Lots of movement in the three weeks since we last did this. Twelve seats shifted position, ten of them from left to right. But first, the big picture.
Using RCP’s poll averaging, if the election were held to day (and don’t you just have to love that caveat), the Democrats would have a lock on 193 seats of their current 255-seat majority, including three pickups from the GOP side of the aisle. The GOP would start with 205 seats, up from their current 178 seats, and I’ll let you do (and awe at) the math yourselves. In the middle are 37 seats in the Toss Up category. 36 of them currently belong to Democrats.
What that means is, the Dems are playing defense in 114 races, while the GOP has to defend the hides of …wait for it… a grand total of 16 Congresscritters. Meanwhile, the GOP would seem to be only 13 wins away from that magical 218 majority number.
How’s that Democratic money advantage looking? Still ever-so-advantageous? Not quite, or at least that’s the view from here.
OK, on to the action, where the view is a little more muddled than I might have just indicated.
Moving right to left are NV03 and South Dakota’s at-large single district. In NV03, Dina Titus is one of those freshmen Democrats swept in on the Obama Wave in 2008. The district itself is probably still more red than blue, and like the rest of the state has a terrible problem with unemployment. Her opponent, Republican Joe Heck, is one of those citizen-candidates we all love so much — “soldier, physician, father” — hasn’t gained quite enough traction. This is one to watch, and I’ll going to see if I can get him on Coast to Coast Tea Party before the election.
South Dakota will be a tougher nut to crack. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin is a solidly Blue Dog Dem, and voted against Obamacare. That ought to provide her with some protection against challenger Kristi Noem. The polls are tight, but Noem has never been ahead.
(By the way, the Washington Post seems to have taken down members’ voting records. All their own links go to a custom 404 Error page. Nice, eh?)
Now for the ten seats moving right.