Democracy Corps divided the 50 seats into two tiers, labeling freshman GOP Reps. Allen West (Fla.), Robert Dold (Ill.), Bobby Schilling (Ill.), Bill Johnson (Ohio), Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.) and Sean Duffy (Wis.) among the 25 most vulnerable.
Republican pollster Glen Bolger argued Tuesday that a closer look at the characteristics of the districts surveyed by Democracy Corps reveals a much different landscape.
Bolger noted the average Partisan Voting Index, as measured by prognosticator Charlie Cook, tilts Republican across the 50 districts. In addition, just 12 of the districts were won by both Obama and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004, meaning precious few of them have what Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) refers to as "strong Democratic DNA."
Another major caveat is redistricting. The majority of the 50 districts polled by the group are likely to look drastically different by the 2012 election, and Bolger notes that even among the most Democratic districts of the group, eight are in either Ohio or Pennsylvania, states where Republicans control the redistricting process.
"In order to win the 25 seats they need to take back the house, Democrats will most likely need to win no fewer than 13 districts won by Bush in 2004," Bolger concluded. "The 2010 results underscore just how difficult of a proposition that is. Despite Republicans' historic gains in the House, just nine of the seats they won in 2010 were Kerry districts."