The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members

Posted November 6, 2015 at 4:01am
Graham is one of the most vulnerable House members this cycle.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Graham is one of the most vulnerable House members. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Freshmen Republicans who won otherwise Democratic-leaning seats in last year’s GOP wave outnumber Democrats 7 to 3 on Roll Call’s list of the 10 most vulnerable House members a year out from Election Day.

Last cycle, seven of the 10 most vulnerable incumbents did not return to Congress: three retired, two lost primaries and two lost general elections.

One other member, Rep. Scott DesJarlais, nearly made it eight, but he ended up winning his primary by a scant 38 votes — the smallest margin of victory of any race in 2014. DesJarlais faces another competitive primary this cycle, but it’s too soon to tell whether his challenger will be able to mount as strong a challenge.

To be sure, while Republicans outnumber Democrats on this list, Democrats are not predicted to win control of the House — a feat that would require them to pick up 30 seats.

One other member — GOP Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida — easily could have made the list, thanks to an impending redistricting case that could make his currently Safe Republican seat too unfavorable to his party to hold. But we decided to leave him off, at least until a court officially sets the new map in stone.

We’ll revisit the list six months out from Election Day, and again in the weeks leading up to Nov. 8, 2016.

With little data on polling, fundraising and changing district dynamics, it’s too soon to rank the members of this list in order of vulnerability; but we will rank them again once Election Day draws near.

Still, all 10 of the members on this list currently face daunting paths to win the right to return to Capitol Hill when the 115th Congress is sworn in come January 2017.