Barber won a narrow victory last year over McSally, but a 2014 rematch may not go his way, Rothenberg writes.
It’s looking as if we may see more than a dozen House race rematches in 2014. While some of them are likely to have the same outcomes as in 2012, others could easily flip party control. Here is my initial list of potential rematch flips, with the first contests listed more likely to flip and the last ones less likely.
1. California’s 31st: Republican Rep. Gary G. Miller vs. Democrat Pete Aguilar
Aguilar didn’t make it to the November ballot last year because he placed third, against Miller and Republican Bob Dutton in the open primary. The mayor of Redlands is running again, and he has company, as former Rep. Joe Baca and attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes have also said that they are Democratic candidates. Given the seat’s Democratic bent, Miller will have a tough time one on one against a Democrat in the runoff in a district that went for President Barack Obama with 57 percent. So Aguilar’s challenge is to get into the November election against Miller.
2. Arizona’s 2nd: Democratic Rep. Ron Barber vs. Republican Martha McSally
Barber eked out a narrow victory (by 2,454 votes) last year, but the combination of an earlier start by McSally and a midterm electorate could well give Barber an even bigger headache in 2014. McSally looks to be no worse than even money to win the rematch next year.
3. North Carolina’s 7th: Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre vs. Republican David Rouzer
McIntyre held on in a very Republican district in 2012, but Rouzer is likely to run a better race this time, taking advantage of the midterm dynamic. And that’s a major problem for McIntyre, who proved his mettle in last year’s difficult environment for a moderate Democrat in the South.
4. Utah’s 4th: Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson vs. Republican Mia Love
While Love got plenty of publicity last cycle, GOP strategists were quite critical of her campaign and TV ads. For this run, she has hired veteran operative Dave Hansen, who guided Sen. Orrin G. Hatch’s re-election race last time, to manage her campaign, which is likely to be much improved.
Bachmann won a squeaker in November (50.5 percent to 49.3 percent), and Democrat Graves has announced that he wants a rematch. There are rumors that the controversial congresswoman may retire rather than seek another term, but that probably would make Graves’ job harder in this reliably Republican district.
6. Massachusetts’ 6: Democratic Rep. John F. Tierney vs. Republican Richard Tisei