Monthly Archives: October 2010

Potential Republican Gain in LA Likely to Last Only 2 Years

The national nominating cycle finally drew to a close this past Saturday evening with an easy 65-35% Republican run-off victory for attorney Jeff Landry. He defeated former state House Speaker Hunt Downer in the open Louisiana-3 district, the seat Rep. Charlie Melancon (D) is vacating to challenge Sen. David Vitter (R).

Back in August, Landry came within a fraction of a percentage point of winning the nomination outright, but the fact that he did not exceed 50% plus one vote necessitated the second election. Since Mr. Landry came so close to victory against Downer, who was originally viewed to be the favorite, and several others, the eventual run-off result became a foregone conclusion.

Landry now faces Democratic attorney Ravi Sangisetty in a campaign projected to be a Republican conversion win. But the November election is not the biggest political obstacle to having a long congressional career for one of the new nominees to face. The winner will likely hold the seat for only two years because reapportionment is almost assuredly going to reduce the size of the Louisiana congressional delegation by one district. With population changes, the fact that LA-2 just to the north is a protected Civil Rights district and needs to gain people, and the territory borders the Gulf of Mexico, there is little other option but to collapse the 3rd district when the state’s new congressional map is drawn. Nothing is certain when it comes to politics and redistricting, but the chances of the 3rd district being next year’s apportionment victim are high.

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As the Senate Races Turn …

As we enter the final month of the 2010 election cycle, the Senate races are beginning to fully define themselves.

We now believe that only three of the 37 campaigns can be labeled as pure toss-ups, down from five. The three are the Nevada race featuring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid versus former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, the Illinois open seat campaign with state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL-10) doing battle, and in West Virginia where Gov. Joe Manchin (D) and businessman John Raese (R) are locked in a much closer than expected special election campaign to succeed the late Sen. Robert Byrd.

Overall, Republicans now appear positioned to win 24 of the in-cycle Senate races compared to the Democrats’ ten. This would decrease the Democrats strength in the chamber to 50 with the three undecided campaigns still on the board. Republicans would gain a net of six seats under these calculations, bringing their total to 47.

Under this model the Democrats would retain the majority, but would have no more than 53 seats and as few as 50, depending upon the resolution of the Nevada and Illinois races.

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