This is why–and where–we need those exit polls…

From: Mike Hersh [mailto:MikeHersh[at]MikeHersh[dot]com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 10, 2006 1:57 AM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: Congress Watch: Dems poised to win House by 3 to 5 seats. Senate Deadheat?
Dems poised to win House by 3 to 5 seats. Senate Deadheat? Dems need to hold all seats, win upset in 2 of MO, VA, AZ to win control of Senate.


Congressional Quarterly (which is now a daily) is a highly respected publication that reports on Congress. CQ just published a revised projection of all the 2006 races. Here is the low-down.

In the House, every seat currently occupied by a Democrat leans Democratic, is Democrat favored, or safe Democratic except the open seat in OH-06 (Strickland’s seat). For the life of me I can’t see why they think this race is a tossup. The last poll put Democrat Charlie Wilson 13% ahead of Republican Chuck Blasdel. If CQ is right and OH-06 also goes Democratic, the Democrats will not lose a single seat in the House.

For the GOP, the picture is very different. AZ-08 (Kolbe) is marked Democrat favored, although I would say “lost cause” is more accurate given Gabrielle Gifford’s 8% lead and the incumbent’s pointed refusal to endorse the Republican candidate, Randy Graf. FL-16 (Foley) and TX-22 (DeLay) are marked “Lean Democratic,” but I would put both more strongly.
CQ rates 12 Republican seats as tossups: CO-07 (Beauprez), CT-04 (Shays), FL-22 (Shaw), IL-06 (Hyde), IA-01 (Nussle), IN-08 (Hostettler), IN-09 (Sodrel), MN-06 (Kennedy), NC-11 (Taylor), NY-24 (Boehlert), OH-18 (Ney), and PA-06 (Gerlach). I would go further and add CA-11 (Pombo), CO-04 (Musgrave), CT-02 (Simmons), IN-02 (Chocola, NM-01 (Wilson), NY-26 (Reynolds), OH-15 (Pryce), PA-07 (Weldon), PA-10 (Sherwood), VA-02 (Drake), and WA-08 (Reichert) at the very least. The House looks very bleak for the Republicans. Here is the CQ breakdown for the House.

Projected New House*: 219 Democrats 215 Republicans 1 Tie
* Where no independent polls exist, the 2004 election results have been used. See complete House polls.
In the Senate, every seat currently occupied by a Democrat leans Democratic, is Democrat favored or is safe Democratic except New Jersey (Menendez), which they rate as a tossup (I agree). However CQ rates Nebraska (Nelson), Maryland (Sarbanes), and Washington (Cantwell), as only leans Democratic. I agree about Maryland, but there is no conceivable way Ben Nelson (D-NE) can lose and it would take a near miracle to unseat Maria Cantwell (D-WA). Conclusion: if Menendez can hang on by his fingernails, the Democrats won’t lose any seats in the Senate.
For the GOP, the situation is much bleaker. CQ says Pennsylvania leans Democratic (I agree) and says Montana (Burns), Ohio (DeWine), Rhode Island (Chafee), Missouri (Talent), and Tennessee (Frist) are tossups. I think the first three are lean Democratic. The CQ ratings for the Senate are here.
Mike Hersh

– Maryland State Coordinator, National Staff, Progressive Democrats of America –
– Chairperson, Montgomery County Progressive Alliance –
– Silver Spring Council – Operation Democracy –
– Steering Committee Camp Democracy –
– Steering Committee Democracy for America / Maryland –
– Member, The After Downing Street Coalition –

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