Wave of House Results Expected Soon

Posted November 4, 2008 at 7:24pm

Almost two dozen states closed their polls at 8 p.m. EST Tuesday, beginning a blitz of vote counting in House races from the Atlantic Coast to the Midwest.

In Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia, polls closed at 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

In Alabama, Democrats hope to pick up two House seats where Reps. Terry Everett (R) and Bud Cramer (D) are retiring. Both the 2nd and 5th district races are considered to be competitive.

In Connecticut, Democrats are salivating and waiting to see if this is the year that Rep. Christopher Shays (R) will lose his seat to former investment banker Jim Himes (D).

Florida emerged as a tough turf for Republicans this cycle, with several House GOP Members in peril tonight. Reps. Ric Keller, Tom Feeney, Mario Diaz-Balart and Lincoln Diaz-Balart are all considered vulnerable. For Democrats, a personal scandal has left Rep. Tim Mahoney’s (D) seat in jeopardy, and he is expected to lose to Pittsburgh Steelers scion Tom Rooney (R).

In the Land of Lincoln, Democrats are also hoping to pick up Rep. Mark Kirk’s (R) seat and retiring Rep. Jerry Weller’s (R) district, but are also reaching for the more conservative district currently held by retiring Rep. Ray LaHood (R). Once thought to be in some trouble, Reps. Melissa Bean (D) and Bill Foster (D) are expected to win tonight.

Freshman Rep. Nancy Boyda (D-Kan.), one of the 2006 cycle’s surprise winners, is hoping to hold onto her seat against state Treasurer Lynn Jenkins (R). That race is considered to be too close to call ahead of tonight’s polls closing.

Two Louisiana retirements gave Democrats a shot at the seats held by retiring Rep. Jim McCrery (R) and newly elected Rep. Don Cazayoux (D), who won a special election this spring. Meanwhile, embattled Rep. William Jefferson (D) is in a runoff against local TV news personality Helena Moreno (D) in this safe Democratic district.

In Maryland, Queen Anne County States Attorney Frank Kratovil (D) is facing off against state Sen. Andy Harris (R), who defeated Rep. Wayne Gilchrist (R) in the primary.

In Michigan, GOP Reps. Joe Knollenberg and Tim Walberg are both in trouble this cycle against top-tier Democratic challengers who are seen as having the upper hand tonight.

In New Hampshire, freshman Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) — another surprise winner of the 2006 cycle — could hold onto her seat against her former opponent, former Rep. Jeb Bradley (R).

The Buckeye State is not only a presidential battleground, but also ground zero for competitive House races in the 1st, 2nd, 15th and 16th districts. Democrats have the potential to pick up all four of these seats currently held by Republicans.

Incumbents are in trouble in Pennsylvania tonight, where longtime Reps. Phil English (R), Paul Kanjorski (D) and John Murtha (D) face tough opponents. The Keystone State Democrats are considered to be two of only a handful of potential pickup opportunities for House Republicans in the country.

In Texas, Republicans are watching and waiting for the fate of Rep. Nick Lampson (D), who represents one of the most conservative districts held by a Democratic Member. Lampson is facing former Senate aide Pete Olson (R).

In Mississippi’s 1st district, Rep. Travis Childers (D) is facing Southhaven Mayor Greg Davis (R). The race is a rematch of a special election held earlier this year when Childers surprised many national pundits by winning the special election to replace now-Sen. Roger Wicker (R) in a very conservative northern Mississippi district.

In West Virginia, the marquee matchup of the night pits four-term Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) against Anne Barth (D) a former top aide to beloved Sen. Robert Byrd (D). Barth has featured Byrd heavily in her campaign and the Senator has appeared in advertisements and fundraisers for Barth despite his declining health. But Capito may well be too entrenched in this central West Virginia district unless the Democratic wave turns into a flood tonight.

New Jersey features two of the top battleground races of the cycle with Democratic state Sen. John Adler facing Medford Mayor Chris Myers (R) in the race to replace retiring Rep. Jim Saxton (R). State Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D) is in a tight contest with state Sen. Leonard Lance (R) in the race to replace retiring Rep. Mike Ferguson (R). Another key race to watch this evening is taking place in the northern New Jersey 5th district where rabbi Dennis Shulman (D) is facing an uphill battle against three-term Rep. Scott Garrett (R).

There are no competitive House races to watch in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Tennessee.