:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what Voters First Ohio would do. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zack from the SFV

        And the Republicans are using every dirty trick in the book to defeat it which, against my better judgment, would not predispose me to want to revisit it in 2020 if Democrats should take over redistricting. After four decades, I'd be just too angry and want to destroy them. They're so unreasonable.

        Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

        by anastasia p on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:35:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hear hear (0+ / 0-)

          IF somehow Issue 2 is defeated by the conservatives...and somehow the Democrats are holding the trifecta in 2020 (would take winning the 2018 governor's race plus a blue wave election in 2020)...

          Hell hath no fury...

    •  Slicing and dicing urban areas (5+ / 0-)

      is the GOP way.

      My home county in NC - Durham - was entirely within NC-4 until the GOP redistricting plan came in. Now, it is split into 4 districts that stretch 300 miles from the mountains to the sea.

      NC has no communities of interest - just 3 really blue districts in a sea of red ones.

      NC-4 (soon to be NC-6) Obama/Biden 2012

      by bear83 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:55:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Same in Ohio (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lordpet8, bear83

        They shattered Toledo, Cleveland, Akron and Canton. They did reunite Columbus, but only out of self-interest. In the last redistricting, they sliced it in three pieces and attached each one to a suburban sea of red. But Columbus is getting bluer and threatened to burst its boundaries. They also reassembled Dayton, and I have no idea what is going on down there. That area seems disfunctional.

        Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

        by anastasia p on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:37:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Use zip codes as the basic building blocks (0+ / 0-)

      Zip codes are non-partisan.  All Zips with the same 3 number beginnings in a single district (unless there are cases where they are not contiguous).   Add a requirement for compactness and a rule that a municipality cannot be part of more than two districts (unless of course it is large enough to have one or more district entirely within its borders.

      "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars" --Casey Kasem

      by netop on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:22:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Redistricting is intensely partisan, (0+ / 0-)

      and essentially legal.

      Both parties do it, but thanks to the tea party wave of 2010 Republicans had more opportunity to draw district lines to their advantage than ever.

      They saw that opportunity and they took it.

      A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

      by devtob on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:36:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  IL-10 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    llbear, Woody, sapelcovits

    I live in IL-10 as well (Hi Madame Defarge!). I just had to talk one of my friends off the under-vote cliff today. You see, Brad isn't all that well-liked among liberal Democrats. His first commercial isn't inspiring too much faith either because it looks like it was produced by Wayne and Garth at Highland Park's Cable Access Studios. However, I am talking people off the cliff because there is one very important reason to vote for Schneider (apart from Dold being the spokes-model for the National Pest Management Association--the folks who give you pesticides in the schools)--that very first vote for Speaker of the House. If you want a Boehner House putting little on the agenda other than corporate control over women's body parts, then go ahead and under-vote the race. If that bothers you, you must get out there and vote for Brad Schneider. And the good part is that if he wins, we can yell at him later and he might just listen. Dold will never listen.

    Using my free speech while I still have it.

    by ebgill on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:37:28 PM PDT

  •  Seems to me this depressing analysis predicts an (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    even bigger Republican House majority. Very discouraging for organizers and GOTV (why bother).

    "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere ". C. S. Lewis

    by TofG on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:37:51 PM PDT

  •  "safe D" my effing eye. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IL-03     Dan Lipinski     Safe D
    Lipinski is a grade-A @$$hole.  If he loses it would not make one whit of difference to me.  This guy is a Democrat like I'm the Queen of Sheba; he's a "D" in name only...not even that good.

    I HATE Lipinski!

    "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

    by Marjmar on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:38:34 PM PDT

    •  Did this get posted on the front page? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sapelcovits, CF of Aus


      ... $#@&

      Swingnut since 2009, 21, Male, Democrat, CA-49 (home) CA-14 (college) Join r/elections on reddit! Support Sukhee Kang for CA-45!

      by Daman09 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:48:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Will he vote for Nancy Pelosi as speaker? (3+ / 0-)

      If so, then it makes a difference if he loses and it tips the balance of power.

      The worst D (assuming they're not Artur Davis-level turncoat-bad) beats the very best R, at least on that critical leadership vote at the start of the term.

      Intended to be a factual statement.

      by ipsos on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:48:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wouldn't count on him for that vote. (0+ / 0-)

        ...and when he votes with Repubs, it's often on "big ticket" items.

        Voted against "Obamacare" and he's a "pro-life" loonie to boot!

        His voting record, with the Dem party, is only around 80%...84%, I just looked it up.

        He's a stinking, rotten apple.

        "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

        by Marjmar on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:12:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  He's a Blue Dog (3+ / 0-)

      so it will be very hard for a legitimate Republican to win that seat. And if Lipinski votes for Pelosi as speaker and against Boehner, he gets to put a D after his name. So the seat is Safe D.

      Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

      by fearlessfred14 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:12:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lipinski is basically Mike Madigan's lobbyist... (0+ / 0-)

        ...on Capitol Hill. Mike Madigan, for those of you who aren't familiar with Illinois politics, is the Speaker of the Illinois State House, and is almost universally hated outside of his state house district. IL-3 was gerrymandered not only to protect Lipinski from a serious Republican challenger, but to protect him from a serious Democratic primary challenger as well.

        In Illinois, you'd pretty much have to be a political insider in order to get elected.

        Joe Lieberman, Mike Madigan, Andrew Cuomo, and Tim Cullen...why are they Democrats?

        by DownstateDemocrat on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 02:02:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  DKos Money (4+ / 0-)

    So all of the above given, can you perhaps follow up with a few recommendations of where Daily Kos readers can focus our giving to create yeast?  Where we stand to actually help finance a campaign and in addition, incentivize the DCCC to start contributing?

  •  re: IN 9 had drastic redistricting, mostly from (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ignacio Magaloni

    within nner-party fighting. Todd Rokita is still (R) candidate, but party tried to yank his support before primary by shifting the population base from under him.It was quite vindictive with the Republicans redrawing the voting boundry right down the center line of the street in the front of his home. His seat is probably still safe, but it's not the same people who supported him before.

  •  Great Analysis....Really Appreciated (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ignacio Magaloni

    Points to where money can be most leveraged.

    Do you really think Alan Grayson can win again?  That would be good news.

    •  He should win easily this time (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Woody, lordpet8, Ignacio Magaloni

      Earlier he won and lost in a marginal seat; now his district is 60% Obama, and Todd Long's primary defeat of John Quinones deprived the GOP of a possible ethnic angle in a heavily Latino/Puerto Rican district.  Grayson also has an overwhelming fundraising advantage that also should help him withstand any gaffes.

      36, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

      by Mike in MD on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:59:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seeing as how (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ignacio Magaloni

      he's in a 59% Obama district, running against a guy with $6,000 to his name (who defeated the NRCC's preferred candidate in the GOP primary), yes, he's quite likely to win, probably without any DCCC assistance.

      Editor, Daily Kos Elections.

      by David Jarman on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:00:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm in KY-06... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, lordpet8

    Chandler was helped by redistricting, as the 6th District became a little bit bluer; one analysis suggested that Chandler's 600-vote margin of re-election in 2010 would have been a 5000-vote margin under the new map.

    We shall see - Barr is already running fairly heavy ad campaigns, replete with the Medicare lie straight from the Romney/Ryan campaign.

  •  nearly all GOP congs depend on local RW radio (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, XenuLives

    and the team limbaugh factor.

    state dem headquarters will once again miss huge opportunities because they don't factor it in.

    the national and state GOPs and the think tanks coordinate with RW state megastations and local stations. the content of the local shows is well managed to attack dem candidates and issues. many of the major RW state soapboxes have university sports logos all over them and they shouldn't. ohio state endorses 6 limbaugh stations - do OSU students for obama and dem congressmen know that their work and voices may be drowned out on the state level by one young republican with a communications degree and a big microphone while doing buckeyes promos?

    all state dem HQs should figure out some way to automate some dictation software to monitor, with regular searches, what those stations are saying about their candidates. if one office figures something easy and cheap out maybe they could all use it. if the TV ads are going to be lying about dem candidates and distorting their positions and issues they will largely be piggybacking groundwork done or being done for free on RW radio stations. doing daily searches of the transcripts will allow dem HQs to challenge the lies in real time rather than after a week of repetition on public airwaves makes the problem impossible to fix. take the lie to the media with the transcript and challenge it in the press. get dems to protest the lies at the radio station.

    the current GOP is as radical and successful as it is because it rides the talk radio bandwagon of prechewed talking points. the most common retort to RW lies in media should be some variation of " that's what limbaugh said ". the GOP congressmen who created the debt ceiling crisis had talk radio at their back, and in particular, months of assurances from team limbaugh that default was no problem and would force obama to make cuts. now he blames obama for the credit downgrade.

    talk radio will be crucial doing the groundwork repetition for the GOP the last 2 months. by finally challenging talk radio kicking the chair out from under the GOP dems could win a lot more races.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 06:52:48 PM PDT

    •  listen to, participate with, and highly publicize (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      both Daily Kos and Netroots Radio, and we can build such a response/proactive platform. We have access to an international audience, and most definitely an American audience. Help us build a strong advocate for Progressives.

      Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
      Left/Right: -7.75
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      by Bud Fields on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 02:31:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  my hi speed access is not consistent , for one (0+ / 0-)

        and a roaming hot spot can be expensive.

         for much of america RW radio is the only free alternative while driving or working. a lot of the audience is near-captive and until internet is ubiquitous and very cheap or free that RW radio monopoly will continue to lie and obstruct on public airwaves.

        secondly, if universities started feeling the pressure to pull out of RW radio or demand balance it would grow the alternatives. that should be a no-brainer for students to get started on.

        same with any RW radio station that feels that pressure from their blue communities. they generally don't because progressives are generally unaware of how much damage radio has done and is doing. we've been getting killed by RW radio the last 20 years yet it is largely left out of the analysis or included as an afterthought by those who only have time to read and watch.

        they have a monopoly on public airwaves that is dominant enough to short circuit the feedback mechanisms we need to be a real democracy and i think there are things progressives can do in the next two months to help elect a dem congress and keep the senate, etc., and must do anyway soon re RW radio if they either want to keep a democracy or reduce the obstruction should obama win.

        progressive alternatives are part of the fix for that monopoly and good for the health of the democracy but IMO RW radio is too well established and has such a big head start it's not going to get fixed just by competing with alternatives.

        there's way too much obstruction and delay enabled merely because the people they attack and the ideas they distort and the lies they create are getting a free speech free ride. protests and other actions to monitor and challenge RW radio will grow alternatives and IMO are mandatory for a healthy democracy.

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 08:03:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  PS (0+ / 0-)

        one major thing RW radio does that has to be addressed that can't be challenged any time soon with alternate media are the attacks on progressive candidates. because there is no visible direct challenge to it it enables violence, as we've seen, from the right and the nuts.  and the repeated attacks and lying when directed at people has been very successful intimidating and swiftboating and their knowledge they dominate that media without real competition or challenge enables and gives them confidence to do things that would never happen otherwise.

        for eg, van jones and eliz warren would have been in the administration. and  katrina would not have been such a disaster if they didn't factor in in the last minute their ability to dominate media and spin it their way - they would not have had the misguided confidence to try delaying fed  help to katrina victims. as it is they were able to blame local dems and get republicans in. if their plan for black on white violence had worked out as they had hoped they would still have been using that in elections- but only made possible with their unchallenged talk radio monopoly.

         progressive alternatives will thrive if progressives would organize a direct challenge to the problem itself.

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 09:56:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  50 state was designed (5+ / 0-)

    not to be reactive.

    Yes the DCCC is reactive and yes the seed money is important bur.

    Until we begin working the R+20 and R+30 districts we aren't working.

    Just establishing the communications and contacts can pay dividends in statewide GOV and to develop a source of funding that could be applied to a swing district. We are never going to compete in money (and maintain our souls).

    Really how can we ever expect to get in front of the crazy until we find the real source. That will be found deep in the heart of the opposition.

    •  We should think about changing "safe" R districts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bud Fields

      by creating an atmosphere where moderate Republicans can compete because of the climate created by the efforts of sacrificial democratic candidates: their loss will contribute to the political efficacy of the winning Democrats by making political compromises more likely.
      It would be money well-spent for the long view, and these  districts can be viewed as laboratories for messaging. It would also give college professors and other unlikely but smart individuals some leg-stretching in the real world.

      Great comment, Judeling.

      The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. Clayton Act, Section 6.

      by Ignacio Magaloni on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 10:44:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  make taking the House a national campaign (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur, ororis, Bud Fields

    It shouldn't be that hard to convince voters that Republicans in Congress don't deserve reelection. The debt ceiling fight and subsequent downgrade, vouchercare, and the endless obsession with abortion are all good reasons for Obama voters to also vote for Dems for Congress.  I don't want to accept the new rule forced on us that says when Democrats take Congress they lose it 2-4 years later but when Republicans take Congress they get to keep it for a decade or more.

  •  RI-01 (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure why you describe Cicciline as "scandal-tarred." Yes, he has a tough race ahead. Yes, he has a doofus primary opponent who has tried to hang some sort of voting fraud scandal on him -- but without much proof, and with scathing media response and general public revulsion. The not-so-subtle gay-baiting is also causing backlash. The charge that he "lied" about the finances of Providence has also not especially stuck, with good progressives like Tom Sgouros giving it short shrift. And the Cicciline folks have been doing good GOTV work, judging by the number of phone calls I've gotten (real ones, not robo).
    We'll know a lot more after Tuesday's primary. If Gemma (or the third guy, genuine nutcase and perpetual candidate Chris Young) pulls a large chunk of votes, that means trouble in the general. If Cicciline creams Gemma, then I think he can pull through in the general. Straight ticket voting is still very common here, and with Obama and Sheldon Whitehouse at the top of the ticket, Cicciline should benefit. At least I hope so. I've found him basically a good guy, despite his family connections.

    •  Cicilline himself (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CF of Aus

      apologized for describing Providence's finances as "excellent." While "scandal" might be a bit strong he already had baggage as mayor (2007 snowstorm, proposed tax on out-of-state students, kerfuffle with firefighters' union, etc.) - I think if he wins it will reflect more on Gemma and Doherty's weakness than his strength.

      Living in Kyoto-06 (Japan), voting in RI-01, went to college in IL-01.

      by sapelcovits on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 02:29:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  junking the 50 state strategy in 2008 (9+ / 0-)

    was a huge mistake, as is the blinkered party focus on the presidential race alone, instead of looking at it organically in terms of nested house-senate-presidential overlaps that get the most bang for the party buck.

    has obama's DNC not exiled howard dean to political siberia and junked his highly successful strategic stance for the crime of setting up the two wave elections of 2006 and 2008, we'd have been in a far better tactical position in 2010 and 2012.

    great analysis, though.

    •  I don't understand what Obama was thinking? (0+ / 0-)

      Dean was very successful as head of the DNC.  But Obama saw fit to give him the boot.  And that strategy proved very successful in 2010...

      I'm not saying we wouldn't have lost in 2010 if Dean had still been in the DNC, but it certainly couldn't have been any worse.  

      •  dean's strategy was decentralizing (0+ / 0-)

        and empowered local and state parties at the expense of the national party, both in terms of funding and prestige and messaging. decentralization was attractive when the party was out of power and out of the white house, but with obama winning the presidency, and thus controlling the DNC as well, they were unwilling to continue the decentralization. better to control messaging and forestall a fractious, dissenting constellation of state parties with their own ideas about how things should be run. at least that's my read from a distance.

        for whatever reason, the obama admin has really kept dean at far remove from the party center, from inauguration day on out. huge mistake IMO, but that's how it played out.

  •  Matheson (6+ / 0-)

    Where's Jim Matheson? Definitely not Safe D.

  •  I'm surprised at IN-09 (0+ / 0-)

    Shelli Yoder has been working her tail off.  I've never seen an Indiana candidate work as hard.  Haven't heard spit from her competition.

    I think this one might be a surprise.  She may not have any money but she's well liked (loved) by the locals.  And very personable.

  •  in the end (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salamanderempress, MetroGnome

    I think alot of this will depend on how bad Romney loses (and yes I think it's almost a forgone conclusion that Romney will lose)

    but more then anything as you said we need to get involved early if we want to do well

  •  IN-02 Makes Me Ill... (0+ / 0-)

    to see Wacky Jackie Walorski favored.  However, it's hard to see a newbie like Mullen winning against someone making her second run at a seat she barely lost in 2010--in a district that's been made signifigantly redder since then.  As Indiana has been written off by the DNC/Team Obama, we can look forward to another member of the Bachmann/West/(Steve) King/Foxxxxxx/Gomert, et al Tin-Foil Hat Caucus next January.  Remember that name, though--Jackie will be comedy gold for the next two years, if nothing else.  Sigh...

    •  If Joe Donnelly wins this november (0+ / 0-)

      it won't all be for loss

      "The essence of that kind of campaign is this. To avoid the issues you work up bogus issues. Trying to play on the fears of people, because if you talk about the real issues you may lose votes" -Helen Gahagan Douglas on Nixon (US Senate 1950)

      by lordpet8 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 09:30:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, Donnelly's kind of p*ssing me off (0+ / 0-)

        too.  I know, he IS a Democrat...and he'd be a hell of a lot better Senator than Teabaggin' Richard Mourdock...but does Donnelly need to run ads stating that he's in favor of extending, in his words, the "Bush tax cuts?"  I mean, he is a purple-ish candidate in a red state, but it's not like he's running as a Democrat in Utah or rural Alabama.  There are members of Team Donkey in Indiana, Joe--and maybe acting like you're ashamed of your party isn't the best way to get them fired up to work (and vote) on your behalf.  Just sayin'...

  •  Hmm (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    middleagedhousewife, lordpet8

    You left UT-4 out.

    22 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); Intern w/ Gallego for Congress; Office Personnel at CCA.

    by wwmiv on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:43:26 PM PDT

  •  kinzinger and il-16 (0+ / 0-)

    kinzinger is il-11 not il-16 unless there were redistricting changes.  manzullo is il-16

    .-. . ..-. . .-. / - --- / - .... . / --- .-. .. --. .. -. .- .-.. / -.. --- - ... / .- -. -.. / -.. .- ... .... . ...

    by delphis on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:06:25 PM PDT

    •  i see there was redistricting (0+ / 0-)

      ...and manzullo lost.  well good riddance to him.  too bad another schmuck took his place.

      .-. . ..-. . .-. / - --- / - .... . / --- .-. .. --. .. -. .- .-.. / -.. --- - ... / .- -. -.. / -.. .- ... .... . ...

      by delphis on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:08:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well that was the point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sapelcovits, bumiputera

        the Democrats in Illinois drew both Republicans (Manzullo and Kinzinger) into one district, so only one could win.

        "The essence of that kind of campaign is this. To avoid the issues you work up bogus issues. Trying to play on the fears of people, because if you talk about the real issues you may lose votes" -Helen Gahagan Douglas on Nixon (US Senate 1950)

        by lordpet8 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 09:32:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So we need to be thinking about the 2014 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ignacio Magaloni

    midterm election now, and focussing on it as soon as this election is over.

    “Parties do not lead revolutions. They follow them. And then only when forced to.” Joe Bageant

    by tgypsy on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:24:46 PM PDT

    •  especially if (0+ / 0-)

      Ohio independent redistricting passes

      Though we will also have to take account of the new presidential number top lines, which could change the amount of the potentially competitive seats for 2014.

      "The essence of that kind of campaign is this. To avoid the issues you work up bogus issues. Trying to play on the fears of people, because if you talk about the real issues you may lose votes" -Helen Gahagan Douglas on Nixon (US Senate 1950)

      by lordpet8 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 09:34:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What's everyone think of Charlie Wilson's chances? (0+ / 0-)

    I would be quite happy if he could find a win. (along with Sutton and Healy-Abrams, of course) If the GOP truly goes blank in Ohio, it can't be bad for their chances.

    ME-01 (college) ID-01 (home) -9.85, -3.85

    by GoUBears on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:30:11 PM PDT

    •  It really depends on how well Obama does in OH (0+ / 0-)

      If he somehow pulls off a 9 point win (which some polls have showed) we may have a good chance upsetting some Republicans.

      "The essence of that kind of campaign is this. To avoid the issues you work up bogus issues. Trying to play on the fears of people, because if you talk about the real issues you may lose votes" -Helen Gahagan Douglas on Nixon (US Senate 1950)

      by lordpet8 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 09:37:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bang For Buck Focusing On Obama Ticket Splitters (0+ / 0-)

    People are so turned off by the obstruction of the last 2 years. The sense that politics is broken is dominant. The Obama voters who are considering voting for a GOP congressional candidate have got to know how responsible they would be for another 2 years of this if they split their ticket. Hoping there are examples of ads which operate on this theme. Seems like it would be productive.

  •  Thank you very much it is a nice work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bud Fields

    I like very much.

    •  Then, at this point you have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CF of Aus

      120 Safe D over 60% Obama (out today's article)
      30 Safe D under 60% Obama
      13 Likely D
      13 Lean D
      26 Toss-up (with UT-04)

      That mean a serious chance for 202 seats.

      I have 204 seats in that situation and 200 of them are inside your 202. This is a really big level of agreement for independent approaching. Like I tell sometime before, you have a prudent rating chart, that is clean and not biassed. I can tell that because I use symmetrical numbers for both sides and I only break with my own numbers for IL-17 (and VT-LG).

      The biggest differences among us are about GA-12 and IL-13. The rest are so little differences. I give a little easier the Lean to one or to the other side but little more.

      GA-12: Following your prudent philosophy that preview close races for R+5+ districts with Democratic incumbents in the majority of the cases, I think this district can be easily a Toss-Up in your rating. My pre-poll numbers give a rating of Likely Democratic for GA-12. I would not be surprised if Barrow releases now a poll with him leading by 10% in the line of the polls that we see for other close districts. I would expect now a poll with a lead of 5-10% for him, making the rating Leans Democratic. I can be wrong (I take worse than expected polls for NY-27), but worse than that would surprise me because all the data that I use habitually show a Republican weakness in this district. The district becomes a lot more republican in the redistricting process, but Barrow was enough conservative for a district like this before the redistricting. I think he should release some poll because I think that would improve the opinion of the people about his chance.

      IL-13: It is a D+2 district. Not a strong rating in Illinois with Obama running in 2008, but fortunately he is running again now, and then we must not penalize the PVI of this district. The Democratic candidate has a small fundraising disadvantage, but it is very little. And he has some advantage in the released polls. All that give a positive mix for the data of this distric. I think the biggest weakness for this district was some lack of support from the stablishment, but I think that changed and now he have full support. I see not numbers for rating this district worse than to IL-17, IL-10, IL-12 and even IL-11 (all them Toss-Up in your rating chart).

      •  Reasonable points. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There is a good Diary by GradyDem that shows that IL13 whilst a good target is a little bit more Republican down ballot than IL12.

        This may or may not change your rating.

        Town Planner, 30 years Old, Election Junkie, Thinks John Boehner is starting to be worried about holding the House...

        by CF of Aus on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 06:00:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank You So Much For This Post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I fear we neglect the House elections at our own peril.  While retaining the Presidency and Senate are of course important, taking back the House has to also be a priority.  I see no reason to expect a Boehner run House to be any more cooperative in a second Obama term and I personally can't bear another two years (at least) of Tea Party lead obstruction and hostage taking (and neither can the country).

    While we could spend a whole lot of time and energy debating what are our chances of taking back the House, I prefer to start working for our House candidates and let the outcome be whatever it will be.  Even if you believe that our chances of taking back the House in this election are small, you have to admit that our chances of making substantial gains are good, and these gains can set the stage for a Dem. takeover in 2014.

    So if your in any of the swing districts, please take some time and/or money to help out the Dem. candidates.  

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:25:21 AM PDT

  •  David, I think you're letting the Party off easy. (0+ / 0-)

    There's no way to excuse the point you make:

    "Perhaps most troubling is how many of these swing-district races held by Republicans are just being left on the table by the Dems ..."
    Yes, campaign money coming from the top down is always a problem, determining which races are winnable is certainly important and - Yes! - we volunteers need to get our butts out early, help identify candidates and gin up local resources. Your own responses to your key point are well said. But I fear it's even worse than that. The buck should stop with local and state party organizations.

    I watched the Democrat slaters in Illinois do two defiantly stupid things in 2010: (1) slate a criminal for Lt. Governor (a nothing position under Illinois law, but still - pick a guy who beat up his prostitute girlfriend?), and then put the job up for applications on the Internet. I kid you not! (2) And slate for the "Obama seat" a former bank loan officer with, let's say, a mixed record of overseeing his own lending practices and with the mortgage/bailout crisis in full swing. (And, of course, we could also discuss Rod Blogojevich, but I won't.)

    There is a lot we Democrats have to get better at, or we don't deserve high elected offices either. And we can kiss goodbye to a Democratic House for a long time unless we goose up our state and local Democratic Party.

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:44:02 AM PDT

  •  Fascinating (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    And a fantastic job.

  •  Tipped, recommended, hotlisted, shared ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... printed off on rice-paper and eaten, in the process of memorizing.

    Seriously, this is absolutely outstanding work.  Thanks, DJ!

    Pro-Occupy Democratic Candidate for California State Senate, District 29 & Occupy OC Civic Liaison.

    "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky

    by Seneca Doane on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 08:04:03 AM PDT

  •  Good work David! Thank you so much! (0+ / 0-)

    18, Male, MD-8. Fan of University of Virginia athletics.

    by Danny Ricci on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 08:17:14 AM PDT

  •  CA-30 (0+ / 0-)

    has two Ds running - both are incumbents from the previous districts it replaces.
    One of them, Berman, is saying that his campaign will be blessed by endorsements from at least two Rs, apparently in the group of McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Lieberman.

    This is supposed to make him more popular with the older white voters. Unfortunately, it's going to make him less popular with those of us who actually follow politics. (I don't like his opponent, either.)

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:45:15 PM PDT

  •  Thanks! (0+ / 0-)

    Outstanding work and a great tool for reference.

  •  SC-07 (0+ / 0-)

    You are once again under-playing the SC-07. Bromell Tinubu won 73% of the runoff vote. I know that most of you here were going for the other candidate but just because your guy didn't win doesn't mean this district is going to the Republicans.
    You are all missing the fact that this district's make up is persistently poor so most people don't have access to the internet but they do go to church every weekend and that is where they meet Bromell Tinubu.
    Look at 2008, Linda Ketner would have won this district if it had existed then(she got 6% more votes in Horry County than Obama). As a democratic women Bromell Tinubu will pull Republican women and men who are moderate. Her economic degrees will pull the fiscal moderates(and maybe conservatives).
    Also see this:
    15% of missing black voters that could have pulled SC blue (or at least kept Haley out) in 2008. Guess who is motivating them to GOTV? Yep Bromell Tinubu's team.
    Don't right the SC-07 as red just yet. With funding it could be blue... but once again you have picked your favorites.

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