The Battle For the House- 2016: March News, Part 2

This is an analysis of some news in House races continued from yesterday.

NE-02:  Don Bacon apparently has the advantage in the GOP primary over Chip Maxwell to see who will oppose freshman Democratic incumbent Brad Ashford.  Bacon recently received the endorsement of Senator Deb Fischer.  Further, Maxwell is not well liked by the GOP since he ran as an independent in 2014 which probably cost Lee Terry, a Republican, this seat.

NV-04:  John Oceguera ended his campaign in the Democratic primary to take on GOP incumbent Crescent Hardy.  Recent polling shows Nevada’s rendition of an Abortion Barbie, Lucy Flores, leading the labor/Harry Reid backed Ruben Kihuen and the well-funded Susie Lee.  The more the Democrats eat each other before the June primary, the better.  Susie Lee received the endorsement of EMILY’s List, but Flores picked up the endorsement of NARAL (real surprise there).

NH-01:  In an unexpected move, Dan Innis dropped his rematch in the GOP primary against incumbent Republican Frank Guinta.  Once considered a viable alternative to a vulnerable incumbent, his path to victory got a little tougher when Pam Tucker entered the GOP primary.  She too is seen as a viable alternative since Guinta continues to be plagued by ethical allegations.

NH-02:  Republican ex-state house majority leader Jack Flanagan announced that he will challenge Democratic incumbent Ann Kuster.  Flanagan drew the ire of some Republican conservatives when he teamed with Democrats to put the Democrats in charge of the state house.  They may potentially put forth a primary challenger of their own.

NJ-03:  The Democrats believe they had a great target in Republican Tom MacArthur in this district.  However, their recruitment efforts have fallen woefully short.  The Burlington County Democratic Committee recently endorsed Frederick LaVergne, who received 1% of the vote as an independent in 2014.  Committee endorsements are important in New Jersey races and since Burlington County accounts for greater than half this district, the endorsement becomes even more important.  Needless to say, Democrats may be taking this race off their target list very soon.  However, the DCCC seems to be interested in Jim Keady, the man Christie famously once told to “Shut up and sit down.”  Considering he got trounced in a state assembly race, one wonders why they would be after him.

NY-03: State senator Jack Martins, a Republican, won the support of all three GOP county chairs in this district to replace Democrat Steve Israel.  He will also appear on the Conservative Party’s ballot line.  David Gurfeim had announced his GOP candidacy before Israel announced his retirement, but with the backing of the GOP, they are trying to persuade him to exit this race and instead challenge Democrat Kathleen Rice in the 4th District.  However, this would require Gurfeim to move and the 3rd is more GOP-friendly than the Fourth.  As it turns out, Gurfeim took one for the team and will now run in the 4th.

NY-19:  As is often the case, there is some friction between the national and local parties when it comes to favorites in primaries.  The national Democrats are all in for Zephyr Teachout in this open Republican district while the locals are behind Will Yandik who picked up his second county level endorsement.

NC-02:   On the GOP side, hot off his loss in the Senate primary on March 15th, Greg Brannon has decided to run for this House seat against Renee Ellmers and George Holding, another incumbent who landed in this area under redistricting.  That caused Jim Duncan, who received a nod from the Club for Growth, to drop out of this race.

NC- 12:  Democratic incumbent Alma Adams drew a primary opponent in ex-state senator Malcolm Graham.  There will likely be others.  Adams represents slightly more than half of the newly drawn seat, but Graham beat Adams in 2014 in the Mecklenburg County area of the district.  Since North Carolina did away with its primary runoff this year, a crowded field would likely favor the incumbent, Adams.

NC-13:  This is an open GOP seat now that its current occupant, George Holding, is moving into the Second District race taking on Renee Ellmers there in the Republican primary.  So far, four Republicans are in the primary in the 13th- Hank Henning, Andrew Brock, John Blust, and Matt McCall.

OH-08:  In a symbolic rebuke to John Boehner, conservative businessman Warren Davidson won the GOP primary to succeed the ex-Speaker and GOP establishment whipping boy.

RI-01:  Yep, Rhode Island!!  We usually get more political news out of Delaware and Wyoming than Rhode Island.  But, Democratic state representative Karen MacBeth has switched parties and is considering running against Democratic incumbent David Cicilline.  This district is very blue and one wonders why MacBeth is not challenging him in the primary.  Could this have the makings of a Shakespearean tragedy?

Texas Runoffs:  On May 24th, runoff elections will be held in Texas.  The top two vote getters from the March 1st primary advance to a runoff if no one received 50% of the vote.  Those runoff battles are:

  • In the 15th District to succeed Democrat Ruben Hinojosa- on the GOP side, Ruben Villareal versus Tim Westley; on the Democratic side- Juan Palacio versus Vicente Gonzalez;
  • In the 18th District on the Democratic side- incumbent Beto O’Rourke versus Ben Mendoza.  The GOP has no candidate running in this race;
  • In the 19th District to succeed Republican Randy Neugebauer- on the GOP side, Jody Arrington versus Glen Robertson.  The Democrats have no candidate running in this race.

VA-02: Based in Hampton Roads, this district looks to be a GOP lock as two Republicans- state delegate Scott Taylor and Randy Forbes- are vying in the primary.  No Democrat has emerged thus far.  Taylor is portraying Forbes as a carpetbagger after his district was redrawn under court order making it more Democratic friendly.

VA-07:  In an odd move, Mike Wade has dropped his primary challenge against Dave Brat who, one remembers, defeated Eric Cantor in 2014.  Wade was seen as establishment retribution against Brat.  However, Wade had decided to run in the 4th District race instead.  This is odd because the newly drawn 4th is less friendly to the GOP.

WA-07: Democratic state senator Pramila  Jayapal got the endorsement of EMILY’s List in the battle for this open Seattle-area seat which the GOP has no chance of winning.  She also picked up the endorsement of Texas abortion Barbie Wendy Davis and others.  But perhaps her biggest coup is being the opening act at a Bernie Sanders event.

Updated race ratings.  Worst case scenario has GOP losing a net 11 seats in the House:

Probably Safe Keep Close Eye On Battleground
F. Hill- AR02 J. Coffman- CO06 M. McSally- AZ02
J. Denham-CA10 (T. Benishek- MI01) Open S. Knight- CA25
(R. DeSantis- FL06) Open M. Bishop- MI08 (D. Jolly- FL13) Open
B. Dold- IL10 E.Paulsen- MN03 C. Curbelo- FL26
R. Davis- IL13 T. MacArthur- NJ03 M. Bost- IL11
F. Upton- MI06 E. Stefanik- NY21 R. Blum- IA01
T. Wahlberg-MI07 (R. Hanna- NY22) Open B. Poliquin- ME02
(J. Heck- NV03) Open R. Costello- PA06 D. Trott- MI11
F. LoBiondo- NJ02 W. Hurd- TX23 (R. Kline-MN02) Open
S. Garrett- NJ05 (R. Hurt- VA05) open F. Guinta- NH-02
A. Mooney- WV02 B. Comstock- VA10 L. Zeldin- NY01
(C. Gibson- NY19) Open
J. Katko- NY24
(M. Fitzpatrick- PA08) Open
(S. Rigell- VA02) Open
(R. Ribble- WI08) Open
Probably Safe Keep close eye on Battleground
R. Grijalva- AZ03 (L. Capps- CA24) Open (A. Kirkpatrick- AZ01) Open
J. Garamendi- CA03 R. Ruiz- CA36 K. Sinema- AZ09
A. Bera-CA07 S. Peters- CA-52 J. Costa- CA16
P. Aguilar- CA31 (S. Murphy- FL18) Open (L. Sanchez- CA46) Open
M. Takano- CA41 T. Walz- MN02 G. Graham- FL02
E. Perlmutter- CO07 R. Nolan- MN-08 C, Peterson- MN07
E. Esty- CT05 B. Ashford- NE02
(M. Grayson- FL09) Open S. Maloney- NY18
(T. Duckworth- IL08) Open
J. Delaney- MD06
(S. Israel- NY03) Open
K.Schrader- OR05
(R. Hinojosa- TX15) Open