As polls show what appears to be a Republican tidal wave in the works for November 2, the chances of more unexpected GOP wins in the U.S. House obviously grow greater. As the results come in election night, here are the ten most likely upsets of once seemingly safe Democrats that conservatives should keep an eye out for:
1. Conn.-1: Engineer Ann Brickley is running a spirited grass-roots campaign against Rep. John Larson in the Hartford-district that has been Democratic since 1958. (Brickley actually sends hand-written thank-you notes.)
2. La.-2: Once thought a sure loser, Republican Rep. Joseph Cao may now hold on in the New Orleans district against Democratic State Rep. Cedric Richmond.
3. Mass.-4: Bill Clinton came in for a rescue mission because Rep. Barney Frank is in trouble with voters over the flawed Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill and the election of Marine Corps veteran Sean Bielat could be the GOP Cinderella story of 2010.
4. Mass.-6: Lawyer and first-time GOP candidate Bill Hudak has fought seven-term Rep. John Tierney to a tie in the polls so, incredibly, this one is going down to the wire.
5. Mich.-15: Some polls now show physician Robert Steele leading Democratic Rep. John Dingell, longest-serving (56 years) House member in history.
6. Mo.-3: In St. Louis, car dealer Ed Martin (who worked in the Vatican when John Paul II was pope) appears to be closing in on Rep. Russ Carnahan, brother of Democratic Senate nominee Robin Carnahan.
7. N.J.-6: A Tea Party favorite, feisty Highlands Mayor Anna Little, who upset the GOP establishment in the primary, is giving 22-year Rep. Frank Pallone the race of his life.
8. Ore.-4: Scientist and scholar Art Robinson is raising big money and attracting independent expenditure support in his raging battle with 24-year Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio.
9. Pa.-14: Pittsburgh’s Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle suddenly finds himself with a fight on his hands from Melissa Haluszczak, a paralegal daughter of Ukrainian immigrants.
10. RI-2: ’08 GOP nominee Mark Zacaria is giving Rep. Jim Langevin a harder time in their rematch for the Providence district.