Connecticut, too, has two districts that appear competitive for now ó the seats held by GOP Reps. Rob Simmons and Christopher Shays. As in Pennsylvania, the key factor producing volatility in the Nutmeg State has been votersí growing disenchantment with the national GOP.
Finally, in Iowa and Washington state, non-partisan and bipartisan redistricting processes, respectively, have helped create an above-average number of competitive seats recently.
Of course, some of the nationís most populous states have been wastelands for those who care about competitive races. They are:
5. New Jersey
Most of these states owe their spot to creative map-drawing. But no state has been as breathtakingly monolithic as Massachusetts.
The Bay Stateís 10-district map is not only highly gerrymandered ó almost every district takes in a slice of the Boston metropolitan area ó but also has elected Democrats at a perfect 10-for-10 clip for roughly a decade. Alone among states that have more than eight House Members, Massachusetts hasnít had a single competitive race during the past three cycles.
So if any state legislators are reading this: Donít follow the Massachusetts model after the 2010 Census. Please. We political analysts are getting really bored out here.
American flags decorate the hood of an antique Ford car in the 4th of July Parade in Ripley, W. Va., on July 4, 2014. The parade is billed as "the USA's largest small town Independence Day Celebration."