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The 10 Most Vulnerable Members of the Midterm Cycle

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Barber’s best political asset is his team, many of whom used to run Gabrielle Giffords’ campaigns.

Political talents aside, these two candidates now must contend with another competitive race on top of the ticket. The Centennial State’s Senate race probably helps Coffman, but he’s still locked in one of the cycle’s most competitive races.

Race Rating: Tossup

Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.

It’s increasingly difficult to see any path to victory for DesJarlais in the 4th District.

The self-described abortion rights opponent is damned by revelations, stemming from his 2001 divorce, that he encouraged his ex-wife and a former mistress to get multiple abortions.

Among other issues, it’s made fundraising a challenge for DesJarlais, a physician. He reported just $198,000 in cash on hand as of March 31. GOP state Sen. Jim Tracy, the only Republican challenging DesJarlais, had $914,000 in the bank at the same time.

Most likely, DeJarlais won’t have enough to defend himself on air this summer — and Tracy might not even need to go negative to win the Aug. 7 primary.

Race Rating: Safe Republican

Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y.

Within hours of his federal indictment, Grimm — a former FBI agent — became an underdog. Republicans are likely stuck with him on the ballot and it’s unclear whether they will spend money on him in the fall.

Democrats are bullish on their recruit in the 11th District, former New York City Councilman Domenic M. Recchia Jr.

But even Democratic operatives admit Staten Island has a high threshold for political corruption. If Grimm gets a third term, it wouldn’t be the first time an incumbent won re-election while under legal pressure.

Race Rating: Leans Democratic

Michael M. Honda, D-Calif.

The congressman is worse off than he was six months ago, and momentum has shifted away from him in this Silicon Valley-based district.

California Democratic operatives said Honda’s campaign may have taken its early lead in polling for granted. At the end of March, fellow Democrat Ro Khanna’s campaign had built a nearly $2 million war chest. That’s almost double what Honda had in the bank then.

More telling is that Khanna’s team — led by former top Obama campaign strategist Jeremy Bird — has forced Honda to go on defense, pushing him to agree to a debate schedule.

Honda has even lost support from one of the region’s largest newspapers, The San Francisco Chronicle. The paper endorsed Khanna over the weekend, calling him “an upgrade.”

Race Rating: Safe Democrat

Ralph M. Hall, R-Texas

Hall is in deep trouble in his 4th District runoff bid against Republican John Ratcliffe on May 27. He fell a few points short of meeting the majority threshold in the March primary, and now he faces the former U.S. attorney one on one.

Hall’s biggest mistake was that he was unprepared for the primary against Ratcliffe.

The tea party consolidated behind Ratcliffe after the primary, and those groups will cry victory if Hall loses. But if that happens, the win belongs to Ratcliffe, who put $400,000 of his own money into the campaign before anyone — including Hall — considered his challenge a legitimate one.

Race Rating: Safe Republican

Scott Peters, D-Calif.

After a moderate Republican won San Diego’s mayoral special election in February, Republicans became even more hopeful that the 52nd District, which overlaps part of the city, could flip in November.

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