The Battle for the House 2016: October News

AZ-09: Ex-GoDaddy counsel Christine Jones is allegedly interested in running in this swing district against the incumbent Democrat.

CA-24: Virtually the entire Democratic establishment is rallying behind Salud Carbajal in this open Democratic seat.  Everyone except highly popular Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom who recently endorsed Helene Schneider.  With his eye on the Governor’s office in 2018, Newsom is obviously going with the underdog here and one has to wonder if something is afoot.

DE-AL: Rumor had it that former state labor secretary Lisa Blunt Rochester who currently chairs the Wilmington Urban League may jump in the open race.  She is being courted by EMILY’s List to run.  However, she just recently announced she would not run

FL-13:  The great tanned one is officially in (Charlie Crist, that is) now that there are new boundaries under court order.  The new make-up may slightly favor the Democrats, but hold on.  First he has to get by former Obama official Eric Lynn in the primary.  Assuming he survives that, one Republican who will definitely give him a run for the money is former St. Petersburg mayor Rich Baker, if he decides to run.  Baker has always done well among black voters while Crist usually wins the orange vote.  Baker won his reelection bid in 2005 with 70% of the vote.  For his part, he said he will decide in early 2016. And no sooner had Crist launched his campaign, current St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman endorsed his primary opponent Eric Lynn.  St. Petersburg constitutes the bulk of the newly drawn district.  Hey… keep fighting Democrats.

IL-05: Kyle McCarter will take on incumbent GOP and establishment favorite Shimkus in the primary next year.

IN-04: It would seem weird that GOP incumbent [mc_name name=’Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’R000592′ ] would be rumored to be interested in the state AG job, but apparently there is some left over animosity regarding that job from 2008.  This writer doubts the rumors and it sounds like Democrats recycling a non-story.

IA-03:  Jim Mowrer received the endorsement of [mc_name name=’Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’L000565′ ].  Mowrer unsuccessfully ran in the 4th last year against King.  However, Mowrer will have to face at least Desmund Adams in the Democratic primary.  The scuttlebutt is that the DCCC is leaning towards US attorney Nick Klinefeldt, and former governor Chet Culver is also a possibility.

KS-01: Freedom Works is out with some ads and one candidate they are supporting is [mc_name name=’Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’H001057′ ] who appears vulnerable to a primary challenge.  His primary opponent Roger Marshall out raised him last quarter.

KY-01: Amid some ethics violation accusations, Ed Whitfield is leaving the seat.  There is no shortage of potential GOP possibilities, but the one name mentioned is James Comer who fell 84 votes short of winning the GOP gubernatorial primary this past May.  And no sooner did his name pop up he announced his candidacy.  He joins Michael Pape.  Scott Jennings, a former Bush administration official and ally of McConnell, is sad to be considering also.

MN-02: Ex-state representative Pam Myhra is in the race for the GOP in this open seat.  However, some Republican operatives fear she may be too conservative for the district and the NRCC would like to see Ted Daley, a former state senator, run.  The convention process usually decides candidates in Minnesota and Myhra has stated she would support that candidate if they receive the endorsement there.

MS-04: Here is a bit of interesting news: Chris McDaniel is considering whether to challenge Palazzo in the GOP primary, but he will have to decide soon.  January 8th is the filing deadline.  His chances?  Quite good in a somewhat conservative, solidly Republican district.  He carried this area when he ran against Cochran in 2014 and represents part of it in the state senate.

NV-03:  Last month I reported that One Eye Reid was high on Heather Murren in this open swing district.  However, she ruled herself out which means the DCCC continues to look for a candidate.

NV-04: Meanwhile over in the 4th, Reid and company have been building support, endorsements, and donors for Ruben Kihuen.

NH-01: Dan Innis, who lost to Guinta in the 2014 primary by ten points, is likely back for another bid.  Some sources report that GOP operatives would like to see him win and that he has a better chance of retaining this district against Carol Shea-Porter.  Given the alleged ethics questions over Guinta, a “new face” message dynamic, and the volatility of this district, there is a certain appeal to an Innis victory.

NJ-03: The DCCC came up empty in trying to recruit Assemblyman Troy Singleton.  Obama actually won this district, but it is traditionally GOP territory once you get out of the western sections of the district.  Still, this has to be a blow to the Democrats.

NY-22: [mc_name name=’Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’H001051′ ], no slouch in pissing off the GOP, did it again with some ill-timed thoughts about the Benghazi Committee.  His 2014 primary opponent Claudia Tenney, who performed very well, fired off some terse statements and may oppose him again.  Fortunately, the Democratic bench is very weak in this potentially swing district.

NY-24: Colleen Deacon received the support of Chuck Schumer is this must-win seat for the Democrats.  This district is one of those bell weather ones that can predict the electoral winds early on Election night.

NC-03: [mc_name name=’Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’J000255′ ] posted dismal fundraising numbers and will have to step it up or count on outside help because he should know that Taylor Griffin and the GOP establishment is gunning for him…again.

OH-08:  It took about 24 hours of “mourning” the departure of Boehner before potential candidates made noise about entering the race.  J.D. Winteregg was already in, but the GOP field could get crowded.  As noted last month, Steve Austria is considering along with several state legislators.  Perhaps the most interesting name to emerge is Butler County sheriff Richard Jones who mulled a challenge to Boehner in 2010.  Apparently there is no love lost between Jones and Boehner so wouldn’t it have been a nice coup de grace if Jones succeeds him?  However, such is not to be since Jones announced he would not run for this seat.  Instead, state Rep. Tim Dickerson entered the race with at least three others being mentioned.  Boehner and his allies are said to be backing Roger Reynolds, the Butler county auditor.

PA-06: A little intrigue and egg-on-the-face for the DCCC here.  Mike Parrish has received their backing for the nod.  He is a recent convert to the party and entered the race in 2014, but dropped out after a longer-term Democrat entered.  Apparently the DCCC is high on him and their support may have forced Joe Denham to abandon his efforts in 2016.  HOWEVER, Mr. Parrish raised a dismal $29,000 in the third quarter while his GOP incumbent rival has a formidable war chest.  Looks like the DCCC may have made a bad choice here.

TX-19: Now that Lubbock mayor Glen Robertson is in the race, the GOP field is taking shape.  Since one-third of the 19th’s district resides in Lubbock and 61% of the district’s media market is Lubbock, he is the prohibitive favorite and likely next Congressman from the 19th.

UT-04: Democrats make me laugh.  They think they have a chance in a rematch of 2014 because [mc_name name=’Rep. Mia Love (R-UT)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’L000584′ ] won by 5 points when Romney carried the district by 37 points in 2012.  Of course, two years and the two races have nothing to do with one another, but let the dolts think they have a chance.

NOTE: Beginning this month and continuing until Election Day 2016, this writer will be publishing House seat ratings on a monthly basis.  Things could change as primaries are held and more information becomes available as we near Election Day.  If an incumbent in a vulnerable or close district has no opponent as of the date of publication, it will NOT be included here.  From this list, one can “guestimate” the GOP gain or loss of seats under normal, not worst case or favorable, circumstances.  As of the this writing, the GOP can expect a loss of 10-11 seats.

Probably safe Keep Close Eye On Battleground
F. Hill- AR02 M. Coffman- CO6 M. McSally- AZ02
J. Denham- CA10 C. Curbelo- FL26 S. Knight- CA25
(R. DeSantis-FL06) Open T. Wahlberg- MI07 (D. Jolly- FL13) Open
R. Davis- IL13 M. Bishop-MI08 M. Bost- IL12
F. Upton- MI08 S. Garrett- NJ-5 R. Blum- IA01
F. LoBiondo- NJ02 E. Stefanik- NY21 D. Young- IA03
R. Costello- PA06 D. Reichert- WA08 B. Poliquin- ME02
D. Trott- MI11
(J. Kline-MN2) Open
(J. Heck- NV3) Open
F. Guinta- NH1
L. Zeldin- NY1
(C. Gibson- NY19) Open
J. Katko- NY24
(M. Fitzpatrick- PA8) Open
W. Hurd- TX23
V. Comstock- VA10
Probably Safe Keep Close Eye On Battleground
J. Garamendi- CA03 (L. Capps-CA24) Open (A. Kirkpatrick-AZ-2) Open
M. Takano- CA41 P. Aguilar- CA31 K. Sinema- AZ09
E. Esty- CT5 S. Peters- CA52 J. Costa- CA16
(M.Grayson-FL09) Open B. Foster- IL11 G. Graham- FL02
(T.Duckworth-IL08) Open J. Delaney- MD6 (S. Murphy-FL18) Open
D. Loebsack-IA2 T. Walz- MN01 B. Ashford- NE2
L. Slaughter- NY25 R. Nolan-MN08 S, Maloney- NY18