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First Read's Favorite House Races

If it’s Friday, it’s time for another Top 10 list -- this time we look at what we consider our 10 favorite House races (because they’re competitive or they tell a story, or they’re just interesting).

1. WA-3: This open seat might the purest of toss-up seats. It’s only one of nine districts in the country with a Cook PVI of +0, meaning it doesn’t traditionally favor either party. Obama won it, and so did Bush. As the quintessential swing district -- in a Dem-leaning state -- it could be a good measure of where the country is.
2. VA-5: Freshman Rep. Tom Perriello has done something most endangered Democrats haven't done -- stood up for the Obama agenda. The problem for him: It’s a relatively conservative district.
3. FL-8: Alan Grayson -- he's loud, he's controversial, he's got a lot of cash. And it’s all taking place in swing seat right in the heart of the Florida I-4 corridor.
4. WI-7: Running for David Obey's seat is a former “Real World” cast member, Sean Duffy, who also happens to be a world-record pole climber (seriously). Since his “Real World” days, he went to law school and is now a district attorney and serious candidate. But Democrats still like their chances.
5. NY-23: Elected House Republicans are nearly extinct in Upstate New York. Because of intra-party fighting, Democrats flipped NY-23 in '09. Does incumbent Bill Owens (D) hang on?
6. MO-4: The quintessential majority-maker district. If we see Rep. Ike Skelton (D) fall on election night, Republicans are probably taking back the House.
7. OH-1: The rematch. In ’08, Steve Driehaus (D) defeated incumbent Steve Chabot (R), in large part due to African-American turnout. Now Chabot wants his old seat back, in a cycle when Obama won’t be on the ballot. Oh, and it’s taking place in battleground Ohio.
8. TX-17: Does any district better tell the story of a resilient Democrat in a conservative district? Year after year, Republicans target Chet Edwards. And year after year, he wins. What about this time, in this climate?
9. KS-3: Dennis Moore (D) may have retired, but there will be another Moore on the ballot to replace him -- his wife.
10. FL-25: Will Lincoln Diaz-Balart going to run for his brother's more solid Miami-area seat backfire on Republicans?