A lone competitive Senate race in West Virginia and a few competitive House seats set the stage in the Mid-Atlantic region next year.
The bad news for Democrats is that the early list of top House races contains just one district in Pennsylvania. They would likely need closer to a handful of competitive House seats in the Keystone State, a traditional battleground, to get back to the majority after 2014.
Here are the top five races to watch in the Mid-Atlantic region next year:
Pennsylvania’s 8th District. Kevin Strouse exemplifies a typical Democratic recruit this cycle. He’s a young candidate without political experience who also had to move into the chosen congressional district. But Strouse is running in the very expensive Philadelphia media market and faces a tough Republican incumbent, Rep. Michal G. Fitzpatrick. Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Republican Favored. Read the full Rothenberg Political Report analysis here ($).
New York’s 19th District. Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge shouldn’t have any money problems. Whether it’s help from his husband, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, or through his connections with top names in the Democratic Party, Eldridge should be well-funded. But he also faces two-term GOP Rep. Chris Gibson, who is regarded as a hardworking candidate who fits the district well. Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Tossup/Tilt Republican. Read the full Rothenberg Political Report analysis here ($).
New York’s 23rd District. Republican Rep. Tom Reed nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory last time. Most people ignored his race for most of the cycle and, in the end, he won re-election with only 52 percent to 48 percent. Democrats have pinned their hopes this cycle on Tompkins County Legislator Martha Robertson, but Reed’s biggest opponent might be himself. Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Lean Republican.
New York’s 11th District. Michael G. Grimm’s headlines and ethical questions make the Republican congressman an irresistible Democratic target. But those questions were around last year when Grimm was re-elected by a 7-point margin. Democrats believe Brooklyn politician Domenic Recchia is the right candidate for this Staten Island-based district. Time will tell. Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Lean Republican.
West Virginia Senate. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is the clear favorite for the GOP nomination and the general election. Her conservative detractors haven’t come up with an alternative yet. And Democrats are having trouble fielding a candidate. If Republicans can’t take over this Democratic open seat, they should probably fold the party and start from scratch. Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Lean Republican.
Which races would you add to or subtract from the list?
Note: The Mid-Atlantic region includes Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.