The presentation for Texas Weekly's list of the most competitive races in Texas is lifted from the inventors of the federal terror watch, ranking districts by the threat to each incumbent (or incumbent party, in the case of open districts) and giving each group garish colors. Yellow means there's trouble on the sidewalk. Orange is trouble on the front porch. Red is trouble walking in the door.
Changes for the week of October 4: We added Waco's HD-57 to the list on the news/rumors that conservatives are putting some firepower into the race against Democrat Jim Dunnam. Start that one in the Yellow zone. HD-113, where Republican Joe Driver is still explaining news accounts of double-reimbursing expenses from state and campaign funds, moves to Red. And two move from Yellow to Orange: HD-1, where Democrat Stephen Frost is trying to fend off return challenger George Lavender, and HD-56, where tax liens have softened up Republican Rep. Charles "Doc" Anderson.
As always, incumbents' names are shown in bold. A note to candidates and consultants whose nerves are shot: Within each color zone, the races are listed by district number — not by order of risk. Step away from the coffee pots, folks.