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Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining: The GOP House Seats That Could Go Dem Tonight

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Louisiana-02: Rep. Joseph Cao (R)

Cao was elected in an upset in 2008, defeating the scandal-plagued Democratic incumbent William "Dollar Bill" Jefferson, who was then under indictment (and soon to be convicted) in a corruption scandal that involved cash being found in his freezer. But the fundamentals of this New Orleans-based district have always been against Cao winning a second term. Barack Obama carried it by 75%-23% in 2008, and before that it went to John Kerry by a similar 75%-24% in 2004.

The Democrats have nominated state Rep. Cedric Richmond, who is not under indictment for anything -- and that might be all he needs. All the rating systems, and various political sources we've talked to, expect this seat to flip.

Delaware-At Large: Open Seat - Rep. Mike Castle (R)

Castle, who first won this seat in 1992, vacated it this year to run for Senate. Despite starting out as a heavy favorite, he ultimately lost the nomination to conservative activist Christine O'Donnell, who is expected to lose tonight to Democrat Chris Coons. And, it turns out, it is widely expected that Democrat John Carney, a former lieutenant governor who narrowly lost the 2008 gubernatorial primary, will win the race against another Tea Party-backed Republican, businessman Glen Urquhart.

The TPM Poll Average gives Carney a lead of 51.8%-40.8%.

Hawaii-01: Rep. Charles Djou (R)

Djou won this heavily Democratic seat under some unusual circumstances back in May. The former occupant, Democrat Neil Abercrombie, had resigned in order to focus full time on his gubernatorial campaign. This set off a single-round, winner-take-all special election that pitted two strong Democrats, former Rep. Ed Case and state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, against the Republican Djou, who was then a Honolulu councilman.

Djou won the special election with only 39.5% of the vote. In something of an upset, Hanabusa edged out the national Dem-backed candidate Case for second place. Case then subsequently quit the race for the November election, leaving the Dem nomination to Hanabusa.

The TPM Poll Average gives Hanabusa a narrow edge of 47.2%-46.3%. So this one could be down to the wire.

Illinois-10: Open Seat - Rep. Mark Kirk (R)

This district has voted Democratic for president in the last three elections, but the Dems have never quite been able to take down the GOPer Kirk. However, Kirk left the seat this year to go run for the Senate (a race he could potentially win), opening up this seat for a potential Dem pickup.

The Democratic candidate is business consultant Dan Seals, who narrowly lost to Kirk in 2006 and 2008, and is now facing Republican businessman Robert Dold. The pundit ratings all say this seat leans to Seals -- but on the other hand, a last-minute We Ask America poll gives Dold a sudden lead to Dold. Take that for what it's worth.