The Battle for the House in 2016- May News (Part 2 of 2)

MN-02:  Controversial radio host Jason Lewis has the endorsement of the GOP in Minnesota and one poll shows him defeating his primary opponents.  Democrats are already gearing up to use some of his statements on the air which some call racist and misogynistic.  Additionally, liberals groups have reserved a lot of airtime in the fall in the Minneapolis market although some is targeted for the neighboring Second District.  Former health care executive Angie Craig has little competition in the Democratic primary.

NE-02:  Democrats spent heavily… in the GOP primary trying to make Chip Maxwell the candidate against Democratic incumbent Brad Ashford.  However, in the end his opponent Don Bacon, who was the preferred candidate of the GOP, crushed Maxwell 66-34% in the May 10th primary.  Hey- if the DCCC wants to spend $800,000 for a losing cause, go for it!

NV-03:  Jacky Rosen is the favorite of the DCCC and Harry Reid in this open GOP seat, although her main opponent in the Democratic primary- Jesse Sbaih- is very well funded.  However, she did secure the endorsement of the Nevada AFL-CIO.

NV-04:  A recent poll indicates a tight race between Lucy Flores and Susie Lee in the Democratic Party’s primary with Flores leading by only 3 points.  Ruben Kiheun, the most financially well-connected candidate, comes in a distant third.  Kihuen has the backing of Harry Reid and in a mini-version of the Democratic presidential primary, just picked up the endorsement of Bill Clinton.  Flores has the endorsement of Hillary’s opponent, Bernie Sanders.

NH-01:  State representative Pam Tucker suspended her Republican primary campaign against incumbent Frank Guinta.  Instead, it is now a two-man race between Guinta and Rich Ashooh.  Several prominent New Hampshire Republicans formed a PAC to help Ashooh.  In a two-man race, Guinta’s chances of victory decrease since Tucker and AShooh likely would have split the anti-Guinta vote.

The Democrats are likely to go with Carol Shea-Porter, but a rematch against Guinta is not guaranteed should Ashooh win.  Porter has her own primary battle and her Democratic opponent Shawn O’Connor threatened her with a defamation lawsuit earlier over an alleged whisper campaign involving domestic abuse charges against Porter.

NH-02:  In what could be a vulnerable Democratic seat, the GOP is finding it difficult to some up with a viable candidate against Democratic incumbent Ann Kuster.  Eric Estevez says he will decide in early June with a June 10th deadline looming.  Estevez failed to win a state seat in neighboring Massachusetts before moving to New Hamsphire and recently showed up at a mayoral event in Nashua and called the mayor a “bitch.”  Still, this seat is not on the radar of the national GOP.

NY-03:  This district is being vacated by Democrat Steve Israel and about one-third of the district lies in Suffolk County on Long Island.  Unfortunately, only one candidate in the Democratic race lives in Suffolk county- Steve Stern.  To wit, he is sucking up endorsements and donations from Suffolk county Democratic donors and officials.

NY-22: On the Democratic side, self-described “conservative Democrat” David Gordon was disqualified for failing to get enough signatures to make the primary ballot.  That is good for fellow Democrat Kim Myers.  And although he said may appeal, Martin Babinec, who was running in the Independent Party, was also disqualified after expending close to $1 million of his own money.  He claims he wants to seek the the Reform Party endorsement also.  However, Republican Claudia Tenney is running under that banner this year.

NC-02:  FreedomWorks has issued a statement endorsing George Holding in his primary bid against fellow incumbent Republican Renee Ellmers.  This organization split from the Koch brothers years ago.  In 2012, they spent over $20 million, but just under $2 million in 2014.  Likewise, the Club for Growth, without endorsing any candidate, began running ads against Renee Ellmers.  She faces Greg Brannon and George Holding in the GOP primary and after redistricting, she only represents about 18% of her former district whereas Holding represented about 60% of the new Second District.

NC-13:  An incredible 17 Republicans are running in the primary here and the Club for Growth endorsed Ted Budd.  Since there will be no runoff this year, a very few votes with 17 candidates in the mix can easily decide this race.

Oregon primary outcomes: Brian Heinrich became the GOP candidate to take on Suzanne Bonamici in the fall in the 1st District.  In the 4th, Art Robinson overcame a solid fellow Republican- Jo Anne Perkins- in a race that was not as close as some predicted.  He will face Democratic incumbent Pete DeFazio in November.  And in the 5th, Colm Willis overcame three primary opponents for the GOP winning the right to square off against Democratic incumbent Kurt Schrader.  If the GOP has any chance of picking up a seat in blue Oregon, it would be in the 5th.

TX-15:  Tim Westley won his May 24th GOP runoff against Ruben Villereal and will face Vicente Gonzalez in the general election.

TX-19:  Jody Arrington somewhat surprisingly beat Lubbock mayor Glenn Robertson in the May 24th runoff for this safe GOP seat.  Robertson was the favorite entering the crowded primary before losing in the anticipated runoff election.  The Democrats have no candidate in this race.

VA-07: Dave Brat, who surprised the political world two years ago by taking down Eric Cantor, won the GOP nomination for this seat at the convention in May.  Some area Republicans started out as if avenging the Cantor loss.  Mike Wade initially challenged Brat, but withdrew when he learned the selection would be through the convention rather than a primary.

WA-03:  This is a Washington district probably under greater influence from Portland, Oregon across the border than Seattle.  It is currently represented by Republican Jamie Herrera-Butler and the Democrats would love to put the seat in play.  That is why they seem keen on Jim Moeller, an openly gay and very liberal state legislator who hails from this area of Washington.  Moeller had previously been a candidate for Lt. Governor but was being squeezed out by three Seattle-area state legislators.  Democrats believe this race in the 3rd is a better fit for Moeller, especially in a presidential election year.

WV-02:  The only race of real interest was in the Second on the Democratic side to see who would oppose Republican incumbent Alex Mooney in November.  The DCCC supported Cory Simpson.  But like results out of Nebraska’s 2nd, their preferred candidate lost to Mark Hunt making the DCCC 0 for 2 on May 10th.

WI-01:  GOP Speaker Paul Ryan has raised the ire of Sarah Palin after he failed to openly jump on the Trump train and announced support for his primary opponent, Paul Nehlen.  However, a recent poll shows Ryan decimating the Palin-backed Nehlen in embarrassing fashion (78-14%) and Sarah Palin does not look too impressive in the district sporting a 25-54 unfavorable rating.  Come to mention it, neither is Trump very popular in this district.

Updated race ratings chart:

Probably Safe Keep Close Eye On Battleground
F. Hill- AR02 J. Coffman- CO06 M. McSally- AZ02
J. Denham-CA10 D. Young- IA03 S. Knight- CA25
(R. DeSantis-FL06) OPEN (D. Benischek- MI01) OPEN (D. Jolly- FL13) OPEN
R. Davis- IL13 (C. Miller MI-10) OPEN C. Curbelo- FL26
F. Upton- MI06 E.Paulsen- MN03 B. Dold- IL10
T. Wahlberg-MI07 E. Stefanik- NY21 M. Bost- IL12
F. LoBiondo- NJ02 (R. Hanna- NY-22) OPEN R. Blum- IA01
T. McArthur- NJ03 (G. Holding- NC13) OPEN B. Poliquin- ME02
S. Garrett- NJ05 R. Costello- PA06 D. Trott- MI11
A. Mooney- WV02 W. Hurd- TX23 (R. Kline MN-02) OPEN
(S. Rigell- VA02) OPEN (J. Heck- NV03) OPEN
(R. Forbes- VA04) OPEN F. Guinta- NH-02
(R. Hurt- VA05) OPEN L. Zeldin- NY01
B. Comstock- VA10 (C. Gibson- NY19) OPEN
(R. Ribble- WI08) OPEN J. Katko- NY24
(M. Fitzpatrick- PA08) 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 (L. Sanchez- CA46) OPEN
J. Costa- CA16 (S. Murphy- FL18) OPEN (G. Graham- FL02) OPEN
M. Takano- CA41 T. Walz- MN02 C. Peterssen- MN07
E. Perlmutter- CO07 R. Nolan- MN-08 B. Ashford- NE02
E. Esty- CT05 P. Aguilar- CA31 S. Maloney- NY18
(M. Grayson- FL09) OPEN J. Delaney- MD06
(T. Duckworth- IL08) OPEN
B. Foster- IL11
D. Loebsack- IA02
(S. Israel- NY-03) OPEN
K.Schrader- OR05
(R. Hinojosa- TX15) OPEN