Freshman Rep. Robert Dold (R) stresses his independence from his party on some issues, and that makes him an incumbent to watch. His race could provide a snapshot of how voters are feeling this election cycle.
Hochul was an upset winner in a 2011 special election, and her attacks on her GOP opponent over Medicare were a big reason. But she was hurt by redistricting (which moved the district to the east), and while the Republican nominee, former Erie County Executive Chris Collins, has plenty of detractors, even within his own party, McCain carried the district by almost 10 points.
If Medicare gets traction for Democrats again this year, the personable and hardworking Hochul has a good chance to survive. But if the issue has lost some of its bite and the Congresswoman's personal appeal isn't enough to overcome the district's partisanship, Hochul could find herself on the wrong side of the results.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.