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Primary season has just begun in earnest, but it’s already clear it will take a toll on this Congress.
Exactly six months before Election Day, half of the members on this list face foes from within their own party.
Every name on this list has a 50 percent chance — or more — of not returning to Congress next year. To compose this regular feature, Roll Call’s Politics Team examines every aspect of a member’s re-election prospects: district composition, campaign operation, fundraising, quality of opponent and recent performance.
We’ve made some changes since November: Two Democrats — Reps. Jim Matheson of Utah and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina — and Republican Gary G. Miller of California are retiring. Three more incumbents are off the list and are on relatively safer ground: Reps. Dan Benishek, R-Mich., Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., and John F. Tierney, D-Mass. (But we’ll still give them honorable mentions, along with Reps. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., and Steve Southerland II, R-Fla.)
Another incumbent to watch is Rep. John Conyers Jr., who could easily make this list if he is forced to run a write-in campaign or seek office as an independent — the Michigan Democrat may have insufficient signatures to get on the primary ballot.
The following vulnerable members are listed in alphabetical order.Ron Barber, D-Ariz.
Republicans argue that the stars are finally aligning for them in the 2nd District, and the party’s recent internal polling showed a deadlocked race.
For the first time since 2006, the GOP has a quality candidate, retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally, a seemingly favorable political climate and a willingness to spend in the district.
Barber’s best political asset is his team: They are the same operatives who were behind the campaigns of Barber’s former boss, ex-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: TossupKerry Bentivolio, R-Mich.
He’s a wanted man: This freshman has challenges from the left and the right in the 11th District.
His GOP opponent and top competition, attorney David Trott, first hit the television airwaves months before the Aug. 5 primary. Democrats vying for the nod include former State Department adviser Bobby McKenzie and wealthy urologist Anil Kumar.
So far, Bentivolio hasn’t accumulated the means to fend off two rounds of attacks. He banked $129,000 after the first quarter — just 7 percent of his opponents’ combined cash.
Race Rating: Favored RepublicanMike Coffman, R-Colo.
This is the most competitive race with two strong candidates.
An adept politician, Coffman held on in 2012 as President Barack Obama carried the 6th District by 5 points. Democrats recruited former state Speaker Andrew Romanoff early this cycle, and he followed through with strong fundraising.