Monday, January 25, 2010

58 Democratic Seats in Play Including 12 New Seats - UPDATED

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Ed Morrissey  noticed the NYT buried some good news  for Republicans in an article highlighting the explosion of new candidates entering the field for Congressional seats in November.  While much of the Times article focuses on the potential obstacles Republicans may face from heated primaries, the interesting news comes from Stewart Rothenberg about half way through the article:
Stuart Rothenberg, a political analyst who follows Congressional races, said a report he will release Monday will count 58 Democratic House seats in play, up from 47 in December. The number of Republican seats in play has held at 14 in that period, he said. And Democrats expect more of their incumbents to retire, which could put additional seats at risk.
Rothenberg list a total of 72 seats in play adding 12 new seats from those considered safe to either favored Democrats or leans Democrat.  Here is a list of the 12 seats:
  • WV 1 (Mollohan, D) * Moved from  safe to leans democrat
  • AZ 8 (Giffords, D) *
  • CO 3 (Salazar, D) *
  • CA 11 (McNerney, D) *
  • IA 3 (Boswell, D)
  • NY 13 (McMahon, D) *
  • ND A-L (Pomeroy, D) *
  • NJ 3 (Adler, D) *
  • PA 4 (Altmire, D) *
  • PA 8 (Murphy, D) *
  • PA 17 (Holden, D) *
  • VA 9 (Boucher, D) *
As mentioned in a previous post, Chris Wysocki at Wyblog noted former Eagles tackle Jon Runyan has already put his hat in the ring for NJ's 3rd Congressional District.  Patrick Murphy (PA 8) is facing a wealth of challengers including a rematch from Mike Fitzpatrick.  Fitzpatrick was quoted in the Times article on the flood of candidates entering the field nationwide after last week's upset in Massachusetts:
I think it was inspiring and gave voice to a lot of people,” said Mike Fitzpatrick, a former one-term Republican congressman from the Philadelphia suburbs who announced on Saturday that he would try to reclaim his old seat from Representative Patrick J. Murphy, a Democrat.
 Murphy must be feeling some heat, he will be hosting a State of the Union party this Wednesday and will be joined by conference call from Obama campaign manager David Plouffe.   Thomas Jefferson Club blog has the details:
State of the Union Watch Party-Lower Bucks (State of the Union Watch Party)

On January 27th, Organizing for America (OFA) supporters and volunteers across the country will gather together to watch the President’s State of the Union Address.

Join OFA friends, catch up with volunteers from the campaign, and meet new folks at our State of the Union Watch Party!

The party begins at 7:30PM. At 8:15, we’ll be joined, via conference call, by David Plouffe, the Obama for America campaign manager, to help plan for what comes next.

The President’s State of the Union address begins at 9:00PM.
We’ll have some refreshments but feel free to bring a snack or dessert to share.
For more info contact
Wednesday, January 27 from 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Ann Marie Jordan
Patrick Murphy for Congress (Bristol, PA)
327 Mill Street
Bristol, PA 19007

That is the draw? David Plouffe and bring your own snacks or desserts, hardly seems like the antidote to Democratic complacency and real Republican momentum.  Rothenberg acknowledges the Republican momentum and is unwilling to discount the possibility Republicans can pick up enough seats to retake the House though he does his best to downplay the potential as well:
In addition, we can no longer dismiss the possibility of a Republican wave so large that Democrats could lose their House majority. We stress, however, that we currently expect Republicans to fall short of the 40 seats they would need. Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts doesn’t mean that every Republican candidate will win in November.
Republicans may not win every election in November but Rothenberg's own list puts enough seats in play with room to spare.

Note:  Thomas Jefferson Club blog notes American's for Prosperity is hosting a State of the Union Party on Wednesday as well.  Jeff McGeary, president and co-founder of The Thomas Jefferson Club is also making a run against Murphy.  You see his website here.  The blog also lists the other fine candidates who were inspired to challenge Murphy when the leading analysts considered the race a lock for Murphy.  I plan to follow the race closely and will provide more information on the fine candidates who stepped forward to serve Bucks County.
UPDATE:  Via Allahpundit
Cook Political Report puts Murphy's seat in Lean's Democratic which clearly puts it in play given his assessment of the enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats:
If this level remains constant, you can count on the Democratic majority in the House being toast this fall.
Also Nate Silver
 Think others are too conservative on projecting GOP gains. We don't have a House model yet, but GOP seems as likely as not to take House.

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