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Poll: Democrats Have Competitive Primary in Pennsylvania House Race

There is a competitive Democratic primary to replace Fitzpatrick, above, who is retiring in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Rep. Steve Santarsiero leads scientist Saughnessy Naughton in a competitive Democratic primary in Pennsylvania's open 8th District, according to a poll released by Santarsiero's campaign and provided first to CQ Roll Call.  

But the poll finds both Santarsiero and Naughton are largely unknown among the competitive Bucks County-based district's electorate with about six months to go until the primary. The seat is open in 2016 because of the retirement of GOP Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick.  

Democrat Kicks Off Race for Open Pennsylvania Seat

Fitzpatrick is leaving Congress after this term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The cycle's first race for a competitive House contest began in earnest Thursday, when Democratic state Rep. Steve Santarsiero filed paperwork to run in southeastern Pennsylvania's 8th District. Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., has indicated he will not seek another term thanks to self-imposed term limits. On paper, the district is competitive: President Barack Obama narrowly lost it in 2012, while Fitzpatrick won re-election there by double-digit margins in the past two cycles.  “It’s time we make Washington accountable to our citizens," Santarsiero, an attorney and former high school teacher, said in a statement. "I will make it a priority to focus on keeping the middle class families of the 8th District secure while helping to grow our economy, create jobs and bring real reform to Washington.”

Several Republicans named outgoing Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley as one of their top prospects for the race. But two Pennsylvania GOP operatives noted to CQ Roll Call he's considering other career options, including the private sector or a bid for state treasurer.  

Democrats Look for Comebacks From Members Ousted in 2010

Murphy, a Democrat, is a former member from Pennsylvania. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats are looking to two former members — both of whom lost re-election in 2010 — as potential recruits for 2016, according to three senior House Democratic operatives.  

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recruitment officials have discussed ex-Reps. Patrick J. Murphy of Pennsylvania and Michael E. McMahon of New York as potential candidates this cycle.  Despite the party's drubbing earlier this month, Democrats have high hopes for recruitment next cycle. Throughout the 2014 cycle, operatives said privately that potential candidates passed on campaigns because they thought they would have a better chance in 2016, with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton possibly at the top of the ballot.  

Democrats Eyeing 5 House Race Rematches in 2016

House Democrats want Horsford to run for the Nevada seat he lost this month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There’s no rest for the weary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has yet to name the new committee chairman for 2016, but the DCCC is already getting a jump on recruiting during the final days of New York Rep. Steve Israel’s tenure.  

DCCC Cuts Airtime in 8 TV Markets

Steve Israel of New York is the DCCC Chariman. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has started to pull back its advertising buys in several congressional districts around the country, according to an aide.  

At this point in the cycle, the cancellations — also known as "triage " — serve as a signal the party does not see a path to victory for these candidates or races. House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, has already pulled some of its buys in the same districts.  

Pick Your Clinton: Democrats Want Duo on Trail

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bill Clinton are exciting Democrats who hope for their help in the midterm elections. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Democrats are gearing up to unleash the Clinton Dynasty.  

They hope deploying the popular former White House occupants could help drum up money and hype in what could be a tough election year for the party. Democrats see the power couple as an asset, especially because Republicans have no singular unifying figure who can hit the trail.  

NRCC Reserves $30 Million for TV Ads in 2014

The NRCC Chairman is Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee has reserved $30 million in television airtime this fall, signaling it is preparing to go on offense in 17 districts and defend nine more.  

The NRCC has put its marker down in many of the same House districts as its counterpart , the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It's a good indicator of which races both parties think will be most competitive in November. But there are a few competitive districts not included in the NRCC's initial reservations, such as Iowa's 3rd District — an open seat currently held by a Republican that is one of this cycle's few Tossup races. Also, the NRCC's television reservations total $13.5 million less  than what the DCCC has already reserved for this fall. The committees will likely shift and add more airtime as individual races develop during the rest of the cycle.   But the DCCC has raised more money than the NRCC this cycle. As of the end of April, the DCCC had $43.3 million in the bank, while the NRCC had $32.3 million. Here are the districts where the NRCC has already reserved airtime for this fall: Offense Arizona's 1st District: $1.95 million on Phoenix broadcast in Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick's district. Republicans will select their nominee in an Aug. 26 primary. (Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Tilts Democrat )  

DCCC Promotes Nine Candidates to 'Red to Blue' Program for 2014

The DCCC Chairman is Israel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Friday its latest round of candidates in "Red to Blue," a program that targets open-seat races and districts held by Republicans.  

House Democrats must pick up 17 seats to win control of that chamber — a daunting task in a midterm election. Offensive opportunities, like those in the Red to Blue program, are vital to the party's mission. The DCCC released its first round  of 35 Red to Blue candidates earlier this year.  

Pennsylvania Primary Results: Margolies Fails in Comeback Bid (Updated)

Updated 12:01 a.m. |  State Rep. Brendan Boyle easily defeated three other Democrats Tuesday night, including former Rep. Marjorie Margolies, to win an open-seat primary in Pennsylvania’s 13th District.  

Boyle defeated Margolies, his next closest primary opponent, 41 percent to 27 percent, with 98 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. The Democratic primary is tantamount to the general election in this district, which President Barack Obama carried with 66 percent in 2012. Margolies started the race as the odds-on favorite  to succeed Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, who ran for governor. Margolies’ name was still familiar to voters in the district thanks to her one term in Congress in the early 1990s, and she had ties to the Clinton dynasty as former first daughter Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law — making her appear to be a near lock for the nomination.  

Democratic Super PAC Slams GOP in Shutdown Ads

Coffmann is a top Democratic target in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority PAC, a super PAC that aims to elect House Democrats, announced Thursday it will unleash a major advertising campaign against nine House Republicans over the shutdown.

The total buy is for a "mid-six figure" sum, according to the political action committee's spokesman. It will run web and TV ads against Republican Reps. Mike Coffman of Colorado's 6th District, Steve Southerland II of Florida's 2nd, Joe Heck of Nevada's 3rd and David Joyce of Ohio's 14th.