As Michelle Obama goads party donors with hopes that Democrats can retake a majority in the House of Representatives this fall, people who get paid to forecast election outcomes just aren’t seeing it.
Political blog Roll Call’s Stu Rothenberg came out with a number of adjustments Monday to The Rothenberg Political Report — a much-followed analysis that attempts to predict how federal and significant state elections will pan out.
All of his adjustments lean toward House Republicans. From the report:
We’re changing The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings in a half dozen House races, all in favor of Republican candidates:
- California’s 21st District: The race between Republican Rep. David Valadao and Democrat Amanda Renteria moves from Tossup/Tilts Republican to Leans Republican.
- California’s 26th District: The race between Democratic Rep. Julia Brownley and Republican Jeff Gorell moves from Democrat Favored to Leans Democratic.
- Illinois’s 12th District: The race between Democratic Rep. Bill Enyart and Republican Mike Bost moves from Leans Democratic to Tossup/Tilts Democratic.
- Illinois’s 13th District: The race between Republican Rep. Rodney Davis and Democrat Ann Callis moves from Tossup/Tilts Republican to Leans Republican.
- Michigan’s 8th District: The race between Republican Mike Bishop and Democrat Eric Schertzing moves from Leans Republican to Republican Favored.
- Texas’s 23rd District: The race between Democratic Rep. Pete Gallego and Republican Will Hurd moves from Democrat Favored to Leans Democratic.
Those changes reinforce other media outlets’ recent prognostications. USA Today last week released a report bluntly titled “Why Democrats can’t win back the House,” blaming the Democrats’ lost cause on everything from GOP-led redistricting to voter apathy. The paper did mention Obama’s toxic influence, saying that “there is no wave [that favors Democrats] on the horizon, largely because of the president’s unpopularity.”
“Democrats believe, as competitive races become more engaged and the party exercises some of its financial advantage to get its message out, that some contests will turn in their favor,” Roll Call’s Nathan L. Gonzales wrote Monday. “That scenario is possible, but in many cases Democratic challenges aren’t developing as quickly as expected and some Democratic incumbents are struggling to gain their footing.
“Candidates, party committees, and outside groups are polling dozens of House races as they formalize their fall ad strategies,” he continued at the Rothenberg website. “And increasingly the news ranges from good to great for Republicans, and very few competitive races trending toward Democrats.”
That leaves the GOP to focus its real effort not on holding onto its lead in the House, but instead on retaking the Senate.