(Refiled to add Factbox in headline)
WASHINGTON Nov 3 The U.S. House of
Representatives has experienced three consecutive "wave"
elections in which more than 20 seats changed hands, with the
peak coming in 2010 when Republicans took control after gaining
On Tuesday, voters will elect the 113th Congress. Even
though public approval of Congress hit all time lows in the
Gallup poll over the past year, no waves are in sight.
The authoritative Cook Political Report is projecting a
maximum gain for Democrats of five seats, about 20 short of what
the party needs to take control of the House where the balance
of power now stands at 190 Democrats, 240 Republicans and 5
There is no sign of any anti-incumbent mood. Indeed, the
trouble faced by a number of sitting members is attributable
largely to the redrawing of district boundaries that followed
the 2010 U.S. census.
Among the Republican incumbents facing serious challenge
Minnesota's Michele Bachmann, the flamboyant Tea
Party-backed conservative whose run for the Republican
presidential nomination flamed out early in the primary season.
Bachmann is opposed by businessman Jim Graves for the seat
she has held from the Minneapolis suburbs since 2007.
While Graves has gone after Bachmann's conservative stance
on issues such as reproductive rights and equal pay, Bachmann's
chances were improved by redistricting, which put her in
slightly more Republican hands.
Mary Bono Mack of California , who benefited from
redistricting but nevertheless faces serious competition from
Paul Ruiz, the son of farm workers who went on to graduate from
the Harvard Medical School and become an emergency room
The district, which includes Palm Springs, has a sizable
Latino population that gives Ruiz, a Latino, a potential
Allen West of Florida one of a handful of Tea Party-backed
House freshmen in trouble this year in one of the nastiest races
in the country.
His Democratic opponent, Patrick Murphy, has gone after
West's penchant for extreme comments on a variety of subjects,
including a baseless claim that as many as 81 Democrats in
Congress were members of the Communist Party.
West, a former Army lieutenant colonel, has made an issue of
Murphy's 2003 arrest in a bar fight at a time when he (West) was
about to deploy to Iraq.
Dan Lungren , a veteran of 12 terms in the House and chairman
of the House Administration Committee, a Republican casualty of
California redistricting, who is likely to lose his seat in a
new district to Ami Bera, a physician.
Among the threatened Democratic incumbents are:
Utah's Jim Matheson who faces rising Republican star Mia
Love. If Love wins, she will be the first black female
Republican in the House. Love came to national attention as a
featured speaker at the Republican convention.
Kathy Hochul, chosen in a 2011 special election to represent
New York's 27th district in western New York state. She is a
Democrat who, thanks to redistricting, is running in what has
become Republican territory.
Her opponent is Erie County Executive Chris Collins.
Massachusetts' John Tierney, whose opponent, State Senator
Richard Tisei, would be the first Republican elected from
Massachusetts to the House since 1994.
Tierney, who represents the northeast corner of the state,
has been hurt by his wife's involvement in an offshore gambling
Mark Critz, running in a redrawn and more Republican
district in southwestern Pennsylvania against attorney Keith
Rothfus. The race is one of the costliest House contests in the
country, with labor groups in particular trying to preserve the
seat for Democrats.
National Republican donors, including Las Vegas billionaire
Sheldon Adelson, have spent more than half a million dollars for
ads attacking Rothfus.
(Editing by Fred Barbash and Vicki Allen)