Sabato's Crystal Ball

House Race Changes

Isaac Wood, House Race Editor October 14th, 2010

Polling, independent expenditures, and the general intensification of campaigns across the country provide us with new clues about the November outcome that is in store. Our overall view of the Republican wave remains the same, at a GOP net pick-up of 47 seats, but we now know more about which seats are truly endangered and where each side was just tilting at windmills.

This week, we make 26 changes to our House ratings. Among our changes this week, there is a lone bright spot for Democrats. In OH-13, incumbent Betty Sutton looks to have dodged the danger, as her GOP challenger has pulled his ads and seems to have thrown in the towel following allegations of sexual harassment. We move this race from Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic.

Most of the movement, however, is in the Republican direction. For the first time this year, the Crystal Ball is moving Democratic-held seats into the Likely Republican category. Democrats have now tipped their hand about where they will be concentrating their resources and these seven open seat races did not make the cut. As a result we move the following races from Leans Republican to Likely Republican: AR-2, IN-8, KS-3, LA-3, NY-29, TN-6, and TN-8.

In addition we are moving two more seats previously classified as Toss-Ups to Leans Republican status.

The ranks of our Toss-Up races are increasing, as we add nine races featuring Democratic incumbents from Leans Democratic to Toss-Up.

We also are upgrading three Likely Democratic races to Leans Democratic, as former Republican pipe dreams now appear to be realistic pick-up opportunities.

Lastly, we add four new Democratic-held seats to our competitive races chart, moving them from Safe Democratic to Likely Democratic.