Journal Gazette: You’d need 11 weeks to read regs book

If a blue wave of Democratic victories is coming in U.S. House elections this fall, as many political analysts have been forecasting, Indiana is seen as keeping a good distance from the beach.

Nonpartisan assessments of Hoosier congressional races show Republican incumbents remain heavily favored in their five contests, that Republican candidates are considered safe bets in two open-seat districts, and two Democratic incumbents are regarded as shoo-ins.

The Cook Political Report on Friday rated only one Indiana seat as being somewhat in play: the South Bend-area 2nd District, where three-term GOP Rep. Jackie Walorski is being challenged by Democrat Mel Hall. Cook has regarded the district as “likely” Republican since early in the year. More-competitive races are considered those that “lean” to a candidate, and the closest contests are called toss-ups.

Walorski also is rated as “likely” to defeat Hall in the June 14 ratings from Nathan Gonzales’ Inside Elections. But Gonzales adds a cushion to his layers: Between “lean” and “toss-up” is a “tilt” category.

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball assigned a “safe” label to all Hoosier incumbents and the Republican candidates in the open 4th and 6th districts in the June 28 ratings by the University of Virginia political science professor.

Gonzales has only 11 of the nation’s 435 House districts as toss-ups, compared with 25 for Sabato and 34 for Cook. Republicans currently have 42 more House seats than Democrats do.

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