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In which I look at the overall Senate and House picture(I will do the Governor's race picture next week) and use various polling and other tools to make a guess at how the 2014 picture is looking.   I will do these monthly, and obviously as we get close to the 2014 election itself, things will be become more clear and hopefully for me more accurate.

The U.S Senate.
Currently U.S Senate's makeup is 53 Democrats, 2 Independents(both caucus with the Democrats) and 45 Republicans.

AK-Sen:  Mark Begich has decent approval numbers(49/39) and good numbers among Independents(54/32) according to the recent PPP poll (warning: contains PDF).   Against the GOP's strongest candidate, Gov. Sean Parnell, Begich polls even 48-48(Republican leaning pollster Harper has Parnell over Begich by 46-40).  Parnell may just run for re-election however.   Against Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, who is exploring a run, Begich polls under 50(which is always concerning for a Senator), however Begich has a good sized lead in both PPP and Harper polls(PPP:47-39, Harper: 44-34).   Against Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, PPP found Begich with a 47-41 advantage.   Cook and Rothenberg currently rank this seat as Lean D.

Prediction:  Lean Democratic(Tossup/Tilt R with Parnell).    Democratic Hold.

AR-Sen:  Mark Pryor will be running for his third term.   I am sure that the Clintons will campaign hard for him.  His potential opponents including two Republican Congressmen(Cotton, Womack) and Lt. Gov. Mark Darr.   Pryor hasn't really faced a tough re-election fight since in office.   Cotton is a freshman House member and Womack is in a strongly Republican district.   Without any polling, it is hard to get a clear picture of this race.   Since Arkansas is trending more red, Pryor may be in a very tough fight.   Cook ranks it as Lean D, Rothenberg as a Tossup.

Prediction:  Lean Democratic.  Democratic Hold.

CO-Sen:  Mark Udall won 53% of the vote when he was elected in 2008.   Colorado is trending bluer in Presidential years due to increasing Hispanic turnout.   The most recent poll of this race was in June 2012, where Udall hovered around 50%.   I can imagine that a Tea Party Republican of the likes of Ken Buck winning their primary.   If the Democrats can pump up turnout(and especially Hispanic turnout), Udall has a very good path to re-election.   Cook ranks this a Likely D, and Rothenberg as Safe D.

Prediction:  Likely Democratic.   Democratic Hold.

GA-Sen:  This is an open seat since Republican Saxby Chambliss was pushed out by the Tea Party.   Republican Congressman Paul Broun is the only declared candidate so far, and he's been known to spout off outrageous statements like his imfamous "evolution....lies from the pit of Hell" and saying that Obama is a communist and a Nazi.  Broun is very likely to pull a Todd Akin or a Richard Mourdock and he has a good shot at being the GOP nominee.   There are a few strong moderate to conservative Democrats who could run(although the Democratic primary picture is still very cloudy).  Georgia will become a swing state by the end of this decade, but Presidental years remain our best chance at doing well in the Peach State.  Cook says its Likely R and Rothenberg says it's Safe R.

Prediction:  Leans Republican(with Broun).   Republican hold.   Broun 53- Democratic nominee 47.

HI-Sen(special)-  Brian Schatz is progressive enough for the Democratic base, and I don't see him being unseated.  The Republicans only have the likes of Djou(who snuck into a House seat briefly due to Hawaii's election rules) and Linda Lingle who got stomped in the 2012 election.   Cook says Likely Democratic and Rothenberg says Safe Democraitc.

Prediction:  Safe Democratic.   Democratic hold.

IA-Sen: Tom Harkin is retiring and Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley has declared himself a candidate.   Braley is solidly progressive and polls well against Republicans.  In the recent PPP poll, (warning: contains PDF), Braley's toughest opponent is Republican Congressman Tom Latham(Braley only has a 3 point advantage, 44-41).   Republican-leaning pollster Harper has Latham with a 3 point advantage 36-33.  PPP has the Steve King as the GOP winner in various polls of the GOP field and he crushes Latham.   Steve King is very prone to outrageous statements and policy positions.  He wants dogfighting to be legal and is very anti-choice.   He's Iowa's Todd Akin only dumber.   PPP has Braley with a good lead over King 49-38 and Harper is a little closer 39-34.   King will likely be the most embarassing GOP candidate in 2014.  Cook has this as a Tossup and Rothenberg as a Lean D.

Prediction:  Likely Democratic(with King), Leans D(with Latham).   Democratic Hold.   Braley 56- King 43,  Braley 52 - Latham 47

KY-Sen: Mitch McConnell has never been that popular in Kentucky, and there is always the chance of him being teabagged.   He(and Karl Rove) are acting very scared about an Ashley Judd campaign.  The only declared candidate on the Democratic side is Ed Marksberry, who lost badly to a Republican in a 2010 House election.   Marksberry ran in 2010 on a shoestring budget and I doubt he'd be able to fundraise beyond Some Dude status.  Ashley Judd polls the best out of any potential Democratic candidate against McConnell according to a December PPP poll(McConnell only has a 47-43 advantage).  Loiusville Mayor Greg Fischer and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergren Grimes also poll fairly well against Yurtle the Turtle with McConnell 46-41 against Fischer and McConnell 47-40 against Grimes.   The consensus is that this is Likely Republican.

Prediction:  Leans Republican (Tossup/Tilt D with Judd).   Republican Hold.

LA-Sen:  Mary Landrieu will be in for another tough fight.   She has a history of winning squeakers and this being a 2014 race certainly doesn't help her.   A few of her potential opponents were elected to the House after 2008(Cassidy and Fleming) and a former Congressman(Landry).   It will be interesting to see if Big Oil stays out or if they actively try to unseat Landrieu.   Cook says its Lean D and Rothenberg says it's a Tossup.

As I was in the process of writing this, PPP did a poll of Louisiana(contains PDF), and Landrieu has healthy leads over the three that I named above, and her numbers are close to 50 with a net positive 47/45 approval rating.  I originally had this as a Tilt R before the poll

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt D   Democratic Hold.

ME-Sen: Basically PPP has the best picture of this race:  If Susan Collins stays in and isn't teabagged, Collins crushes her opponents.   If Collins is teabagged, the Democrats crush the Republicans.   Cook and Rotherbeg both currently have this race as Likely R.

Prediction:  Safe Republican(if Collins is nominee), Likely Democratic(if Collins retires/primaried out).

MA-Sen:  Most likely picture has Ed Markey winning the special election.   Republicans would face a very tough fight in 2014 if Markey becomes Senator.   The GOP would still face a tough fight if somehow their third-tier(or fourth-tier nominee) won the special.   Cook has this as Leans D and Rothenberg as a tossup.

Prediction:  Since I believe Markey will become the next Senator, Likely Democratic.   Democratic hold.

MN-Sen: Al Franken won a very close election to win this seat.   However, I believe that 2014 will be a less close race.  Franken polls well against the top 3 of his potential opponents(all Congresscritters: Bachmann, Kline, Paulsen) and Franken has a great lead on Bachmann 54-40(according to the latest PPP poll).   Against Kline, he's up 49-41 and against Paulsen he's up 50-39.    Cook ranks this as Lean D and Rothenberg as Safe D.

Prediction:  Likely Democratic,  Safe Democratic(against Bachmann).

MT-Sen: Max Baucus is likely in for his toughest re-election race since 1996 where he beat Denny Rehberg by 5 points.  Baucus is already somewhat unpopular with Democratic base over his handling of health care reform. On the Republican side, Former State Senator Corey Stapleton has declared himself to challenge Baucus.  Stapleton has some experience in organizing Republicans to win, so he seems like a formidable opponent.   With a November PPP poll that has Baucus only beating a Generic Republican by 3(45-42), this is concerning.    There is still some speculation that former Gov. Brian Schweitzer may primary Baucus from the left and he could possibly beat him(PPP has consistently had Schweitzer beating Baucus in a primary).  Schweitzer also polls at 50-42 against a generic Republican.  The consensus is that it Leans D.

Prediction:   Tossup/Tilt R(with Baucus), Leans Democratic(with Schweitzer).  Possible Republican pickup(will write Senate makeup after 2014 as 54-46 due to uncertainity)

NH-Sen: Jeanne Shaheen won a close race in 2008 and she has somewhat low fundraising numbers.   New Hampshire itself is a very purple state, but if the GOP keeps up its anti-choice crap, then New Hampshire will likely trend blue in how they vote even though New Hampshire tends to vote red in "off years".   Shaheen's potential opponents are the Republican she beat John Sununu the Younger and former Congressman Frank Guinta.  Shaheen polls well against Generic Republican(51-42 according to an August PPP poll) and is polled against Sununu 53-42 in a November PPP poll.  Cook and Rothenberg have this as Likely D.

Prediction:  Likely Democratic.   Democratic Hold.

NC-Sen: Kay Hagan won 53% of the vote in 2008(in a year that Obama won the state).  North Carolina is still very much a purple state.   Hagan polls under 50 against all Republicans(a bad sign) but she still has good leads over the likes of batcrap crazy Congresscritter Virginia Foxx(47-40 in a January PPP poll) and North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis(47-37).   Hagan's toughest opponent appears to be former Congresswoman Sue Myrick (whom Hagan has a very narrow lead: 45-44).   Pumping up turnout and voter registrations will help Hagan against the Tea Party onslaught(and they have a deep bench).  Cook and Rothenberg have this as Leans D.

Prediction:  Leans Democratic(against most GOP),  Tossup/Tilt R(if Myrick).  Democratic hold.

SC-Sen-B:  Tim Scott holds a structural advantage in this special election.   A former Governor(Hodges) and a few state Reps are listed as potential opponents.   Without any polling, it will be tough to gauge this race.  Hodges sounds like a moderate to Conservative Democrat and could potentially at least keep it close for Scott.   A voter registration effort and high turnout could help fight for this seat.   Cook has this as Likely R and Rothenberg as Safe R

Prediction: Likely Republican.   Republican hold.

SD-Sen:  Tim Johnson was won squeakers before(he won in 2002 by 524 votes and he won a close one in 1996).   Johnson's health might make a tough re-election fight against former Gov. Mike Rounds(who has declared himself a candidate) too tough for him.   Rounds will be a formidable opponent, but if South Dakota Democrats remind voters of Rounds extreme anti-choice actions and if the Democrats work towards high Native American turnout, our odds are still good.   The consensus is that this is a Tossup race.  If Tim Johnson decides not to run, the Democrats might look at U.S Attorney Brendan Johnson(who is a son of the current Senator).   The younger Johnson also is very strong on Native American issues.   Former Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin is also a consideration.

Prediction:  Tossup/Tilt D(if Johnson stays in), Lean Republican(if Johnson retires).   Possible Democratic hold.

VA-Sen:  Mark Warner is a popular incumbant, and polls above 50 against all Republicans and has a very good lead over Gov. Bob McDonnell(who is term-limited in 2013) 52-42 according a January PPP poll.  Cook and Rothenberg rank this a Likely D

Prediction: Likely Democratic(might move to Safe Democratic depending on opponent).

WV-Sen:  This is an open seat since Jay Rockefeller is retiring.   Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito has declared herself as a Republican candidate and Capito polls above 50 against the top 3 Democrats who could run and Capito crushes them as far as leads.   Capito could be teabagged as Club for Growth doesn't like her.   Consensus has this as a Tossup.   This will be a difficult seat to keep even with a teabagger.

Prediction: Likely Republican, Tossup/Tilt D if Capito is teabagged.   Republican pickup(if Capito).  (Senate makeup after 2014: 53-47)

Safe Democratic(consensus):
Delaware
Illinois
Michigan
New Mexico
Oregon
Rhode Island

Safe Republican(consensus)
Alabama
Idaho
Kansas
Mississippi
Nebraska
Oklahoma
South Carolina(A seat)
Tennessee
Texas
Wyoming.

Conclusions:   Currently the 2014 Senate map is tough for Democrats with opportunities in Georgia, Kentucky and Maine if the Tea Party knocks out the more establishment Republicans and the Democratic nominee is a strong one.   The Democrats have potential to lose in Alaska, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.   Montana and West Virginia at the moment seems like the toughest holds but Johnson retiring in South Dakota opens that up for a Republican pickup too.

Current Senate: 53 Democrats, 2 Independents, 45 Republicans(55D 45 R)
Projected Senate after 2014: 51 Democrats, 2 Independents, 47 Republicans(53D 47R)
GOP Pickups: WV, MT

Below the orange squiggle are select House races including predictions on all open seats in 2014 and the Governor races.

The U.S House of Representatives
Right now, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball is projecting +1 House seat(s) for the Democrats based on Pollster's finding that Democrats have a four point lead in the generic ballot.   Given that 2014 is a sixth year term election for the Democrats(which has historically been bad for the party in power) and House districts have been gerrymandered to the degree that there is not much give on either side, it sounds accurate. 1998 could be instructive in how the Democrats were able to gain House seats despite historical trends due the Republicans being clearly out of touch with the American people(the impeachment fiasco).

Currently, the Republicans have a majority of 232 to 200(the 3 special elections in 2013 are likely to make it 234 to 201 for 2014).  

Open Seats:  (House ratings from Cook)
GA-10(Cook PVI: R+14).  Paul Broun's seat is a very red seat and extremely likely to remain that way.  It still should be contested as Georgia is trending bluer so Democrats can be more ready when Georgia become a swing state.

Prediction:  Safe Republican

IA-01(D+5).  Bruce Braley's seat is somewhat solidly Democratic and there are quite a few potential candidates who could run a strong campaign to hold that seat.   Given how some Iowa Republicans are out of touch with Iowans with bills that would make illegally make abortion considered murder, I feel good about this seat.

Prediction: Likely Democratic

WV-02(R+8).   Shelley More Capito's seat is a pro-gun, pro coal and sliightly more conservative area that the rest of the state which votes Republican on the Presidental level but still votes Democratic on a state level.    Counties in West Virginia trending away from Obama and Democrats is a concerning thing.   A Blue Dog could win this district against a teabagger, but this could be one of the places where the NRA finds fertile ground.

Prediction: Likely Republican.

The Leaners and the Tossups:

AZ-01: (R+3).  Ann Fitzpatrick won a very close election to make her comeback into Congress.  This district is around 23% percent Native American, and no doubt that Native American turnout will help Fitzpatrick keep this seat.  Republicans being dickish about the Violence Against Women Act and particularly against Native Americans will also help motivate Native Americans.   Since the district is also at least 16% Hispanic, demographics will make this seat bluer over time.

Prediction:  Tossup/Tilt D.  

AZ-02: (R+2). Ron Barber also barely won the election.   This district is southeastern Arizona and baiscally was the district that Gabby Giffords represented.   The NRA's tone deafness, Giffords pubically making the case for gun safety and how a Tucson Republican switched parties to become a Democrat in addition to demographics will help Barber defend this seat in 2014.   Voter regisration and keeping turnout high will be key for this seat.   Hopefully Arizona's elections will also be reformed so that more votes are actually counted.

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt D

AZ-09 (R+1).  This is very definitely a swing district, and Krysten Sinema had to wait a week to be declared the winner after the election.   Sinema can win tough elections, and she's progressive so the Democratic base should be excited to turnout for her.  Demographics will probably also help this seat become bluer over time.   Cook and Sabato both rank this as Lean D.

Prediction: Lean Democratic

CA-07(R+3).   Ami Bera won a close one here and Bera can definitely fundraise really well so he will be ready for any Republican challenger.    Cook ranks it as Lean D, while Sabato ranks it as Likely D

Prediction: Lean Democratic

CA-10(R+5).   Republican Jeff Denham won reelection although it was fairly close(53-47).   The seat includes part of Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, both traditionally Republican counties that are trending Democratic.   Stanislaus as a whole actually went to Obama(he won 50.2 of the vote in 2012).   This makes me think with the demographics where about 30-35% of the population is Hispanic that 2016 could be a very good opportunity at flipping this seat.   If the national pulse is on choice or gun safety, this district could be an opportunity for Democrats.   Cook says Likely R and Sabato says Lean R

Prediction: Lean Republican

CA-21(R+3): Republican David Valadao coasted to reelection in 2012.  However this district is made up of Kings County, a county with a large Hispanic population that has traditionally voted Republican.  It also includes parts of Bakersfield which is a conservative city.  Cook and Sabato must sense something about this district since both rank it as Lean R.

Prediction: Lean Republican(I almost put it Likely R but demographics and the right candidate could make this interesting).

CA-31(D+2).  This district is why I hate California's primary laws.  Republican Gary Miller is a typical teabagger, but this is a Democratic district.   It's in an area(Inland Empire) that is trending more Democratic and the district is majority Hispanic.   DCCC probably has this as one of their top targets.   The Democratic Mayor of Redlands, Pete Aguilar might run again for this seat in 2014.  Cook and Sabato have this as a Tossup.

Prediction: Lean Democratic(if Aguilar runs and has a clear field),  Tossup/Tilt D(if another Democrat makes it to the general election).   Democratic pickup.

CA-36(R+3).   It was a pleasant surprise on election night when Paul Ruiz flipped this seat to the Democrats.  This district includes most of the Coachella Valley.   I am sure that the Republicans will fight hard to regain this seat in the desert and Cook ranks this as a Tossup and Sabato ranks this as Lean D.

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt D

CA-52(D+1).  This was another closely won reelection, and Scott Peters is a progressive which should help drive the base to turnout.   This is a swing district in the San Diego area, and the county itself has been swingy of late from a history of voting Republican.   This and likely the changing demographics should help Peters.  Cook has this as Lean D and Sabato as Likely D.

Prediction: Lean Democratic

CO-06(R+1).  Republican Mike Coffman is now in a very swingy district and he barely won the last election.   And now, he has a strong Democratic challenger, Andrew Romanoff.  Obama also won this district 52-46.   This really will be a top priority for the DCCC and 2014 may be the year that Coffman goes down.   Cook has this as Lean R and Sabato as a Tossup

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt D.  Possible Democratic pickup.

FL-18(R+1).  All of us loved Patrick Murphy winning over crazy Allen West.   And since West doesn't want a rematch, it will likely fall to some other Republican to challenge Murphy.  Murphy is a progressive and I think he'll connect with the voters in his district.   Cook and Sabato rank this as a Tossup.

Prediction: Lean Democratic

FL-26(R+4).  The Republicans want this seat back badly.  Joe Garcia is gonna give them one heck of a fight though for this South Florida seat.  It includes swingy Monroe county and parts of Miami-Dade.  Demographics should help Garcia past 2014. Cook has this as a Tossup, while Sabato has it as Lean D

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt D

GA-12(R+9).  John Barrow is one of the most annoying Blue Dogs ever but he does help keep this eastern and southeastern Georgia seat in Democratic hands.  If Barrow stays in this seat, I imagine that he will likely hold on in 2014.   If Barrow runs for Senate, this seat would then likely be considered Likely Republican.   Cook and Sabato rank it as a Lean D.

Prediction: Lean Democratic(if Barrow stays)

IL-10(D+8)  Brad Schneider won a close one to flip this seat to the Democrats.  This is apparently a district of suburbs north of Chicago and seems rather towards the Democrats.   Perhaps someone from the area could enlighten me but do elections come down to "Reagan Democrats".   Cook ranks it as a Lean D and Sabato as a Likely D.

Prediction: Lean Democratic

IL-12(D+2).  This southern Illinois seat elected Bill Enyart who seems to be a moderate.  I don't really know much about this district but Cook has it as Likely D and Sabato as Lean D.  

Prediction: Lean Democratic

IL-13(D+1).   Republican Rodney Davis only won this seat by 1,000 votes.   The DCCC has indicated that this seat is one of their top targets and likely a candidate other than David Gill might have a real chance at winning this district.  Cook and Sabato rank this as a Lean R though.

Prediction: Tossup/Lean R

IN-02(R+7).  Republican "Wacky" Jackie Walorski won this district by a close margin and Walorski is a crazy Republican.   Given her past extreme anti-choice views and her past Social Security privatization support, she could be made to be seen as too extreme.   This is a blue-collar district and that could work for or against the Democrats depending on what happens this year and the next.  Cook and Sabato rank it as Lean R.

Prediction: Lean Republican

MA-06(D+7).  John Tierney barely won reelection in 2012 beating Richard Tisei 48.3% to 47.3%.  Tierney is vulnerable in 2014 because he won't have the Obama coattails to save him and he is tarnished from a gambling scandal that his wife and in-laws were involved in.   In my opinion, Tierney should retire.   This North Shore district is one of the redder districts in the state, and perhaps Tisei or a moderate Republican could give Democrats in this district heartburn.   Cook has this as Lean D and Sabato as Likely D.

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt R(if Tierney runs).   Possible GOP pickup.

MI-01(R+4).   This Upper Peninsula seat was targeted by Democrats in 2012, and Republican Dan Benishek ended winning re-election.   I don't have much hope in a district that Stupak used to represent, but apparently Sabato thinks the Democrats still have promise in this one as he ranks it Lean R while Cook ranks it Likely R.

Prediction: Likely Republican

MI-11(R+4).  This seat is currently a Republican one with a batcrap crazy one named Kerry Bentivolio.   This seat could potentially go Democratic if they find someone like David Curson who won a special election for the seat.   The DCCC is probably looking at seeing if they can find an appealing moderate Democrat to run for this seat.  Given that the Republicans are doing everything they can to make Michiganers hate them, I feel optismistic about this seat.   Cook says Lean R and Sabato says Likely R,

Prediction: Lean Republican

MN-06(R+8).   Batcrap crazy Michele Bachmann barely won reelection in this suburban seat.   I am hopeful that voters will still remember how crazy Bachmann is in 2014, however the potential lower turnout doesn't make me feel hopeful.   Cook has this as Likely R while Sabato has this as Lean R.  Things in this district could get interesting if Bachmann decides to run for Senate.

Prediction: Likely Republican

NE-02(R+6).   This is the bluest district in Nebraska.   Lee Terry is the Republican and thanks to gerrymandering, he was able to keep this seat.   In a Presidental year, this district could be more in play since Nebrasks splits its EVs by Congressional Districts.  Romney was able to win the district in 2012.   Cook ranks this as Likely R while Sabato says its Lean R.

Prediction: Likely Republican

NV-03(Even).  This district is a very swingy district and if we are able to field a strong candidate, then Joe Heck could be in trouble.   Cook ranks it as Likely R and Sabato as Lean R.

Prediction: Lean Republican

NH-01(Even).  This is another swingy district, and it has a history of overturning incumbants.   Will Carol Shea-Porter hang on to this district this time?   I think Shea-Porter will be a strong incumbant this time.  Cook and Sabato have this one as a Tossup.

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt D

NH-02(D+3).   So far only the wingnuts that New Hampshire doesn't like have floated taking on Ann Kuster.   New Hampshire will still vote Republican, but increasingly Republicans are out of step with the values of the Granite State regarding choice and such.   I feel optismistic about this seat.    Cook has it as Likely D and Sabato as Lean D.

Prediction: Lean Democratic

NY-01(Even).  Tim Bishop represents this eastern Long Island district which is very swingy.   Obama won this district in 2012 51-48.   Bishop is a real Democrat and pretty well known to the voters, so I think he can defend in 2014.   Cook and Sabato have this as Lean D.

Prediction: Lean Democratic

NY-11(R+4).   Republican Mike Grimm represents this Staten Island district.   Grimm has a very spotty history of ethics problems, and Obama carried Staten Island in the 2012 election.   Given that, and how the national GOP were very dickish with the Sandy relief, the right Democrat could be a dark horse to flip this district.  A Blue Dog that held this seat is considering a run as is a member of the New York City Council.    Cook has it as Likely R while Sabato has it as a Tossup.

Prediction: Lean Republican

NY-18(R+2).  Sean Maloney unseated a Tea Party nut to win this Hudson Valley seat.  Given how close this district is geographically to New York City(it has some of the northern suburbs and exurbs) and how GOP recalcitrance on Hurricane Sandy and on gun safety, Maloney could use that to hold on to this district.   Cook and Sabato have it as Lean D.

Prediction: Lean Democratic.

NY-19(Even).  Republican Chris Gibson represents this Hudson Valley district that is north of the NYC suburbs and south of Albany.  It includes most of the Catskills.  Gibson could be a tough incumbent to beat, although the GOP's stance on disaster relief would not play well with voters who remember how bad Irene was in that district.  A political activist and investment fund president named Sean Eldridge might challenge Gibson on the Democratic side.   Cook has this as Likely R and Sabato as a Lean R.

Prediction: Lean Republican

NY-21(R+2).  Bill Owens represents this district which is in the Adirondacks and the Thousand Islands region.  Owens is a moderate Democrat in a rural region.  Gun safety might be unpopular to that particular part of New York but the district also seems to reject the hard-right as well.  Cook has this as Likely D and Sabato as Lean D.

Prediction: Lean Democratic(could become a Tossup)

NY-23(R+3)  Republican Tom Reed represents this district which includes part of the Finger Lakes region and includes the Southern Tier region.  Reed won a close one in 2012.  In a Presidental year, this district could be close but not sure about 2014.  Cook ranks it as Likely R and Sabato as Lean R.

Prediction: Likely Republican

NC-07(R+11):  Blue Dog Mike McIntyre might annoy us a lot too, but he holds this seat for the Democrats and he has survived 2010 and the brutal NC gerrymander of 2012.  McIntyre held on by 650 votes and the Republican who ran against him in 2014 may want a rematch.   Both Cook and Sabato have this as Lean D.

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt D.

OH-14(R+3).   Republican David Joyce won this seat after Steve LaTourette retired and the only Democrat on the ballot was Some Dude.   This is a Northeastern Ohio district, and likely would remember the GOP's Sandy dickery.   An attorney named Michael Wager will seek to run for this seat for the Democrats.   I will watch this one closely.  I hope the DCCC does too.   Both Cook and Sabato has this as Lean R.

Prediction: Lean Republican

PA-08(D+1).  Republican Mike Fitzpatrick represents this district in Bucks County and small parts of Philadelphia.   Fitzpatrick won his last election by a pretty solid amount, but I think the right Democrat could unseat Fitzpatrick, and given how the GOP has ruled Pennsylvania in the last few years and how the Philadelphia suburbs are getting bluer, the DCCC should focus on this race.   Cook has this as a Likely R and Sabato as a Lean R.

Prediction: Lean Republican.

TX-23(R+5).  Pete Gallego won this majority Latino district in the last election.   This is a large district, and could be redistricted to be more Democratic given the demographics of it already.   I'll be keeping on eye on this district.   Cook and Sabato both rank it as Lean D.

Prediction: Lean Democratic

UT-04(R+14).  Jim Matheson is the Little Blue Dog Who Could.   He keeps winning and I don't expect 2014 to be any different for him.   Sabato and Cook have this as Lean D.

Prediction: Lean Democratic

WV-03(R+6).  Nick Rehall represents this southern West Virginia district.   This has a lot of coal mining regions and some of the farm and timber areas too.  This area will likely continue to trend more red so it may get tougher to keep winning, but Rehall should be able to keep this seat for a while.  Cook ranks this as Likely D and Sabato as Lean D.

Prediction: Lean Democratic

Conclusions:  Due to gerrymandering and the lower expected turnout in 2014, it will be difficult for Democrats to regain some seats.   The generic Pollster numbers, and how California is still changing and how the GOP treated the states of New Jersey and New York may lay the foundation for change in 2016.   Choice is a winning issue, and the GOP's continued War on Women may be the national issue that sweeps a few of the dead-enders out.   Gun Safety could both help and hurt.  It will turn off some rural voters, which tend to vote Republican anyway, and the GOP may hurt itself with suburban voters who are sick of the gun violence(and the NRA's response has disgusted them).  I see 2014 as another 1998 where Democrats make small gains in the House but they don't regain the majority.

Current House: 232 Republicans, 200 Democrats(projection into 2014: 234R 201D)
Projected House after 2014:  233 Republicans, 202 Democrats
Net Gain: +1 Dem(Dem flip of CA-31).

Next week, I will look at the Governor races since there are 38 elections for those in 2014.   Please correct any faults you think I may have in my analysis and feel free to add House races that I should pay attention to.

Poll

Democratic change in the House after 2014?

7%11 votes
3%6 votes
3%6 votes
9%15 votes
11%18 votes
2%4 votes
3%6 votes
7%11 votes
3%5 votes
18%28 votes
9%15 votes
1%3 votes
0%1 votes
11%17 votes
4%7 votes

| 153 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    I agree with President Obama, our country's journey is not yet complete. We must continue the work that our forebearers at Seneca Falls started, and put the Equal Rights Amendment into our Constitution.

    by pistolSO on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:06:12 PM PST

  •  Damn, a net gain of 1 seat in the House? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO

    Seriously? We are royally fucked for the next decade at this rate. Is there any chance for a pick up of like, 10 seats? I'd settle for that.

    •  I think we could possibly gain 5 to 10 seats (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG, milkbone, bythesea

      in 2016 since Presidential years increase turnout and Arizona, Georgia and Texas will eventually become purple states.   I also see us eventually winning more California districts(and I think New Jersey could see a few GOPers lose in 2016 if the national GOP acts like it does now).

      Hillary Clinton may also put some places in play that would be more difficult otherwise.

      Of course, it's still early and Michigan Democrats seem to be ready to all-out push in 2014 so maybe some Michigan House seats flip with the higher-than-expected turnout.

      I agree with President Obama, our country's journey is not yet complete. We must continue the work that our forebearers at Seneca Falls started, and put the Equal Rights Amendment into our Constitution.

      by pistolSO on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:30:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I say more than 30 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO, bythesea

        President Obama can campaign and so can Bill Clinton.  That enough will be good for Democrats to fire up the troops in all the elections that matter.

        Keep in mind because races for the U.S. House and Senate are mostly state or region based, there isn't as much grueling state-to-state campaigning done by candidate running for president.  It's a lot easier to organize campaigns within states than it is nationally.

  •  I think your analysis may be a bit premature (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, pistolSO, bythesea

    This is February 2013 and it's WAY early to even make the conclusion that there will be lower voter turnout in the 2014 midterm elections.

    Here are a few factors:

    1)  President Obama's approval ratings are at record highs and now he's becoming very popular that he could become a major asset in a number of racers, both in the U.S. Senate and in the House.  I really don't understand why enough Kossacks are talking about Obama not being an asset.  He easily won re-election.  We're no longer talking about 2010.

    2)  Congress's approval ratings, at record low levels, are being blamed solely at Republicans.  If anything, voter turnout among the GOP will be low, unless the GOP does an amazing job at getting people off their asses.

    3)  Bill Clinton and Hilary Clinton can also campaign.  Bill Clinton recently gave a passionate speech to House Democrats.  If there's anyone who can rally up the troops and early on, it's President Clinton.  I mean, did his speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention not fire up voters?

    4)  We can start voter registration NOW and rally troops early on.

    •  I agree that voter registration is important. (0+ / 0-)

      That is an effort that should be taking place everywhere, but I think it really could help in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina to take advantage of demographic trends.   North Carolina is already a purple state and Georgia and South Carolina will eventually become purple states(it may take a decade or longer for SC).   Obviously it will also help dovetail with efforts in Michigan and Wisconsin to unseat their Republican governors and fight for those Congressional districts.

      I would love to see Obama actively campaign, especially in Midwestern swing to Democratic districts and in California and New Jersey districts.   I agree with you that Barack Obama could be a very helpful presence to some Democrats.  

      As for the Clintons, they did campaign a lot in 2010.   So I think they could help but I don't know if they'd have that much effect.   I sincerely hope they don't waste their time in coal-heavy places that Carville tried to appeal to in the 90s.  

      And I would love to see 2014 have the same or higher turnout than 2012 but historically, midterms have less turnout than presidential years.  The GOP are going to turn out anyway(they are motatived to "take back their country").   Democrats should work towards high turnout to combat that.

      I agree with President Obama, our country's journey is not yet complete. We must continue the work that our forebearers at Seneca Falls started, and put the Equal Rights Amendment into our Constitution.

      by pistolSO on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:48:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah but here's the thing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO

        You're still referencing 2010.  2010 is irrelevant because Tea Party Republicans no longer have the mojo they used to and because of the 2012 Presidential Elections, Mitt Romney, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, the Tea Party guys are losing steam.  Maybe only in deep red states do the Tea Party guys have any mojo but still, Democrats can stop being a bunch of wusses and start challenging the Tea Party guys until they keep on drinking water like Paul Ryan did during the VP Presidential debate in 2012 where Joe Biden annihilated him.

        Bill Clinton and Hilary Clinton can rally up the troops and they will.  2013 is now a new era than 2010, 2008 or even 2006.  If you recall, voter turnout for 2006 was unusually high and it gave Nancy Pelosi her gavel, as well as many wins for the Democrats in the House and Senate.  Also, not a single Democrat who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2006 lost his/her seat in 2012.

        So if Democrats are worried that some people like Mark Pryor might lose the election in 2014, what are they worried about?  Those Democrats are not the gift that keeps on giving.  It's those Tea Party Republicans and other Republican idiots like John Boehner who are all about power and not about actually making lives better for the American people.  The more they talk, whether in or about blue states or red states, the more they keep shooting themselves in the foot.

        And without the Tea Party, the GOP is in serious trouble, BIG trouble.

        So yes, I don't envision 2014 becoming another 2010 or low turnout election.

        Remember, when Barack Obama was a U.S. Senator, he was extremely popular and helped galvanize voters across races in 2006, helping the Democrats gain more House and Senate seats in 2006.

    •  Eh, not a bad thing though to look at these races (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pistolSO

      and at least update your predictions.

      Funny Stuff at http://www.funnyordie.com/oresmas

      by poopdogcomedy on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:49:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I plan on updating monthly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bythesea

        This is a very early picture and I realize that things will look different a year from now.   But I decided that I wanted to try and take a very early look.

        As I know more information on the midterms, the more accurate my predictions will be.   It will be a lot of fun once Nate Silver starts doing his 2014 stuff too.

        I agree with President Obama, our country's journey is not yet complete. We must continue the work that our forebearers at Seneca Falls started, and put the Equal Rights Amendment into our Constitution.

        by pistolSO on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:54:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No...no...and no...here's why: (0+ / 0-)

      1)  President Obama's approval ratings are at record highs and now he's becoming very popular that he could become a major asset in a number of racers, both in the U.S. Senate and in the House.  I really don't understand why enough Kossacks are talking about Obama not being an asset.  He easily won re-election.  We're no longer talking about 2010.

      President Obama is not on the ballot, just as he wasn't in 2010. Those who are mobilized buy his presence in a race but are uninspired by various Dem candidates likely will not turn out in the numbers you think they will.

      2)  Congress's approval ratings, at record low levels, are being blamed solely at Republicans.  If anything, voter turnout among the GOP will be low, unless the GOP does an amazing job at getting people off their asses.

      Uh, congress ALWAYS has low JARs...and it's not just the Republicans they have problems with.

      3)  Bill Clinton and Hilary Clinton can also campaign.  Bill Clinton recently gave a passionate speech to House Democrats.  If there's anyone who can rally up the troops and early on, it's President Clinton.  I mean, did his speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention not fire up voters?

      By then, Hillary will be full-blown into her presidential run of 2016. And with all due respect, they aren't likely to hitch their wagon to ANYONE'S prospects when they have so much on the line.

      •  You're missing the point (0+ / 0-)

        1)  Barack Obama, when he was U.S. Senator in 2006, actually helped the outreach effort for Democrats running for the House and Senate.  He's a natural campaigner and in fact, Obama is campaigning right now in the U.S. on issues that matter to the country.

             And with all due respect, people WILL turn out in numbers for Democratic candidates for the House in Senate based on President Obama's campaigning.  We can make sure they should.  They did it in 2006, when Congress was getting sharply criticized and they can do it again in 2014, where Congress is getting it's worst approval rating ever.

        2)  The GOP is the gift that keeps on giving and they don't stop.  They are basically blowing up and continuing to self-destruct.  Maybe they aren't losing their base in red states but even Georgia right now is a closely watched state, which is becoming more moderate than traditionally conservative in the past.

        3)  Do you really think Hilary Clinton will run in 2016?  Unless she announces it, right now all it is, is hype to me.

        •  No...I got your point 100%... (0+ / 0-)

          Don't be duped into thinking that because someone disagrees with you, they "miss your point".

          1) Barack Obama didn't do SQUAT for Democrats in 2010...or 2011, for that matter...and Republicans were arguably in worse shape after the 2008 election than they are now (now they have control of the House)

          2) I can point you to numerous times the GOP was in "self-destruct" mode throughout history (1968, 1976, 1992, 2008) yet found a way to kick our asses in elections that followed. It is arrogant presumption to think that 2012 guarantees success in 2014 or any other election.

          Oh, and the day we  take Georgia will be the day I bite my own ass.

          3) Yes, I really, REALLY think Hillary Clinton will run in 2016...and win. The Clinton machine has only really lost one big election...and the guy they lost to will not be able to run again.

          •  2010 is NO more (0+ / 0-)

            And throughout the history you're referring you, you're taking things way out of context.  During the years of 1968,l 1976, 1992, 2008, times were different.  Since then, we've had a Democratic president that's black, the most innovative and inclusive president in history (although Obama is not perfect).

            And also, there's more infighting in the GOP now than there ever was before, more to the point of REAL self-destruction.

            Those years in the 1960's and 1970's, well, here's a piece of history:  The GOP in the 1960's and 1970's were more moderate and moderate conservative.  In the 1980's, they became more conservative although moderates were still included.  In the 1990's, the GOP became more right wing but still cooperated with Clinton.  In the Bush years, the GOP became almost exclusively conservative with hardly any moderates welcome and almost entirely conservative and right wing.

            In the 2008 and years beyond, the GOP has become more right-wing and Tea Party based, not allowing any moderates to enter and conservatives must undergo the litmus test.

            I know this because I deal with conservatives all the time in my own family.  My mom and brother, both from conservative families in Utah won't mention this but they deal with crap now that they didn't used to deal with, politically.  My mom can't stand Rush Limbaugh and she can't stand the right wingers.  Yet she still wants to be in the GOP because she's conservative and her views fit that mold.  I don't blame her.  It's her point of view and I respect that.

            But please, I'm a Berkeley native and I've been through many anti-war protests and have lived here long before Daily Kos was even founded.  This is only February 2013 and we're talking about the 2014 midterm elections as if there's no opportunity.  BULL CRAP.  We're just afraid of conservatives.

            Well, I ain't afraid of no conservative.

            •  No, you have your OPINION... (0+ / 0-)

              ...I have mine...and mine is based on historical FACT.

              Nothing out of context in the least here. I have the facts AND history on my side with my argument. You have speculation...unfounded speculation. Time will prove me right on this...bank it.

  •  Also on Michelle Bachmann's seat in 2014 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO, bythesea

    She's going to lose.  Jim Graves almost beat her last November.  If we can get people off their asses and we SHOULD, Graves can be motivated to run again (and he should) in 2014 and knock off Bachmann so she can no longer lead the Tea Party Caucus.

    I mean, we're taking things so casually now for the Midterm elections in 2014.  We have a golden opportunity to prepare for 2016 where President Obama is term-limited and then the next president may still have to clean up the mess from President Bush's legacy that Obama is still trying to clean up (i.e. the economy).

    I can't emphasize how important 2014 is.  I personally don't want to wait until 2016 for the U.S. to finally get on its feet.

  •  All in all I like you predictions but I think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO

    Carte Goodwin can hold the WV-Sen seat even if Capito gets primaried or not.  Goodwin has the most political clout and Manchin will certainly campaign for him.  As for SD-Sen, I think Tim Johnson is the strongest candidate and I think he will run again but who knows.  However, Mike Rounds (R) has a lot of pull in the state and the Super PACs but a sour relationship with South Dakota Native American tribes which could decide that election.  With that said, even if Johnson retires, there's always former Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D) who said in 2010's Time Magazine's 40 under 40 list that Native American affairs need to be bigger issues to address:

    What's the most overlooked issue facing America these days?

    Pockets of severe poverty in Indian country that exist in our country that a lot of people aren't aware of. I represent nine sovereign Sioux tribes. In South Dakota, some of the tribes are in the most remote, rural areas of the country. They lack essential infrastructure. Some communities don't even have clean drinking water. We have among the highest rates of teen suicide. ... In terms of the nation's consciousness, I just don't think people are aware of the magnitude of the crisis. It's overwhelming.

    You can read more here:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    It's early but we shall see.

    Funny Stuff at http://www.funnyordie.com/oresmas

    by poopdogcomedy on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:54:57 PM PST

  •  I would be thrilled (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO

    If we contained Senate losses to 1-3 seats and House losses to under 5.

    Between the midterm electorate, the Six Year Itch, the gerrymandering and the fact that this is the Senate class of 08, this should be the GOP's big shot. If we hold the Senate through 2014, we're guaranteed control until 2018 at the earliest, while even a few small House gains might better position us for bigger gains in 2016.

    •  Nah, this is the Democrats' shot (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pistolSO, bythesea

      The GOP is losing credibility fast and already more people are starting to see how stupid those GOP in Congress are as a result of the fiscal cliff, Hurricane Sandy and other matters that have been dealt with.

      Unless we get off of our asses and just fight like mad hell RIGHT NOW, sure, lower turnout may be bound to happen.

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