U.S. House: Most Competitive Contests – May 2016 Update
Most filing dates and many primaries have come and gone leaving a better view of the most competitive contests. Republicans control 12 seats currently rated as Tossups or worse, while Democrats hold only four, leaving Republicans open to potential losses in November.
Congressman Ami Bera’s father pleaded guilty to federal campaign finance fraud charges after he reimbursed friends and family for donating to his son’s 2010 and 2012 campaigns to the total of $268,726. Bera claimed he was not aware of his father’s scheme and has not been charged in connection with the crime. Republicans have called on Bera to return the money. This race is rated Lean Democrat.
The race in NH-01 shrunk when Pam Tucker dropped out on May 2nd. The race for the Republican nomination will now be between embattled incumbent Frank Guinta and businessman Rich Ashooh. This seat is a top target for Democrats in November, though the two Democratic candidates in the primary race have fallen into a bizarre war of words after businessman Shawn O’Connor accused Carol Shea-Porter of engaging in a whisper campaign accusing him of domestic abuse. This seat is currently rated Tossup.
North Carolina Redistricting
The FEC ruled in favor of raising contribution limits in North Carolina after deciding that the state’s court-ordered redistricting effectively created a new election. Donors who hit the maximum contribution of $2,700 before March 15th are eligible to donate again. The FEC argued that the March 15th primary elections were held as planned even though the results were never made public, thus the new primary to be held June 7th constitutes a new election.
Republican favorite Don Bacon handily won the NE-02 primary despite the DCCC’s efforts to help nominate his weaker opponent, Chip Maxwell. DCCC spent $430,000 on an ad blitz in the weeks leading up to the primary. Maxwell claimed he had no knowledge of the ads and called on Republicans to unite behind Bacon after conceding the election. This race is rated Tossup.
The 2016 cycle saw its first incumbent loss when indicted incumbent Democrat Chaka Fattah lost to Pennsylvania State Representative Dwight Evans. Fattah held the seat for 11 terms; however, he gained a challenger after he was charged with bribery, bank fraud, and corruption last July. Fattah was unopposed in 2014 and won the seat with 88 percent of the vote. The seat is rated Safe Democrat.