Looking one year ahead

Roll Call, “the newspaper of Capitol Hill,” has published a preview of next year’s congressional elections. In the Senate, Roll Call thinks a pick-up of one seat by the Republicans is the most likely outcome. It considers every incumbent Senator likely to run to be the favorite, with the exception of Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski. It rates her race as a tossup, along with the races for open seats in Florida, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. The open seat in Georgia is considered a likely Republican pickup. Assuming that the four tossup races break evenly, the net gain for Republicans should be one seat.
On the House side, Roll Call finds that redistricting means there are only a handful of vulnerable incumbents. Indeed, it had trouble scraping together its traditional list of the ten most vulnerable members. The list it came up with contains five Democrats and five Republicans. However, if the courts uphold the Texas redistricting, as many as seven additional Democrats could join the endangered list. Roll Call concludes that it will take “the perfect storm” for the Democrats to regain control of the House. Even the defeat of President Bush in an anti-Republican wave might not be enough.


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