Posted: 03/08/10, 12:09 am, CST
by Diane W. Collins
Happy Times Are Here Again...
Campaign 2010 stands to be a year the Republicans gain a good deal of ground. However, we should not become complacent. Understanding what is happening in this mid-term election at the Senate, House, Governor and State legislative levels is important. Remember, whoever wins the mid-terms will determine the census redistricting for the 2012 election. We really need to be involved.
There are some incredible resources out there that will get you up to speed quickly. Whether you are interested in finding out more about your state or all the intricacies of the mid-term elections you can find the information online. Many of these resources have been listed in the section on Further Reading below.
One of my favorite resources is The Cook Political Report. It does require a subscription for in-depth information but there are many tools you can use without a subscription. For example, the front page contains an inter-active election map that will allow you to drive down into the status of Presidential, Senate, House and Gubernatorial races. Great for those following local elections and their impact on national election results. (This year, of course, there is no Presidential election.)
The Senate Rating sheet shows the vulnerability of the Senate races for seats up this cycle. The seats are ranked individually by party and state showing ratings based on Solid D, Likely D, Lean D, Toss-up, Lean R, Likely R, and Solid R. For example, the current Senate report (2/18/10) shows 5 Democrat seats in Toss-up status; Lincoln (AR), Bennet (CO), Burris (who is retiring) IL , Reid (NV), and Specter (PA). There are 4 Republican seats in Toss-up status as well.( All four Republican Senators are retiring) They include; Bunning (KY), Bond (MO) , Gregg (NH) , and Voinovich (OH). Another race to watch is Indiana where Senator Bayh (D) recently announce his retirement. The Indiana race status is listed as Lean R.
The House Rating sheet is obviously much more complex listing all 435 seats according to their representatives and congressional districts. The most current report (3/5/10) shows the Democrats have 53 seats listed as Lean or Toss-up. The Republicans currently have six. A really interesting aspect of the House Rating sheet is the PVI ranking. This is the Partisan Voting Index which is a measurement of how strongly an American congressional district or state leans toward one political party compared to the nation as a whole. The rating is designated with either an R+ or D+ followed by a number indicating how many times the national average the district voted for one party or the other in the last two presidential elections.
Of course, the world is an unpredictable place and any race could provide an unexpected result. That's what keeps it all exciting. Hope this background helps. Don't forget to check out the other resources located in Further Reading. Determine which races are important to you and get involved! See you out there.
Races In the News:
Races are listed by the Primary dates and rank. Highlighted elections / districts are considered "opportunities."
Next Primary: May 2010
5/4/10: Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio
5/11/10: Nebraska, West Virginia
5/18/10: Arkansas, Kentucky, Oregon, Pennsylvania
3/2/10 Texas Primary:
Governor of Texas
Toss-up: The race for Governor of Texas is between the incumbent Gov. Rick Perry (R) and the former Mayor of Houston, Bill White (D).
Sen. Kay Bailey-Hutchison whose failed attempt to become the Republican candidate for governor in her campaign against the incumbent Gov. Perry, has not indicated if she will continue to serve out her term in the Senate or resign her seat as indicated during the campaign. Sen. Hutchison's term expires 11/ 2012. We are awaiting her announcement. Sen. John Cornyn's seat does not expire until 11/2014
No districts are rated Toss-up
Solid-D: Districts 30, 18, 29 ,9, 27, 15, 16, 28, 20 and 25;
Likely-D: District 23;
Lean-D: District 17; Incumbent Rep. Chet Edwards (D), vs. Rob Curnock (R), or Bill Flores (R) with run off election April 13th
No districts are rated Likely-R or Lean-R;
Solid-R: Districts 3, 32, 24, 7, 22, 1, 8, 2, 14, 10, 31, 6, 5, 4, 26, 12, 21, 11, 19, and 13
2/2/10 Illinois Primary:
Governor of Illinois
Toss up: State Sen. Bill Brady (R) will face off against incumbent Pat Quinn (D), who replaced impeached and indicted Gov. Rob Blagojevich.
Toss-up: President Obama's Senate seat currently occupied by Roland Burris (D) who is retiring at the end of the term is up for grabs. The primary results pit Mark Kirk (R), a fifth term Congressman against Alexi Giannoulias, (D) the Illinois State Treasurer for the Senate seat.
Toss-Up: District 10 is (Open) and rated as Toss-up now that Rep. Kirk (R) has decided to run for the Senate.
Solid-D: Districts 9,5,4,7,3,2,1,12, and 17;
Likely-D: Districts 11 and 8;
There are no districts with a Likely-R or Lean-R rating.
Solid R: Districts 19, 15, 18, 6, 13 and 16