Politico tells us 99 Democrat-held seats are in play.
Hey, pal, some of us had that figure in May. The cool kids are talking 117 now.
Actually, looking over yesterday’s list, I would take off UT-2 (Matheson) and OK-2 (Boren). There are a handful more there where the Democrat may end up winning pretty comfortably: WV-3 (Rahall), maybe RI-1 (open seat held by Patrick Kennedy), maybe NY-13 (McMahon). There are a couple more where at least one poll says it’s competitive, but I’m not quite a believer: OR-4 (DeFazio), NJ-6 (Pallone), MI-15 (Dingell), MI-5 (Kildee).
That’s still 108.
As for vulnerable Republicans, Joseph Cao of Louisiana obviously faces tough odds in his heavily Democratic district. The Democrats are high on their odds against Charles Djou in Hawaii, but he outhustled the Democrats in the special election and if he’s the underdog, he’s not that much worse than 50-50. Will Democrats pick up the seat currently held by Republican Mike Castle in Delaware? Yes, almost certainly. After that, you start reaching.
Ben Quayle in Arizona’s 3rd congressional district? Yes, it’s possible, but this is an R+9 district where the top of the ticket, Sen. John McCain and Gov. Jan Brewer, should be winning by landslides. Perhaps the former vice president’s son’s past off-color writing and the perception of a monarchist dynasty will be enough to create a big Democratic upset. Perhaps.
Dan Lungren in California? It’s possible, but hard to picture a Republican winning in 2008 when McCain was losing California badly but losing in 2010, when Whitman and Fiorina are running competitive races.
Michele Bachmann in Minnesota? No. Nope. Not gonna happen. Write it down. Democrats wasted $3.5 million in that race, and wasted millions more trying to unseat Joe Wilson in South Carolina.
The perennials, Charlie Dent and Jim Gerlach in Pennsylvania, or Dave Reichert in Washington? Oh, I suppose the Democratic challengers might have some unbelievable secret get-out-the-vote effort, the GOP incumbent might have a last-minute, unforced, macaca-level error, or the top of the ticket help might somehow skip this district . . . but I wouldn’t count on it.
(For those who think there’s a typo in the headline, I was trying — too hard, probably — to evoke “99 Luftballons.”)