108 and 15

Those are the numbers, respectively, of Democrat and GOP House seats at risk in 2010 – from Pajamas Media:

…The RCP survey suggests that 108 of the Democrats’ 256 seats are at risk, while only 15 of the Republicans’ 179 House seats are in play. If one removes seats that RCP believes are competitive but likely to be retained by the party currently in control, 86 Democratic-held seats and only seven Republican-held seats are in play. With a net shift of 39 required to give the Republicans control of the House, and the generic ballot polling showing the biggest leads for the GOP in the cycle (several in the 6-7% range, Rasmussen at 12%), it is not hard to see why many analysts are increasing their estimates of the size of the potential Republican gains…

Quite honestly, the Democrats could lose not just all those 108, but even more – it all depends on who turns out. Polling models are dependent upon past election results and the skill of the pollster in reading political tea leaves – in other words, a bit of facts and a bit of guess work. In order not to look like a fool, smart pollsters are very cautious in their guess work. If the polling models being used hold true in November, then we won’t see much difference between the final polls and the actual results – but if things become optimal for the GOP (ie, we get the best turnout we can, Democrats get the worst they can), then the final results could be astounding.

But, best not to work on that assumption. Lots of things can happen over the next 10 weeks – but things are clearly bright, and brightening, for the GOP.

The hardest task for the GOP is in the Senate. The linked article notes that Joe Lieberman might be induced to caucus with a 50 seat GOP, so even a net gain of 9 might do it…but even getting that sort of a net gain is going to require one heck of a good GOP year. We might get it, but nothing is sure.

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