The Race for the House in 2016- News from July

Despite the national conventions and Congress in recess, life goes on in the battle for the House in 2016.  There is fundraising to be done, polls to be taken and quite a few states still to conduct primaries.  The following are some races of interest.

CA-52: Democratic incumbent Scott Peters had two close finishes the past two cycles and meets Republican Diane Gitsham this year.  However and surprisingly, neither side seems to be putting much emphasis on this race this year.

KS-01: The GOP establishment is apparently backing Roger Marshall in the GOP primary against GOP incumbent Tim Huelskamp who has upset some people over votes in the past two years.  The US Chamber of Commerce is running ads calling the incumbent “ineffective” on agricultural issues- something kind of big in Kansas.  Most polls, where they exist, point to a close race on August 2nd.

MI-08: The Democrats lost their original candidate- Melissa Gilbert- and replaced her with Macomb County Prosecutor Suzanna Shkreli to take on GOP incumbent Mike Bishop.  One problem: Macomb County does not lie in the 8th District, although her residence does so chances are voters have no idea who she is.  Still, Democrats are counting on a Blue Wave this year.

MN-02: Democrats are excited about Angie Craig, their candidate in this open Republican district.  Her second quarter fundraising haul exceeded that of all her potential GOP rivals combined.  And the DCCC has reserved big air time here in the fall.

MN-03: Democrats were happy to recruit Terri Bonoff to run against GOP incumbent Erik Paulsen this year and her fundraising has been impressive.  Throw in some DCCC dollars and it could get interesting.  However, some polls indicate a Paulsen victory and he has a high favorability rating.  One caveat: these same polls show a huge lead for Hillary Clinton in this district.

NE-02: This district looms large in the fall.  The incumbent Democrat, Brad Ashford, is viewed as vulnerable in his campaign against GOP challenger Don Bacon.  Bacon has had trouble raising cash, but had a good second quarter.  The DCCC has reserved over $2 million in fall air time with the RCCC kicking in $1.3 million.  Hillary Clinton is also making a play for this district.

NV-04: Democrats are confident their guy, Ruben Kihuen, can defeat GOP freshman incumbent Crescent Hardy this year.  However, one poll out of this district shows Hardy with a 2-point lead and Trump with a 7-point lead over Clinton in this district.

NY-22:  Outgoing Republican Richard Hanna flatly refuses to endorse the GOP candidate Claudia Tenney this year.  Tenney ran against him in the 2014 primary and announced her candidacy this year before Hanna’s retirement announcement.  He has, however, spoke favorably of an independent and the Democratic candidate.

PA-16: This open GOP seat is a little under the radar, but Democratic candidate Christina Hartman has released a poll showing her down by only 5 points against her GOP challenger, Lloyd Smucker.  This is Lancaster County, some pretty conservative territory.

WA-07:  In this open Democratic seat in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Seattle and Its Environs we have an interesting dynamic.  Washington uses a top-two primary system regardless of party affiliation.  Hence, it would appear that the two likely finishers will be Brad Walkinshaw and Joe McDermott- two Democrats.  This puts the LGBT community in a pickle since both are gay.  But there is another Democrat out there- Pramila Jayapal (not gay)- who has raised some funds and may just advance to the general election which should make it a little easier on the LGBT community to endorse a candidate.

WI-01: Paul Nehlen is challenging fellow Republican Paul Ryan in the GOP primary and was, if one remembers, endorsed by Sarah Palin when Ryan wouldn’t jump on the Trump Train.  One poll now indicates Ryan with a lead of only 11 points.  But, Ryan has learned the Cantor Lesson and is running commercials now leaving nothing to chance.

WY-AL:  One poll has Liz Cheney up by a huge margin in this open Republican seat.  Cheney, you may recall, drew the ire of some GOP big wigs when she decided to challenge Mike Enzi back in 2013.  Further, it should also be noted that Cheney moved back to Wyoming in 2012.

Well… that’s it for this month as several states hold primaries in August and the electoral picture should get more clear.  The following is the House rating chart.

Probably Safe Keep Close Eye On Battleground
J. Denham CA-10 Mike Coffman CO-06 Martha McSally AZ-01
Fred Upton MI-06 (D. Webster- FL-10) OPEN Steven Knight CA-23
Tim Wahlberg MI-07 David Young IA-03 Dave Jolly- FL-13
Frank LoBiondo NJ-02 (Tim Benischek- MI-01) OPEN Carlos Curbelo FL-26
Scott Garrett NJ-05 (Candice Miller MI-10) OPEN Bob Dold IL-10
(Bob Hurt VA-05) OPEN Erik Paulsen MN-03 Mike Bost IL-12
Alex Mooney WV-02 Tom MacArthur NJ-03 Rod Blum IA-01
Elise Stefanik NY-21 Bruce Poliquin ME-02
(Richard Hanna NY-22) OPEN Dave Trott MI-11
(George Holding NC-13) OPEN (John Kline- MN-02) OPEN
Ryan Costello PA-06 (Joe Heck NV-03) OPEN
Bill Hurd TX-23 Frank Guinta NH-01
(Randy Forbes VA-04) OPEN Lee Zeldin NY-01
Barbara Comstock VA-10 (Chris Gibson NY-19) OPEN
Dave Reichert WA-08 Joe Katko NY-24
(John Fitzpatrick PA-08) OPEN
(Scott Rigell VA-02) OPEN
(Reid Ribble WI-08) OPEN
Probably Safe Keep close eye on Battleground
John Garamendi CA-03 Ami Bera CA-07 (Ann Kirkpatrick AZ-01) OPEN
Mark Takano CA-41 (Lois Capps CA-24) OPEN Krysten Sinema AZ-09
Elizabeth Esty CT-05 Pete Aguilar CA-31 (Loretta Sanchez CA-46) OPEN
(Alan Grayson FL-09) OPEN Raul Ruiz CA-36 (Gwen Graham FL-02) OPEN
(Tammy Duckworth IL-08) OPEN Scott Peters CA-52 Colin Peterson MN-07
Bill Foster IL-11 (Scott Murphy FL-18) OPEN Brad Ashford NE-02
John Delaney MD-06 Tim Walz MN-01 Sean Maloney NY-18
(Steve Israel NY-03) OPEN Rick Nolan MN-08
(Ruben Hinojosa TX-15) OPEN