Jim Geraghty at the Campaign Spot has compiled a list of sleeper House races–where the GOP challenger probably would (should?) have no business winning in November, but could provide some 2010 election night surprises given the national trends and developments within the races themselves:
6. Ryan Frazier vs. Ed Perlmutter, Colorado’s 7th District.
Reasons the challenger should have no chance: Perlmutter won 63 percent of the vote in his district in 2008, which put him 4 percentage points ahead of Obama. At one point, it looked like the GOP would win Colorado’s Senate and gubernatorial races handily; now the Senate looks like a tough fight, and the governor’s race is an uphill climb that matches the Rocky Mountains.
Reasons the challenger has a chance: The district was designed to be competitive; as recently as 2002, it was the most evenly divided district in the country. The NRCC thinks that Perlmutter’s vote for cap-and-trade will be devastating among locals employed in Colorado’s oil and gas industries. Frazier is young (32), and he is only the second black candidate to run for federal office as a Republican in Colorado. President Obama has been significantly underwater in this state since August of last year.
Geraghty’s full House list now comprises of 103 seats that he has organized into a color-coded theme–from “GOP Should Win” to “GOP Will Need a Wave and Some Luck.”
Rep. Betsy Markey’s 4th Congressional District is viewed as the most vulnerable, a “Should Win” for Republicans. Rep. John Salazar’s hold of the 3rd Congressional District is given a 50-50 chance of success.
Charlie Cook’s eponymous Political Report sees a 35-45 seat gain (Republicans need to flip 39 seats for control of the House), and Cook believes that many of these new “bubble” races may be winnable if a “wave” begins to manifest itself by election night.
Perlmutter’s campaign has hit a few stumbling blocks, if recent public appearances are any indication of voter sentiment and indicative of any sort of anti-Democratic/anti-incumbent wave:
U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter faced hostility Friday when he criticized former President George W. Bush and accused Republican senators of holding up immigration reform. [...]
There were jeers and boos when Perlmutter, during a question about immigration reform, said: “The stumbling block quite frankly is 41 Republicans in the United States Senate.”
Frazier pounced on the opening:
Frazier said Perlmutter needs to “stop blaming his job-killing votes on the past and start holding himself accountable for his actions in Congress.”