Five House Races To Watch On Election Night
With less than a week to go, there are more than 100 Democratic House seats at risk. But which seats will tell us early on Election Night just how much devastation there could be? Here's a helpful five-point scale to measure the storm, hurricane, tsunami, (insert natural disaster here) hurtling straight toward Democrats before the major networks call the House.
In Indiana and Kentucky, the first two states to report in results, there are five Democratic seats worth watching. From highest to lowest likelihood of switching to the GOP, they are the seats of Reps. Brad Ellsworth (Ind.) (who is running for the Senate), Baron Hill (Ind.), Ben Chandler (Ky.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), and John Yarmuth (Ky.).
Democrats privately acknowledge that GOP surgeon Larry Bucshon will win Ellsworth's Evansville-based "Bloody Eighth," which has switched parties eight times in the last 50 years but has voted for the winning party in the House each election since 1982. Democrats still hold out some hope that Hill will survive in the neighboring seat to the east, but at this point GOP attorney Todd Young is probably a slight favorite to defeat him.
The real bellwethers are the brawls in Chandler's 6th District of Kentucky and Donnelly's 2nd District of Indiana. Both Chandler and Donnelly have distanced themselves from Congress and their leadership to survive in hostile territory, and Democrats are still spending heavily to paint Chandler's foe Andy Barr (R) as a spoiled and corrupt lawyer and Donnelly's rival Jackie Walorski (R) as a wacky and extreme politician. Both races are toss ups.