The GOP’s Political Landscape

Fox News Power Rankings: GOP looks west for decisive House majority

It is widely believed President Obama will be defeated on Election Day in 2010 and the White House will be taken over by Republicans. But as it stands now, Republicans hold a commanding lead in the Electoral College and are likely to keep their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives by holding on to their four Senate seats – all of them held by Democrats.

The first step in understanding this new political landscape is to look at the states where the GOP has made significant gains – particularly in states won by incumbent Democrats in previous elections.

These are the states where, either by a landslide or with an unusually close race, the GOP will hold the U.S. House majority. A similar look at the states where the GOP has lost, in either a close election or a very close one, could give a very different impression of the national GOP’s prospects.

The final two weeks of the 2010 campaign will likely provide a clearer view of the GOP’s chances. A few days ago, Republicans still thought they had a shot at winning three of the eight congressional districts in Ohio. Now they no longer have a chance as those districts – in the two Ohio congressional districts currently held by Democrats – have all gone to independent Greg H. Torrence, who took over as the Republican candidate for one of them. Democrat Sherrod Brown won the other, which is currently held by House minority leader Nancy Pelosi.

The GOP has lost just one Republican-held seat – and that was in Nevada in 2006 and 2008, when the Democratic Party picked up eight of the 21 races that year.

This year, the GOP will have its best chance to win back control in the House in over 20 years. In 2010, the GOP’s chances of winning back the House majority will begin with a GOP congressional sweep across three states – Colorado, Michigan and Virginia – where they must defend GOP seats and pick up new

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