The Washington Post

Michele Bachmann and John Tierney looking more vulnerable

The race for the House remains largely unchanged, but a few seats that weren't expected to be competitive are trending in that direction.

Three of the five races we are moving on our race ratings chart today -- an open seat in Nevada and the seats held by Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and John Tierney (D-Mass.) -- didn't begin the election cycle on anybody's radar, really. But circumstances change and elections are funny things.

Even with the changes below, though, Democrats are still going to have to win basically every seat that they are currently spending money to win, and that will be very tough.

According to our current projections, Republicans are favored to win 226 seats, while Democrats are favored to win 183 seats.

From there, if Democrats lost all 26 "toss-up" races, they would lose a total of 10 seats this election. If they won all 26, they would gain a net of 16 seats -- well shy of the 25 they need to win the majority.

Here's how that looks on a continuum.

And now, to the updates!

Moving in the GOP's direction:

* NV-4 moves from "lean Democratic" to "toss-up"

This is an emerging sore spot for Democrats -- a seat that was basically drawn for them to win. Yet even as Republican Danny Tarkanian faces a $17 million federal judgment against him and his family, he remains neck and neck with Democrat Steven Horsford. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) even took aim at Tarkanian this week.

* MA-6 moves from "lean Democratic" to "toss-up"

Things seem to be getting worse for Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) and it's hard to call him a favorite at this point. A Boston Globe poll in late September showed him trailing 37 percent to 31 percent, and he just got outraised by Republican Richard Tisei in the third quarter.

* AZ-1 moves from "lean Democratic" to "toss-up"

Former congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (D), who is trying to win a district with a slight GOP lean, just got passed over for the Arizona Republic's endorsement. "We have seen more complete meltdowns in our board meetings, but never one so unexpected," the paper said of Kirkpatrick. Republican Jonathan Paton has a good shot here.

Moving in Democrats' favor:

* MI-1 moves from "toss-up" to "lean Democratic"

A series of Democratic polls suggest Democrat Gary McDowell has a slight edge over freshman Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.). Benishek beat McDowell by double digits in 2010 but is stuck in the low 40s this time around.

* MN-6 moves from "likely Republican" to "lean Republican"

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) spent a good portion of the last two years telling the country that she was truly an Iowan. Now she's got a wealthy self-funder running against her who, according to recent polls, is within single digits.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The Democrats debated Thursday night. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Chris Cillizza on the Democratic debate...
On Clinton: She poked a series of holes in Sanders's health-care proposal and broadly cast him as someone who talks a big game but simply can't hope to achieve his goals.

On Sanders: If the challenge was to show that he could be a candidate for people other than those who already love him, he didn't make much progress toward that goal. But he did come across as more well-versed on foreign policy than in debates past.
The PBS debate in 3 minutes
Quoted
We are in vigorous agreement here.
Hillary Clinton, during the PBS Democratic debate, a night in which she and Sanders shared many of the same positions on issues
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the polls as he faces rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz heading into the S.C. GOP primary on Feb. 20.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 18%
Fact Checker
Trump’s claim that his border wall would cost $8 billion
The billionaire's claim is highly dubious. Based on the costs of the Israeli security barrier (which is mostly fence) and the cost of the relatively simple fence already along the U.S.-Mexico border, an $8 billion price tag is simply not credible.
Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio
The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands
Most Read

politics

the-fix

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.