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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Dems Sharpen Edge in House Races

by EDM Staff
My DD‘s Chris Bowers concludes his 4-parter on Democratic prospects for winning the 15 seats needed for a House majority on an optimistic note:

While I believe the thirty districts I have already mentioned are indeed the best chances Democrats have for pickups, there are of course other districts that could fall our way given a new extraordinary event, such as a major scandal, an unexpected retirement, or a particularly strong campaign. There also still remains the outside possibility of a major national landslide, especially given our good very good “macro” situation. We have good recruitment, while Republicans are not. This will allow Democrats to stretch Republican defenses much thinner than they did in 2002 or 2004 even if our national poll lead shrinks. Democrats are also doing well in terms of money, both at the individual candidate level and in terms of the DCCC closing the cash on hand gap with the NRCC. Democrats also hold the generic advantage in 2006, which will help keep their poll numbers high.

If there is a landslide or “an extraordinary event,” Bowers sees another 25 House seats that could go Democratic. Bowers’ 4-parter is the best horse-race wrap-up so far, and outclasses anything in print. Readers comments on individual races published with his series are perceptive as well.
Mark Gersh and New Donkey Ed Kilgore add some insights into upcoming House races in their Blueprint Magazine piece “Target Rich: Democrats Have a Slew of Vulnerable House Republicans in Their Sights for the 2006 Midterm Elections.” WaPo‘s Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza have a recent article “Handfull of Races May Tip Control of Congress” estimating 25-40 openly competitive house races, but also noting that “in 2004 just 32 congressional districts were won with less than 55 percent fo the vote.”
The list of 65+ vulnerable GOP-held districts compiled from the aforementioned articles is encouraging. But it might be even more helpful to know which issues are most important in these districts.