Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R) might face a difficult primary challenge after the changes to his current district.
It's the first House seat of the cycle that Roll Call Politics has rated as likely to flip to the other party, making it that much more difficult for Democrats to win back the majority in 2012.
3rd District Incumbent: Marlin Stutzman (R) 1st term (63 percent) Rating: Safe Republican
Republicans will almost certainly hold on to this seat, despite the loss of GOP-heavy Elkhart County to the 2nd district.
What might be more precarious for Stutzman, a freshman, is a primary challenge after the changes to his current district. The redrawn 3rd district includes more territory south of Fort Wayne, which is relatively unfamiliar territory for the new Congressman.
Furthermore, this cycle will also be the first time Stutzman has to win a primary for his seat. After Rep. Mark Souder (R) resigned in May 2010 following a personal scandal, local Republicans picked Stutzman to be their nominee via party caucuses — which means he might not have the same high name identification as if he had run in a traditional primary.
4th District Incumbent: Todd Rokita (R) 1st term (69 percent) Rating: Safe Republican
Rokita should be able to easily hold on to this seat, but he'll have to deal with the hassle of living just 500 yards outside of his district. State lawmakers drew his home just inside Rep. André Carson's (D) district — a scenario Rokita chalked up to local lawmakers getting back at him for pushing redistricting reform when he was secretary of state. Regardless, Rokita has indicated he will run for re-election in the 4th district.
This district picked up about half of Democratic-heavy Kokomo, but that won't change much about its solidly GOP composition. Barring any major unforeseen circumstances, Republicans will retain this seat.
5th District Incumbent: Dan Burton (R) 15th term (62 percent) Rating: Safe Republican
Burton's central Indiana district has the potential to host at least one interesting matchup in 2012.
After the maps were released, Democrats immediately pointed to new areas in the 5th district that could make it more competitive. The new district includes some Democratic-heavy areas in northern Marion County, including some of the Indianapolis suburbs and exurbs. It also includes parts of Madison County, which once housed the largest concentration of General Motors employees in the country outside of Detroit. Madison County's union-heavy town of Anderson still tends to vote for Democrats even though the plant closed about a decade ago. Finally, the new district also includes parts of the Democratic-heavy towns of Kokomo and East Kokomo.
Despite these changes, the 5th district will still be a slam dunk for Republicans unless Democrats find a stellar candidate who really capitalizes on these new areas and 2012 turns out to be a banner year for the party in the Hoosier State.
The more contentious race for Burton will be the GOP primary. Burton won with less than 30 percent of the vote over six challengers in the 2010 GOP primary. All but one of those challengers were moved out of the district when the lines were redrawn. Republican John McGoff, who has challenged Burton the past two cycles, has already announced he'll try again to unseat him in 2012.
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
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