The Cook Report is already hard at work tracking the polls and prognosticating on which House and Senate seats will go which way in next fall’s elections. Thus far, it seems like the Democrats should be able to hold on to their House majority status. Barely. Well… maybe, anyway. On the surface, things might be considered fairly rosey for the Dems. The report ignores the deemed “safe” seats, and focuses on the races which are “likely,” or “leaning” or “toss-up.” But with the shifting tides of public opinion this year, there are an awful lot of Dem seats which should have been “safe” which are suddenly tilting a bit. Allahpundit breaks it down.
Cook report: Number of “likely” Democratic House seats down to … 218
A bare majority. Actually, there are only 39 seats listed in the “lean Democratic” and “Democratic toss-up” columns, but as Taegan Goddard points out, if you toss in Bart Gordon’s retirement today in a very winnable GOP district you’re down to the magic number. But never mind that. Follow the first link to Cook and skim the column of “likely Democratic” seats, which are considered safe-ish, to see how many come from districts with a Republican-leaning PVI. If you see multiple retirements in that column — and the NRCC thinks you very well might — then suddenly a bunch of seats are in play on top of the 40 that are already shaky.
All of this, of course, hinges on the jobs numbers as we move into next summer. If unemployment somehow droops back down below 8%, I think you can count on a number of those Dem seats slipping quietly back into the safe column. But if people remain out of work and Democrats keep announcing their retirements at a rate of one per week, combined with spiraling debt numbers and the ramrodding of increasingly unpopular programs and spending items… we might be in for a very interesting autumn.
And remember what the ancient Persians said in one of their more popular curses… “May you live to see interesting times.”