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There have been so many of these, that at this point such introductions are tedious formalities. Basically, to contextualize what led to this diary was the constant discussion of how taking the House is pretty much impossible. How redistricting has doomed Democrats, etc etc. So, this has driven me to return to an earlier project, which seeks to outline how, if Democrats retook the House this cycle, it would happen, since some folks are so determined to say they can't even imagine the scenario.

The U.S. House has a current composition of 241 Republicans to 191 Democrats. To come up with a better picture at how many pick ups Democrats need, I have to also outline the specific effects of redistricting (seats eliminated):

Illinois: -1R
New York: -1R, -1D
Massachusetts: -1D
Ohio: -1D, -1R
Missouri: -1D
Pennsylvania: -1D
New Jersey: -1D
Michigan: -1D
Iowa: -1 (Undecided how the race between Latham and Boswell turns out)
Louisiana: -1R

Totals: -5R, -7D, -1undecided

New Seats:
Texas: +2R, +2D
Florida: (depends on which you count as new seats), +1D, +1tossup
Arizona: +1TiltD
South Carolina: +1R
Georgia: +1R
Washington: +1D
Nevada: +1D
Utah: +1R

Totals: +5R, +6D, +1tossup

Thus reapportionment actually favored Democrats, even though they bore the brunt of districts axed. That tossup is the new FL-18, where Allen West is running, (though really, you could say several other districts were also changed up.

Lastly, we need to take into account certain losses, like Heath Shuler's NC-11. Dan Boren's OK-02, and Mike Ross's AR-04. So let's just say Democrats are actually starting off in a 244 to 188 hole.

So, that's one base assumption out of the way. Now, let's get to business in a randomized district by district (or state by state, or regional, way). This is the first installment of a two or three part series, depending on how much commentary I feel driven to insert.

Rural Upper Midwest:

This is how I characterize the trio of Upper Midwestern seats that are absolutely must-wins for Democrats to take the majority. I rank them here in order of their likelihood to change hands:


Here are some breakdowns:

-No district saw a bigger upset in 2010 than MN-08, a traditionally Democratic-leaning, economically liberal district based in the Iron Range of Northern Minnesota, where 18-term incumbent Jim Oberstar, Chairman of the powerful and earmark important Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, lost by 1.6 percentage points (48.2-46.6) in a low turnout election, to a political neophyte and tea party activist, Chip Cravaack. Truly a case of getting caught napping. Obama won this district 53-45, apparently weak, but about the same margin Kerry and Gore both won the district, meaning their is a very high Democratic floor. Also, with the exception of Chisago, Isanti, Mille Lacs and Kannabec counties, as well as the southern reaches of Pine county, there's very little local base for Republicans. The district is dominated by monolithically Democratic St. Louis county (home to Duluth, MN), and Itasca and Carlton counties are also quite reliably Democratic. Democrats had a crowded and complicated 3-way primary, but in the end 68 year-old Minnesota politico Rick Nolan (who represented MN-06 from 1975-1981!!) won the primary and is probably the strongest of the options that ran. He's running a much more inspired campaign than Oberstar did, and though the exurban Minneapolis-St. Paul growth in the aforementioned southern counties of this district had expanded the Republican base a lot, (though that growth has come to a stand-still), and the Democratic counties are shrinking, this is still a fairly inelastic, Democratic leaning district that tends to deliver more for local Democrats than national ones like Obama. Senator Amy Klobuchar may likely receive 70% of the vote here, Obama should still win it comfortably, and the Minnesota Republican party is in shambles and their legislature is deeply unpopular. Cravaack can't expect lightening to strike twice.

-For MI-01 I will be a bit curter. After, despite his obsessive over-reach with ensuring the ACA's non-coverage of abortion and the considerable liberal criticism he took for that, Republicans, such as his fellow U.S. Representative Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), called him a baby-killer (Neugebauer's exact words, hurled out on the House floor), popular 8-term incumbent Bart Stupak decided he was sick of politics and up and retired leaving Democrats less than 10 months to put together a campaign to hold onto his conservative but traditionally Democratic seat. In 2010 they put up a solid effort, and Dan Benishek's controversial, drawn out 15 vote victory over State Senator Jason Allen in the Republican primary helped Democratic candidate Gary McDowell, but 2010's headwinds, especially in the Upper Midwest were too much, and McDowell lost 52-41. Since then however, the Republican brand has tanked in the UP (that strange piece of Michigan that is split off from the state by Lake Michigan), which makes up around 60-70% of the district. This is rural territory that has traditionally back Democrats anyway, and at the moment Rick Snyder and the Republican State Legislature are deeply unpopular here and at risk of losing 2-3 of the House Seats they picked up there in 2010. Democratic turnout in the UP for the unopposed Debbie Stabenow way outpaced Republican turnout in their contested Senate primary between Clark Durant and former Congressman (and failed 2010 Gubernatorial candidate), Pete Hoekstra. McDowell is back for a rematch this year, and is running a solid campaign, keeping financial parity with the incumbent Benishek. Polls have tended to give McDowell a slight lead, but lately I get the sense that he is starting to pull away, as seen by a 9 point lead in a recent poll. My thinking is actually pretty simple here. If the UP swings back to Democrats again, and Obama narrowly wins this district again, then McDowell will win with them, and should outperform Obama here.

-It's strange to call WI-07 the least favorable pick up opportunity among these 3 districts. WI-07 is more Democratic than MI-01. Incumbent and former Real World star Sean Duffy is the most underwhelming of the 3 Republican incumbents, and Pat Kreitlow appeared early on to be the strongest Democratic recruit between the districts. He was a nightly news anchor on one of the major local TV Stations in North Wisconsin from 1998-2005, giving him a lot of built in name recognition. He ran for a swingish state senate seat in 2006, unseating a 17 year incumbent, and lost by only 8 percentage points to Terry Moulton in 2010. But polling hasn't been as favorable here, and Kreitlow's fundraising has been weak. Undoubtedly the recall effort ended up hurting Democrats up and down the ballot by allowing Walker and Republicans to rehabilitate themselves and to appear less partisan and fervent than the Democratic side. National Democrats are still playing around with this district, but haven't made the kind of investment needed to win yet. As it is, if Obama manages to do well enough to win this district again, and a small tailwind from a modest lower-ticket Democratic wave builds, Kreitlow should win, even in the absence of the tailwind, if Obama wins WI-07, (which he won 53-45 in 2008 under the current configuration) Kreitlow has a good chance of pulling through as well. State Senator Julie Lassa made a good effort in 2010, coming up short by a 52-44 margin, and this is normally the swingish area of Wisconsin. Prior to 2010 it was represented for 42 years by Democrat David Obey, who was Chairman of the Appropriations Committee from 2007-2011, so I'm still relatively optimistic it will return into the Democratic fold.


NV-04 (New)

-Steven Horsford versus "Baby Tark". 2008 Obama numbers: 56-41. New Democratic seat.

-NV-03, Rep Joe Heck, Republican. 2008 Obama numbers: 54-45. John Oceguera may not be the strongest candidate, and Obama might fall short a few points on his 2012 numbers here, but Heck is probably too conservative for this district, and the Democratic organization of Nevada too strong.

Really I shouldn't write anything here. Just go find the Dkos user Adnext. Like all of his diaries on this. I'd just embarrass myself trying to summarize all of his insights and updates on the two state parties and the situation on the ground.


WA-10: 57-41 Obama seat, contains the strongly Democratic city of Olympia and parts of the Tacoma suburbs. Denny Heck is a somewhat moderate Democrat with a lot of contacts and should win this easy. New Democratic seat.

WA-01: John Koster is extremely conservative and outspoken. Bad fit for this district which went for Obama by a 56-42 margin and includes a lot of Democratic trending suburbs and a bunch of rural territory north of Seattle. Susan Delbene, a moderate progressive with the resources to self-fund if needed, should win here with some room to spare (Koster did very poorly in the Top 2 primary last month). Delbene impressed me with her 2010 campaign against Dave Reichert as well, as she performed better than did Darcy Burner in 2008, despite the headwind of the cycle and the lack of Obama coattails. Do Google Koster to read about his escapades, including calling public educators anti-American. The inside fix that is the redistricting process in Washington's Bipartisan Committee shored up Rick Larsen (who nearly lost to Koster in 2010) at the expense of Jay Inslee's (who is running for Governor obviously) open seat. This would mark the 3rd time Koster has lost a congressional race in Washington, including 2000 and 2010.


Independent Redistricting really gifted Democrats a very favorable map here. So favorable that Jan Brewer tried to fire the Independent tie-breaker of the selected group that drew this map, until the State Supreme Court overrode her. Then the Republican State Legislature actually threatened to vote to eliminate the Independent Redistricting Panel and simply re-assume those powers. That's how pissed they were at a map which improved Gabby Giffords' old district for Democrats, improved AZ-01, and created a new, Democratic leaning suburban seat, (AZ-09).


-Giffords' old 8th was renamed the 2nd, and went from 52-46 McCain to 50-48 McCain, gaining more Democratic-trending areas and becoming more Tuscon-centered. Giffords' former Chief of Staff Ron Barber, who was injured in the shooting nearly 2 years ago, had a comfortable 7-point victory over the very unpleasant tea party activist Jesse Kelly (who nearly beat Giffords in 2010), in the special election back in June of this year, in the more Republican, older version of this district. He faces a slightly less baggage-ridden and conservative candidate in Martha McSally, but the race has mostly fallen off the radar. He's a centrist Democrat, and has a good reputation in the district.

-What does it say when the Republican incumbent who unseated Anne Kirkpatrick 49.7%-43.7% in 2010, chose to district hop over to the open AZ-04 rather than run here? Redistricting excised many of the fastest growing, exurban and Republican areas of the district. It went from 54-44 McCain, to 51-48 McCain, with a large contingent of conservative, rural, white, Pinto Democrats. Her opponent is former State Senator Johnathon Paton, who hasn't really represented much of this district before at any level. He was last seen getting upset in the 2010 AZ-08 Republican primary, losing to tea party activist Jesse Kelly who focused on, I kid you not (to mention him again), how past Republican candidates, including Paton (who served with Giffords in the State Senate), were too respectful and friendly with Giffords. Kirkpatrick is seen as a steady favorite.

-State Senator Kyrsten Sinema has had a few controversial statements, but she ran a good primary campaign and know faces former Paradise Falls Mayor Vernon Parker in the General Election. Paradise Falls is a very small suburb, and it isn't even contained with AZ-09, which voted 51-47 for Obama. She's a very interesting person, both in background and in her style as it compares to her politics, and at 36 would be the youngest member of the Arizona Congressional delegation. She's favored, but by a smaller margin than are Barber and Kirkpatrick.

The Hotel California

Here is where majorities will be won or lost. Democrats need, more than anything, a California wave to push them into a potential majority by running the gamut here. Please see DKE user Darth Jeff's earlier write up as a baseline, as I am deeply indebted to his insight and information:

Here are the seats where Democrats are on defense, listed from least competitive to most:


-John Garamendi, a former State Senator and Lieutenant Governor, had some struggles in 2010, particularly in his special election. Thus it boded poorly for many when, after the new maps were revealed, Garamendi's district received quite the remix, taking in a lot of rural and exurban territory and going from a 65% Obama district to a 55% one. However the district has a more solid Democratic baseline than meets the eye, partly due to how strongly Democratic Yolo County, the site of UC Davis, is. Still, Colusa County Supervisor Kim Dolbow-Vann was initially touted by national Republicans, but in the Top 2 primary Garamendi got 53% of the vote, without Presidential turnout in Yolo and other Democratic bases in the district. Dolbow-Vann hasn't run the best campaign, and national Republican groups have mostly dropped off here. Strangely enough, despite it being significantly more Republican than his previous district, Garamendi would appear to be much more comfortable here, and with his understanding of agriculture, he's doing better than Democrats normally do in Dolbow-Vann's more rural, northern base.

-I have less interest in CA-09. Three term incumbent Jerry McNerney, having just survived a stiff challenge in 2010 in a more Republican district, is opposed for reelection this time by a 25 year law student from a rich well-connected family that has helped him overstuff his coffers and get the eye of national Republicans despite the fact that he has no experience as a candidate and no natural base. Still, this candidate, Ricky Gill, seems impressive enough. But McNerney's now in a 56% Obama district that also voted for both Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer in 2010. McNerney is also not taking this for granted.

-Abel Maldonado, who briefly served as an appointed Lieutenant Governor following Garamendi's run for Congress, (and lost reelection to Gavin Newsom), a former State Senator with a reputation for being one of the Republican party's few moderates, probably looked like a stronger candidate than he's actually turned out to be. Relatively lackluster fundraising, an unfavorable district that both Barack Obama and Diane Feinstein appear set to do very well in, and the ongoing issue of his 4 million dollars in IRS back-taxes, have made national Republicans lose most of their early interest in this race. Incumbent Democrat Lois Capps has represented a large chunk of this district for nearly 20 years, and won hard-fought reelection campaigns in similar territory back in the 1990s, when it was much less Democratic than it is now. She certainly hasn't been taking this campaign for granted, nor shown any obvious rust. Her consistent rating as the nicest member of Congress can't hurt either.

-At first I had no hope for this district. It started when Rep. Jim Costa really left Democrats in a tight spot; he and his BFF, neighboring Rep. Dennis Cardoza got together after redistricting, and Cardoza decided to retire, allowing Costa to jump over from the 21st, which was mostly his turf, made a bit more Republican by redistricting, and run in the 16th. Costa would have won here in a normal cycle with relative ease; his close call in 2010 was an anomaly, as there was not only the national Republican wave, but low Hispanic turnout in the Central Valley and other local issues at play in a backlash against state Democrats (including water issues and high-speed rail). So, Rep. Costa left, Republicans got a top-notch recruit in State Assemblyman David Valadao, and none of the first tier Democrats got in. Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Head John Hernandez won the primary over better-funded Fresno City Councilman (Fresno is not in this district) Blong Xiong, the favorite of national Democrats. Still, as others have noted, this district is a lot more Democratic locally and historically, than its 52% Obama percentage suggest, an inverse of say, a suburban Orange county district where Obama got 52%. Hernandez is a conservative, well-connected Hispanic businessman, and seems to be in a slightly better position than many of us outside the area have assumed. Still, he will need very strong Hispanic turnout, and a lot of party-line voting.

Now for Democratic pick-up opportunities (just by district order):


Now you see why majorities will be made in California, because Democrats are capable of winning in any of those races, and really should win in several. They need to sweep them for a majority.

-Dan Lungren has been around a long time. From 1978-1990 he represented a coastal South California district, then narrowly won election as Attorney General, winning reelection in 1994, before getting crushed in a Gubernatorial race in 1998, by none other than Gray Davis. After a brief sabbatical, he returned to politics by winning election to Congress from the Sacramento area-based, North-Central California CA-03, renamed CA-07 after redistricting. This is an area that's come full circle. First, in the 1970s and 1980s, a much larger, rural and traditionally Democratic district around the urban Sacramento core turned Republican due to suburban growth and shifts in the rural voter allegiance. Then since the early 2000s, this area has rapidly began to shift back to Democrats, a trend that accelerated post 2004, when Kerry marked the low point for Democrats. Obama saw a 9 point shift in CA-03 in his favor, leading to a very narrow 49.3-48.8 victory for Obama there in 2008, which also saw Lungren come within 5.5 percentage points of losing to a low-visibility, mostly unfunded candidate. In 2010 Democrats sought to make up for this mistake, but it was, 2010, and their candidate Dr. Ami Bera, ran strong, but still came up seven points short. However, Dr. Bera is running again, and both candidates are campaigning heavily and have large coffers of cash to spend on ads. Lungren has a reputation for being very cerebral and amicable, which tends to downplay his stringent conservatism, but redistricting did him no favors. Population growth in Sacramento county led to the redistricting committee lopping off the extended branch of rural and exurban territory, essentially removing Lungren's strongest areas in his 2010 reelection. The shifting around did not impact enormously the top lines, going from 49-49, to 51-46 Obama, but the trends are worse for the incumbent here, and Democrats even managed to pick up a State Assembly seat in 2010 in this suburban territory. I have been very confident that Bera will narrowly come out on top here come November.

-Two term Republican Jeff Denham was an unexpected victim of redistricting. His old district, CA-19 was vaporized to some extent, and his new district, CA-10, contains only 38% of his old territory and went from a 52-46 McCain district, to a 50-47 Obama district. I'm a bit optimistic here, and I admit I'm a little over-exuberant. But the Democratic candidate is Jose Hernandez, a former Astronaut who will be listed as such on the ballot. His life story is inspiring. He's raised a lot of money. And in the Top 2 primary, Denham only received 48% of the vote, while Hernandez and several other Democrats and the strong independent candidacy of Chad Condit (son of the infamous Gary Condit) received 52% of the vote. What's more is Democratic turnout and Hispanic turnout will increase significantly in the November election. Denham is extremely conservative, and this district is a mix of historically Democratic territory, Hispanic areas, and some areas that are becoming more Democratic as retirees from other parts of urban North California, especially Sacramento, settle down there. Lots of Government workers there, and not a whole lot of sympathy to the entire Tea Party agenda. I'm optimistic about Jose Hernandez bringing this seat into the Democratic fold.

-In some ways this district (CA-26) is partially responsible for why Democrats dropped the ball on CA-31. They were very worried about not making the Top Two here, and spent big attacking independent candidate Linda Parks (she wasn't that independent, just a moderate former Republican and ardent Strickland-opponent). State Senator Tony Strickland is, again, the Republican candidate. He's had a long, and often combative career. He's also very conservative, even on social issues, which makes him a very bad fit for this moderate, suburban, Democratic-leaning district that gave Obama 56% of the vote, the former district of Elton Gallegly who retired after he saw what redistricting did to his district (went from 51-48, Obama, to 56-41 Obama). This area has a lot of growth in the Hispanic population and is trending more Democratic. The Democratic candidate, Assemblywoman Julia Brownley is running a pretty good, aggressive campaign, and she's been ahead in some of the D-internals recently released. It'll be close, but this district has a high Democratic baseline in normal cycles.

-Here's a late-breaking race that's really taken me, the eternal optimist, by surprise. Dr. Raul Ruiz, the Democratic candidate, has raised good money, but he's also running a much better campaign than I anticipated. I never thought I would be talking about this race as a competitive pick up opportunity for Democrats. Incumbent Republican Mary Bono Mack has been in office since the 1998 special election replace her celebrity-politician husband, Sonny Bono after his all-too-early death. She later remarried, divorced, and remarried again, this time Florida Republican Congressman (and Senate candidate this year), Connie Mack. Perhaps some of his fail, as it were, is rubbing off on her. Still, this Palm Springs-based district changed little. 75% of the territory is familiar to the 7-term incumbent, the partisan toplines changed little and in fact the changes favored the Republican party, as it dropped from a 52-47 Obama margin, to a 50-47 Obama margin. However, Bono Mack is one of the few members of Congress that can say their reelection percentage has dropped in their last 3 consecutive campaigns. There's a growing Hispanic population here, and the district is slowly getting more Democratic. Mary Bono Mack has never been as moderate as her husband was, and perhaps this is finally the cycle she loses. In 2010 Democrats put up highly touted Palm Springs mayor Steve Pougnet, but he came up 9 points short in the hostile environment (I wasn't especially impressed by his campaign at the time either). A 5-6 point shift in the generic congressional ballot in California in favor of Democrats, and a better campaign from Raul Ruiz than Pougnet would put this district in the Democratic column for the first time. So far, the last few weeks have really changed my perception. The DCCC, (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) which has been playing very conservatively this year, has recently been making some plays here, a recent Democratic internal had the race tied, and Bono Mack got into some hot water recently for some really nasty and disparaging comments she made towards a heavily Hispanic city in her district, Coachella, that have gotten some high profile negative play in the district.

-I'm not particularly well-versed with regards to CA-41. I feel Democrats are obviously favored despise an exceptionally strong Republican candidate in moderate, Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione who has raised good money and gotten the endorsements of a few local Democrats. In the end it won't matter in this Democratic-trending district that gave Obama a 21 point margin in 2008 (59-38). The Democratic candidate, Mark Takano, a long-time local politico who ran a close race against Ken Calvert in 1992 and serves on the Riverside Community College Board of Trustees, is seeking to become one of the relatively few successful, openly gay politicians in America. Obama should carry him over the finish line come November.

-State Senator Alan Lowenthal is the Democratic candidate, and he has the misfortune of being tied to the one institution that is more unpopular in his district than the U.S. Congress...the California State Legislature. His early fundraising was also pretty terrible, and Republicans got probably their top recruit in Long Beach City Councilman, Gary DeLong. National Republican groups are still kinda sorta targeting this district, but it's decidedly half-hearted. Lowenthal has shaped up as the campaign has gone on too, and this district, which voted 58-40 for Obama in 2008, is a fascinating, totally new political construction that only a nonpartisan redistricting committee could have thought up; a South Coastal CA district. It has a very high Democratic floor though; even Boxer won it 50-42 in 2010. Lowenthal will underperform, but nowhere near badly enough to lose.

-Last comes to last with a blast from the past. I say this because the Republican incumbent, Brian Bilbray, has been in this exact position before, back in 2000, when he faced a stiff challenge from Democrats in an increasingly Democratic and diverse San Diego-area district. He lost that race, to then State Senator Susan Davis, becoming one of only four incumbent Republicans to lose that cycle (if you guessed that the only one outside of California was Jay Dickey, who lost to Mike Ross in AR-04, then appreciate that irony and pat yourself on the back for knowing way too much about politics). After a few years out of elected politics, Bilbray managed to make a comeback, following the spectacular Randall Cunningham scandal and resignation back in 2005, eking out a special election victory over Democratic activist Francine Busby. Well, redistricting singed him pretty hard. Obama won his old district 51-47, which in the San Diego area, means the local Democratic baseline was much lower. After redistricting, the toplines shifted to a 55-43 district, that, again, Obama won. The trends are bad for Bilbray here, as is his own history of not overperforming the Republican base of his district by that much. The Democratic candidate is Port Commissioner Scott Peters. He's relatively moderate, and on the whole a business oriented Democrat, but that makes him a good fit for this district. He's personally wealthy, has invested 1.2 million dollars of his own money in this race already, and recently got the endorsement of former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher. Fletcher had been rated as recently as this year, as a leading moderate of the CA-GOP, and one of it's rising stars. Then he switched to independent to get traction in his campaign for San Diego mayor (lost out anyway), and hasn't returned to the Republican fold in the slightest. This sort of battle royal is fun to watch, but I feel the Democrat is solidly favored. As do some national prognosticators who have already moved this race to "Leans Democrat" already.


Democrats need a 29 seat gain to take control of the House. I have outlined so far a group of states and one region that account for a potential 15 seat gain that isn't at all out of the question. That's half-way there and I haven't even gotten to other states like Illinois, Florida and New York where Democrats have a large number of opportunities. I will address those states next time, as well as other seats Democrats will probably lose that will make it harder for them to take the majority. But my initial point here, is that, for all the mystified expressions one may find, especially on DKE, in regards to the potential for Democrats to take the House, there is a very real path to that end. It's a wave swing of toss up seats, no doubt, but some folks act like there aren't even enough opportunities on the board for Democrats to potentially win the house. (I'm skeptical that we dominate enough of the toss up districts to win the house, but I admit the potential the playing field offers).

Until next time,


P.S. While Dkos does have reader gauges, these aren't entirely accurate. I always appreciate users who vote in my poll as that gives a more accurate count of readership. Which is always nice to know for something you worked hard on; sucks to feel like you are talking to a wall.

Originally posted to ArkDem14 on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 05:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.


Out of the seats I've covered so far, how many pick ups will Democrats have?

11%45 votes
25%101 votes
34%137 votes
13%52 votes
3%13 votes
11%47 votes
1%4 votes

| 399 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (100+ / 0-)

    "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

    by ArkDem14 on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 05:18:52 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the work you did on this (14+ / 0-)

    I am still digesting it.


    "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room." - President Merkin Muffley

    by Farkletoo on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 05:28:54 PM PDT

    •  We have to get rid of that idiot Joe... (7+ / 0-)

      in Illinois, Bachman, West. I would be happy to get rid of some of those idiots. Maybe they would have a chance to get some things done. If they take back the house,  the next 2 years are gonna be a ride.

      Shit starter extraordinaire/takin' it to the extremely gifted idiot savants that are ruled by the republican establishment. Why can't I go to that alternate reality?

      by tdslf1 on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 07:50:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And senile Bill Young of Florida (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Young is the longest-serving member of Congress.  He is also everything the Tea Party rails against--Young's tenure in a very swing area is the result of bringing $100s of millions of pork home over the years, if not $1B or more, especially in defense work.  As a result, the local establishment and newspaper loves him, and because he's a very popular (R) and votes the way the GOP base wants him to vote, the Tea Party stays away from him.

        But he's overdue for retirement.   A bit of senility and / or paranoia.

        U.S. Rep. Bill Young says he's the victim of burglaries; police disagree

        "My home's been broken into twice," Young said... "And my wife and I have been stalked in Washington and here in Florida.

        [H]e he named both the Occupy Wall Street movement and the Florida Consumer Action Network as his suspects, explaining: "The Occupiers are after me."

        However, Indian Shores police say they haven't seen signs of any break-ins at Young's condominium this year.

        They have investigated one incident. In July an alarm went off at the condo, but police concluded there was no burglary. Instead, they said, a storm blew open a garage door with a faulty lock, setting off the alarm — the second time that has happened in two years....
        Young said that after more than 40 years in office, he's thought about retiring — but not yet, not under these circumstances. "I'm not going to retire while I'm being under attack."

        And as long as he continues to bring home the pork, he'll get enough support to get re-elected.   But I would bet that his erratic behavior will become more common and national news over the next two years, and may prematurely retire.  Maybe not resign but he'll be retired on the job.
  •  Been raising money for some of these (9+ / 0-)

    Been raising money for some of these races for some time now. I think we will do better than people are predicting. Now that Obama and the Senate are looking pretty good (can't take them for granted, but they are looking quite promising) I think some attention on the House is a good idea!

    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

    by mole333 on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 05:29:41 PM PDT

  •  this is excellent... (15+ / 0-)

    ...the way you've put this together helps give a much better context for approximately how many pickups the Democrats stand to gain in these seats...(about 15 pickup opportunities seem available just in the states you've covered about).

    Many other diaries leave me scratching my head as to which seats are Republican or Democratic PICKUPs (often not even indicating whether a Democrat or Republican holds the seat now).

    As you continue this series, this will give a much clearer path for those of us who simply do not have the time to devote to the research and analysis you've done.

    •  Thanks (9+ / 0-)

      This is sort of my football-baseball hobby, following these sorts of nuts and bolts whispering and making notes on all these races.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 06:34:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Very nice analysis. Would you please fix (9+ / 0-)

        2 fairly significant errors?

        1. UC Berkeley (note extra "e") is most certainly NOT in Yolo County (CA-03), or anywhere near Yolo County.  It's in Alameda County, right across the Bay from San Francisco, and immediately north of Oakland.

        I think you managed to make two different mistakes in putting Cal so far north.  First, Berkeley used to be in CA-09.  The old CA-09.  The CA-09 you are writing about (after CA-03) moved east to Stockton.  Berkeley is now in CA-13 and has about as much chance of turning red as Provo, UT does of voting in Obama.

        Here's a terrific resource I just found for comparing old and new districts for any given location in California.  It showed me that the new CA-03 has moved a bit south, just abutting the furthest fringes of the Bay Area in Solano County, with Fairfield the only city of note.

        2. The name of the Republican running for CA-52? (don't know because you didn't mention the district number in the last 2 grafs) is Brian Bilbray, not Bilbary.

        One thing that would be really nice for an in-depth piece like this is congressional maps.  It gives the reader an idea where you are talking about, especially when discussing a state s/he is less familiar with.  It would also nicely break up the "wall of text" assault that these in-depth pieces have, and which scare people away who would otherwise enjoy a really close look at what's possible district by district.

        In capitalist America, bank robs you!

        by madhaus on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 12:42:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Plus, splitting up to more diaries (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bob Guyer, wdrath, madhaus

          makes sense as well.

          That way the framing and maps (and photos, if possible) would make the text more memorable.

          (We have no idea who these people are. Really.)

        •  A great graphic is here (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          madhaus, susanWAstate

          Take a look at this graphic. It makes things clear in a map-like way.

          You get to the graphic thru a link in this fine diary:

          If the two diarists could collaborate, they would blow us away!

        •  The diarist was referring to UC Davis (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, lighttheway, ArkDem14

          Which is in Yolo County.

          This is a very well-researched and thorough diary.  I count 15 here, and then NH 01 and 02, a couple in NY, one in NJ, and between IL and OH another 5-6, plus some scattered in CO and elsewhere and before you know it we are at 30+.

          Looking forward to Pt 2.

          The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

          by Mimikatz on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 03:15:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It has excellent research, yes (0+ / 0-)

            but it really needs a thorough editing.  Lots and lots and LOTS of mistakes make this writer/editor grind her teeth reading through them.  This is the sort of effort that could be really valuable, but the level of sloppiness is too high for me to have confidence in it.  I'm not just referring to two mistakes I called out above, those were just two sufficient to go back and change the diary.  There are typos, missing information, missing names, missing districts, and mixing up places.

            This is good work, mind you.  But it gets in its own way and that prevents it from being great work.

            In capitalist America, bank robs you!

            by madhaus on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 04:14:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Where were the missing names (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              missing districts, missing information? Could you point out a few of them instead of just being obnoxious and vague?

              As for grammatical errors, there are probably quite a few. I'm also a writer and English is one of my minors so they aren't lost on me. I just think that they are irrelevant to the validity of my observations, and not worth the time of thoroughly editing this piece.

              For the love of god, in the first draft I accidentally mixed of UC Davis with UC Berkeley (that's all, I was always talking about Yolo county and CA-03, not CA-09), and I mispelled Brian Bilbray's last name in another accident, both of which I later corrected. I did not mix up any districts, and I was clearly in that instance talking about Garamendi's current district, renumbered CA-03.

              "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

              by ArkDem14 on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 08:10:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  It is though, I'll admit, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              intentionally a bit disorganized, and I chose to use the dashes instead of making a clear, heading with the bolded district number because I found that too boring. The dashes always follow the order of the previously listed districts though. The purpose was pretty focused, in order to save time and space, and that purpose was basically to summarize the political nature of the districts, talk about the candidates running, and mention any of the importance news. All wrapped together in my own impressions of the races. Nothing more, nothing less. This is basically part of an outline to a majority.

              I'll start on Part 2 this weekend.

              "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

              by ArkDem14 on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 08:17:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  fairfield the only city of note? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          what, are davis, woodland, vacaville, yuba city and marysville chopped liver?

  •  Thank You for this! I really hope Jose Hernandez (11+ / 0-)

    wins that seat.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 06:00:42 PM PDT

  •  It's a tough road to 218 seats (15+ / 0-)

    but the path is there, and very real.  It doesn't require winning upsets, just that we more or less sweep the tossups and nab a bunch of tilt/lean GOP seats.

    California in particular could be incredible for Democrats.  Initially the prediction was 5 potential gains, revised to 4 after the GOP shut us out of CA-31, but then revised back up to 6 once Denham and Bono became imperiled.  By 2014 we seriously could be +7 in California compared to four years before.

    I'm also very optimistic about Illinois returning a +5 Dem gain this year.

  •  What I wish someone would do (9+ / 0-)

    is put together a chart, by state or region, of the competitive seats and which ones might be a Dem pickup.  I would rather send my money to the races that we can win, than just to whatever candidate has a good diary posted.

    What would be even neater would be a combination of such a chart with links to the diaries explaining each race. (Like this excellent diary.)

    Bleah -- as soon as I post this comment, I'm thinking I may need to do it myself.  :-)

    Thanks for this EXCELLENT work -- I will go back and re-read it to absorb more info.

    Bruce in Louisville
    Visit me at,, or
    Follow me on Twitter @brucewriter or @ThreePols

    by bmaples on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 06:32:35 PM PDT

    •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle, MichaelNY, Woody

      There are several charts out there, and some users are savvy (and not lazy) enough to include such charts with their own diaries.

      If you are looking for places to donate, I can name a few.

      Jose Hernandez and Ami Bera are great choices. As is Kyrsten Sinema.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 06:48:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the (WA-03) race is up for grabs (6+ / 0-)

        The current Democratic Party candidate Jon Haugen was only recently awarded an official endorsement by the State Democratic Party - thus leaving him with no fiscal support from the State or County Party until THIS WEEK.

        But Jon still managed to garner 45,693 Votes/37.64% of the Primary Vote - without a single ad buy anywhere. I know, I worked as his volunteer campaign manager for a while earlier this year.

        Jaime Herrera Beutler (R), the freshman incumbent received
        68,603 votes/56.51% of the Primary vote - and her campaign has been running ads, and in fact she was the recipient of significant SuperPAC money, last I checked. In May 2012, Speaker Boehner was in town here (Vancouver, WA) for Beutler's $50 a plate luncheon, closed to the public, of course.

        So she took 18.87% more of the vote than Jon Haugen did - with just his name, and that was only on the ballot. Jon had no money to buy yard signs. The only place people saw the name Jon Haugen was on their ballots. Or at one of the eleventy billion times Jon attended a local central committee meeting in one of the 3rd's seven Counties, or any of the other events he attended over the past year or so... but mostly, they saw his name on the ballot for the first time.

        AND HE GOT 37.64% of the vote.

        I think he has an actual chance to win this. With steadily rising numbers for the President, the news that the Democrats will likely hold the Senate - and recent mutterings about a chance to maybe reinstate Speaker Pelosi in the US House, I think he might just win.

        It will be one of the craziest upsets in modern US House races if he does.

        But I think he just might.

        So please, send him a bit of that cash, if you are so inclined, right here at his Act Blue page.

        "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.''
        -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr
        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"
        -- Angie in WA State

        by Angie in WA State on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 02:21:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  an interactive map would be even cooler (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, mightymouse, hyperstation

      but someone with time and better coding skills than me will have to do it!

  •  UC berkeley isn't in CA-03 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArkDem14, BentLiberal, lordpet8, Woody

    UC Davis is. we're a UC, but not that UC.

    great diary, though!

  •  I wrote an analysis of california recently (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I agree about the seats, especially CA-10 and CA-36 with how these seats have become pretty competitive lately.

    For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37

    by Alibguy on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 07:17:38 PM PDT

  •  California 2000 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lordpet8, MichaelNY

    Not to nitpick, but in 2000, incumbent Republicans Steve Kuykendall and Jim Rogan lost too.  The Rogan-Schiff race was the most expensive one in the country, I believe.

    You're an odd fellow, but you do make a good steamed ham.

    by Samara Morgan Dem on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 08:20:39 PM PDT

    •  Ah, sorry, what I meant was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that Jay Dickey was the only Republican incumbent outside of California to lose in 2000.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 08:35:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I did some research on CA-36 last cycle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArkDem14, MichaelNY

    and actually met Steve Pougnet.  I really think it's a bridge too far.

    ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

    by James Allen on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 09:06:47 PM PDT

    •  The fact that D-Trip (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lordpet8, MichaelNY, Woody

      is running ads here after buying some polls won me over more than anything. When they aren't, after all, targeting many other competitive districts, and focusing too much on defense.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 12:08:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great job (And thanks for the shout out) (6+ / 0-)

    I'm pretty pessimistic about our chances of retaking the House this year but this is the first time I think I've seen anyone offer a realistic path towards a majority.  Looking forward to part II.  

    22, male, new CA-18 (home and voting there), new LA-01 (college)

    by Jeff Singer on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 09:30:34 PM PDT

    •  Your 2010 California numbers (4+ / 0-)

      were indispensable, and you are one of many dedicated users from the Golden State who I've used as primary sources for getting a feel for your Congressional races.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 12:11:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As a fellow eternal optimist, I am ashamed of you (5+ / 0-)

    Counting OK-02 as a "certain loss". I disagree competely. I believe it's still a committed Demosaur district and that Rob Wallace will win in November.

    Also, DelBene's name is spelled Suzan.

    But other than that, stellar diary =P

    24, Practical Progressive Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut. Gregg/Simpson for Governor! Donnelly for Senate! Mullen for Congress!

    by HoosierD42 on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 09:31:33 PM PDT

    •  I once would have said the same about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      AR-04. But it's a stretch too far at this point.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 12:12:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If we had a vigorous campaigner in AR-04 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, bumiputera

        I would be more optimistic about our chances there. Rob Wallace fits the district, he has a good profile, and he's raised real money, from what I can recall.

        24, Practical Progressive Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut. Gregg/Simpson for Governor! Donnelly for Senate! Mullen for Congress!

        by HoosierD42 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 03:44:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  @FL-18: Lol, Adam West (4+ / 0-)

    He'd make a hell of a better congressman though regardless of party.

    Hail to the king, baby.

    by KingofSpades on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 10:13:57 PM PDT

  •  Excellent Diary! (4+ / 0-)

    This sort of analysis is why I read DK.

    I hope this one gets picked up by the Rescue Rangers or the Elections Round-Up.

  •  hmm (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, Angie in WA State, Woody

    lots of writing here. i'll read it later, but...
    Gary Snyder? It's Rick.
    Allen West, not Adam.  Lay off the Family Guy :P
    and Shuler, not Schuler.

    19, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
    Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
    UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

    by jncca on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 12:00:23 AM PDT

  •  Well done! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, bumiputera

    I look forward to seeing the next part

    I'm finishing up a good diary on the CA house races so I can definitely fill in some of the blanks on CA-41

    Some minor corrections (that haven't been mentioned)

    Jeff Denham is only a freshman, so if anything that should make him even more vulnerable this year.

    Also Alan Lowenthal isn't the only won running from the state legislature. If anything Tony Strickland should be feeling more heat. He won his senate race by a narrow 857 vote margin in a pretty swing district. Despite his narrow win he promptly joined in the GOP in lockstep. Brownley only needs to bring up the Republican obstructionism in the senate and she should be set.

    What is it that has no weight, can be seen by the naked eye, and if you put it in a barrel it will make the barrel lighter?

    by lordpet8 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 12:32:44 AM PDT

    •  one* (0+ / 0-)

      What is it that has no weight, can be seen by the naked eye, and if you put it in a barrel it will make the barrel lighter?

      by lordpet8 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:17:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ah... (0+ / 0-)

      I have a whole list of things to correct. For some reason I thought Radanovich retired in 2008.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 07:23:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  MI 1st (0+ / 0-)

    Bebishek is an odious toad.  McDowell is an outdoorsy, regular guy with great appeal to the rural, small town north.

    It all comes down to turn-out.  If Dems show up and the wackos stay home because they can't stand the Twit, McDowell will kick his ass.

    Labor was the first price paid for all things. It was not by money, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased. - Adam Smith

    by boatwright on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 03:35:10 AM PDT

  •  You're a tad optimistic, I think, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bontemps2012, Gay CA Democrat

    about a few of these districts. CA-26, in particular, strikes me as fool's gold - when the Republican wins 48% in the top-two, he's likely to crawl over the line in November, absent a game-changer.

    However, I think between 8 and 10 of the 15 districts you examined will indeed flip D, which is a good start. Especially with FL and NY not included in this list (those two states should be good for another 10 pickups at least).

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

      Democratic turnout always increases in the general, often by significant margins. Also, Brownley had other center-left campaigns splitting her vote whereas Strickland was the sole conservative candidate. After the first choice Democrat dropped out, Brownley had to put together a campaign in less than two months as well, so she should her total increase given that she's had more time to campaign now as well, and to make up her name recognition gap.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 07:25:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Arky's right (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gay CA Democrat, MichaelNY, ArkDem14

      You have it exactly backwards. In CA races, Dems usually do far better in the general than in the primary. The same thing will happen this year. Statewide, Obama won the primary just 56-44 over Romney, and he's likely to win the general by at least 20. Outside the SF bay area, the Dem turnout jump from the primary to the general should be even bigger than the statewide average.

      SSP poster. 43, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

      by sacman701 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 09:32:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Attacking GOP House seats is #1 priority. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gay CA Democrat, Woody

    But this goes more with mailers and door-hangers than with television ads.

    Go for the door-hangers, if you can contact your Dem candidate and your district is winnable.

    It works!

    Walking is good for us !!

  •  In CO two toss ups leaning D (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gay CA Democrat

    CD-3 was won by tea-party jump on the wagon Tipton who got his campaign going late against former House Maj Leader Pace. In the midst is a genuine Libertarian 3rd Party candidate, Casida running a genuine campaign and will siphon off a measurable percentage of Tipton votes.

    CD-7 re apportioned to favor a Dem pickup in a tail coat election where Latino votes could come into play, though Mikoski (D) got started late against birther Coffman.  

    Probably one pick up

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty~Ben Franklin

    by RWN on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 05:45:55 AM PDT

  •  Great Work. Will Check This Against RCP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sawgrass727, Woody

    House map. This seems to have been relatively static. Although if I am not mistaken it seem like 3 seats have gone from leaning GOP to toss-up recently. With this map it seem that if Democrats win all of the toss-up ang get 9 of the leaning GOP races, they would have a majority.  Seems like a long shot, but two more years of gridlock because of a GOP House would be a disaster. If the House is still GOP November 7th, that should begin the day where work would begin for huge Democratic victories in the 2014 midterm.

    •  Once (0+ / 0-)

      In 1998, the second mid-term election under Bill Clinton, in reaction to the bogus Impeachment, the voters gave us five (5) more House seats.

      That was the one and ONLY second-term midterm victory for the party in the White House since before World War I and before President Woodrow Wilson.

      So get real and expect to lose seats in 2014.

      (Go to 'midterm elections' in Wikipedia for a handy informative table.)

      We damn well need to win our majority this year, and hope to hang on in 2014.

  •  Eric Cantor VA-7 will debate Wayne Powell tonight (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, suzq

    at 7:00 It will be on C Span
    If Powell does well maybe he will get noticed
    Cantor has a huge money advantage but
    his approval is below 50%

  •  Whether the Dems retake the house depends (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    on what happens in the next few days.  First if this voter registration fraud that appears to be all over Florida spreads to other states many republicans will beome disgusted with the party and Romney.  If this happens many will stay home come election day and that would mean a huge pickup of seats.  Secondly if Romney performs poorly in the debate this may cause many republicans to not vote.  There are also many that feel that the mormans are a cult religion and this good still hurt.

    We already see a republican enthusiasm gap in Ohio.  Now I know that the Ohio newspaper poll is not that scientific, but it was interesting to see that in August an equal number of dems and repubs returned the ballot, but in late September dems returned the ballot 43% - 35% for repubs.  If this gap shows up in other states November 6 will be a great night.

    •  Republicans disgusted with voter fraud? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Really? I don't want to sound overly combative, because your point would be reasonable if the Republican Party were still a reasonable party, but it isn't. Does the abbreviation IOKIYAR mean anything to you? Republicans care only when it's "you people" who are registering and voting. When their own party does something crooked, there's always some rationalization (the "liberal media" made it up, etc., etc.).

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 10:37:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Slow to change is their fault? (0+ / 0-)

        Probably he's hoping that there are some Repub voters, not office-holders or activists, but rank-and-filers who still vote Repub because grandpa did. Some may just now, very begrudgingly, be admitting that some of their party are a bit extreme. (The many debates should have helped on this point.)

        And after all, Obama has had a few failures.

        His first team of economic advisers were half Repubs, half Wall Street Democrats, and their results showed it.

        Then he wasted all of 2011 trying to reach a Grand Bargain on the budget. This amounted to a lengthy song fest of Repub talking points about the budget, the deficit, the dangers of overspending, the excessive entitlement programs, and other crap. We would better off today if Obama had kept his mouth shut every time he was about to say "cut the budget" or "reduce the deficit" or "eliminate wasteful spending". Those Paul Ryan type words do not help advance the Democratic program.

        And here we are at the end of three and half years of the Obama Administration and the unemployment rate is over 8%. And do you hear Democrats talking about 8% unemployment and the need to do more to bring it down?

        So if some who are Repubs because their grandpas were Repubs, and who have not been paying much attention to the damage their side is doing, if they have a grandkid out of college who can't find a damn job, and they are still thinking that Obama and the Democrats haven't got very much done, well ...

        Maybe there is still some hope of a few more of those folks coming around to our side by Election Day. Yeah, maybe.

  •  Redistricting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If only we could get rid of redistricting, which is at the heart of the problem of these non-competitive perpetual party-owned seats.

    I know allocations are made according to population,  but there should be at least some correlation to established governmental units, like cities or counties. Gerrymandering defeats all that.

    Probably a pipe dream, but I'm hoping for some legislative process reform post-election.

    "What everyone wants is a job and some hope."--RFK

    by For Dean in Dixie on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 10:03:02 AM PDT

  •  It's Really About Policy Differences Not (0+ / 0-)

    the individuals and their outrageous, condescending, hypocritical, bigoted, women hating, greedy and hateful mannerisms.

    Those actions, their words and behaviors may grab the illiterate, stenographical MSM, but if you come right down to what this election is about; it's the policies.

    So vote on policy and your choice will be easier.

    Conservatives say if you don't give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they've lost all incentive because we've given them too much money. -GC

    by cobaltbay on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 12:40:57 PM PDT

    •  To many voters (0+ / 0-)

      it isn't just about policy differences, and even a committed leftist like me doesn't think that should be the only consideration. Would you vote for a rapist or embezzler, just because s/he was a Democrat?

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 05:11:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Would you vote for a...embezzler... (0+ / 0-)

        Funny you should bring this up, look at who the Republicans have put up for election.

        Conservatives say if you don't give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they've lost all incentive because we've given them too much money. -GC

        by cobaltbay on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 04:35:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This isn't spin (0+ / 0-)

          This is a discussion about something you brought up. Don't try to spin this as a way to preach to the converted about reasons not to vote for Romney (who I guess is who you're referencing).

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 12:12:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Touchy!!! Must have hit a nerve. Good! (0+ / 0-)

            It's the entire Plutocracy Republican approach.  The type of approach that allowed the whole financial collapse starting at the end of 2006 and free falling through 2009.
            The same Right Wing and Tea Party congress that forced us to the brink of default in US history.
            The same Right Wing and Tea Party group that crippled the economy with credit card wars, tax breaks for the rich, an unfunded drug program and the interest on that $3.9 trillion spending spree.
            The same Right Wing and Tea Party group who gave us what they called 30 "Job Bills" which what they were are a 33% attack the EPA and lower regulations and protections that affect workers and citizen’s health and safety.  19% attack middle class wage earners.  17% attack the SEC hurting consumers, endangering another economic meltdown and helping the rich get richer.  17% are gifts to corporations and the rich.  5%    are un-regulated XL Pipeline promotions.  5%    attack consumer protections.  2% actually 1% was for Jobs in the United States for High Skilled Immigrants (about 1,000 – 3,000 jobs).  The other created about 250,000 to 500,000 new jobs China, Yugoslavia and the Czech Republic.
            And now the Right Wing Conservative movement puts up two candidates who want to  lead this country when their policies can't meet the "Math" test and hide their unscrupulous manipulative financial dealings.

            By the way thank you for bringing up Romney's name.
            Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly withholding assets for the purpose of conversion (theft) of such assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted, to be held and/or used for other purposes.
            In this case the IRS.

            Funny you can't prrove it wrong, because Romney's never released an documentation that would prove this otherwise.

            Conservatives say if you don't give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they've lost all incentive because we've given them too much money. -GC

            by cobaltbay on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 06:45:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  we had a majority, remember? (0+ / 0-)

    and we accomplished so much.

  •  What about California's 49th Cong. District? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Keith B

    The race between Jerry Tetalman and Rep. Darrell Issa in California's 49th Congressional District.  Issa, as we know, is the infamous Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee who hounded U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder over the Fast & Furious fiasco and didn't allow Sandra Fluke to testify at the committee's hearing on contraception earlier this year.

    Jerry Tetalman is someone who deserves a lot of support, more so than he's getting.  He's also a strong progressive and definitely is a fighter.

    The 49th Congressional District in California has been red for quite sometime although Tetalman has pointed out it has become more Democratic in recent years.  There's even some progressives in the area.

    You can read my diary covering Tetalman's candidacy:

    •  that race is, sadly, Safe R (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      19, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

      by jncca on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 03:10:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not as Safe Republican as you think (0+ / 0-)

        It's more Lean Republican if you ask people who live in the district.  Jerry Tetalman has more support than you think but still needs support.  The problem is, Tetalman is getting no support from the DCCC and has not even been endorsed by Democracy for America and Crooks & Liars, even though his candidacy, views and goals in Congress are 100% aligned with progressive causes.  He has been long active in the anti-war, progressive movement before even a number of candidates who are currently running for Congress.

        In fact, if you look at the diary I just cited in my previous comment (the diary I created myself), there are over 80 shares, 7 Tweets, etc.  This has occurred less than 10 days since I posted the diary even though I only have three comments on the diary.

        Us on Kos really need to get over this notion that we want to avoid focusing on Safe or Lean Republican Congressional districts in the country.  Sure, it's important we get people elected to Congress who are in Toss-Up, Lean Democrat or Safe Democrat columns.  However, when I believe in a candidate like Jerry Tetalman, I don't care what district he lives in.  I fight until the bitter end.  His voice is important in Congress.

        Besides, the 49th Congressional District in California is not based in Oklahoma, Texas or even Alabama.  He's in a district that's by the beaches of California!

        Even if Tetalman doesn't win in this election cycle, there still may be a movement to draft him for running for Congress in 2014.

        •  What's your evidence? (0+ / 0-)

          Do you have any data behind your claim that this is merely Lean-R? It's hardly credible that a race that's "getting no support" in funding is Lean-R. Of course, all of us (except for a few Republicans here) would wish it were.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 05:16:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Evidence: Contact Jerry Tetalman's campaign (0+ / 0-)

            The reason why there is no data is because NO ONE is covering the damn campaign nor is it getting any support from the Democratic Party on a national level.  I would think Daily Kos or anyone in the DCCC, Democracy for America or even the most progressive groups out there would want to interview Jerry Tetalman and his campaign but NO, they seem to be only interested in toss-up, Lean Democrat, Solid Democrat, and what are labeled Lean Republican campaigns by political gurus out there.

            There is a video I've just cited on You Tube where Jerry Tetalman was at a Democratic primary debate on May 3, 2012.  Pay close attention to the point Tetalman makes at the 1:07 mark (that's 1 minute and 7 seconds into the video).  Tetalman talks about the number of Democrats and Independents that have increased in his district.  Believe me, it isn't Lean Democrat but it also isn't super red in the same sense as say a Oklahoma Congressional District.

        •  The main problem is that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, ArkDem14

          Issa cleared 60% in the primary. Even with increased Dem turnout in the fall it will be hard for Tetalman to claw up to 50% +1

          still I admire your courage. Issa's seat will certaintly be ripe for the picking the decade moves on

          What is it that has no weight, can be seen by the naked eye, and if you put it in a barrel it will make the barrel lighter?

          by lordpet8 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 05:42:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not concerned strictly on 2012 (0+ / 0-)

            The honest truth is, I believe Jerry Tetalman deserves to be in Congress, whether it be elected in 2012 or in 2014 (if he runs again).

            It will be difficult for Tetalman's campaign to reach up to the 50% level but on the other hand, it isn't impossible either.

            Besides, Darrell Issa cleared 60% in the primary because no one challenged him.  He's got the GOP base behind him.  However, little does his base know the damage he's been doing.

  •  Dems gaining a seat in MD due to redistricting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    •  That was an old district (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, jncca

      changed up to become Democratic-leaning, it wasn't a new district and thus I didn't include it in my "eliminated, created" list.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 08:13:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  South Dakota's worth considering. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, ArkDem14

    Internal Democratic polls have this pegged as a VERY competitive race.  Many South Dakotans are disgusted with our Tea Party incumbent's failure to even show up to votes and hearings, and Matt Varilek (D) has been attacking her for months about it.  He's also been campaigning heavily in rural towns and West River instead of playing it safe in Sioux Falls, the state's largest city.  

    Watch for a Varilek win on election day.  It's very real and possible.

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