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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

The Perils of Long-Term Forecasts in Midterm Elections



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The good news in the long-term outlook for House Republicans:

While Democrats have opportunities, they also have seats that will need defending.

At least 11 Democratic incumbents start off at risk: Arizona’s Ann Kirkpatrick and Ron Barber, California’s Raul Ruiz, Florida’s Patrick Murphy and Joe Garcia, Georgia’s John Barrow, Massachusetts’ John F. Tierney, New Hampshire’s Carol Shea-Porter, North Carolina’s Mike McIntyre, Texas’ Pete Gallego and Utah’s Jim Matheson.

Seven of these Democrats sit in Romney districts, and strong GOP recruiting in a handful of additional districts could make more Democrat-held seats (Minnesota Rep. Collin C. Peterson’s is a good example) vulnerable.

At this point in the cycle, Democrats probably need to put at least another two dozen additional districts into play — in addition to the ones I have cited above — and hold most of their own vulnerable seats to have a chance of netting 17 seats in the midterm elections. It’s a very tall order.

That’s Stuart Rothenberg, writing over at CQ/Roll Call today.

The bad news in the long-term outlook for House Republicans:

Over the past couple of weeks, at least three Republicans — House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.), former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and campaign consultant Tony Marsh — have raised the possibility of the GOP winning back the House of Representatives next year.

That idea is lunacy and ought to be put to rest immediately.

None of the three actually predicted that Republicans would gain the 40 seats that they need for a majority, but all three held out hope that that’s possible. It isn’t.

That’s Stuart Rothenberg, writing back on April 23, 2009.


Tags: House Democrats , House Republicans


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