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Originally published October 9, 2012 at 4:54 PM | Page modified October 10, 2012 at 6:09 AM

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House races to watch

Democrats need 25 seats to retake the majority in the House, something that has not happened during a presidential election in 60 years. Republicans currently hold 242 seats, Democrats 193.

The Washington Post

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In their quest to reclaim the majority, House Democrats are fighting history: The chamber's majority has not changed hands during a presidential election in 60 years. Moreover, not since Ulysses S. Grant's re-election in 1872 has a president won a second term and have his party gain 25 or more seats in the House, which is what Democrats need to retake the majority. Republicans now hold 242 seats, Democrats 193, and while there has been some recent shift in momentum toward the Democrats, 25 seats represent a tall order.

Here are some of the tossup races to watch:

Rhode Island's 2nd District: Incumbent Democrat David Cicilline has had problems, but he registered a convincing primary win, and a new poll last week showed him turning what had been a 15-point deficit in February into a 44 percent to 38 percent lead over Republican nominee Brendan Doherty in a strongly Democratic district.

California's 41st District: Democrat Mark Takano is now a slight favorite against GOP Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione in this Democratic-leaning district. Neither national party has spent money here.

Florida's 26th District: Republican Rep. David Rivera is being left for dead by some in the local GOP, which is already talking about possible 2014 candidates, and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., hasn't done much to defend his friend. A recent survey by a GOP-leaning pollster showed Rivera trailing Democrat Joe Garcia by 10 points.

Florida's 2nd District: Republican Rep. Steve Southerland's district appears to have taken a turn for the competitive, with both sides spending money there in recent days. A Democratic poll last week showed Southerland and former state Sen. Al Lawson, a Democrat, tied at 43 percent.

Florida's 10th District: Rep. Daniel Webster, a Republican, suddenly finds himself in a race against Democrat Val Demings, the former Orlando police chief. Democratic polls show Demings within five points of Webster.

California's 47th District: There's little sign right now that state Sen. Alan Lowenthal, a Democrat, is in trouble, despite some GOP hype surrounding Long Beach Republican City Councilman Gary DeLong.

Iowa's 2nd District: Rep. David Loebsack, a Democrat, has emerged as a GOP target, with the GOP spending about half a million dollars against him. Loebsak is opposed by Republican John Archer.

North Carolina's 8th District: National Democrats have pulled out of this race, leaving Rep. Larry Kissell to fend for himself against Republican Richard Hudson in a district that is significantly more Republican after 2010 redistricting. Republicans are favored to win three Democratic-held seats in North Carolina, and Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., could be in trouble, too.

Oklahoma's 2nd District: Retiring Democratic Rep. Dan Boren's seat seems like a lost cause for Democrats. Republican Markwayne Mullin is a strong favorite.

Indiana's 2nd District: Another likely GOP pickup comes in this seat being vacated by Democratic Senate nominee Rep. Joe Donnelly. Republican Jackie Walorski appears well-positioned to win.

Pennsylvania's 6th District: Republican Rep. Jim Gerlach is always a target, but his internal polling has him up by a huge margin, and Democrats haven't spent money to help 2010 nominee Manan Trivedi, but it is a Democratic-leaning district.

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