The Campaign Spot

This Is Not the Cycle for an Incumbent House Democrat to Be Complacent

Over the past few days, I’ve tried to spotlight some folks throwing their hats in the ring for congressional races in 2010. Chances are, the new candidates aren’t quite taken into calculation in the new Cook Political Report rating of competitive House races.

Of the 24 seats that the Cook Political report lists as “lean Democratic,” 22 have a Partisan Voting Index ranging from R+1 to R+22, meaning that these are districts that vote Republican – sometimes by a little, sometimes by a lot – at the presidential level. (Basically, this indicates that voters in the district are open to voting Republican under the right circumstances.)
Of the 12 currently Democrat-controlled seats listed as “toss up,” eight have a PVI ranging from R+2 to R+18.
Unsurprisingly, the three currently Republican-controlled seats listed as “toss up” range from D+4 to D+25 (Cao’s seat in Louisiana).
There are nine seats listed as “lean Republican”; three range from D+1 to D+3.
Bottom line, there are plenty of House Democrats with reasons to sweat. There are a lot of perennials in this mix – Chet Edwards, John Tanner, Baron Hill, Bart Gordon – but it’s been a while since those guys have faced such a challenging environment for reelection.

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