Pindell puts Saxton, Ferguson seats in Dem column

Democrats will pick up congressional seats of retiring Reps. Jim Saxton and Mike Ferguson as part of a national trend that will net them seven U.S. Senate seats and sixteen House seats national, according to James Pindell, the editor of Politicker.com’s Pindell Report, which provides independent analysis of federal and state races.

Pindell says that Democrat Frank Lautenberg will win re-election to the U.S. Senate and that Barack Obama will carry New Jersey and win its fifteen electoral votes.

“In two Republican-leaning districts, Democrats John Adler and Linda Stender are going to Congress,” said Pindell. “Democrats have momentum and they’re winning just about all of the marginal races.”

The Pindell Report has the Senate at 58-41, and the House at 252-180. The Senate races in Alaska, and House races in Florida, New Mexico and Kansas, remain toss-ups.

“The economy, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush combine to push Senate and House races that were toss-ups last week into the Democratic column,” said Pindell. “While the Democrats will control the White House and both houses of Congress, they won’t get the 60 Senate seats they need for a filibuster-proof majority.”

Pindell says that Republican Sens. Norm Coleman (Minn.), Elizabeth Dole (N.C.), Gordon Smith (Ore.), and John Sununu (N.H.) will be defeated, and that Democrats will win the seats of retiring Republican Senators in Colorado, New Mexico and Virginia. He believes three Republicans in tough re-election contests – Mitch McConnell, (Ky.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.) – will win narrowly.

“A jury in Washington., D.C. will decide if Ted Stevens gets re-elected, not Alaska voters, said Pindell. “If Stevens is acquitted, he’ll keep his seat.”

In the House, two incumbents are in toss up races – Democrat Nancy Boyda (KS-2) and Republican Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL-21) – as is the open seat in New Mexico’s first district, now held by the GOP.

Nine Republican House members will lose their seats, Pindell says. They are Reps. Marilyn Musgrave (CO-4), Phil English (PA-3), Randy Kuhl (NY-29), Tim Walberg (MI-7), Joe Knollenberg (MI-9), Tom Feeney (FL-24), Jon Porter (NV-3), Robin Hayes (NC-8) and Don Young (AK-At Large).

But Republicans will pick unseat three Democratic Congressmen: Paul Kanjorski (PA-11), Tim Mahoney (FL-16), and Nick Lampson (TX-22). Republicans will also capture the seat of retiring Democrat Bud Cramer (AL-5).

Democrats will pickup eleven seats in districts where Republican incumbents are not seeking re-election, including the seats of Saxton and Ferguson.

Pindell will present the latest edition of The Pindell Report Wednesday night at the National Press Club in Washington at an event co-sponsored by Politicker.com and George Washington University’s Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet.

In the presidential race, Barack Obama has 321 electoral votes and John McCain has 171, says Pindell, who believes the only toss-up states remaining are Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio.

“Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio are all too close to call,” said Pindell. “But the truth is they really aren’t battlegrounds anymore. The battle is over and Obama has won.”

In this Democratic tidal wave, the re-election of one Democratic Governor a toss-up: in Washington State, Gov. Christine Gregoire faces a rematch with former State Sen. Dino Rossi in a contest that could defy the national trend, according to Pindell.

“Washington hasn’t elected a Republican Governor since 1980, but this might be the only place where Republicans celebrate on Election Night,” said Pindell.

Pindell says Democrats will win gubernatorial races in Missouri, where the Republican incumbent is not seeking re-election, and in North Carolina, where the Democratic Governor is term-limited.

“Not since the election in 1948 have Democrats won the White House so solidly and picked up so many seats in Congress at the same time,” said Pindell.

Pindell puts Saxton, Ferguson seats in Dem column