In many Congressional elections, most close races tend to break in the same direction at the last minute–and this year is unlikely to be any different. If the bulk of undecided voters on the east coast decide at the polling station to vote for Republicans, there is a good chance that the same thing happened across America. Similarly, if, in the first few races called we find out the polling had slightly underestimated Democratic turnout, possibly because of problems with likely voter models due to sky-high conservative enthusiasm, a similar pattern will likely be repeated all night. With that in mind, here are twelve districts in the eastern part of the country to watch for signs of a national trend.
A really good (relatively speaking) night for Democrats:
VA-05 – Perriello, FL-22 – Klein, IN-09 – Hill, OH-16 – Boccieri
Polling says Democrats are expected to lose all four of these races. If Democrats manage to hold on in these districts, it would likely mean Democrats will outperform expectations and might just hold on to the majority in the House (i.e. 39 or fewer losses).
A bad-but-expected night for Democrats:
GA-02 – Bishop, WV-01 – (Open Democrat), VA-09 – Boucher, KY-06 – Chandler
Most all political observers are expecting a historically bad night for Democrats. The projections are that Democrats in the House of Representatives will suffer a net loss of between 50 and 60 seats, if not more. If Democrats manage to hold onto most of these seats, but not the more hotly contested seats mentioned above, their net loses will probably be about what is expected.
A massive Republican wave:
IN-02 = Donnelly, OH-18 – Space, KY-03 – John Yarmuth, NC-11 – Shuler
If Republicans start to win in these districts, in addition to the districts outlined above, we are likely seeing a really big wave that could result in Republicans winning far more races than even the historic numbers that are currently expected.