To better predict how congress might look after the midterm elections, Politico has broken down close House contests into three categories. Every seat listed is held by a Democrat, and the categories comprise 75 seats Republicans could win.

The first group includes the most imperiled Democratic seats — these are the “must-wins” — without which the GOP has no shot at House control. It’s a roster filled with freshmen who benefited from Barack Obama’s coattails, the most vulnerable veterans and Republican-friendly open seats where the retirement of a Democratic incumbent has created a prime pick-up opportunity. If Republicans can’t win most of these seats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will take the gavel again for the 112th Congress.

The second group of seats could be labeled the “majority makers”—a class of races that are within GOP reach, but will require defeating well-prepared Democratic incumbents or winning on highly competitive terrain. If the GOP is winning most of these races on election night, a Republican majority will be close at hand. If not, Democrats still have a chance of waking up Nov. 3 with a slim margin in the House.

The third group could be described as the “landslide” class. For the most part, these districts are a tough climb for GOP candidates, either because of the strength of the Democratic incumbent or the partisan tilt of the seat. If the Democrats in this category start to fall on election night, a wave election is unfolding.

Kentucky’s 6th District–represented by Ben Chandler–is in the third group, meaning a Chandler loss could signal a near-collapse for Democrats elsewhere:

Chandler has had no problems holding this Republican-oriented, Lexington-based district but his cap and trade vote is already causing him problems in a coal-producing state.

The commonwealth’s other Democratically-controlled District, the 3rd–represented by John Yarmuth–is among 13 additional races listed as “on the bubble.” A recent Survey USA poll showed Yarmuth in a tighter than expected race against newcomer Todd Lally.

Politico’s new way of organizing races may make sense on the surface, but I suspect Ken Silverstein of Harper’s might take issue with such a broad analysis. In August, he wrote this as pundits tried to make sense of recent primaries, and fit the results into an “anti-insurgent” narrative:

America is a big place. Winning or losing state and local races depends on different issues in different places; there may not be a One-Size-Fits-All explanation for results around the country.

That’s not to say, however, that an electoral sweep–or lack thereof–in November would be a matter of coincidence.

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