The new lines in Colorado reshaped Rep. Mike Coffmans district from a safe Republican seat to one of the most competitive districts in the country.
Even though Nolan hasn’t been in office for more than two decades, he’s still a credible candidate. And there is some concern among Democrats that Clark won’t be able to run up the margins necessary to win in the Iron Range because she’s from Saint Cloud (outside the district) and is not one of them.
The 7th district has two Auroras, not to be confused with a third (population 970) located a few miles south in the 6th district. Rep. Sean Duffy (R) is running for re-election against former state Senate President Pat Kreitlow (D) in a district that President Barack Obama would have carried with 53 percent in 2008.
Florence County’s Aurora, an unincorporated town located in the northeastern corner of the district near the border with Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is new to Duffy and is the type of rural area, with farming and timber communities, where he needs to do well. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won Florence County by 14 points four years ago, and President George W. Bush won it by 25 points in 2004.
Taylor County’s Aurora, another small community, is located farther south, near Wausau, a population hub of the 7th district. Bush won Taylor County by almost 20 points in 2004, but McCain carried it by less than 1 point four years ago.
Even though Obama won the district in 2008, Wisconsin has become one of the most polarized states in the country after going through the gubernatorial recall elections. Duffy finished June with more than $1.1 million in the bank compared with $451,000 for Kreitlow, and the Republican’s defeat in November could signal a larger trend in favor of Democrats nationwide.
Correction: Aug. 6, 2012
An earlier version of this article misidentified Steve Hogan's party identification.
Roll Call has launched a new feature, Hill Navigator, to advise congressional staffers and would-be staffers on how to manage workplace issues on Capitol Hill. Please send us your questions anything from office etiquette, to handling awkward moments, to what happens when the work life gets too personal. Submissions will be treated anonymously.