Democrats are looking to two former members — both of whom lost re-election in 2010 — as potential recruits for 2016, according to three senior House Democratic operatives.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recruitment officials have discussed ex-Reps. Patrick J. Murphy of Pennsylvania and Michael E. McMahon of New York as potential candidates this cycle. Despite the party's drubbing earlier this month, Democrats have high hopes for recruitment next cycle. Throughout the 2014 cycle, operatives said privately that potential candidates passed on campaigns because they thought they would have a better chance in 2016, with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton possibly at the top of the ballot.
Democrats hope they can sell potential recruits on the party's improved turnout in presidential election years.
Murphy would run for retiring Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick's Pennsylvania 8th District. Fitzpatrick is honoring a self-imposed term limit and is retiring.
Murphy defeated Fitzpatrick in 2006, but lost to the Republican in 2010. Murphy made an unsuccessful run for state attorney general in 2012, and Democrats keep mentioning him as someone who wants to continue in elected office. He is currently an attorney in private practice and the host of a weekly MSNBC show.
In early 2013, McMahon also looked at running again. He lost in 2010 to Republican Rep. Michael G. Grimm.
Grimm prevailed this year by a 13-point margin, defeating the Democratic nominee, Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. But this could be an open-seat race in 2016 — maybe sooner, depending on the outcome of Grimm's trial .
Like Murphy, McMahon is also an attorney. Neither Democrat returned a request for comment.
Democrats are also eyeing a handful of more recently ousted members, who lost re-election two weeks ago, as potential candidates.
Related: Luján Pledges to Bring Farmer's Work Ethic to DCCC The One-Term Caucus? Top House Targets in 2016 Unsuccessful House Candidate Already ‘In' for 2016 Democrats Eyeing 5 House Race Rematches in 2016 Exclusive: NRCC Chairman Reveals Top Targets for 2016 Roll Call Results Map: Results and District Profiles for Every Seat Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.