With just one week to go, Republicans continue to hold the momentum in our Top 80 list. As you can tell by our expanded list, the playing field continues to expand, and Republicans are definitely the beneficiaries.
“Pre-general” election finance reports -- which detailed fundraising over October 1-13 -- show the late money is moving toward the GOP, so for what it’s worth, those who bet with their pocketbooks are betting on Republicans picking up the House.
In a vivid example of this, 34 of the 56 Democratic incumbents on last week’s “Top 75” list were outraised by their challengers. That’s an awful sign for the majority party.
With that, here’s this week’s expanded “Top 80” list:
1. Tennessee-06 Open Seat (D) (Last Ranking: 1)
State Sen. Diane Black (R) is hardly concerned about her chances: She unloaded $15,000 in contributions to other Republicans in the first two weeks of this month.
2. New York-29 Special Election (D) (2)
Place your bets: Will former CIA agent Matt Zeller (D) be able to keep this race as close as the Buffalo-Kansas City NFL game on October 31?
3. Louisiana-03 Open Seat (D) (3)
Attorney Ravi Sangisetty (D) reported just over $25,000 in the bank for the final weeks of the race. In politics, miracles rarely happen without cash.
4. Arkansas-02 Open Seat (D) (4)
Former U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin (R) has a 13-to-1 cash advantage over state Sen. Joyce Elliott. Without any outside help, Elliott is doomed.
5. Delaware-At Large Open Seat (R) (5)
Developer Glen Urquhart (R) loaned his campaign $565,000 in the primary, but just $110,000 in the general. Does even he realize it’s a lost cause?
6. Louisiana-02 Anh (Joseph) Cao (R) (6)
Cao’s got $200,000 more in the bank than state Rep. Cedric Richmond (D), but that probably won’t be enough to save him from this district’s heavy Democratic lean.
7. Indiana-08 Open Seat (D) (7)
The DCCC gave up here, but has state Rep. Trent Van Haaften (D) followed suit? He brought in just $17,000 in the first two weeks of this month, and was badly outraised by physician Larry Bucshon (R).
8. Tennessee-08 Open Seat (D) (8)
Democrats keep hammering farmer Stephen Fincher (R) on his bank loan, but Republican polls keep showing Fincher pulling away. National Democrats, who are pulling out, obviously agree.
9. Ohio-01 Steve Driehaus (D) (9)
Already down big in the polls -- and with no help arriving -- Driehaus is almost certain to lose.
10. Kansas-03 Open Seat (D) (10)
There have been no polls released publicly on this race, but there’s only one number you need to know: $0. That’s how much the DCCC has put into this race.
11. Colorado-04 Betsy Markey (D) (14)
No one should have been surprised when the DCCC officially pulled its ads here late last week.
12. Pennsylvania-03 Kathy Dahlkemper (D) (11)
AFSCME’s on the air with a $399,000 ad campaign in an attempt to bolster Dahlkemper, but it’s probably too little, too late.
13. Florida-24 Suzanne Kosmas (D) (12)
The DCCC has pulled up stakes, but the NRCC’s still spending money for state Rep. Sandy Adams. This one should be in the bag.
14. Wisconsin-08 Steve Kagen (D) (13)
There are still some signs of life for Kagen: A new Penn Schoen Berland (D) poll conducted for The Hill shows businessman Reid Ribble (R) up just 1 point, and outside Democratic-leaning groups are pumping $300,000 worth of ads into the district. It’s probably too late, though.
15. Ohio-15 Mary Jo Kilroy (D) (16)
Obama drew 35,000 to a rally at Ohio State last week. Unfortunately for Kilroy, this isn’t 2008.
16. Texas-17 Chet Edwards (D) (15)
We knew the DCCC was reducing its TV buy for the week of October 19-25, but it ended up spending just $43,000. If this week brings a similar total, Edwards has little chance of staging what would be, at this point, a major comeback.
17. Illinois-11 Debbie Halvorson (D) (17)
Halvorson dumped most of her money in early TV ad buys, betting that she’d be able to put her GOP challenger away. But that didn’t happen, and recently she was forced to abandon the airwaves for several crucial weeks. Iraq vet Adam Kinzinger (R) has the big advantage.
18. Florida-08 Alan Grayson (D) (19)
Republicans believe this race is off the table for Democrats. Former state Sen. Dan Webster (R) is certainly playing the role of front-runner, as he’s avoiding debates with the combative Grayson.
19. New Mexico-02 Harry Teague (D) (23)
Former Rep. Steve Pearce (R) is up 9 points in a new GOP poll. The DCCC understands this race is drifting away, as the committee rolled back its spending here last week, airing just $100,000 worth of TV ads when it had reserved over $250,000.
20. Florida-02 Allen Boyd (D) (20)
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a poll from this district, but a GOP survey out last week, showing businessman Steve Southerland (R) up big, cements this race as a top GOP pickup opportunity.
21. New Hampshire-01 Carol Shea-Porter (D) (18)
By this point in 2008, Shea-Porter had begun to open up a lead over her GOP challenger. Unfortunately for her, this is a new year, and she trails in all the latest polls.
22. Illinois-10 Open Seat (R) (21)
The DCCC and Dan Seals’s (D) closing argument against businessman Bob Dold (R) is that he’s not a Mark Kirk-type moderate on social issues. That should help bring the Democratic base home, right?
23. Virginia-02 Glenn Nye (D) (26)
This race has been remarkably consistent: All of the polls we’ve seen here show car dealer Scott Rigell (R) holding around a 5-point lead.
24. Nevada-03 Dina Titus (D) (35)
“Las Vegas Unemployment Rate Hits 15 Percent” is not the AP headline Titus wanted to see just days before her reelection contest.
25. Washington-03 Open Seat (D) (38)
Republican polling puts state Rep. Jaime Herrera (R) up big, and an independent poll out last week also confirms she’s pulled ahead.
26. Wisconsin-07 Open Seat (D) (24)
Former Ashland County DA Sean Duffy (D) appears to have withstood a torrent of attacks against his service in office.
27. Pennsylvania-11 Paul Kanjorski (D) (25)
Bill Clinton campaigned for Kanjorski in the closing days of 2008, and Kanjorski’s team is hoping Clinton can bring back that magic with a visit this week. But without Obama at the top of the ballot, this may not be a game-changer.
28. Michigan-01 Open Seat (D) (29)
TV time is cheap in this district, but state Rep. Gary McDowell (D) reported just $75,000 in the bank with two weeks left in the race. Outside groups will need to prop him up if he’s going to pull this out.
29. Indiana-09 Baron Hill (D) (57)
The GOP is very high on its chances in this district, believing Todd Young leads by a significant margin. The DCCC is spending very heavily here as well.
30. Georgia-08 Jim Marshall (D) (47)
Republicans say they are up big here, and it looks as though state Rep. Austin Scott (R) is in prime position to win. But Scott can’t pop the champagne yet: A judge will rule this week on whether to unseal his divorce file, and that could throw some cold water on his hopes.
31. North Dakota-At Large Earl Pomeroy (D) (30)
If you believe Rasmussen’s latest poll, state Rep. Rick Berg (R) has opened up a 10-point lead over the incumbent. Even if you don’t, things are looking gloomy for Pomeroy.
32. Maryland-01 Frank Kratovil (D) (31)
Has the DCCC wasted $800,000 on this race? Two new polls conducted for media organizations suggest it may have.
33. Virginia-05 Tom Perriello (D) (27)
Perriello, who has made no attempt to run away from his “yes” votes on health care and cap-and-trade, has seen outside groups dump tons of cash into the race against state Sen. Robert Hurt (R). But Perriello still appears stuck in the mid-to-low 40s, and Hurt should have the advantage.
34. Pennsylvania-10 Christopher Carney (D) (32)
Outside of Carney’s polling, no poll has shown the incumbent above 43 percent. It’s time to push the panic button.
35. Mississippi-01 Travis Childers (D) (22)
Even Republicans concede that Childers’s voting record has made him tougher to knock off, but most polls still show the Democrat trailing.
36. Arizona-01 Ann Kirkpatrick (D) (28)
Dentist Paul Gosar (R) has all the momentum, as he outraised Kirkpatrick nearly 3-to-1 in the first two weeks of October. But Kirkpatrick still has the benefit of a bigger war chest and help from the DCCC.
37. Tennessee-04 Lincoln Davis (D) (33)
Republicans believe they’ve weathered Davis’s hard hits on physician Scott DesJarlais’s divorce file, and now appear ready to dish out their own attacks.
38. Illinois-17 Phil Hare (D) (43)
All the momentum, both in polling and cash, is with restaurateur Bobby Schilling (R).
39. New York-19 John Hall (D) (36)
At best, Hall is tied with ophthalmologist Nan Hayworth (R), meaning he’s not in a confident position with a week to go.
40. Colorado-03 John Salazar (D) (37)
Salazar may be facing a very tough environment, but he’s got a more than 2-to-1 cash advantage over state Rep. Scott Tipton (R). Will it be enough?
41. Ohio-18 Zack Space (D) (39)
State Sen. Bob Gibbs is not the perfect challenger for Republicans, but the NRCC wouldn’t spend $300,000 here in the final week if they didn’t believe he had a strong chance against Space.
42. Arizona-05 Harry Mitchell (D) (40)
A new Hill poll shows ’08 nominee David Schweikert (R) with a 3-point lead, and with Mitchell reporting just over $60,000 in his war chest in mid-October, he’s going to need help to pull this out.
43. New Jersey-03 John Adler (D) (41)
A new independent poll shows that Jon Runyan (R) has surged into the lead. More importantly, Adler is living dangerously in the high 30s. Democratic polling, however, has Adler up. We’ll keep this race static until we get confirmation on either of these numbers.
44. Pennsylvania-07 Open Seat (D) (45)
Outgoing incumbent Joe Sestak (D) has climbed back into contention in his Senate race, and that should help Bryan Lentz (D) back in his home district. But former U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan (R) has just begun to unload his sizeable war chest, so that should give him an advantage in the final weeks.
45. Pennsylvania-08 Patrick Murphy (D) (46)
Murphy may benefit from the recent Democratic bump in Pennsylvania, but he still faces a very tough race.
46. New York-20 Scott Murphy (D) (58)
A new GOP poll puts Iraq veteran Chris Gibson (R) in the lead for the first time. Will Murphy’s 3-to-1 cash edge help push him over the top?
47. Texas-23 Ciro Rodriguez (D) (66)
Rodriguez has little cash and, according to Republican surveys, trails 2008 candidate Francisco (Quico) Canseco (R). The incumbent is in a very bad spot.
48. Michigan-07 Mark Schauer (D) (44)
Schauer has been one Democrat who’s benefited from spending by various outside groups, and that appears to have taken a toll on former GOP Rep. Tim Walberg’s chances.
49. Ohio-06 Charlie Wilson (D) (44)
The NRCC is ramping up its ad buy here, spending $115,000 on TV ads against Wilson. Democrats know this seat is in danger, and spent nearly $300,000 here last week.
50. New York-24 Michael Arcuri (D) (42)
GOP polling shows businessman Richard Hanna (R) in good position, but other polling shows Arcuri in strong shape. It’s still a good pickup opportunity for Republicans, but not a guaranteed one.
51. Connecticut-04 Jim Himes (D) (49)
The White House knows the incumbent is in trouble, as he’s one of the few House Democrats who will get a late visit from President Obama.
52. South Dakota-At Large Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D) (59)
A new Rasmussen poll gives state Rep. Kristi Noem (R) a 5-point lead, but even if you don’t believe that, it’s pretty obvious Noem holds the big mo’.
53. South Carolina-05 John Spratt (D) (50)
Republicans say state Sen. Mick Mulvaney (R) is getting close to putting this away, but Democrats will fight very hard to hold this seat.
54. Ohio-16 John Boccieri (D) (51)
Democratic outside groups have targeted businessman Jim Renacci (R), but he attempted to even the score by dumping $250,000 of his own cash into the race. This will be a nail-biter.
55. California-11 Jerry McNerney (D) (53)
McNerney’s got nearly $1 million with which to defend his seat, but attorney David Harmer’s (R) got plenty of cash, too.
56. Arkansas-01 Open Seat (D) (54)
Most polls show this as a toss-up contest, but broadcaster Rick Crawford (R) has a 2-to-1 cash advantage for the closing weeks of this race.
57. Hawaii-01 Charles Djou (R) (60)
If Democrats have their way, they will make this a matchup between Djou and Obama -- their latest TV ads all include the native-born president. Is that a race Djou can win?
58. New York-23 Bill Owens (D) (52)
A recent independent poll suggests voters are giving the freshly elected Owens the benefit of the doubt. Will businessman Matt Doheny’s (R) cash turn the tide?
59. Kentucky-06 Ben Chandler (D) (62)
Republicans are high on this race, and polling suggests attorney Andy Barr (R) has been on the upswing of late.
60. Oregon-05 Kurt Schrader (D) (--)
A recent GOP poll showed state Rep. Scott Bruun (R) with a modest lead, while a SurveyUSA poll gave him a 10-point cushion. Either way, the Republican appears to have the late momentum.
61. Arizona-07 Raul Grijalva (D) (--)
62. Arizona-08 Gabrielle Giffords (D) (55)
63. Indiana-02 Joe Donnelly (D) (61)
64. Massachusetts-10 Open Seat (D) (70)
65. West Virginia-01 Open Seat (D) (56)
66. Alabama-02 Bobby Bright (D) (48)
67. New Hampshire-02 Open Seat (D) (63)
68. New Mexico-01 Martin Heinrich (D) (64)
69. Mississippi-04 Gene Taylor (D) (65)
70. Georgia-02 Sanford Bishop (D) (67)
71. Colorado-07 Ed Perlmutter (D) (68)
72. North Carolina-08 Larry Kissell (D) (69)
73. California-03 Dan Lungren (R) (71)
74. California-47 Loretta Sanchez (D) (72)
75. California-20 Jim Costa (D) (73)
76. Florida-25 Open Seat (R) (74)
77. Connecticut-05 Chris Murphy (D) (--)
78. Iowa-01 Bruce Braley (D) (--)
79. Iowa-02 Dave Loebsack (D) (--)
80. Minnesota-08 Jim Oberstar (D) (--)
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