The Amazingly Static House Playing Field

Nathan L. Gonzales September 19, 2014 · 9:37 AM EDT

After a year of campaigning, television ads, a government shutdown, and a botched rollout of HealthCare.gov, the House playing field is virtually unchanged from where it was 12 months ago.

We recently updated the Rothenberg Political Report ratings in seven House districts. Arizona’s 1st District, Maine’s 2nd District, New Hampshire’s 1st District, and New York’s 21st District all moved incrementally toward Republicans. Ohio’s 6th and 14th districts and Pennsylvania’s 8th District also moved toward the GOP but to currently Safe.

By dropping the trio of races from the list of most competitive races, the total number of competitive seats (seats that have a chance of changing partisan hands) dips to 48 seats. That is remarkably similar to last September, when we listed 49 seats on our competitive race chart.

Even the partisan makeup of the districts in play is virtually the same. In September 2013, there were 23 Republican-held seats at risk compared to 26 Democratic seats. Right now, we believe 23 Republican-held seats are at risk compared to 25 Democratic seats.

There is one minor difference. The current list does not include North Carolina’s 7th District and Utah’s 4th District, where Democratic incumbents retired last winter. Those two are not even on the list of…

The Republican Brand’s Recovery Tour — Sort Of

Stuart Rothenberg September 17, 2014 · 11:19 AM EDT

There was a time, a little less than a year ago, when Democrats salivated at the thought of running against the GOP brand and demonizing Republican candidates by attacking them and their party for “shutting down the government.”

But the Republican brand has largely recovered from its low point…

Will Women Lose Ground in the House GOP After 2014?

Nathan L. Gonzales September 16, 2014 · 12:10 PM EDT

Republicans are at virtually no risk of losing their House majority in November, but there is a little extra pressure to win a handful of key districts in order to avoid taking a step back in the number of women in the Republican conference.

Republicans have been on the defensive about their…

A National Election or a Localized One?

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Stuart Rothenberg September 12, 2014 · 4:30 PM EDT

Our House and Senate ratings continue to reflect state-level and district-level surveys, as well as the fundamentals of each contest. But as we all know, midterm elections sometimes become referenda on the sitting president. When that happens, if the electorate’s mood is angry and dissatisfied…

Putting House Expectations Into Context

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Nathan L. Gonzales September 12, 2014 · 4:29 PM EDT

“Republicans are on track to expand their majority by only five or six seats, or roughly half their goal,” according to a Politico piece, “Halfway House: GOP falling short in midterms,” published earlier this month.

“From a historic perspective, a five- or six-seat gain would be a…