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Category Archive for ‘House’ at Campaign Diaries
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Archive for the 'House' Category


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2010 House ratings, part 2: Dem-held seats

The 2010 cycle is heating up, top-tier congressional candidates are jumping in the race and the national parties are thinking about the seats they should target in the midterm elections. In short, the time has come for new House ratings! Two weeks ago, I took a race-by-race look at 62 GOP-held seats that we could be hearing about next year. Now, it’s time to move on to the vulnerable seats that Democrats will need to defend: I have identified a list of 68 seats that could host competitive races.

The overall numbers suggest the two parties must defend a comparable number of seats, but the detailed breakdown favors Republicans: 28 Dem-held seats are rated “toss-up” or “lean retention,” categories that indicate that these races are already competitive. By contrast, I have given these most-vulnerable ratings to only 18 GOP-held seats.

This differential is not surprising. Over the past two cycles, Democrats picked up a net 54 seats. Many of these were blue-leaning districts like IA-02 and NM-01 that Republicans wil be hard-pressed to recovered, but the vast majority were either swing districts or red-leaning districts that the GOP has an obvious shot at contesting. Add to that the fact that incumbents are typically most vulnerable in their first re-election race and it becomes clear that the NRCC has a wealth of Democrats it can target.

Yet, Republicans should be careful not to let themselves be distracted by marginally vulnerable seats. Unless Barack Obama’s approval rating declines so much that his party face a toxic environment, not all of these recently elected Democrats will be vulnerable enough to be defeated. Thus, the NRCC needs to carefully consider which districts should be targeted in priority.

The obvious answer is the Dem-held districts that gave John McCain clear majorities - and there are a lot. Districts like AL-02, AL-05, ID-01 and MD-01, MS-01 are heavily conservative districts represented by freshmen Democrats; they will be at the top of the GOP’s list. To this list, the NRCC would love to add heavily conservative seats held by Democratic veterans (AR-01, AR-02 and TX-17).

A second group of targets include districts that were close in 2008 but that gave George W. Bush a large victory - a sign that they are in conservative territory that Obama did not manage to swing enough to turn decisively blue: Districts like CO-04, NC-08, NY-29, OH-01, VA-02 and VA-05 are all likely to be contested next year.

Beyond those obvious targets, where should the GOP turn? The answer will largely depend on the quality of Republican recruitment. Districts like AZ-01, CT-05, IL-14, NJ-03, NV-03, OH-16 and WI-08 all have the potential to be competitive, but only if the GOP can field the type of top-tier challengers it often failed to recruit in 2006 and in 2008. And that gets us to the most important question mark of the upcoming cycle: How much of the Democrats’ recent gains were due to the very favorable political environment? Which of the dozens of districts the party conquered experienced a short-term fluke and which experienced a long-term political transformation?

Republicans insist that many districts such as FL-08, OH-01 and PA-03 would not have switched over had their nominees not been weighed down by Bush. While that might be true, it does not negate the Democrats’ response that in each of these districts they had landed top recruits that will make for strong incumbents with no obvious vulnerability. But will they survive their first re-election race, when independent voters who were behaving like Democrats in 2006 and in 2008 might no longer be as sour towards the GOP?

house10-dems

I have tried to build as exhaustive a list as possible and include any district that could potentially be competitive next year. In particular, I have included many first-term lawmakers, even those who sit in relatively safe districts, as freshmen often make the most vulnerable incumbents. Many of these races could drop out of the ratings in the months ahead, but for now it is worth keeping an open eye and monitoring recruitment activities in as many districts as possible.

The rather detailed race-by-race analysis is available here.


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2010 House ratings, part 1: GOP-held seats

The 2010 cycle is heating up, top-tier congressional candidates are jumping in the race and the national parties are thinking about the seats they should target in the midterm elections. In short, the time has come for new House ratings! I have put together a detailed, race-by-race look at 62 GOP-held seats that we could be hearing about next year. (A look at vulnerable Democratic seats will come later.)

Over the past two cycles, Democrats picked up a net 54 seats, which means that most of the obviously vulnerable GOP-held districts have already fallen in Democratic hands. Only 6 districts currently held by Republicans voted for John Kerry in 2004: LA-02 (Rep. Cao), DE-AL (Rep. Castle), IL-10 (Rep. Kirk), PA-06 (Rep. Gerlach), WA-08 (Rep. Reichert) and PA-15 (Rep. Dent). Unsurprisingly, 5 of these 6 districts are currently rated as toss-up - a distinction shared by only one other GOP-held district: AK-AL, which will remain on the list as long as Don Young remains the Republican candidate.

With few low-hanging fruits left for Democrats to go after, what other districts should the party focus on? The answer is obvious: Now that the Kerry districts have nearly all been won over, the DCCC can concentrate on the 34 GOP-held districts that voted for Barack Obama. Of particular interest to Democrats are the 8 traditionally Republican California districts that took wild swings in 2008. Similar districts exist in VA, NE, IL and MI - which means that many Republicans who probably did not expect to ever face much danger now find themselves with a target on their back.

Yet, this could prove somewhat tricky to navigate as Democrats are unlikely to benefit from as expanded a field as they did last year. Which of these 34 districts, then, will remain open to voting for a Democrat in a less friendly environment? Which experienced a short-term fluke and which experienced a long-term political transformation?

The final list of competitive districts will depend on the quality of Democratic recruitment. Many of these districts are so historically Republican that Democrats have a thin bench and no obvious challenger, which could mean that certain of these races disappear from the ratings in the months ahead. Other once-safe Republicans have already drawn credible challengers, like in CA-45 and in CA-48. All in all, the Democrats’ ideal scenario is a wave of retirements by frightened incumbents, creating such an open seat headache for the NRCC that the GOP will be unable to focus on attacking Democratic incumbents.

house10-1

I have tried to build as exhaustive a list as possible and include any district that could potentially be competitive next year; in particular, I have included many first-term lawmakers, even those who sit in relatively safe districts, as freshmen often make the most vulnerable incumbents. Many of these races could drop out of the ratings in the months ahead, but for now it is worth keeping an open eye and monitoring recruitment activities in as many districts as possible.

The rather detailed race-by-race analysis is available here.


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The who’s who of vulnerable House Republicans

As soon as all Republican representatives voted against the stimulus bill, it became clear that GOP opposition would become a major talking point in the Democrats’ midterm campaign.

While it is impossible to predict the exact impact this debate will have on the 2010 election until we know how the economic crisis will evolve, Republicans will at least suffer a short-term hit since the stimulus plan is currently popular among Americans. The political risk of a “no” vote was particularly great for vulnerable Republicans elected from economically distraught areas like Michigan or Ohio, but Democrats have no plan to stop to the Midwest. The DCCC’s decision to launch radio ads in 28 congressional districts attacking Republican incumbents for voting against the plan is a clear sign that Democrats hope this issue will further damage the GOP brand; after all, the DCCC is currently more than $16 million in debt, so it would not spend money unless it saw a potential reward.

Reads one version of the ad, targeting Rep. Christopher Lee, who was just elected in NY-26: “Did you know Congressman Christopher Lee voted against economic recovery to immediately create and save over 390,000 New York jobs? Times are tough, tell Christopher Lee to put families before politics.” Another version, targeting Minority Whip Eric Cantor, compared the stimulus to the bailout: “Did you know Congressman Eric Cantor voted to bail out big banks, but opposed tax breaks for 95 percent of American workers? Times are tough, tell Member to put families first.”

These spots play a double purpose. First is a legislative one: They are intended to scare vulnerable Republicans into voting for the stimulus bill when it comes to the House in the weeks ahead. The Obama Administration is clearly hoping for some GOP votes in order to claim bipartisan support, and representatives facing tough 2010 races are the most likely to cross over. (This is something we saw in reverse last week: Most of the 11 Democrats who opposed the bill are vulnerable in 2010.)

Second is an electoral one: Democrats are hoping to soften the representatives’ support in their district to lay the groundwork for successful challenges in 2010. In some cases, the targeted Republican is as a possible retiree; the DCCC might be pressuring these members to call it quits by warning them that they would face a tough road to re-election and that they should expect a rough campaign if they choose to run.

Indeed, the list of Republican representatives targeted by the ad represent the who’s who of vulnerable incumbents:

  • Don Young (AK-AL): narrow 2008 victory, potential retirement
  • Dan Lungren (CA-03): narrow 2008 victory
  • Elton Gallegy (CA-24): narrow 2008 victory
  • Ken Calvert (CA-44): narrow 2008 victory
  • Brian Bilbray (CA-50): narrow 2008 victory
  • Bill Young (FL-10): possible retirement
  • Tom Rooney (FL-16): freshman
  • Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL-21): competitive 2008 race
  • Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25): competitive 2008 race
  • Tom Latham (IA-04): swing district
  • Donald Manzullo (IL-16)
  • Brett Guthrie (KY-02): freshman, narrow 2008 victory
  • Joseph Cao (LA-02): freshman, very Democratic district
  • John Fleming (LA-04): freshman, narrow 2008 victory
  • Bill Cassidy (LA-06): freshman, narrow 2008 victory
  • Roscoe Bartlett (MD-06): possible retirement
  • Thad McCotter (MI-11): swing district
  • Michele Bachmann (MN-06): narrow 2008 victory
  • Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-09): freshman, narrow 2008 victory
  • Lee Terry (NE-02): narrow 2008 victory
  • Leonard Lance (NJ-07): swing district, freshman
  • Christopher Lee (NY-26): freshman
  • Henry Brown (SC-01): narrow 2008 victory
  • Pete Sessions (TX-32): part of the leadership
  • Eric Cantor (VA-07): part of the leadership
  • Dave Reichert (WA-08): swing district, narrow 2008 victory
  • James Sensenbrenner (WI-05)
  • Shelley Moore-Capito (WV-02)

Most of these names are not surprising: These representatives were either shown to be vulernable in the 2008 elections or they seat in swing districts that will leave them perpentually vulnerable. Yet, some of the DCCC’s choices are fascinating. For one, the committee is not airing ads agaisnt a representative like Mark Kirk, who seats in a blue-leaning district (IL-10); this is perhaps due to the higher price of airing spots in the Chicago suburbs.

Meanwhile, we are not used to hearing the names of Tom Latham, Donald Manzullo, Thad McCotter and Roscoe Bartlett. Latham and McCotter seat in Democratic-leaning districts, but the DCCC did little to help their Democratic challengers in the 2008 cycle; with so many other Republican targets now taken care of, the DCCC could turn its attention towards them. Manzullo, meanwhile, represents a district that Bush convincingly won in 2004 but that Obama triumphed in this fall; the DCCC thus seems to be paying attention to IL-16. Finally, Bartlett is mentioned as a possible retirement, so this could be a way of pushing him out; yet, MD-06 is a heavily Republican district and Democrats would face very long odds even if the seat became open.


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Retirement watch, House edition

The House cycle unfolds more slowly than the Senate one: Incumbents can take longer to announce their intentions, and challengers have until next spring to jump in the race. For now, only four representatives have announced that they will not seek re-election next year - that is one less than the number of retiring Senators.

Last week, I launched a Senator retirement watch - finding that 13 Senators (on top of the 5 who have already made their plans clear) might call it quits over the next few months. Now, it is time to look at the House side with a list of 59 representatives who we will be monitoring closely for signs that they are considering retirement or a run for another office - two paths that would have the same result of leaving their House seat open.

An open House seat is the ultimate nightmare of political strategists. For one, it forces parties in defense mode, whether on recruitment or on fundraising; it becomes a major distraction and a constant headache. Every cycle, there is a large number of seats that a party should logically not be holding, seats that are very likely to switch over if an incumbent retires. Remove the power of incumbency - and things can become very competitive.

Naturally, not all open seats will be competitive: some are held in overwhelmingly blue or red districts and should create no headache for the defending party. Kendrick Meek’s retirement in Florida or Jerry Moran’s in Kansas does not make FL-17 or KS-01 competitive, for instance. On the other hand, there are districts that should logically belong to the opposition, and where a retirement could prove disastrous for the defending party: If Rep. Mike Castle (DE-AL) retires, for instance, Republicans would be hard pressed to retain his sea.

In order for us to easily distinguish between those two categories of open seat, I colored in red those districts in which a retirement is dreaded by the defending party because it could mean a competitive race.

You can view the full list, which is completed updated, here, on my Retirement Watch page.


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Final guidelines, and a call for predictions

This is it! After months of polls, controversies, superdelegates and primaries, veepstakes and conventions, ads, debates, we have finally reached Election Day, its presidential election, 35 Senate contests and 435 House races - as well as countless state-level battles over gubernatorial mansions, initiatives and state legislatures.

In fact, the first ballots have already been counted, as New Hampshire’s tiny Dixville Notch kept up its 60-year tradition of getting all its registered voters to cast a ballot shortly after midnight, allowing the locality to immediately count the votes. The results are in: Obama prevails with 15 votes versus 6 for John McCain- the first time in 40 years that a Democrat has prevailed in Dixville Notch! Hart’s Location quickly followed with the full results of its locality, with Obama besting Obama besting McCain 17 votes to 10, with 2 write-ins for Ron Paul. So with 2 precincts reporting, Obama has banked 32 votes to McCain’s 16 and Paul’s 2!

So now that I have updated my latest ratings (I will post a last wave of House updates tomorrow morning, though these changes have already been incorporated in my House page), feel free to log in some of your predictions:

  • What will be the presidential election’s popular vote and electoral college breakdown? What red states will Barack Obama win? Will McCain win any blue states?
  • How many seats will Democrats pick-up in the Senate - and which? Will Republicans win Louisiana? Will Georgia be decided tomorrow or will it go to a runoff (if the latter, which candidate will come out ahead tomorrow)?
  • How many seats will Democrats pick-up in the Senate? How about Republicans? I imagine not everyone will want to try to list all seats that will switch over - but that’s obviously the sign of a true political junkie? And what Republican incumbents that are barely on our radar screen risk being upset tomorrow?
  • North Carolina and Washington’s gubernatorial races are among the tightest elections in the country - certainly hard to predict.
  • Any other predictions are more than welcome!

As a guideline (with some of my predictions along the way), here are my latest presidential ratings:

  • Safe McCain: AL, AK, ID, KS, KY, MS, NE (AL and 3), OK, UT, TN, TX, WY (99)
  • Likely McCain: AR, LA, NE-01, SC, SD, WV (29)
  • Lean McCain: AZ, NE-02
  • Toss-up: FL, GA, IN, MO, MT, NC, ND (85)
  • Lean Obama: OH (20)
  • Likely Obama: CO, IA, ME (all 4), MI, MN, NV, NH, NM, PA, VA, WI (96)
  • Safe Obama: CA, CT, DC, DE, HI, IL, MD, MA, NJ, NY, OR, RI, VT, WA (185)

If I absolutely had to allocate the toss-up races (with the understanding that they are extemely tight and that this is only for the fun of predictions), I would give Florida, Missouri, Montana and North Carolina to Obama and Georgia, Indiana and North Dakota to McCain - giving Obama 367 electoral votes. (If African-American turnout is as strong tomorrow as some Democrats are hoping, Georgia and Indiana would fall in Obama’s column).

In the Senate:

  • Safe/likely GOP (total of 38)
  • Lean GOP: KY, MS (40)
  • Toss-up: GA, MN
  • Lean Dem: NC, AK, LA (58)
  • Likely/Safe Dem: VA, NM, CO, NH, OR (total of 55)

If I had to allocate the toss-up races, I would give Minnesota to Al Franken and send Georgia into a runoff. All lean races remain highly competitive, and an opposite result remains very much possible in all of them. That is particularly the case in Alaska, where no one can really say what Ted Stevens’ true prospects are, and Mississippi, where a confusing ballot combined to a surge in black turnout make for an unpredictable race.

In the gubernatorial races:

  • Likely GOP: IN, VT
  • Toss-up: NC, WA
  • Likely Dem: MO

If I had to allocate the toss-up races, I would give both North Carolina and Washington to the Democrats. Christine Gregoire and Bev Perdue would be in a far weaker situation in any other year, but the anti-GOP mood could be enough for them to eke out a victory.

In the House:

  • Likely GOP: 24 R, 1 D
  • Lean GOP: 12 R, 2 D
  • Toss-up: 18 R, 7 D
  • Lean Dem: 12 R, 3 D
  • Likely Dem: 7 R, 13 D

As I have said before, House ratings are very different from those of other races as we can be almost sure that at least a couple of likely retention seats will switch parties. There is simply not enough data about some of these races to have a clear indication of where they are likely to go: We could see huge upsets in one or two GOP-held seats in California , in SC-01 or in IA-04. My outlook is be for Democrats to gain somewhere between 25 and 33 seats (with more pick-ups possible).

Anyone else?


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House: NRCC finally opens wallet, still no match for DCCC

While Democrats have been pouring in millions in House races, the RNCC has been unable to follow suit. Armed with only $14 million as of the end of August (about $40 million less than its Democratic counterpart), the Republican committee had to save its resources for the final stretch. Last week marked the NRCC’s first fall advertising in two hotly contested districts (PA-03 and WI-08) and the committee once again opened its wallet yesterday, spending about $800,000 to buy in five districts.

Four of these districts are held by Republicans, and only in WI-08 is the NRCC on the offensive. The NRCC is also spending in AL-02, PA-03, MI-07 (more than $200,000) and OH-01 (more than $300,000). The two latter buys are very significant - perhaps surprisingly so given the NRCC’s low budget overall. Politico reports that the NRCC has budgeted more than $2 million for these two districts alone.

The committee thus appears to be focused on building a strong defense in its second-tier seats and concentrating its resources in a few districts rather than diluting them in many races and having an effect in none. Indeed, it is remarkable that the NRCC’s expenditures are not going to the party’s most endangered districts, even in the Ohio and New Jersey open seats where the GOP looks unexpectedly competitive. Instead, the NRCC is choosing to invest in districts that a few months ago looked relatively safe for the GOP: Who would have thought that AL-02 (a district Bush won 2:1) would be one of the NRCC’s first five media buys?

And even on the day in which the NRCC started to step up its expenditures, the DCCC’s expenditures served as a reminder of how significant a financial discrepancy there is between the two committees: the DCCC spent more than $7 million yesterday in 41 districts. That’s right, Democrats spent in 36 more districts than Republicans and outspent them more than 8:1! And some of these buys are very significant. A quick overview using our familiar classification (Swing State Project offers the full list):

  • AK-AL should be a category of its own, as the DCCC poured in a stunning $777,254 in the district. This is a relatively cheap market, so this probably (and hopefully for the DCCC’s budget) is intended to buy ad time throughout October all the way to Election Day.
  • Defense: The DCCC is taking nothing for granted, and continues to spend money in Dem-held seats, even those in which the incumbent is looking relatively comfortable. The DCCC spent almost $350,000 in NH-01 (bringing its total to more than a million), more than $230,000 in AZ-05, around $180,000 in FL-16 and IN-09, about $150,000 in LA-06, PA-10 and PA-11. The DCCC also bought time in: AL-05, AZ-08 and TX-23. The New Hampshire ad buy is especially significant, as two recent polls have shown Shea-Porter in a slightly better position than before and Democrats are looking to bury Jeb Bradley before he has a chance to financially recover from a truly bruising primary.
  • Surprising offense: The DCCC’s decision to continue pouring in money in AZ-03 (almost $300,000 yesterday) is surprising, given that this seat was in few people’s radar as of last week. And it might not be as surprising anymore to see the DCCC invest in AL-02, KY-02 and MO-09 (more than $100,000), MD-01 and NM-02 (more than $200,000), but don’t forget how conservative all of these seats are, and how unlikely it was as of two months that the DCCC would make such a prolonged play in them. The DCCC also took a substantial buy in VA-02, a district many thought would not be as competitive this year.
  • Expected offense: The DCCC might be pushing the GOP’s third tier, but it is still as committed to the first and second. Two new big buys in OH-15 and OH-16 put the DCCC’s total above $1 million! And the DCCC continues investing in other open seats that Democrats were once hoping to win more easily - NM-01, NJ-03, NJ-07, IL-11, VA-11. The DCCC is sparing no expenses in seats that are and were expected to be highly competitive, including MN-03 and NC-08 (almost $300,000), OH-01, FL-24, NV-03, NY-26 and MI-09 (more than $200,000), as well as MO-06, CT-04, IL-10, MI-07 and PA-03.

This might seem repetitive to say, and I certainly do not want to sound like a broken record, but the importance of this funding cannot be understated. House candidates do not get as much free media as presidential contenders, and not that many voters watch debates between House candidates… The ground game, direct mailers and a presence on TV airwaves are crucial to the fate of many of these districts, and committee spending can be very important in tipping the balance. While candidates themselves have substantial amounts of money, some of them cannot pull out a win by themselves and the DCCC can ensure that Democrats running in third-tier contests have a shot - while also blooding little-known Republican candidates in open seats.

In fact (via Swing State Project), the RNCC looks to have just secured an $8 million loan - a significant sum that should ensure that the Republican committee can invest in enough districts to avoid disaster, but certainly not enough to offset the Democrats’ advantage (which was $40 million as of the end of August). But Republicans might as well pull all the stops this year: it is unlikely they will face such a potential of a blue tsunami in 2010, making it worth getting indebted now.

Two other notes on House races through a state-level lens. In Michigan, the local GOP seems to be in a state of panic after McCain’s pull-out. I already noted this a few days ago, but Politico has a new story documenting Republican anxieties that Reps. Walberg and Knollenberg are now in graver danger as they cannot rely on McCain’s ground game. Keep in mind that Michigan was truly expected to be one of the ultimate battlegrounds of this presidential election, so these incumbents can hardly be blamed for assuming that McCain’s turnout operation would be in place on November 4th to rally the conservative base.

In New Jersey, Republicans are looking surprisingly competitive in two open seats that many thought Democrats would be favored to win. Recent polls have shown the GOP candidates in NJ-03 and NJ-07 leading within the margin of error. That might be due to New Jersey’s independent voters’ reluctance to vote Democratic in September before undecideds break for the blue team in October, but there will be one year in which voters’ distrust for Trenton will backfire on Democrats, and this could very well be it. The trial of a New Jersey Democrat is giving Republicans an opening to blast state Senator Adler for his connection with controversies surrounding earmarks. Adler recently had to say “I’m not corrupt” - and it’s never a good sign when a politician feels forced to utter such words. Adler has a substantial financial advantage (especially when combined with the DCCC), so Myers can use any free media he can get - and this could help.


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House ratings: Can Democrats keep up the 2006 parallel all the way to Nov. 4th?

In the first two weeks after the GOP convention, the party’s brand looked to have improved enough to boost the prospects of congressional Republicans. At the very least, it seemed that the long-shot down-the-ballot races (be it the Kentucky and Georgia Senate races or the conservative open seats like MO-09 and AL-02) were getting out of reach for Democrats. But the Republicans’ recovery was short lived.

The financial meltdown erased the GOP’s early September gains, and the fundamentals once again favor Democrats. We are back to where we were after the spring’s three special election: Democrats are in a position to score big gains on Election Day, and districts that would not be competitive in a neutral environment could now fall in Democratic hands.

It is no surprise, then, that Democrats are in a far stronger position in these new ratings. 10 GOP-held districts are now rated likely or lean take-over, and 24 more can best be described as toss-ups (that might reflect my shyness to give a more precise prognostic, but it is often difficult to better categorize competitive House races due to the dearth of polling data). However, it is highly unlikely that Democrats can pull off their 2006 feat, when they didn’t lose a single seat of their own: 3 Dem-held seats are currently rated lean take-over, and 8 are toss-ups.

That said, the battle is clearly being waged on Republican turf (34 GOP seats and 11 Democratic seats are highly vulnerable right now) and it could still worsen, as the field of play is shifting towards Democrats. Today, 11 GOP-held seats have been upgraded to a more vulnerable category, versus only 3 for Democrats; 10 Dem-held have been downgraded, versus only 2 for Republicans.

If the Republicans’ situation does not improve over the next four weeks, there is no telling just how low the GOP could sink.

To make matters worse for the GOP, the financial disparity between the DCCC and RNCC is proving to be just as decisive as Republicans feared - and this is an advantage Democrats did not enjoy two years ago. Money counts for more in House races than in Senate and presidential contests, and the DCCC has already flexed its financial muscle by pouring in hundreds of thousands in dozens of districts.

They are strengthening vulnerable Democratic incumbents, and they are targeting many GOP-held seats, some of which are obviously competitive (IL-11, OH-15, OH-16, NJ-03…), some of which shouldn’t even be on the map (MD-01, AL-02, KY-02, AZ-03…). Meanwhile, the NRCC has only been able to budget expenditures in two districts - WI-08 and PA-03.

In no state have Republican fortunes deteriorated more than in the Sunshine State, which has emerged as ground zero of the House battle. No less than 5 Florida districts are currently rated lean toss-ups! One is held by Democrats (FL-16) and four by Republicans (FL-08, FL-21, FL-24 and FL-25); Democrats have an outside (though fading) chance in FL-13 and FL-18. It goes without saying that the state of the presidential race and the strength of Obama and McCain’s ground game could have an out-sized effect on all of these House races. That Obama now appears to be inching ahead in this state should boost Democratic hopes of picking-up a number of these seats.

In fact, the trickle-down effects of the presidential race will be felt in most of the districts that are listed here. If McCain manages to bring independents back in the GOP’s column and benefits from conservative turnout, it could save a number of seats that are now looking very endangered - but that is not where current trends are heading.

Continue reading the latest House ratings, with race-by-race analysis, here.

Here is an overview of the current situation:

  • Likely/Safe Democratic: 209 seats
  • Lean/Likely/Safe Democratic: 235 seats
  • Toss-ups: 32 seats
  • Lean/Likely Safe Republican: 168 seats
  • Likely/Safe Republican: 159 seats

And a quick look at the races that have moved since my August ratings:

  • Less vulnerable Democratic seats: CT-02, CT-05, IL-08, IN-07, IN-09, KS-03, MN-01, NY-19, PA-04, PA-10
  • Less vulnerable Republican seats: FL-13, IL-18
  • More vulnerable Democratic seats: NH-01, PA-11, WI-08
  • More vulnerable Republican seats: AK-AL, AZ-03, CO-04, FL-08, FL-21, FL-24, FL-25, ID-01, LA-04, MD-01, TX-10
  • Taken off the list: CT-02, IN-02, IN-07, NY-19

History of House ratings:

  • August: Will the DCCC succeed in putting the top tier in play?
  • June: The field continues to shift towards Democrats, particularly in New York
  • February: As many more races get competitive, Democrats keep clear edge
  • November: How many more Republican retirements?
  • October: Democrats feel better as GOP faces worrisome retirements
  • September: Democrats poised to keep majority

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House: More confusion in NY-13 and the DCCC’s aggressive expenditures

Given how NY-13 seemed to be at the center of the political universe for much of the early summer, it’s hard to believe that I have not had to write about this race since July 11th. But rumors that Rep. Vito Fossella is plotting a political comeback is sure to launch another round of confusion in Staten Island’s House seat.

Here’s where things stand: After weeks of a chaotic saga in which all of the GOP’s possible contenders (down to the fourth-tier) declined to run, the Republican nomination went to former Assemblyman Robert Staniere, a figure so loathed by many in the local GOP establishment that only one Republican official is backing his party’s nominee. Democratic candidate McMahon’s task is made easier by the fat that the Conservative Party (a force in New York politics) has fielded its own candidate, attorney Paul Atanasio.

In brief, NY-13 is the most vulnerable of the GOP’s House seats, and is rated likely takeover in my latest ratings. After these cataclysmic few months, it can’t possibly get worse for Staten Island’s GOP, and some might be wondering whether the party might have been in better shape sticking with its adulterous DUI-ing incumbent. That has apparently given Fossella some ideas, and a poll is now reportedly running in Staten Island testing Fossella’s name.

Since the primary has passed, Fossella would have to convince one of the candidates currently on the ballot to step down - and they can only do that by dying, moving out of the state or being nominated to run for judgeship. If the local GOP is determined enough to get Fossella in, it could perhaps pull some strings and get Atanasio a shot at a judgeship (would they do the same for Staniere), though that remains rather unlikely - not to mention that it would be difficult for Fossella to run and win on a third-party line.

While this might end up having only a minimal impact on the battle for the House - it’s difficult to see how even a Fossella comeback could save NY-13 for the GOP - it certainly increases the race’s entertainment value.

Meanwhile, the DCCC is stepping up its independent expenditures at an aggressive rhythm, and in a stark contrast to the NRCC which remains in a very difficult position financially. Swing State Project tracks the committee’s expenditures, and its latest weekly summary shows how the spending so far (and it’s already mid-September) has been disproportionately Democratic. On the one hand, the NRCC has only invested a few thousand dollars in five districts - three of which (ID-01, PA-03 and AL-02) are seats that the GOP should never have to defend in the first place. All of the NRCC’s latest expenditures are polling related.

The DCCC, meanwhile, is up on air in a large number of districts - and a lot of these expenditures are fairly significant. That is particularly the case in some of the Democratic-held vulnerable seats where the GOP cannot really afford to play for now (most of the available money is likely to go on defense) but where the DCCC is rushing to the rescue of its endangered incumbent. $575,032 have already been spent in PA-11, and nearly $400,000 in TX-22. Other vulnerable Democratic seats the DCCC is paying attention to include AL-05 and CA-11 (where the National Association of Realtors PAC has just spent half-a-million dollar on a media buy on behalf of Rep. McNerney).

As for offense, for now the DCCC is spending a lot of money in the districts in which it is best positioned, GOP-held districts in which most analysts are already giving the Democrats’ a slight advantage. The DCCC has already spent $169,758 in AZ-01, more than $100,000 in AK-AL and VA-11. In NJ-07, an expensive district which is looking more competitive than Democrats were hoping it would be, the DCCC has already spent more than $273,000, a lot of it on advertisement! The same is true in OH-15 and OH-16, two open seats that were once considered to be leaning Democratic but where the GOP remains competitive; the DCCC has now spent more than $250,000 in both districts. In NM-01, the DCCC is reaching the $150,000 mark. One very interesting district is NC-08, a district the DCCC neglected in 2006 (the Democrat lost by a bit more than 300 votes) but where they just dumped more than $119,000 and are airing this ad. The DCCC is also firing its first salvoes in MN-03, in the form of a direct mailer.

But it is in IL-11 that the DCCC appears to be going all-out, as it has now almost spent $500,000 to help paint the district blue. Like some of the districts listed above, this is somewhat of a disappointment, as IL-11 was once rated likely takeover in my ratings before slipping back to a more competitive lean takeover as the GOP found a decent candidate, self-funder Marty Ozinga. He has proved surprisingly competitive in the months since, and the DCCC looks determined to lock this seat. Their latest ad is worth a look since it combines a charge Democrats are making against Republicans across the country (proximity to Bush) with an accusation that is being used by Republicans against Al Franken up in Minnesota (failure to pay taxes). And keep in mind, the DCCC is spending a lot of money attacking Ozinga:

[youtube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puglAngblN0"]

The NRCC has yet to spend anything on any of these districts - whether NM-01, AZ-01, IL-11, PA-11 or the other districts I mentioned. That is fine in some places (Ozinga can use his own money in IL-11), but not in others (it will be difficult for NJ-07’s Leonard Lance to respond by himself in the expensive New York City market). At the House level, where voters pay less attention and the press has less coverage, such financial discrepancies can make a big difference.


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House ratings: Will the DCCC succeed in putting the third-tier in play?

The GOP has long faced tough odds in the battle of the House. In an election year that promises to be just as Democratic-leaning than 2006, many vulnerable Republican incumbents chose to retire rather than wage a tough battle. Few high-profile Republicans agreed to jump in the races thus left open or to challenge the Democratic freshmen incumbents that were supposedly so vulnerable. And the fundraising disparity between the DCCC and NRCC was obvious from the first days of financial reports of the 2008 cycle.

The road has not been getting any easier for Republicans. While no new incumbent retired and while GOP chances are improving in high-profile districts (NH-01, LA-06 and PA-11), Democrats are continuing to expand the map. 13 GOP-held seats have been moved to a more vulnerable column since the June ratings - compared to only 2 Dem-held districts. There is now a total of 56 GOP-held seats on this list versus 34 Dem-held seats.

It is unlikely that future cycles would be this skewed towards Democrats, and the DCCC is eager to strike at the core of the GOP base, for it might not have another shot at them for a very long time. In this context, the importance of the financial disparity between the DCCC and the NRCC cannot be overstated: Money counts for more in House races than in Senate and presidential contests, and the DCCC’s ability to flex its financial muscle is already evident. Over the past month, the Democratic committee reserved a total of $53 million of air time in 51 districts, 34 of which are currently held by the GOP. That’s a very large playing field to invest in.

This money is not an actual buy - only a reservation - and the committee can pull the plug on any of this spending. In fact, it is likely that the millions the DCCC has reserved in seats like NY-13 , IL-14 and NY-25 will not even be spent - as these already look like probable Democratic victories - and that money could be relocated to other races. And consider that the $53 million the DCCC has reserved in the fall is within the $58 million of cash on hand it had at the end of June. If the DCCC keeps up its fundraising of $10 million/month, it could very well follow through on all the money it has already reserved (which would by itself be a huge money bomb) and still have as much as $40 million to spend!

Republicans, on the other hand, will face painful choices. In many conservative districts which lean Republican but in which the Democrats are injecting millions, the GOP candidates will be on their own, fighting the blue wave swamped under Democratic spending. Indeed, if the NRCC spends some of its small war chest on districts like FL-18, LA-07 and NM-02, what money will they have left to help their candidates in more obviously competitive districts - NM-01, KS-02, NY-26 or MO-06?

If the situation becomes bad enough that the GOP has to build a firewall in its third-tier of races (places like FL-18 and ID-01), the first and second-tier might find itself entirely submerged and Democrats might post huge gains. If the country’s mood balances itself a little and if John McCain manages to limit the electorate’s anti-Republican behavior, the third-tier could find itself much safer than it is now - and the GOP might be able to spend its resources on the first and second-tier, significantly limiting its losses.

So will we have a repeat of 2006, with Republicans powerless to stop the blue tsunami though they will probably score some gains of their own this time? Or a district-by-district battle that will still be fought with a clear Democratic edge? That is the key question of the upcoming months, and the answer will have much to do with the dynamics of the presidential race.

The full race-by-race ratings are available here. Here is the quick run-down of the changes:

  • Less vulnerable Democratic seats: IL-08, IN-07, PA-07, OR-05
  • Less vulnerable Republican seats: CA-52, IL-06, MN-06
  • More vulnerable Democratic seats: LA-06, PA-11
  • More vulnerable Republican seats: AL-02, AL-03, FL-18, FL-25, LA-07, NV-02, NV-03, NY-29, PA-03, VA-05, VA-10, VA-11, WV-02

The full ratings are available here.

Outlook: Democrats pick-up 13-22 seats, for a Democratic majority ranging from 249-186 to 258-177.

History of House ratings:

  • June: The field continues to shift towards Democrats, particularly in New York
  • February: As many more races get competitive, Democrats keep clear edge
  • November: How many more Republican retirements?
  • October: Democrats feel better as GOP faces worrisome retirements
  • September: Democrats poised to keep majority


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  • All good things must come to an end

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  • What remains on the table

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  • Confusion in Connecticut (Updated)

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    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Results thread, part 2: Dems suffer staggering losses in House and legislatives races, limit damage in statewide races

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election Night results thread: Rep. Boucher’s fall first surprise of the night

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election night cheat sheet

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Final ratings: Democrats brace for historic losses

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • What to watch for down-ballot

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

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