Top 5 Races to Watch in New England

Ayotte is one of the last congressional Republicans in New England. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Even in the best of times, New England isn’t particularly friendly to Republicans. Today, the GOP boasts just two members — Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire — as the only elected officials at the federal level in the six-state region.

Next year, Republicans will try to climb back to some relevance. Here are the top five races to watch in that region:

RATINGS CHANGE: Rhode Island Governor #RIGOV

Former Sen. Lincoln Chafee completed his trip across the partisan spectrum when the now-governor of Rhode Island officially switched to the Democratic Party.

Chafee was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1998 as a Republican, lost re-election to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in 2006, became an Independent, and was elected governor of the Ocean State in 2010. He faces an uncertain re-election race next year.

Rhode Island: David Cicilline Wins Primary

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. David Cicilline won the Democratic primary tonight in his bid for re-election in Rhode Island's 1st district.

Businessman Anthony Gemma challenged him for the party nomination. At the time the Associated Press called the race, Cicilline was beating Gemma by a 2-1 margin, 62 percent to 31 percent.

Rhode Island: David Cicilline Goes Up With First TV Ad

Rep. David Cicilline (D) went on the air with a positive TV ad that stresses his office's work in constituent services.

The buy is at least five figures and will be on broadcast television during the Olympics.

Rhode Island: Gemma Draws Ire of Fellow Dems in Race Against Cicilline

Updated 4:16 p.m. | Businessman and Congressional Democratic candidate Anthony Gemma has asserted that he will support fellow Democrats Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. James Langevin, according to The Providence Journal.

"'He is planning to vote for Senator Whitehouse' and will back Langevin, too, said Gemma spokesman Alex Morash," writes The Journal.

Poll: David Cicilline Has Tough Primary in Rhode Island

Rep. David Cicilline has a difficult re-election race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. David Cicilline, one of the most endangered House Democrats this cycle, might not even make it out of the September primary, according to a poll conducted for Rhode Island television affiliate WPRI.

The Congressman got 40 percent versus 36 percent for his primary challenger, businessman Anthony Gemma. Twenty percent of those surveyed were undecided.

Rhode Island: Anthony Gemma Back for Primary Rematch With David Cicilline

As expected, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) officially has a primary challenge in his first re-election race. Businessman Anthony Gemma announced Sunday that he would seek the Democratic nomination in Rhode Island's 1st district, according to WPRI.

Cicilline has been in deep electoral trouble since he was sworn into office in early 2011. It was revealed soon after the former mayor of Providence came to Congress that the city was in dire financial straits, and he has been under fire ever since.

Rhode Island: Governor Signs New Map Boosting Cicilline

Rep. David Cicilline is expected to have a difficult re-election race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I)  signed into law today the redistricting plan that Rhode Island’s Legislature passed last week.

Rep. David Cicilline (D) is the big winner under the new map. It is anticipated that he will have a tough re-election race this cycle, but his redrawn district shifts Democratic voters from fellow Democratic Rep. James Langevin’s 2nd district into Cicilline’s 1st district.