Close House Races in 2006 Could Mean 85 GOP Seats Are At Risk For 2008
In an election where Democrats did wvery well, Herseth and Higgins typified many of the trends. No Democratic seats were lost, and a majority of elected Democrats (117 out of 232) were either unopposed or received 70 percent or more of the vote. In fact, in the Northeast, 45 of 68 Democratic winners (and nearly all the incumbents) pulled in 70 percent or more.
In the closest elections, where winners drew 52 percent or less, Republicans won by a 26 to 19 margin. If you wonder why Democrats did not win 40 or more seats, there's the answer. Unlike in 1994, the Republicans managed to win a lot of close elections.
The Republican edge grew as the margins moved up a bit. For seats won with a 53 to 55 percent margin of victory, GOPers posted 16 wins to 15 for Democrats. But from a 56 percent to 59 percent margin of victory, the Republican edge was a stunning 43 victories to eight. If you want to find 85 Republican-held seats to challenge hard in 2008, they are clearly available within this group.
-- Fromanalysis by David Kowalski, in MyDD.com, Nov. 30