March 2016 House Update

March 21st, 2016

U.S. House: 30 Most Competitive Contests – March 2016 Update

Due to mid-decade, court-ordered redistricting, Republicans will almost certainly lose Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District (currently occupied by Randy Forbes, who is relocating to the state’s open Second Congressional District) and Florida’s 10th Congressional District (currently occupied by Daniel Webster, who is relocating to the state’s open Eleventh Congressional District). Democrats, meanwhile, will almost certainly lose Florida’s Second Congressional District, occupied by Gwen Graham. The net impact of these redistricting-related changes is a one-seat loss for Republicans.

House Chart March 2016

Key Updates:

  • Republicans seem to have dodged a bullet in New Jersey’s Third Congressional District (not listed in table above), where Democrats failed to recruit a credible opponent to freshman Republican Tom MacArthur in a highly competitive seat.
  • In Arizona’s open First Congressional District, being vacated by Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, Democrats have coalesced around former State Senator Tom O’Halleran, a former Republican. Meanwhile, Democrat-turned-Republican State Senator Carlyle Begay’s late entry into this race creates a five-way primary for Republicans. Expect this to be one of the most watched congressional races in the nation.
  • The Republican primary in New Hampshire’s First Congressional District became a little more crowded in February with the entry of conservative State Representative and former Deputy Speaker of the House Pam Tucker, who will face off against scandal-plagued Republican incumbent Frank Guinta and former GOP Finance Chair Dan Innis. Republican donors have largely abandoned Guinta, viewed as incapable of winning a general election, but the fractured nature of the primary makes it unpredictable in this highly competitive seat.
  • In New York’s 19th Congressional District, Republican John Faso won the endorsement of the state’s influential Conservative Party to go along with his broad support within the Republican rank-and-file. Faso faces a primary against well-funded Andrew Heaney for the seat being vacated by Chris Gibson, one of the least conservative Republicans in the House.
  • In early February, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina ruled that maps for two congressional districts, the First and the Twelfth, were gerrymandered along racial lines. The court struck down the map and ordered the legislature to redraw the map. The new map preserves a ratio of 10 Republican seats and three Democratic seats, but puts several incumbents in jeopardy. Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, already facing a difficult primary, looks like to face-off against a fellow Republican member of Congress in George Holding. In the Ninth Congressional District, incumbent Republican Robert Pittenger is likely to face a tough primary challenge in his radically redrawn district. The map also creates a new, open, Republican-leaning Thirteenth Congressional District in the west-central part of the state.