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Elections 2012       Congressional Elections       Republicans

2012 predictions: Republicans will gain eight seats in Congress on election day

By Dean Chambers

Republicans predicted to gain majority in Congress in 2012

The latest data released today by Real Clear Politics on the races for Congress show Republicans likely to gain 224 seats if the election were held today with 33 seats too close to call. The Democrats are favored in 178 of the 435 races for seats in Congress. Republicans took control of Congress in the 2010 elections and look to hold those gains this year.


Commonly referred to as the Congress, or the United States House of Representatives, which is the lower house of two houses of Congress, all 435 seats are up for election every day years as they are this year. The Real Clear Politics (RCP) report on the state of Congressional races will be cited here as a starting point for this analysis of the Congressional races. RCP lists 157 seats as safe Democratic seats and 193 seats as safe Republican seats, and those will be assumed to be won by those the Democrats and Republicans accordingly. That leaves 85 congressional races that will be analyzed here. So the score here is, so far, Republicans lead 193-157 in the contest to win a at least a 218 seat majority of the 435 seats in Congress.


Of those 85 races, RCP lists nine of them as likely Democratic and 18 as likely Republican.


Of those nine seats listed as likely Democrat wins, two of them are currently held by Republicans. Those include the assumption that Joe Walsh, incumbent Republican, will lose to Democrat challenger Tammy Duckworth in district 8 in Illinois. This race will be close but Duckworth is more likely to win than Walsh. The other seat held now by a Republican is district 6 in Maryland which the Democrats will win. The other nine of these seats will be won by Democrats. So that is nine Democratic wins among these nine, bringing the overall score to 193 Republicans to 166 Democrats.


Among the 18 seats RCP lists as likely Republican, three of those are currently held by Democrats. All 18 of those seats will go Republican, bringing the score to 211 Republicans to 166 Democrats.


The next grouping are 12 races that RCP categorizes as leaning to the Democrats. The race in district 22 in Florida between Democrats Lois Frankel and Republican Adam Hassner will be very close but as Romney wins Florida easily this race will go Republican. The district 2 race in New Hampshire features incumbent Republican Charlie Bass taking on 2010 Democrat nominee for this seat, Ann McLane Kuster. The race will be close like 2010, but it looks like Kuster will narrowly win. District 24 in New York is a rematch of incumbent Republican Ann Marie Buerkle and Democrat Dan Maffei. The race will be close but incumbency will enough of an edge for the Republican to be reelected. Among these 12 seats, 10 will be won by Democrats and two will be won by Republicans. That brings the score to 213 Republicans and 176 Democrats.


RCP lists 13 seats as leaning to the Republicans. Among these 13 seats, only two of them are currently held by Democrats. Among these are district 6 in Minnesota where Michele Bachmann faces a tough challenge but will be reelected. All of these seats will retained by Republicans, bring the score to 226 Republicans and 176 Democrats.


The remaining 33 seats, rated toss-ups by RCP, warrant more attention and analysis. These will be the key races to watch and will determine whether Republicans gain or lose seats in this year's elections. If the Republicans can do well among these races, they can main gains and increase their majority in Congress. Democrats would have to win all these races and would make some gains but fall far short of regaining control of Congress.


Arizona 1: Former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick runs against Republican nominee Jonathan Paton. This will be close but more likely to be won by Democrat Kirkpatrick.


California 7: Incumbent Republican Dan Lungren faces Democrat challenger Ami Bera. Lungren should be able to hold on to his seat in this election.


California 9: Democrat Congressman Jerry McNerney faces Republican nominee Ricky Gill in this race. This should be a close race that the incumbent will win.


California 10: This contest is between Republican incumbent Jeff Denham and Democrat challenger Jose Hernandez. This race should favor the incumbent. Leans Republican.


California 24: Incumbent Democrat Lois Capps vs. Republican challenger Abel Maldonado. This race will be close but the incumbent win it. Incumbency for a Democrats in a close race in a Democrat-leaning state suggests a Democrat win.


California 26: This is an open seat being contested by Republican Tony Strickland and Democrat Julia Brownley. This race will narrowly go to the Democrats.


California 36: This race is between Republican incumbent Mary Bono Mack and Democratic nominee Raul Ruiz. This race leans Republican.


California 52: Incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray faces Democrat challenger Scott Peters. While this will be close the incumbent will have the edge and get reelected to Congress.


Colorado 6: Republican Congressman Mike Coffman is challenged by Democrat Joe Miklosi in a close race the incumbent should win.


Connecticut 5: Running for an open seat Andrew Roraback, the Republican, opposes Democratic nominee Elizabeth Esty. Leans Democrat.


Florida 18: This race is between conservative Republican Allen West and liberal Democrat Patrick Murphy. Murphy has found himself facing questions about bad behavior in his past while West is surging in the polls. A recent survey by Democrat-leaning leaning Public Policy Polling has West leading by nine percent. West will win this election.


Georgia 12: Democrat incumbent John Barrow races challenger Lee Anderson. This race leans Republican.


Illinois 10: Incumbent Republican Robert Dold faces Democrat candidate Brad Schneider. This race leans Republican.


Illinois 12: An open seat race between Democrat Bill Enyart and Republican Jason Plummer, this one leans Republican.


Illinois13: This is another open seat race that is between Democrat David Gill and Republican Rodney Davis. This one will also narrowly go Republican.


Illinois 17: This race features first term Republican Bobby Schilling running against Democrat Cheri Bustos. Schilling will hold on to this seat and beat the conventional wisdom that expects him to lose.


Iowa 3: This open seat race is between Republican Tom Latham and Democrat Leonard Boswell. Iowa is trending toward the Republican side and this close race should go to Latham.


Iowa 4: Popular Congressman Steve King faces Christie Vilsack, the wife of former Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack. King will easily reelected in this race.


Kentucky 6: Democrat incumbent Ben Chandler is challenged by Republican Andy Barr. This seat leans Democrat.


Michigan 1: Incumbent Congressman Dan Benishek, elected in 2010, face Democrat Gary McDowell. A September poll from Public Policy Polling finds McDowell 44 percent to 42 percent. Benishek will survive the challenge and get reeleted.


Michigan 11: This is an open seat race between Republican Kerry Bentivolio and Democrat Syed Taj. This one is expected to go Republican, after the suprise resignation of Congressman Thaddeus McCotter set up this contest, in what is generally a Republican leaning district.


Minnesota 8: Incumbent Republican Chip Cravaack seeks reelection against Democrat Rick Nolan in a district that has been gradually growing more Republican. This trend will continue and Cravaack will hold on to this seat.


North Carolina 7: Incumbent Democrat Mike McIntyre seeks reelection against Republican challenger David Rouzer. In a close election incumbency makes a difference, this seat will go for the Democrats.


New Hampshire 1: Incumbent Republican Frank Guinta faces a challenge from former Democrat Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, who he defeated in a close race in 2010. Guinta has done everything he needs to do to win a close district and will be reelected this year.


Nevada 4: This is a newly created seat, should go Republican with Danny Tarkanian, the son of the well-known UNLV basketball coach.


New York 1: This race features incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop running against Republican Randy Altschuler. This race leans Republican.


New York 21: Democrat incumbent Bill Owens, who defeated conservative Doug Hoffmany promising to oppose ObamaCare then went to Congress and voted for it. Republican challenger Matt Doneny will score the upset and win this race.


New York 27: Incumbent Democrats Kathy Hochul faces Republican challenger Chris Collins. Collins could win this one in a close race.


Ohio 6: This race is between incumbent Republican Bill Johnson and Democrat challenger Charlie Wilson. This race leans Republican.


Ohio 16: This is an open seat race between Democrat Betty Sutton and Republican Jim Renacci. Ohio will narrowly go Republican for Romney and that might just tip the balance in this race to the Republican nominee Renacci.


Pennsylvania 12: This race features incumbent Democrat Mark Critz, who was elected in a close race in 2010, running against Republican Keith Rothfus. Although it will be a close race, the Democrat incumbent will be reelected.


Texas 23: Incumbent Republican Francisco “Quico” Canseco is seeking reelection against Democrat Pete Gallego. This is a Republican-leaning district where the incumbent will hold on to his seat in a close election.


Utah 4: In this race, incumbent liberal Democrat Jim Matheson faces a strong challenge from Satatoga Springs Mayor and Republican nominee Mia Love. The most recent poll listed by RCP shows Love winning by six percent and the momentum seems to be going that way in this race. Republican Love will win this race.


Without these 33 close races, the score was 226 Republicans to 176 Democrats. Of these 33, Republicans are expected to win 25 and Democrats will win only eight. That brings the final tally to 251 Republicans and 184 Democrats in the next Congress. If this holds true on election day, it will be a gain of eight seats for Republicans.



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Posted September 21, 2015 at 4:13 PM