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Election Tests GOP's House Advantage   10/22 10:35

   (AP) -- Republicans hold a commanding House advantage with their biggest 
majority since 1931. Democrats are expected to cut into that edge next month, 
and with Donald Trump's declining presidential fortunes are hoping to capture 
House control. They'd need to pick up 30 seats, a gain they've achieved only 
once since the mid-1970s.

   A look at the House landscape:


   Current party breakdown: 247 Republicans, 188 Democrats. Two of those 
Democratic seats are vacant after the resignation of Pennsylvania Rep. Chaka 
Fattah following his conviction on federal corruption charges and the death of 
Hawaii Rep. Mark Takai in July. The one Republican vacancy was created by the 
resignation of Kentucky Rep. Ed Whitfield.


   Some incumbents to watch:

   ---Four-term Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., has run ads criticizing Donald 
Trump in this swing district as he tries to hold off Democrat Morgan Carroll, a 
state senator .

   ---First-term Rep. Brad Ashford, D-Neb., represents a Republican-leaning 
district and is locked in a close race with retired Brig. Gen. Don Bacon.

   ---Two-term Rep. Robert Dold, R-Ill., faces a rematch against former 
Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider in a state that will be tough for Republicans.

   ---Seven-term Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., is in a challenging race in this 
suburban district against Josh Gottheimer, a former speechwriter for President 
Bill Clinton who's raised plenty of money.

   ---Twelve-term Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., is seeking re-election in a 
reconfigured district against Democrat Stephanie Murphy, a political newcomer 
for whom national Democrats are pumping in lots of cash.


   The November winners will meet on Jan. 3, 2017, when the 115th Congress 
begins its two-year session. Lawmakers will vote on speaker and other members 
of the leadership.


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