Texas Weekly's Hot List for October 18, 2010

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 18: Move that HD-96 race, where Chris Turner is the incumbent, back into the red. Smart people on both sides of the party line tell us it's close, close, close. They're watching, so we are, too. Jim Dunnam remains the favorite in the HD-57 race, but outside groups are starting to shovel resources to his challenger, so make that one orange. Two contests remain orange but could slip to yellow if nothing changes: HD-56, where Doc Anderson is the incumbent, and HD-107, Allen Vaught's seat. Watch HD-45; Patrick Rose's folks say he's got nothing to worry about, but they're advertising like a campaign that's got a fight on its hands. Leave it for now, but save a little orange paint for next week.

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. Early voting starts today.

Texas Weekly's Hot List