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Second thoughts: On the House races

*** 60-plus: As we mentioned above, Republicans gained approximately 60 House seats. There are still 12 races we're watching -- all held by Democrats -- that are too close to call. Republicans lead in three of those, so GOP gains will likely inch slightly higher. What's left: AZ-7, AZ-8, CA-11, CA-20, GA-2, IL-8, KY-6, MI-9, NY25, TX-27, VA-11, and WA-2.

*** The correction: In 2006 and 2008 combined, Democrats picked up 56 seats (mostly in Republican-leaning territories). Well, Republicans took back 38 of those of those 56 seats. But what's most striking is that the GOP gained back nearly all the seats it lost (21 of 24) in ’08, and the other three are hung up in races that are too close to call. Of the other eight on the list of races yet to be called, three of them are '06 seats.

*** The hurricane that started in the South and continued through the Midwest: Democrats really got crushed in the South and Midwest. They lost 23 seats in the South, including four in Florida, three in Tennessee, and two in Texas (with an additional one in overtime). They lost 21 seats in the Midwest, including a total of 13 in Pennsylvania (5), Ohio (5), and Illinois (3).

*** 164 years of service gone: The longest-serving House member in history, John Dingell, may have walked away with a victory, but several of his Democratic colleagues who have worked in the lower chamber for decades lost their seats. Six "Old Bulls" -- John Spratt of South Carolina, Rick Boucher of Virginia, Ike Skelton of Missouri, Chet Edwards of Texas, James Oberstar of Minnesota, and Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota -- were defeated Tuesday. Out of that group, that's 128 combined years of service in the chamber.

*** We're about to find out what happens when Congress tops being polite and starts getting real...: Former “Real World” contestant Sean Duffy won in WI-7. But, as Cook House editor David Wasserman put it, Democrats and Republicans' "worst nightmare" came true because "live wires like" Renee Ellmers in NC-2, Allen West in FL-22, and Raul Labrador in ID-1 all won. Expect those districts -- and others -- to become top Dem targets in 2012. http://bit.ly/bxlLyb

*** O-hio: NBC's Chris Donovan points out that John Boehner would be the third speaker from the state of Ohio. The other two:
-- J. Warren Keifer - one term - (1881-83) and
-- Nicholas Longworth - 3 terms - (1925-31). NOTE: The Longworth House Office Building was named for him.