I have to admit that last year, after the two disappointing special elections. First, Niki Tsongas just barely beat Jim Ogonowski in what may have been the worst outcome for a Democrat in that area since John Kerry lost to Paul Cronin in 1972 (this was especially terrible since George McGovern was carrying the district while Kerry was losing it, and the seat was open at the time). Second of all, in an election that we'd thought was competitive to replace the deceased Paul Gillmor in rural northwestern Ohio's 5th district, Robin Weirauch lost by double digits to Bob Latta, son of the man (Delbert Latta) who'd held the seat before Gillmor, Latta receiving 56.9% of the vote.
But since then, things have been very good, with us picking up three seats in special elections in Republican-leaning districts (Charlie Cook's Partisan Voting Index is in parenthesis after the name
1. IL-14(R+5): Bill Foster beats asshole corrupt dairy-man Jim Oberweis by 5 points in former Speaker Dennis Hastert's vacated seat
2. LA-6(R+7): Don Cazayoux beats David Duke crony Woody Jenkins by 3 points in the long-time (for the South) Republican Baton Rouge district that became somewhat more Democratic thanks to an influx of African-Americans after Hurricane Katrina)
3. MS-1(R+10): Travis Childers beats competent if not exciting mayor Greg Davis by 8 points in the runoff.
So today, the outlook for the Democrats in House elections is amazingly good.
Today, the (Charlie) Cook Political Report estimates that there are 19 lean or tossup seats held by Democrats, and 27 lean or tossup seats held by Republicans.
Only 2 of the Democratic-held seats are open.
11 of the Republican tossups and 1 additional lean Republican seat is open.
For a reminder of how Charlie Cook does:
In 2006 on May 12th, they had 9 tossup Republican-held seats, 15 lean Republican seats and 23 likely Republican seats
Of the 9 tossups, we picked up 7 (AZ-8, CO-7, CT-2, IN-8, IN-9, IA-1, and OH-18) and did not pick up NM-1 or PA-6
Of the 15 lean Republican, we picked up 7 (AZ-5, FL-22, IN-2, NY-24, NC-11, PA-8, WI-8) and did not pick up 8 (CA-50, CT-4, IL-6, KY-4, MN-6, OH-1, OH-15, WA-8)
Of the 23 likely Republican, we picked up 10 (CA-11, CT-5, KY-3, NH-1, NH-2, NY-19, NY-20, PA-7, PA-10, TX-22) and did not pick up 13 (CA-4, CO-4, FL-8, FL-9, FL-13, KY-2, MN-2, NV-2, NV-3, NJ-7, NY-26, NY-29, VA-2)
In addition, we picked up the following seats not listed as competitive at the time: FL-16, IA-2, KS-2, MN-1, PA-4, TX-23
and we came within 2% of a pickup in NY-25, NC-8, OH-2, WY-AL, within 5% in MI-7 and within 10% in AZ-1, ID-1, IL-10, IN-3, MI-9, NE-2 and NE-3
So we look very good for November.