"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Three Nail-Biter House Races

Close Races to Watch

Less than two weeks before Election Day, the parties don’t agree on much — except these House races will be decided by the slimmest of margins.

Candidates in these contests are expected to have a long wait on the evening of Nov. 4. In fact, some of these races will be so close that the winner might not be known for days — even weeks — after Election Day.

New York’s 1st District

(Roll Call)  -  Democratic Rep. Timothy H. Bishop’s Long Island-based district is a tough seat for Democrats  in a good year for the party. Obama carried it by a 1-point margin last cycle.

This cycle, the six-term Democrat has been plagued by an ethical dust-up in which he’s been accused of helping a constituent obtain firework permits for his son’s bar mitzvah in exchange for a campaign donation. The justice department closed its investigation into the incident in September without filing any charges.

But Bishop has squeaked back into office by the skin of his teeth before, too, including in 2010 when he won re-election by less than 1 point.

This time around, Republicans say their recruit, State Senator Lee Zeldin, is the best they’ve had in a few cycles. And outside groups from both sides of the aisle are up on air here.

Yet both sides, while confident in their chances, say the margin will be slim.

New Hampshire’s 1st District

For the third time,  Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and former Rep. Frank Guinta, R-N.H., will face each other. Guinta defeated her in 2010. Shea-Porter, a Democrat, ousted him two years later.

And on Nov. 4, they meet again. They can thank New Hampshire’s volatile political climate for the see-saw cycles. But that makes the Democrat especially vulnerable this cycle, when Obama is deeply unpopular.

The 1st District, located in the eastern half of the state, is also the more friendly for Republicans, compared to the Granite State’s other district. Last cycle, Obama carried the 1st District by a 1-point margin, while Shea-Porter defeated Guinta with less than 50 percent of the vote. In fact, some operatives say Shea-Porter won thanks to presidential year turnout, and a libertarian candidate that siphoned off more than 4 percent of the vote.

This cycle, Democrats in New England said Shea-Porter will get a boost from a gubernatorial and Senate race topping the ticket. But given the district’s partisan breakdown, operatives say this one will come down to the wire.


Election results, New Hampshire's 1st district, November 6, 2012
DemocraticCarol Shea-Porter171,65049.75%
RepublicanFrank Guinta (incumbent)158,65945.99%
LibertarianBrendan Kelly14,5214.21%
No PartyScattering1920.06%
Illinois’ 10th District

This district located north of Chicagoland votes for Democrats by double digits in presidential races. But down the ballot, voters have shown a propensity to elect moderate Republicans to Congress.

Now-Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., represented the district for five terms until he ran statewide in 2010.

This cycle, freshman Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., faces former Rep. Bob Dold, the Republican he ousted by a 1-point margin in 2012. Both have raised significant sums of money and are  aided by outside groups.

With a competitive gubernatorial contest topping the ticket, operatives say this race will again be a squeaker.

(Roll Call)

The 10th District is just north of Chicago

It has to be race.
Everything is about race.

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