Midterm elections: 12 House races to watch to judge size of a GOP 'wave'

Most observers expect Republicans to take over the House of Representatives, but more than 100 races could go either way. The magic number Republicans need to gain to take control: 39. Here are a handful of races to keep an eye on in the states with early-closing polls.

3. Georgia's Second

Joe Bellacomo/The Albany Herald/AP/composite
District 2 Republican candidate Mike McKeown (r.) and Rep. Sanford Bishop (l.) appear at a debate Oct. 28 in Albany, Ga.

Democratic incumbent Sanford Bishop – a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and conservative Blue Dog Democrats – has represented the district since 1993 and usually wins easy reelection.

But now, the polling site Real Clear Politics has moved this seat to “leans Republican” (though the other major polling sites still categorize it as a toss-up).

His Republican opponent, state Rep. Mike McKeown, has hit Congressman Bishop hard for his support of unpopular bills such as health-care reform, cap and trade for carbon emissions, and the economic stimulus law.

If Bishop manages to hang onto the seat, that’s a good sign for Democrats. Also keep an eye on Georgia’s Eighth District, where Republicans are favored to pick up a seat, and the 12th, where Democrats hope to keep it. A win by the opposite party in either district would be a strong signal of how the night is going to look.

Polls in Georgia close at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

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