Republicans and Democrats are getting ready to spend 14 months and hundreds of millions of dollars on a House campaign that is likely to end in a split decision with a small gain for one party or the other.
The likelihood that only a handful of incumbents from either side will lose may in the end give the winning party a pickup as small as a single seat.
Because redistricting has given the parties — primarily Republicans — lopsided control of many districts and a working majority in many others, this is one of the narrowest fields of competitive races in recent memory. Twenty-six Democratic seats and 23 Republican seats are currently considered less than safe, according to ratings compiled by the Rothenberg Political Report and used by CQ Weekly and Roll Call. Of those, only 14 are regarded as highly competitive. (View ratings map.)