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Friday, November 25, 2005

Some House Races to Watch

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 11/25/2005 by Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post

The Friday Line: Ten House Races to Watch

What better way to recover from a Thanksgiving gorging than to settle down in front of the computer and check out the latest Friday line? This week The Fix tackles the top 10 House races; the contests are ranked from the least likely to switch party control to the most (just like a Thanksgiving dinner, you have to wait until the end to get the good stuff). As always, your comments, queries and criticisms are welcome, and you can compare this list to the last line on the House.

Without further ado, the Friday Line:

10) Indiana’s 8th district – Rep. John Hostettler (R):
Yes, we know Hostettler does almost nothing incumbents typically do – raise money, for one – and still always managed to win reelection in this southern Indiana district. And, yes, we know that Democrats tout their candidate in this seat every two years only to be disappointed on Election Night. But we just can’t resist putting this seat on the line – especially after Vanderburgh County Sheriff Brad Ellsworth (D) seemed to be all over television after tornadoes ripped through the area in early November. Hostettler, keeping with his un-politician image, had previously voted against more than $50 billion in relief dollars for Hurricane Katrina victims and initially balked at visiting parts of the district hit by tornadoes because he said it would distract from clean-up efforts. He eventually did visit the ravaged areas but voters may remember his early reluctance next year. (Previous ranking: N/A)


5) Ohio's 6th district – OPEN, Rep. Ted Strickland (D) is running for governor:
The resounding defeat of a handful of reform propositions on the ballot earlier this month gave us pause about just how much trouble Ohio Republicans are really facing next November. Right now, their problems seem more minor than we thought as just a month ago. National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds (N.Y.) uses every opportunity to praise the campaign of youthful state Rep. Chuck Blasdel (R). Democrats seem encouraged by the performance of state Sen. Charlie Wilson, who is their likely nominee and has the moderate bona fides to win in this southeastern Ohio seat carried by President Bush with 51 percent of the vote in 2004. Republicans insist that Wilson’s background is riddled with political landmines that will doom him. (Previous ranking: 7)