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Friday, October 8, 2010

On Cook Political Report's Predictions of Democratic Losses

So Cook Political Report took a step they often don't take, and put a whole bunch of incumbent-held seats for leaning to the other party. Obviously, this being a heavily anti-party in power year (I won't call it a pro-Republican year because we have not seen polls showing that people are particularly thrilled with what the Republican party has to offer, even in comparison with the Democratic party has to offer; they're just pissed about the state of things in the country), and the Democrats being the party in power, the overwhelming majority of those seats (and any seats in play) are held by Democrats.

Specifically, the Cook Political Report currently ranks an unbelievable and depressing 90 seats currently held by Democrats as being Lean Democrat, Tossup, Lean Republican or Likely Republican. There are exactly 7 such Republican-held seats.

That being said, of the 90 seats now (or in the case of NY-29, vacant but having been held by a Dem) held by a Democrat and listed as lean Democrat, tossup, lean Republican, or likely Republican, just 8 do not fall into at least one of the following 2 categories (several fall into more than one, which is why the totals add up to more than 82)

  • 40 are: a seat that was a pickup for Democrats in one of the last 3 election cycles (21 between Election Day 2008 and today, 16 between Election Day 2006 and Election Day 2008, as well as CO-3 (Election Day 2004), and KY-6 and SD-AL (special elections in 2004)
  • 62 are: a seat that was carried by the Republican candidate for president in at least one of 2004 and 2008 (PA-12, John Murtha's old seat, was the only seat to go for both Kerry and McCain; likely, the latent racism in the district alluded to by the late Murtha played a part)

Of those 8, only MA-10 and RI-1 would not be considered marginally Democratic, and both of those are leaning Democratic and are open.

WI-7 is also an open seat, after having been held for 40 years by David Obey. Then there's WI-3 (leaning Dem), CA-20 (leaning Dem), IL-17, where Phil Hare is in his 2nd term, and PA-11, where Paul Kanjorski was showing major signs of weakness even in 2008 against popular anti-immigrant mayor Lou Barletta (he had to be weak because he significantly underperformed Barack Obama here, meaning a bunch of people voted Barletta & Obama).

That being said, things are no less depressing.

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