Writings and observations

Number 17

Today’s national “House line” on most competitive U.S. House seats – no, actually, seats most likely to turn over in party control – by the Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza ranks the Washington state 8th district at number 17 nationally. Considering that the trend line is showing a likelihood of 20+ seats turning this year from Republican to Democratic, that puts Washington 8 on the edge.

We started this year figuring Republican incumbent Dave Reichert had an edge, albeit a small one, heading into the rematch with Democrat Darcy Burner – such rematches fall short more often than not. But we’ve seen little this year to ramp up Reichert’s odds and quite a bit (money, national mood, better reviews among them) to improve Burner’s. Last time Cillizza reviewed this race, he slotted it at number 19; now it’s up two.

Cillizza’s take: “Every Republican strategist we talk to insists on the one hand that Rep. Dave Reichert is the only GOPer who could possibly hold this Seattle-area seat but on the other acknowledges that Reichert’s time may be up. Barack Obama at the top of the national ticket is bad news for Reichert, as the Democrats’ presidential candidate will roll up the vote in metropolitan Seattle. Darcy Burner, who took 49 percent of the vote in 2006 against Reichert, is, by all accounts, an improved candidate. The political environment is everything in this district. If Obama wins big in the 8th, he is likely to carry Burner along with him.”

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