In our November Election Preview, we wrote that we expected several Members on this list wouldnít make the next one because of retirements. Sure enough, Reps. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), Dan Burton (R-Ind.) and David Dreier (R-Calif.) all decided to call it quits.
Redistricting is still the biggest common denominator for the vulnerable lawmakers who made our cut. But itís not what put all of them here. New Hampshire is one of just a handful of states that hasnít completed a redraw. Yet Rep. Charles Bass (R) is among the most imperiled Members regardless of the new lines.
New Yorkís redistricting process was wrapping up as we went to press. If the court-drawn map stands, Rep. Kathy Hochul (D) deserves a spot here and Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R) isnít far behind her. We also excluded two Democrats who are in Member-vs.-Member primaries, even though they are highly unlikely to return next year: Reps. Russ Carnahan (Mo.) and Laura Richardson (Calif.).
4th term (57 percent) | Cash on Hand (Dec. 31): $904,000
Barrow has been targeted for defeat before, but the GOP finally seems to have the Congressmanís number ó via redistricting. Several Republicans have lined up to run, and all indications are that Barrow wonít go down without a fight. But the key for him is the fact that Democratic-leaning portions of Savannah were removed and replaced with very Republican Augusta suburbs. The results: What was a 54 percent Barack Obama district is now a 59 percent John McCain district. Enough said.
Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.)
10th term (61 percent) | Cash on Hand (Dec. 31): $343,000
In all honesty, we didnít expect Bartlett to seek re-election given his district was redrawn to elect a Democrat. But the 85-year-old lawmaker is running and running hard. That doesnít change the fundamentals of his new district, which underwent one of the biggest partisan conversions of any seat in the country. Itís possible that all of the ingredients could come together for Bartlett, who faces a primary next month, to pull off a win. But it just doesnít seem plausible at this point.
1st term (48 percent; previously served six terms) | Cash on Hand (Dec. 31): $600,000
After riding the Democratic wave out of office in 2006 and then riding the GOP wave back in 2010, Bass is no stranger to competitive races. The question is whether the affable lawmaker can stay on his board when the water is flat. Both 2006 and 2010 were midterm elections, and Bass will have the drag of the presidential race in a Democratic district to contend with in November. Democrats have a strong recruit in Ann McLane Kuster ó who probably would have won last cycle if not for the wave conditions.
1st term (51 percent) | Cash on Hand (Feb. 29): $1,294,000
Dold is by all accounts one of the strongest members of the freshman class: a good politician and a fundraising rock star. His problem is that the already Democratic-leaning district he was elected to was made even more Democratic in redistricting. Republicans believe that if Democrats nominate 25-year-old Ilya Sheyman in Tuesdayís primary, Doldís chances of returning to Congress improve. Thatís probably true, but it still doesnít make him more likely to return than not.
2nd term (53 percent) | Cash on Hand (Dec. 31): $352,000
Two other North Carolina Democrats decided to retire instead of face re-election in more difficult districts. But not Kissell, who appears to need a miracle to hold on. Kissellís first Congressional win in 2008 was aided by black turnout in Charlotte and Barack Obama at the top of the ticket. But when the president comes to town in August to accept his partyís nomination, heíll find the Democratic portions of the city are no longer in Kissellís district. The black population of the redrawn district dropped by 10 percent. Itís hard to see just how Kissell overcomes that.
6th term (51 percent) | Cash on Hand (Dec. 31): $696,000
You canít blame us for being apprehensive about putting Matheson on this list given that heís been a regular here for the past decade and has always managed to survive. There is only one Democrat who can win a Republican seat in Utah in a presidential year ó and his last name is Matheson. The Congressman is running in the stateís new 4th district, which is demographically the ďbestĒ for a Democrat. But thatís not saying much. Combine that with the fact that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is likely to boost turnout significantly in the state, and you see how tough Mathesonís slog will be.
8th term (54 percent) | Cash on Hand (Dec. 31): $687,000
McIntyre got a serious scare in 2010, when he held on to win despite the national GOP wave. Republicans in the state redrew the map to make sure the Blue Dog Democrat wonít be able to hold on again if another wave hits. In fact, it wonít even take a wave. The big question mark remains which GOP opponent he will face (there is one who is much stronger than the other). Even if he faces the weaker of the two, itís a tough fight and McIntyre will have to put all of his retail politicking expertise to use to win.
Gary Miller (R-Calif.)
7th term (62 percent) | Cash on Hand (Dec. 31): $1,074,000
Miller is running in a completely new district ó territory that is unfamiliar with him. It would be one thing if it were a GOP-leaning seat, but itís a district that President Barack Obama would have won with 58 percent. In a presidential year, that makes Millerís trek very difficult. Whatís more, itís not even certain heíll make it out of the June ďjungle primaryĒ where the top two vote-getters advance to the November ballot. State Sen. Bob Dutton (R), who currently represents parts of the district, is also running. Itís conceivable that Dutton and Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar (D) will finish ahead of Miller in June.
1st term (53 percent) | Cash on Hand (Feb. 29): $659,000
Schilling literally embodies the story of the 2010 GOP wave. A pizza restaurant owner, he was one of the many political outsiders who rode swing district votersí discontent to victory in the presidentís home state. Schilling has to prove his election wasnít a fluke. That wonít be easy in a district that was made more friendly to Democrats in redistricting. Schilling has proved he can surprise prognosticators, and this will definitely be an interesting contest to watch.
1st term (49 percent) | Cash on Hand (Feb. 29): $371,000
Walsh was initially going to challenge Rep. Randy Hultgren (R) in the GOP-leaning 14th district. He may have lost that race, too, but he would have had a better chance there than in the new 8th district, where he decided to run. The seat was crafted for a Democrat, and itís virtually impossible to see how voters there wonít elect one. Walsh pulled off the biggest surprise upset of 2010 when he defeated then-Rep. Melissa Bean. It would be truly remarkable if he could pull off that kind of feat again.
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