Sunday, November 19, 2017

GOP hold on House looks secure


WASHINGTON — In an election year full of uncertainty, one thing seems fairly sure: Republicans will retain control of the House of Representatives.

Democratic Party dreams of carving into the 240-190 majority that Republicans enjoy are meeting the harsh reality of many Republican-held seats being secure because of redistricting and a potential lack of congressional coattails from President Barack Obama, several election experts say.

But while control of the House isn't likely to change, the composition, tone and political tenor of the chamber probably will. Just as after the 2010 election, the chamber probably will have a huge influx of freshmen, thanks in part to contests for 39 open seats, 19 new seats and four vacant seats, according to David Wasserman, an analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, which monitors congressional races.

Democrats could pick up anywhere from zero to five seats, some handicappers predict, well below the 25 needed to take control of the House, and fewer than the pickup of five to 10 seats some Democrats and political observers were projecting earlier in the campaign season.

"While there's not much change on the surface, there's plenty underneath," Wasserman said. "There's a whole lot of change and a whole lot of freshmen coming to Congress. We're headed for the most polarized Congress ever. There's a moderate exit in the Senate that extends to the House."

The House may become more partisan than the current 112th Congress because of the continued thinning of moderate ranks in both parties. The fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats, whose ranks were halved to two dozen in 2010, are expected to shrink to the teens with the retirements of Reps. Heath Shuler of North Carolina, Dan Boren of Oklahoma and Mike Ross of Arkansas and anticipated losses on Election Day.

Another likely development, Wasserman said, is that the House could have 80 to 90 new members and nearly one-third of the 435-member chamber will have less than three years in office.

Here's a look at some races to watch on election night.

Democratic seats that could go Republican:

North Carolina. An incumbent Blue Dog, Rep. Larry Kissell, is considered among the most endangered Democrats because of a strong challenge by Republican opponent Richard Hudson in a redrawn district that now tilts Republican.

• Georgia. Rep. John Barrow, another Blue Dog, is hanging tough, running in a new, less Democratic district against Republican state Rep. Lee Anderson in one of the more expensive House races in the country.

• Utah. Rep. Jim Matheson, another Blue Dog, is in a close contest with Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, who's bidding to become the first black Republican female Mormon elected to Congress.

• New York. Democratic Rep. Kathy Hochul scored an upset victory last year in a special election in a Republican-leaning upstate New York district to replace Republican Rep. Christopher Lee, who resigned. Former President Bill Clinton stumped for Hochul, but that might not be enough in her race against former Erie County Executive Chris Collins.

• Massachusetts. Messy family legal problems may sink incumbent Democratic Rep. John Tierney and help make former state legislator Richard Tisei the first House Republican from Massachusetts since 1996.

Republican seats that could go Democratic:

• Florida: Rep. Allen West, a tea party favorite and one of two black Republicans in the House, is engaged in a battle with Democrat Patrick Murphy. Both candidates have used negative attacks.

• California: Dan Lungren, a nine-term Republican from the Sacramento area, and Democrat Ami Bera are in an expensive House race. More than $6 million in outside money has poured into the district, much of it to Bera's benefit.

• Illinois: Rep. Joe Walsh, another tea party favorite, found himself in a redrawn district, courtesy of the state's Democratic-controlled legislature. He faces Tammy Duckworth, a double-amputee Iraq war veteran, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention.

• Maryland: Roscoe Bartlett, an 86-year-old, 10-term conservative lawmaker, is having his toughest run in years in a redrawn Democratic-leaning district. He faces political newcomer John Delaney, a Maryland businessman.


New Winston accuser hires Kinsman attorney

The unnamed female Uber driver who has accused Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston of groping her in Arizona in 2016 has hired a familiar name to represent her: John Clune, who represented Zephyrhills' Erica Kinsman in her civil lawsuit against Winston."...
Updated: 1 hour ago
AP poll: State showdown of ranked teams will be in Orlando

AP poll: State showdown of ranked teams will be in Orlando

Inadvertently, the newest Associated Press football poll produced some Florida history Sunday.For the first time ever, UCF and USF both will be ranked — and the 'Noles and Gators both will be unranked — entering their respective season-en...
Updated: 4 minutes ago
The Latest: Zimbabweans feel betrayed as Mugabe stays on

The Latest: Zimbabweans feel betrayed as Mugabe stays on

The Latest: Zimbabweans say betrayed by Mugabe; 'The army will let him face the people'
Updated: 17 minutes ago
10 African Americans named Rhodes scholars, most ever

10 African Americans named Rhodes scholars, most ever

The latest group of U.S. Rhodes scholars includes 10 African-Americans, the most ever in a single Rhodes class, a transgender man and four students from colleges that had never had received the honor before.
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Trump says he should have left UCLA players in Chinese jail

Trump says he should have left UCLA players in Chinese jail

WASHINGTON ó President Donald Trump says he should have left three UCLA basketball players accused of shoplifting in China in jail. Trumpís tweet Sunday comes after the father of player LiAngelo Ball minimized Trumpís involvement in winning the playe...
Updated: 20 minutes ago

App State tops UTEP 76-72 for 7th at Puerto Rico Tip-Off

O'Showen Williams had 19 points and hit two late free throws to help Appalachian State hold off UTEP 76-72 in Sunday's seventh-place game at the relocated Puerto Rico Tip-Off
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Argentina unsure if signals came from lost submarine

Argentina unsure if signals came from lost submarine

Argentina's Navy could not confirm Sunday if seven brief satellite calls received a day prior were from a lost submarine with 44 crew members onboard
Updated: 24 minutes ago

AP Top News at 3:03 p.m. EST

AP Top News at 3:03 p.m. EST
Updated: 26 minutes ago
TransCanada sends more crews to Keystone pipeline leak

TransCanada sends more crews to Keystone pipeline leak

TransCanada Corp. says the company has sent additional crews and equipment to the site of a 210,000-gallon oil spill from its Keystone pipeline in northeastern South Dakota
Updated: 27 minutes ago
The Latest: Broncos activate Lynch for first time vs Bengals

The Latest: Broncos activate Lynch for first time vs Bengals

The Latest: The Broncos have activated Paxton Lynch to back up Brock Osweiler, meaning Trevor Siemian has gone from starter to No. 3 in three weeks
Updated: 27 minutes ago