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GOP Could Gain Seats in ’12, Dubious About The Senate

While the chances of Republicans retaking the U.S. Senate have diminished, thanks to a few unnecessary comments about rap, House Republicans could make gains in 2012.  The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake noted how Democrats were euphoric about retaking the House, but admit that opportunity will not come to fruition due to ten Democratic seats leaning Republican this cycle.

Here are the races that are leaning Republican.

PA-12 moves from “tossup” to “lean Republican”

Critz is in a very tough spot right now, with Republican polls this month showing him slightly behind Republican Keith Rothfus. This district would have given John McCain 54 percent of the vote in 2008.

UT-4 moves from “tossup” to “lean Republican”

A new poll for the Salt Lake Tribune shows Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love (R) opening up a 12-point lead on Matheson, and all the polling in this race has gone in one direction: Love’s.

NY-27 moves from “tossup” to “lean Republican”

Hochul is in a 53 percent McCain district, which also happens to be the most conservative district in New York. Polling here has been close, but a GOP internal poll last week shows Republican Chris Collins opening up a seven-point lead.

IA-3 moves from “tossup” to “lean Republican”

The race between Reps. Leonard Boswell (D) and Tom Latham (R) has been tight from the start, and remains tight. We give Latham a slight edge, though, in light of the district’s very slight GOP lean and Latham’s intangibles (money, anecdotal reports, etc.).

KY-6 moves from “lean Democratic” to “tossup”

Chandler is a survivor of the first rank, but he’s also got a 54 percent McCain district, and a GOP poll last week showed him trailing by four in his rematch with Republican Andy Barr.

AZ-2 moves from “likely Democratic” to “lean Democratic”

Barber remains a slight favorite in his race with Republican former Air Force colonel Martha McSally. McSally has proven a better candidate than Jesse Kelly, who lost to Barber in the special election for Gabrielle Giffords House seat earlier this year.

While this is great news, it’s the Senate that matters.  With Republicans defending 10 seats and Democrats tasked with holding on to 23 seats – that conservatives didn’t have much luck putting a lock on at least a few of these races.  Tom Smith may pull off an upset in Pennsylvania and oust incumbent Democratic Senator Bob Casey, Jr.  I’m hoping Scott Brown may be able to survive Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Indian assault,’ but that race will come down to a few thousand votes.  Despite Todd Akin’s ‘legitimate rape’ fiasco this past summer, he could win – and I’ll bet the mortgage that he does.  In Indiana and Ohio, it looks like it’ll be a disappointing night for Richard Mourdock and Josh Mandel.  Regardless, the Senate is where we kill Obamacare.  We only need 51 seats, and it isn’t set in stone that we will reach the number.

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