Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Feature 'Round Here

Now that all each of my favorite House race pundits (Cook Political Report, CQPolitics, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, and Rothenberg Political Report) have put out some recent race rankings, I've finally been able to compile all of them for my own race tracking purposes. I've come up with an average of the rankings for each race and placed them into my own categories based on competitiveness. Remember, though, that all of these ratings are based on a compilation from the four above-named sources. They are not my ratings and may not perfectly match my own opinions on each race. But they follow the races more closely than anyone can who isn't paid to do it 24/7, so their rankings should be more open to change as the tides change in a race.

The categories are as follows. Pure Tossup sounds exactly like what it is, there is no breathing room between the candidates. Slight Tilt implies that the race is essentially a tossup, but that there is at least a hair separating the candidates. Advantage signifies that the race is certainly competitive and that the seat could flip parties, but that one party has a significant advantage that the other must overcome. And finally Long Shot Targets are those seats where there are some signs that the race could become very competitive, but for now one party is a pretty sure bet to hold the seat. Some of these races will move up the list for sure, but most of them will stay with the incumbent party.

UPDATE: Cook Political has changed it's ratings on 3 races, shifting AZ-3 and FL-25 from Safe to Likely R, and moving LA-6 from Leans D to Tossup. The first two moves imply that they are now taking Bob Lord and Joe Garcia seriously, but they are not sufficient to move either race out of the Long Shot category on my averages. The LA-6 move likely reflects State Sen. Bill Cassidy's entrance into the race, which makes a repeat of Woody Jenkins as the GOP nominee far less likely. Three of the four race trackers now have the seat as a tossup, which is enough to shift it up into that category of my averages.

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