This week, renowned political analyst Stuart Rothenberg revealed his “Dangerous Dozen” House seats for 2010.
Of the 12 seats rated most vulnerable, two are in Ohio – the 1st and 15th.
Ohio’s 1st: Rep. Steve Driehaus (D) knocked off then-Rep. Steve Chabot (R) last year, and now Chabot is trying to return the favor. Expected lower turnout among Democratic core groups, especially younger voters and blacks, places this district at great risk even though Obama won it with 55 percent.
Ohio’s 15th: Freshman Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D) has many of the same problems — and the same challenges — that confront Driehaus in the state’s 1st district. Unlike Driehaus, Kilroy faces a rematch against an opponent who has never won district-wide. But former state Sen. Steve Stivers (R) should be a formidable foe.
Additionally, Kilroy and Driehaus both are listed as two of the top 15 Democrat “toss-ups” by the other guy everyone listens to – Charlie Cook.
While reading through the list of Representatives, I began pondering just how many seats the GOP could possibly win next year.
Historically, on average the President’s Party loses 16 seats in the first midterm cycle.
Beyond that, and if memory serves, there have been no estimates from reasonable predictors that have the GOP winning back less than 15 seats. In fact, after some internet scouring, I was hard-pressed to find anyone of significance suggesting the GOP would win less than 20.
Even Nate Silver, the lefty numbers-guru from fivethirtyeight.com, thinks the Dems could lose anywhere from 20-50 seats:
It’s fast becoming conventional wisdom, but statistics wonk Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com reiterated that Democrats should be nervous about the 2010 midterm elections. “I don’t think you should feel at all comforted by 2010,” said Silver. The political prognosticator predicted a 20- to 50-seat loss in the House for the Democrats…
Lest I remind you, Rothenberg had Kilroy and Driehaus in the top 12 of all vulnerable incumbents. And Cook had them in the top 15.
And conventional wisdom, from lefties no less, have Democrats losing 20-50 seats.
So, is there any hope for Kilroy or Driehaus?
Without a massive unknown game changer, it doesn’t look that way.
On a side note, there was no discussion in any of my research of Tiberi’s race in the 12th.
That means the only folks focusing on it are lefties with money.
Perhaps they should take a little more advice from Silver:
Certainly, if I were the Democrats, I’d be adopting a fairly defensive posture, putting money into defending seats — especially those held by non-Blue Dog incumbents — rather than getting cute and trying to pick off more than a handful of potentially vulnerable Republican seats.
But hey, if you folks want to spend hordes of money trying to “pick off” Tiberi, be my guest. Because it’s money wasted.