Friday, February 19, 2010

Cook Report Revisions: More Bad News For Democrats

Politico is reporting Cook Political Report made ratings changes in 25 House races all in favor of Republicans to reflect the increasingly bleak prospects for Democrats as they head into the 2010 midterm elections. A January 25, 2010 analysis showed Democrats with 49 seats in the lean or toss up category while Republicans had 10. The February 18th assessment shows Democrats with 52 seats in the lean or toss up category while Republicans now have 6. Seats that were previously thought untouchable have suddenly become vulnerable:
The list of potentially vulnerable Democrats, according to the Cook Report, includes members who have been virtually untouchable in the past, including Rep. Dave Obey (D-Wis.), the powerful chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and Rep. Nick Rahall, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, who hasn’t faced a competitive race since 1990.

“At this rate, Democrats are likely to lose at least 25-35 seats in the House and would have to bend the current trajectory of the cycle to hold onto their House majority,” wrote Cook Political Report House analyst David Wasserman.
Republicans once thought to be vulnerable have also been changed to show incumbents in better positions for reelection.  Michelle Bachmann has moved from lean Republican to Likely Republican despite targeted efforts to defeat her:
Republican members who began the election cycle in a highly vulnerable position appear to be in better shape. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), whose provocative rhetoric has made her a top GOP target, saw her status moved from “lean Republican” to the safer “likely Republican” rating — even though she’s facing two well-funded Democratic opponents, state Sen. Tarryl Clark and physician Maureen Reed.

Both Clark and Reed “would have probably beaten this lightning rod incumbent had they been running in 2008,” Wasserman wrote.
Democrats appear not have gotten this memo if the current cycle of Bachmann attack ads running on Google are any indication.  Perhaps they might find better ways to spend their money.  The list of Republicans on more solid ground for reelection is growing.  Cook shows Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) as a near lock for reelection as are Reps. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Bill Young (R-FL.), Tom Rooney (R-FL), Mark Souder (R-IN), Thad McCotter (R-MI) and Judy Biggert (R-IL).

When the report was last updated Patrick Murphy (PA 8) had just been moved from safe to likely Democratic.  That seat has since moved to Lean Democratic.  While such moves reflect an increasingly perilous election cycle for Democrats, Cook's list still manages to understate that peril.  Representative Alan Grayson of Florida is somewhat absurdly listed as Democratic toss up intending to reflect the race could go in either direction.  Grayson has to be one of the most vulnerable after some of his ridiculous statements this past year.  Clearly he is a far left leaning ideologue who is ill-suited to represent an R+2 district.  Nevertheless, Cook's continual shifts in favor of Republicans reflect the national mood which is clearly turned away from Democratic governance.  It sure does feel like 1994 lately.

1 comment:

  1. Mark Souder is not a real fiscal conservative. TARP, Cash for Clunkers, earmarks. He has good primary challengers.


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