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2009/2010: The House battleground

As we mentioned above, there are 49 Democratic-controlled congressional seats that John McCain won last year. They are, courtesy of Swing State Project: AL-2 Bright, AL-5 Griffith, AR-1 Berry, AR-2 Snyder, AR-4 Ross, AZ-1 Kirkpatrick, AZ-5 Mitchell, AZ-8 Giffords, CO-3 Salazar, CO-4 Markey, FL-2 Boyd, FL-24 Kosmas, GA-8 Marshall, ID-1 Minnick, IN-8 Ellsworth, IN-9 Hill, KY-6 Chandler, LA-3 Melancon, MD-1 Kratovil, MN-7 Peterson, MO-4 Skelton, MS-1 Childers, MS-4 Taylor, NC-7 McIntyre, NC-11 Shuler, ND-AL Pomeroy, NM-2 Teague, NY-13 McMahon, NY-29 Massa, OH-6 Wilson, OH-16 Boccieri, OH-18 Space, OK-2 Boren, PA-3 Dahlkemper, PA-4 Altmire, PA-10 Carney, PA-12 Murtha, PA-17 Holden, SC-5 Spratt, SD-AL Herseth-Sandlin, TN-4 Davis, TN-6 Gordon, TN-8 Tanner, TX-17 Edwards, UT-2 Matheson, VA-5 Perriello, VA-9 Boucher, WV-1 Mollohan, and WV-3 Rahall. 

And there are 34 GOP-controlled congressional seats that Obama won last year: CA-3 Lungren, CA-24 Gallegly, CA-25 McKeon, CA-26 Dreier, CA-44 Calvert, CA-45 Bono-Mack, CA-48 Campbell, CA-50 Bilbray, DE-AL Castle, FL-10 Young, FL-18 Ros-Lehtinen, IA-Latham, IL-6 Roskam, IL-10 Kirk, IL-13 Biggert, IL-16 Manzullo, LA-2 Cao, MI-4 Camp, MI-6 Upton, MI-8 Rogers, MI-11 McCotter, MN-3 Paulsen, NE-2 Terry, NJ-2 Lobiondo, NJ-7 Lance, NY-23 McHugh, OH-12 Tiberi, PA-6 Gerlach, PA-15 Dent, VA-4 Forbes, VA-10 Wolf, WA-8 Reichert, WI-1 Ryan, and WI-6 Petri.

The Washington Post has a piece that will quickly turn into cocktail party conventional wisdom: the two major Dem candidates in New Jersey and Virginia are still trying to link their GOP foes with Bush. "The strategy is aimed at defusing Republican attacks on Obama's administration by refocusing attention on how unhappy people were when Bush was in charge. And in New Jersey and Virginia, it is designed to recapture the electoral enthusiasm that brought Democrats victory last year."

"The two states will serve as a testing ground to see whether candidates can still turn elections into a referendum on the Bush years. If successful, it is a playbook likely to be used again for the 2010 congressional elections and beyond." 

Stu Rothenberg notes that the 2010 Senate landscape has shifted in the Republicans' favor in the past few months: "Fifteen months before the midterms, Democrats have major problems in two states -- Illinois and Connecticut -- while a third, Nevada, remains a potential headache. Republicans, on the other hand, have serious vulnerabilities in four states -- Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire and Ohio -- and potential problems in two others. But of late, even those Republican vulnerabilities look less daunting than they once did."

Video: Dan Balz, Haynes Johnson, former Rep. Harold Ford Jr., D-Tenn., and former Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla., discuss the future of the Republican Party with NBC's David Gregory on "Meet the Press."

VIRGINIA: Gubernatorial candidates Creigh Deeds (D) and Bob McDonnell (R) played up their "farm and forestry" credentials at a debate before an audience of Virginia farmers on Friday. Deeds "relished the opportunity to talk up" his 18 years on the General Assembly's agriculture committees and his experience operating on farm animals. "You won't find too many candidates for statewide office who have performed surgery on cows," Deeds said. While McDonnell does not have the same bovine surgery record, the two candidates did find common ground on one point: concerns about the federal cap and trade legislation. "We will not overburden Virginia's farmers and foresters with regulations that impede your work," McDonnell said. 

Creigh Deeds kicked off an "aggressive tour of Southwest and Southside Virginia" yesterday "to build support in rural parts of Virginia." He has a new website to match, featuring a video, "Deeds Country," that could "easily double as a country music video." While the tour is intended to "show that Deeds' rural roots will help [Southern Virginians] if he gets to the governor's mansion," his "embracing " of this side of his background "is turning off his more liberal Northern Virginia supporters."