Tierney cheated near-electoral death last cycle and with an ethics investigation into his personal finances behind him, some Democrats argue he is in better shape going in 2014.
The midterm elections are one year away, but it’s already clear that days are numbered for some endangered House members.
The reasons vary, from scandal to primary problems, strong opponents or the changing politics of individual districts.
Reps. Dan Benishek, R-Mich., and John F. Tierney, D-Mass., are making repeat appearances on the list from last cycle’s final edition. Another name from last cycle, Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga., didn’t make the cut this time thanks to an unproven opponent.
A revised list will be published in six months, and then again in the final weeks before Election Day 2014. But for now, here are Roll Call’s 10 most vulnerable House members of 2014 in alphabetical order, with their 2012 vote shares in parentheses:
Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz.1st full term (50 percent)
Barber’s re-election in 2012 was surprisingly close, and the former congressional aide will once again face retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally next year. Democrats privately worry about Barber’s ability to win without presidential-year turnout — or lots of national dollars — behind him. But Barber inherited former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ political team, a group that repeatedly proves they can get the vote out in Tucson.
McSally promises to run a fierce campaign against Barber — if she avoids a primary. Republicans regret not giving McSally enough support last cycle, when she lost by just 2,500 votes. The national GOP plans to invest heavily in her race this time around.
Benishek narrowly avoided defeat last cycle when he faced a former state lawmaker for a second time. But Democrats will target this Upper Peninsula district again next year with a top new recruit: retired Army Maj. Gen. Jerry Cannon.
Privately, Republicans are worried about Benishek’s ability to run a strong campaign. He under-performed Mitt Romney in this district by 6 points. The good news for Benishek? Overall, this district increasingly votes for Republicans.
Talk about an accidental congressman. Last cycle, Bentivolio got the GOP’s nod after Republican Rep. Thaddeus McCotter suddenly resigned following allegations of election petition fraud. The former reindeer rancher and veteran has been targeted ever since. Bentivolio’s meager fundraising — less than $60,000 last quarter — failed to scare away competition.
Bentivolio now faces a primary opponent, attorney David Trott, with deep pockets. At least one Democrat, former State Department senior adviser Bobby McKenzie, is already in the race, although the national party is wooing Wayne State University Law School Interim Dean Jocelyn Benson to run.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.