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The outlook for the 2012 House races.

Updated Thursday, May 30 12:08 pm ET

Current House

112th Congress
Jan. 2011 - Jan. 2013

242

Republicans

193

Democrats

Projected House

113th Congress
Jan. 2013 - Jan. 2015

232

Republicans

  212 strong   20 leaning

19

Tossups

184

Democrats

  171 strong   13 leaning

Seats to watch. Click for details.
218 seats needed for majority

View seats by state

B AL
A AK
D AZ
C AR
E CA
F CO
G CT
H DE
I FL
J GA
K HI
M ID
N IL
O IN
L IA
P KS
Q KY
R LA
U ME
T MD
S MA
V MI
W MN
Y MS
X MO
Z MT
c NE
g NV
d NH
e NJ
f NM
h NY
a NC
b ND
i OH
j OK
k OR
l PA
m RI
n SC
o SD
p TN
q TX
r UT
t VT
s VA
u WA
w WV
v WI
x WY

Roughly five seats currently held by Republicans are almost certain to flip to the Democrats, and about eight seats currently held by Democrats are likely to flip to Republicans, mostly due to retiring incumbents and redistricting losses.

To take back the majority, Democrats would have to hold all of the "strong" and "leaning" Democratic seats and win a large number of the seats identified as "Tossup" and "Leaning Republican."

Here are descriptions of the House races that are competitive this cycle, along with ratings from the Cook Political Report, the Rothenberg Political Report and Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball.

Race summaries by Adam Carlson

  •  Strong Democratic
  •  Leaning Democratic
  •  Tossup
  •  Leaning Republican
  •  Strong Republican
 

# Arizona 1st District New District

In the Republican wave of 2010, incumbent Ann Kirkpatrick (D) was defeated by Paul Gosar (R) in the 1st District. However, due to redistricting, Gosar has chosen to run in the more Republican-friendly 4th District. Kirkpatrick is running again in 2012, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee seems to think she has a shot: It has added her to its "Red to Blue" recruitment program and ran an ad in September attacking her opponent, former State Sen. Jonathan Paton (R), for his past as a lobbyist for the payday loan industry in the Phoenix media market. Meanwhile, the National Republican Congressional Committee ran an ad hitting Kirkpatrick on her vote for President Obama's health care law while touting Paton's military credentials. Kirkpatrick's campaign had the financial edge going into the last month of the race, but she lost the Arizona Republic's endorsement after describing an "meltdown" she had during an interview with their editorial board. A July poll by Republican-leaning North Star Opinion Research found Kirkpatrick leading Paton by 3 points, but an October poll conducted for the NRCC found Paton ahead by 5 points.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Paton +1
 

# Arizona 2nd District  

After surviving an assassination attempt in the Tucson mass shooting last January, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) resigned from Congress in January 2012. In the June special election, Jesse Kelly (R) — an Iraq War veteran who lost to Giffords in 2010 — was defeated by Ron Barber (D), Giffords' district director who was also wounded in Tucson. While distancing himself from President Barack Obama, the Barber campaign — with the help of the DCCC — successfully tied Kelly to the controversial Republican budget plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The threat of cutting funding to Medicare and Social Security seemed to have resonated among the district's large population of senior citizens. A few days after the special election, Kelly announced that he would not run in the fall general election, clearing the Republican field for retired Air Force Colonel Martha McSally (R), the first female combat pilot in American military history. She will face an uphill battle since the district has become more favorable to Democrats due to redistricting. The NRCC is coming to her aid by buying air time in the Tucson media market, while the DCCC canceled its ad reservation there, presumably because they think that Barber is safe. Recent Democratic polls have found Barber ahead by double digits, while an October internal poll conducted for McSally's campaign found a tied race.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Barber +7
 

# Arizona 9th District New District

Due to population gains, Arizona gained an extra seat in redistricting, which was drawn as a swing district. Former state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) won the Democratic nomination with the help of EMILY's List, a group that supports pro-choice female candidates. Soon after, the DCCC added Sinema to their "Red to Blue" program. Sinema is facing Paradise Valley councilman Vernon Parker (R), a "Young Gun" candidate, in the general election. In September, the DCCC and Democratic House Majority PAC have run ads attacking Parker for supporting Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget plan and wanting to abolish the U.S. Department of Education. Two Democratic internal polls from September showed Sinema with narrow leads over Parker, while an October internal poll from Parker's campaign showed him up by 2 points.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Sinema +1.7
 

# Arkansas 4th District Open Seat

Rep. Mike Ross (D), a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, has easily held off his Republican competitors since joining Congress in 2001, due in large part to his fiscally conservative voting record. However, Ross announced last summer that he would not run for a seventh term in 2012. His district has become more Republican-leaning after redistricting, and he reportedly has his sights set on running for governor in 2014, when Gov. Mike Beebe (D) will be term-limited. Former U.S. Army Capt. Tom Cotton (R), a rising Republican star, is favored to defeat state Sen. Gene Jeffress (D) in the general election and flip this seat to the GOP. It probably didn't help that Jeffress was caught saying the n-word on video.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
 

# California 3rd District  

Rep. John Garamendi (D), a former lieutenant governor and state insurance commissioner, was first elected to Congress in a 2009 special election in a relatively safe Bay Area district. However, the newly drawn district he is running in was drawn to include more solidly Republican inland territory, making his reelection prospects a bit less certain. The DCCC added Garamendi to its "Frontline" program," which is designed to aid the reelection efforts of potentially vulnerable Democratic incumbents. Republicans are touting their nominee, Colusa County supervisor Kim Vann (R), as a top "Young Gun" recruit who could make this race competitive. Vann has kept pace with Garamendi's fundraising all year. Both party committees reserved air time in the Sacramento media market for the fall — the NRCC has been hitting Garamendi for his support of the health care reform law. An August poll for Democratic House Majority PAC found Garamendi leading Vann, 54 to 39 percent. Garamendi is still favored for reelection, but is by no means a shoo-in.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Garamendi +15
 

# California 7th District  

Rep. Dan Lungren (R) fended off physician Ami Bera (D) in 2010, but the newly drawn 7th District is less conservative than his old district. Bera is back for a rematch in 2012, aided by more favorable terrain and having President Obama at the top of the ticket, not to mention a sizable campaign war chest and a flood of money from outside groups. Bera outraised Lungren in the last two quarters, but Lungren ended the third quarter with a strong advantage in cash on hand. The DCCC has added Bera to its "Red to Blue" recruitment program and has run ads in the district attacking Lungren for voting to raise the retirement age and supporting Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget plan, which would overhaul Medicare. The Sierra Club has also run ads tying Lungren to big oil and AFSCME has been tying Lungren to Wall Street. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has hit Bera for supporting Obamacare and wanting to raise taxes. The NRCC has placed Lungren in its "Patriot" program for vulnerable Republican incumbents and reserved air time in the Sacramento media market in what is shaping up to be a close race. An October poll for the pro-Democratic CREDO super PAC found Lungren and Bera tied at 46 percent.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Tie
 

# California 9th District  

Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) was reelected to a third term by the skin of his teeth in 2010, defeating his Republican challenger by less than 3,000 votes out of more than 240,000 cast. While his district has become a bit safer since redistricting, he remains in the DCCC's "Frontline" program for vulnerable Democratic incumbents. Republicans are bullish on finishing what they started in 2010, touting 25-year-old businessman and former California State Board of Education member Ricky Gill (R) as one of their top "Young Gun" recruits, in part because of his fundraising ability — he outraised McNerney in the first three quarters of 2012 and has a comparable amount of cash on hand as the incumbent. The NRCC ran an ad attacking McNerney for his support of the health care reform law, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has accused him of voting to raise energy costs and cut Medicare. Meanwhile, McNerney's campaign has tried to portray Gill as inexperienced, spoiled, and out of touch. In October, an internal poll for Gill's campaign showed him leading the congressman by 1 point, while a poll conducted for the DCCC found McNerney ahead 47 to 38 percent.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
McNerney +4
 

# California 10th District  

Freshman Rep. Jeff Denham (R) was elected in 2010 to a safe Republican district, which was redrawn to become more competitive in 2012 (Obama would have narrowly won his newly configured district in 2008), and the NRCC has added him to its "Patriot" program for vulnerable Republican incumbents. First time candidate José Hernandez (D), a former astronaut and member of the DCCC's "Red to Blue" program, outraised Denham in the first and third quarters of 2012 , but trailed him in overall cash on hand at the end of the third quarter. Hernandez has run several ads attacking Denham on women's issues. American Action Network and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have run ads in the Sacramento media market criticizing him for supporting the stimulus package and Obamacare, while the DCCC and Democratic House Majority PAC have run ads hitting Denham for supporting Paul Ryan's budget, which would overhaul Medicare. An August poll conducted by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found Denham leading Hernandez 48 to 41 percent, while a September poll for the DCCC found Hernandez ahead by two points.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Denham +2.5
 

# California 21st District New District

This new Central Valley district slightly favors Republicans, who believe they have found a top recruit in state Assemblyman David Valadao (R), one of the NRCC's "Young Guns." He has the upper hand against Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO John Hernandez (D) in the general election. Hernandez has been an abysmal fundraiser for the entire cycle, and is counting on heavy Latino turnout to have a chance here. An October internal poll conducted for Valadao's campaign found him ahead by 20 points. Hernandez's campaign responded with an internal poll of their own showing him trailing by only 4.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Valadao +12
 

# California 24th District  

Rep. Lois Capps (D), who has coasted to reelection since she joined Congress in 1998, finds herself in a much more competitive district in 2012 after redistricting. Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado (R), one of the most high profile Latino Republicans in the state, is running against her in this Santa Barbara area district. However, not having to face a serious challenger in more than a decade has allowed Capps to accrue a large campaign war chest (nearly $1.3 million at the end of June), and she started airing campaign ads in early May. Maldonado is currently in a dispute with the IRS, which claims he owes millions in unpaid taxes (Capps ran an ad attacking him on the issue in September). The DCCC has added Capps to its "Frontline" program for vulnerable Democratic incumbents, while the NRCC aired ads attacking her for support of the 2009 Wall Street bailout, the 2010 health care reform law, and for refusing to pay her own taxes. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also ran ads accusing Capps of voting for higher energy costs, more regulations, and cutting Medicare. In July, the DCCC released an automated poll showing Capps ahead 51 to 40 percent. However, Maldonado's campaign responded by releasing an internal poll in October showing him leading Capps 45 to 44 percent.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Capps +5
 

# California 26th District Open Seat

Rep. Elton Gallegly (R), who has been in Congress since 1987, decided not to run for reelection in this Ventura County district in 2012. In his place, the NRCC is touting state Sen. Tony Strickland (R) as a top "Young Gun" recruit. Both Strickland and his opponent, state Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D), have raised and spent massive amounts of money, in what is shaping up to be one of the closest (and most expensive) races in the Golden State. Brownley has been focusing on women's issues in her ads, attacking Strickland for opposing the Violence Against Women Act and for opposing abortion even in cases of rape and incest. Democratic House Majority PAC has reserved about $1 million in the expensive Los Angeles media market on Brownley's behalf, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has run ads hitting Brownley for supporting Obamacare and voting to raise energy costs in the state legislature. Brownley's campaign released an internal poll in July showing her leading Strickland 48 to 44 percent.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Brownley +4
 

# California 36th District  

While national Democrats are once again targeting Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R), she appears to be in good shape for reelection. The DCCC is touting physician Raul Ruiz (D), who outraised Mack in the first and third quarters of 2012, as a strong "Red to Blue" recruit, and has invested money in the race on his behalf. A super PAC called "Californians for a Stronger America" has been supporting Bono Mack's campaign financially, while Democratic House Majority PAC has reserved about a quarter million dollars in television airtime against her in the Palm Springs media market. Three Democratic polls from October found Ruiz running slightly ahead of Bono Mack.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Ruiz +3.5
 

# California 41st District New District

The California redistricting commission drew the new 41st District to slightly favor Democrats, so Riverside Community College District trustee Mark Takano (D) should have a slight edge over Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione (R), another NRCC "Young Gun" recruit. Tavaglione would likely have to win over a significant number of Latino voters, who make up more than half of the district's population, to have a chance at winning. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has run ads against Takano, accusing him of wanting to raise taxes on small businesses. An August internal poll for Takano's campaign found him aheady by four points, 42 to 38 percent.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Takano +4
 

# California 47th District New District

The new 47th District, which includes part of Long Beach, was drawn to favor Democrats. State Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D) will face Long Beach City Councilman Gary DeLong (R) in the general election. DeLong will most likely have to cast himself as a moderate to stay competitive. A July internal poll for the DeLong campaign found him trailing Lowenthal by three points. But two Democratic internal polls from July and August found Lowenthal ahead by double-digits.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Lowenthal +11.3
 

# California 52nd District  

Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) was first elected in 2006 and has had little trouble holding on to his Republican-leaning district since then. However, his newly configured district was drawn to be highly competitive. As a result, the NRCC has added Bilbray to its "Patriot" program for vulnerable Republican incumbents, and both national party committees have invested heavily (nearly $4 million so far) in this race. San Diego Port commissioner Scott Peters (D), the Democratic nominee, has loaned his campaign $2 million since the beginning of 2012. The DCCC aired an ad against Bilbray in September, citing his vote for Paul Ryan's budget and claiming that he has taken thousands of dollars from big oil and other special interests that he previously lobbied for. The NRCC responded with an ad accusing Peters of committing fraud and triggering the San Diego pension scandal. An independent SurveyUSA poll from October found the two candidates tied at 46 percent, while a University of San Diego poll found Bilbray up by 9.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Bilbray +1.3
 

# Colorado 3rd District  

In the 2010 Republican wave, Scott Tipton (R) ousted incumbent John Salazar (D) in this Republican leaning district. Salazar was mulling a rematch in 2012, but was appointed as Colorado agriculture commissioner in January. Democratic nominee Sal Pace (D), a state representative, has a chance to knock off this freshman before he gets too entrenched, especially since his district became slightly more competitive after redistricting. The DCCC also seems to think Tipton is vulnerable, and has bought airtime in the Denver media market to attack his voting record in the fall. Pace vastly outspent Tipton in the third quarter and has been keeping pace with the congressman on the fundraising front. A September poll conducted for the DCCC found Tipton three points ahead of Pace, 42 to 39.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Tipton +3
 

# Colorado 6th District  

Sophomore Rep. Mike Coffman (R) easily held on to Tom Tancredo's old House seat the last two elections, but the district has been redrawn to include the city of Aurora, making it much more favorable to Democrats. Obama would have won the newly configured district with 54 percent support, but won only 46 percent of the vote in the old district. Coffman will face state Rep. Joe Miklosi (D), who has called the congressman "extreme" after he claimed in May that Obama is "not an American." Miklosi has been tying Coffman to Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget proposal after the Wisconsin congressman was added to the Republican presidential ticket in August. Miklosi has also been trying to associate his opponent with Missouri Rep. Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" comment. The DCCC ran an ad against Coffman in the Denver media market in September on women's issues and Medicare, and the NRCC has added Coffman to its "Patriot" program. While both men have shown strength in fundraising, Coffman entered the final month of the campaign with nearly $1 million more in his campaign coffers. He should also be helped by the third party candidacy of Kathy Polhemus, a retired non-profit executive and former Democrat, who should take votes away from Miklosi. A September poll conducted for the DCCC found Coffman edging Miklosi 42 to 39.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Coffman +3
 

# Colorado 7th District  

Republicans are bullish about taking down Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D) in this suburban Denver district, and are touting their self-funding nominee, Joe Coors (R), as a top recruit. Perlmutter has run ads attacking Coors for his positions on women's issues and for outsourcing manufacturing jobs to China while he was CEO of CoorsTek. To help negate Coors' huge financial advantage, the SEIU and AFSCME have run ads criticizing Coors for wanting to raise taxes on the middle class while cutting taxes for the wealthy. Coors has hit Perlmutter and his wife (a lobbyist) for "scamming" American taxpayers by supporting Solyndra. Though Coors' campaign released an internal poll in July showing him leading Perlmutter 45 to 36 percent, he is still expected to fall short of victory on November 6.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Coors +9
 

# Connecticut 5th District Open Seat

The 5th District has been left open by Rep. Chris Murphy (D), who has chosen to run for Joe Lieberman's open U.S. Senate seat in 2012. Former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D) defeated state House Speaker Chris Donavan, that party favorite whose campaign was plagued with charges of corruption, in a closely contested Democratic primary. She is facing state Sen. Andrew Roraback (R), a "Young Gun" candidate, in the general election in this Democratic-leaning district. The DCCC ran an ad in September tying Roraback to Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget, even though Roraback has said that he does not support it, and Esty has run ads hitting him on wanting to raise the retirement age and cut Social Security benefits. Democratic-sponsored polls have shown Esty ahead, while Republican-sponsored polls have found Roraback in the lead.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Roraback +0.3
 

# Florida 2nd District  

Steve Southerland (R) was elected to the House in this conservative Panhandle district in 2010, defeating moderate incumbent Allen Boyd (D). The DCCC considers Southerland to be vulnerable since he is a freshman with a very conservative voting record, and reserved television air time against him in the Tallahassee media market (so did the NRCC). However, the 2nd District is still unfavorable terrain for Democrats, and it will be a challenge for them to flip this seat. Southerland will face state Sen. Al Lawson (D), who lost the 2010 Democratic primary to Boyd in the general election, who appears to be making a race of it. A September poll conducted for the DCCC found Lawson and Southerland tied at 43 percent, while an October St. Pete Polls survey found Lawson ahead by 1 point.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Lawson +0.5
 

# Florida 9th District New District

The new 9th District, just south of Orlando, was drawn to favor Democrats in redistricting — President Obama won 60 percent of the vote here in 2008. Former Rep. Alan Grayson (D), a liberal firebrand and prolific fundraiser who was ousted in 2010, is favored to defeat attorney and radio host Todd Long (R), who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in the last two election cycles. While national Republicans have not yet shown any interest in pursuing this seat, their ire for Grayson may eventually cause them to intervene before Election Day. A September internal poll for Grayson's campaign showed him up by 14 points, but an October St. Pete Polls survey found Grayson leading Long by just 3 points. The DCCC cut their TV ad reservations in the 9th district, presumably because it believes that Grayson is in a solid position to win.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Grayson +7.3
 

# Florida 10th District  

Freshman Rep. Daniel Webster (R) was one of the biggest beneficiaries of redistricting this cycle. Instead of running his first reelection race in his old competitive district, he is running in a much safer Republican district west of Orlando. However, the DCCC and the SEIU have reserved air time against him in the Orlando media market. The DCCC is touting former Orlando police Chief Val Demings (D) as a strong "Red to Blue" recruit. Demings has outraised Webster in the last five (!) quarters, but the Republican lean of this district will probably be enough to grant Webster a second term. An October St. Pete polls survey found Webster with a comfortable 11-point lead, while a poll conducted for DCCC two weeks later found Webster ahead by just 2 points.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Webster +6.5
 

# Florida 16th District  

Rep. Vern Buchanan's (R) reelection effort has been complicated by allegations that he attempted to influence a witness' testimony regarding possible campaign finance violations. Democrats came close to winning this conservative Sarasota area district in 2006, and former state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald (D), the 2012 Democratic nominee, is a reasonably strong candidate. While Fitzgerald outraised Buchanan in the first two quarters of 2012, Buchanan had over $1 milion in his campaign war chest at the end of September, and reserved $4 million in television advertising time in the district. Fitzgerald has run ads hitting Buchanan over the campaign finance allegations, but both public and private polls have shown that Buchanan has maintained a comfortable double-digit lead. Given how conservative this district is, it will be difficult to unseat Buchanan, despite his problems with the House Ethics Committee. In September, the DCCC canceled their ad buy in the district.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Buchanan +18
 

# Florida 18th District  

Conservative freshman Rep. Allen West (R), who claimed in April that 80 House Democrats are members of the Communist Party, has a tough reelection campaign on his hands in 2012, and Democrats desperately want him gone. Democratic nominee Patrick Murphy (D), a well-financed environmental services executive, kicked off his campaign by calling West a "right wing extremist" who is out of touch with the values of the district, and the race has gotten very nasty since. However, West has proven himself to be one of the most prolific fundraisers in the country: He raised $4.9 million in the third quarter of 2012 — by far the largest haul of the cycle — and had nearly $3.5 million dollars in the bank at the end of September. Further, a group called the Treasure Coast Jobs Coalition is spending additional million dollars trying to get West reelected. Former President Bill Clinton hosted a fundraiser for Murphy in West Palm Beach to try to close his financial deficit. Democratic House Majority PAC, the SEIU, and American Sunrise PAC have all reserved air time against him in the West Palm Beach media market, freeing up the DCCC to cancel its ad buy. The American Sunrise PAC ad was especially provocative, showing an image of West punching women in the face. The ads have gotten nasty. West has brought up Murphy's alcohol-related college arrest, while Murphy attacked West for assaulting an Iraqi detainee and being relieved of his command. Recent polls have shown conflicting results, but most of them agree that the race is close.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
West +1.7
 

# Florida 22nd District New District

The new 22nd District, which stretches from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale, was drawn to favor Democrats. Former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel (D), who had a sizable campaign war chest at the end of June ($1.36 million), will face former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner (R), who briefly ran for the U.S. Senate this year and has posted some solid fundraising numbers of his own. Former President Bill Clinton hosted a fundraiser for Frankel in West Palm Beach in September. Frankel's campaign aired an ad attacking Hasner for supporting Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget and and voting to give tax breaks to millionaires while raising taxes on the middle class. The Republican group YG Action Fund fired right back hitting Frankel for using taxpayer money for her own personal benefit during her tenure as mayor. Democratic polls have found Frankel slightly ahead, while independent polls have found the race to be essentially tied.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Frankel +7.6
 

# Florida 26th District  

Since being elected to Congress in 2010, Rep. David Rivera (R) has had scandal after scandal. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, he "filed erroneous reports on his personal finances while in state office, falsely amended those disclosures following critical media reports, and received reimbursements from his campaign and government accounts to cover personal expenses." Despite the evidence against him, Florida prosecutors are not charging Rivera criminally since the statute of limitations on those crimes had passed. Even though no criminal charges were filed, Democrats are bullish on taking him down. Rivera still faces probes from the IRS and the FBI regarding a "$510,000 payment from a dog track to a company managed by Rivera's mother and godmother." He will face Miami attorney Joe Garcia (D), who lost to Rivera by nine points in 2010, in the general election. According to campaign vendors, Rivera illegally helped fund a shadow Democratic primary campaign for a political unknown named Justin Lamar Sternad, in an effort to thwart Garcia's chance at winning the nomination. A key witness in a federal investigation into this connection went missing one day after the FBI raided her Miami apartment, but left behind envelopes stuffed with unreported campaign cash. The polls have been all over the place in this district, but the DCCC feels comfortable enough about Garcia's chances that it has canceled its ad reservation in the district, especially since Rivera has been a lackluster fundraiser in recent months.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Garcia +10.2
 

# Georgia 12th District  

Since narrowly being elected to the 12th District in 2004, Rep. John Barrow (D) has held onto his swing district due to his Blue Dog credentials and conservative voting record — he voted against President Obama's health care reform law and voted for the Balanced Budget Amendment — despite frequently being targeted by national Republicans. However, redistricting caused the relatively Democratic city of Savannah to be replaced by the highly conservative Augusta area, making this hostile territory for Barrow, who is now considered to be one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the country. Barrow has been going to great lengths to distance himself from President Obama and cast himself as an independent, while tying his opponent, state Rep. Lee Anderson (R) to Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget. Meanwhile, the NRCC has aired ads against Barrow tying him to President Obama. Barrow still benefits from a hefty campaign war chest, which was $1.2 million at the end of September. An August internal poll for Anderson's campaign found him edging Barrow 44 to 43 percent, but two Democratic polls from October found Barrow ahead narrowly.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Barrow +2.7
 

# Illinois 8th District  

Freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R), a conservative firebrand who defeated incumbent Melissa Bean (D) by 290 votes with the help of the Tea Party in 2010, is also one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the country — the NRCC has added him to its "Patriot" program for vulnerable Republican incumbents. As a result of redistricting, Walsh is running in a much more liberal area this time around. He has come under fire for several racially insensitive remarks — like saying that President Obama was elected because he was black, and that Democrats want Hispanics and African Americans to be dependent on the government. He has also gone on several anti-Islam tirades, including saying that radical Muslims are trying to kill Americans every week in the Chicago suburbs that he represents. However, his campaign did receive a boost from Now or Never PAC, which is spending $810,000 in TV ads on his behalf. His opponent, Tammy Duckworth (D), a former official in the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department who lost both of her legs in Iraq, is seen as one of the top Democratic recruits in the country. She raised nearly $900,000 in the second quarter and had more cash on hand than Walsh at the end of June. Walsh came under fire in July for saying that Duckworth is not a hero because she talks too much about her military service on the campaign trail. October polls from the Chicago Tribune and We Ask America both found Duckworth leading Walsh by 10 points. Barring some unforeseen scandal, Duckworth is on pace to defeat Walsh in the general election.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Duckworth +14.9
 

# Illinois 10th District  

Rep. Bob Dold (R) narrowly won this left-leaning open seat in 2010, despite a vigorous effort by Democrats. Since redistricting, the 10th District has become the most Democratic district that is held by a Republican, giving Democratic nominee Brad Schneider (D) the slight advantage in this race. The NRCC has added Dold to its "Patriot" program for vulnerable Republican incumbents. The DCCC has run ads against Dold in the expensive Chicago media market, tying him to Mitt Romney and accusing him of toeing the Republican party line. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ran ads against Schneider, hitting him for supporting Obamacare and for wanting to raise taxes on small businesses. However, Dold has proven himself to be an prolific fundraiser: His campaign had more than $2 million in the bank at the end of the second quarter. Two October polls, from the DCCC and We Ask America, found Schneider leading Dold by 1 and 8 points, respectively.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Schneider +4.5
 

# Illinois 11th District  

Seven-term Rep. Judy Biggert (R), who had a strong hold over the old 13th District, is running in more unfavorable terrain in the 11th District this year. She is facing former Rep. Bill Foster (D), who was ousted in the 2010 Republican wave in a neighboring district. The DCCC has added Foster to its "Red to Blue" program and has spent money criticizing Biggert for her vote against health care reform and for voting to raise her own pay and cut taxes for millionaires. Meanwhile, American Unity — a pro-gay Republican super PAC backed by billionaire Paul Singer — and the National Education Association have spent over one million dollars supporting Biggert's campaign. The NRCC has added Biggert to its "Patriot" program for vulnerable Republican incumbents. Neither party has a clear advantage in this race so far, and both campaigns have amassed sizable campaign war chests to compete on the airwaves of the expensive Chicago media market. An independent automated We Ask America poll from October found Biggert and Foster tied at 50 percent.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Foster +2
 

# Illinois 12th District Open Seat

Rep. Jerry Costello (D), who has represented the St. Louis suburbs in southwest Illinois since 1988, announced his retirement in October, giving Republicans an opportunity to play offense in this deeply blue state. Former St. Clair County school superintendent Brad Harriman (D) won the March Democratic primary, only to drop out of the race two months later due to health reasons. Local county Democratic party chairs chose retired Illinois National Guard Cmdr. Bill Enyart (D) to replace him as the Democratic nominee. He will face Jason Plummer (R), the 2010 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, in what is expected to be a close general election. The DCCC aired an ad in September criticizing Plummer's support for Paul Ryan's budget and tax breaks for millionaires, while the YG Action Fund and the NRCC have run ads against Enyart, citing his support for Obamacare and his lack of private sector experience. Plummer has also called Enyart a "millionaire trial lawyer." Enyart should be aided by having President Obama, who won the district by 11 points in 2008, at the top of the ticket. An independent automated We Ask America poll from October found Enyart leading Plummer 51 to 46 percent.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Enyart +5
 

# Illinois 13th District Open Seat

A few weeks after winning the Republican primary in the downstate 13th District, five-term Rep. Tim Johnson (R) abruptly announced that he would retire. Johnson was quoted as saying that even if he retired, his seat wouldn't be competitive with liberal emergency room physician David Gill (D) as the Democratic nominee. Gill narrowly defeated Greene County state attorney Matt Goetten (D), the party's preferred candidate, in the Democratic primary. Local Republican officials selected Rodney Davis (R), a former aide to Illinois Rep. John Shimkus, as the replacement nominee at a May 19 convention. The DCCC started to air ads against Davis in August, while Davis' campaign and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Action Network, and the NRCC have run ads criticizing Gill's support for Obamacare and for wanting to raise taxes. An independent automated We Ask America poll from October showed Davis with a 5-point lead, while Democratic polls have consistently shown Gill slightly ahead.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Gill +0.9
 

# Illinois 17th District  

In 2010, Bobby Schilling (R) easily defeated incumbent Phil Hare (D) in this northwest Illinois district. However, he faces an uphill reelection battle this year since he is running in a more Democratic district, which was redrawn to include southern Peoria. The DCCC, the SEIU and Democratic House Majority PAC have been running ads targeting Schilling, and the NRCC has added him to its "Patriot" program for vulnerable Republican incumbents (and has reserved airtime on his behalf). The DCCC has attacked Schilling for supporting Paul Ryan's budget and tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. He will face East Moline Alderwoman Cheri Bustos (D), a close ally of Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, who handily outraised Schilling in the first two quarters of 2012. Schilling has tied Bustos to unpopular Gov. Pat Quinn (D) and for wanting to raise taxes on local businesses, and the NRCC ran an ad criticizing her for increasing spending as an alderwoman. Most recent public and private polls find this race to be very close.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Bustos +0.5
 

# Indiana 2nd District Open Seat

Rep. Joe Donnelly (D), who survived the 2010 Republican wave in his northern Indiana district, chose to run for U.S. Senate instead of seeking another term. His district became much more conservative after redistricting, and he would have faced another tough reelection battle. Former state Rep. Jackie Walorski (R), who came within two points of unseating Donnelly in 2010, is favored to defeat Iraq War veteran Brendan Mullen (D) and flip this seat to the GOP. Walorski has run ads attacking Mullen for being a liberal carpetbagger from inside the beltway, and for supporting Obamacare. Mullen hit back in September, accusing Walorski of engaging in pay-to-pay during her time in the state legislature. In September the DCCC cut its ad buy in the district, essentially conceding the race to Walorski.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
 

# Indiana 8th District  

Larry Bucshon (R) easily won this open seat two years ago, and appears to be in good position to win a second term in this conservative district. He will face former state Rep. Dave Crooks (D), a Blue Dog Coalition favorite who consistently outraises Bucshon, in the general election. Crooks ran an ad in September criticizing Buchson for voting against using tariffs to stop China from "cheating." The DCCC has reserved fall television advertising time in the Terre Haute and Evansville media markets to go after Bucshon's voting record.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
 

# Iowa 1st District  

Attorney Ben Lange (R) gave three-term Rep. Bruce Braley (D) a closer than expected challenge in 2010, losing by only two points. Encouraged by those results, Lange is back for a rematch in 2012, and has been hitting Braley over his well-known ambitions to run for higher office. However, the northeast Iowa district has become slightly more Democratic after redistricting, and Braley will most likely be safer in a presidential year with President Obama at the top of the ticket. Obama won the district by eighteen points in 2008. Still, the NRCC is targeting Braley and ran an ad hitting him for voting for Obamacare and accusing him of slashing Medicare (Lange has run similar ads). Braley aired an ad in September featuring former President Bill Clinton's speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in which he defends Obamacare and explains how it strengthens Medicare.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
 

# Iowa 2nd District  

Rep. Dave Loebsack (D) moved from Linn County to Johnson County in the newly drawn 2nd District to avoid a primary against fellow Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley in 2012. He will face John Archer (R), a senior attorney for John Deere who is being touted as a top recruit by the NRCC. Archer outraised Loebsack by over $100,000 in the third quarter, but still trails in overall cash on hand. Though the southeast Iowa district got slightly more conservative since 2010 and the DCCC added him to its "Frontline" program, Loebsack is still favored for reelection. The NRCC started airing an ad in September accusing him of voting to raise energy prices. A June internal poll for the Archer campaign found Loebsack leading 48 to 43 percent.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Loebsack +5
 

# Iowa 3rd District  

Due to population losses over the last decade, Iowa lost a House seat, forcing fellow incumbents Leonard Boswell (D) and Tom Latham (R) to run against each other in the newly drawn 3rd District, and both the NRCC and DCCC have started airing ads there. Latham is the slight favorite in this race given his significant financial advantage, but Boswell has represented more of the district in the past. At the end of the third quarter of 2012, Latham had more than $1.5 million in cash on hand, compared with $226,000 for Boswell. Crossroads GPS, a conservative advocacy group backed by Karl Rove, the NRCCand Latham's campaign ran ads hitting Boswell for his votes in favor of TARP, the stimulus package and Obamacare. Despite Latham's monetary advantage, this race should be close — a DCCC poll from September found the two men tied at 45 percent. Given Latham's financial advantage and intervention from Republican outside groups, the NRCC canceled its ad reservations here in October.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Tie
 

# Iowa 4th District  

Conservative firebrand Rep. Steve King (R) is facing his first serious reelection fight since he joined Congress in 2003 due to Democratic gains from redistricting and a challenge from a well-known Democratic opponent, former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack. Though Vilsack is a strong fundraiser, it will take likely a nearly flawless campaign to unseat the well-entrenched King, who has amassed a huge campaign war chest. However, King may be hurt by some recent inflammatory comments he's made. In the wake of the Todd Akin "legitimate rape" controversy, King said he's never heard of a girl getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest. He also said that unemployment benefits only serve to create "a nation of slackers." Mitt Romney drew fire from the Obama campaign for endorsing King during an Iowa campaign swing. Three Democratic groups — House Majority PAC, the SEIU and AFSCME — are teaming up to pump $400,000 worth of ads into the Des Moines and Sioux City media markets attacking King, and Vilsack's campaign has been hitting King for voting to cut Medicare. Meanwhile, the NRCC has run ads tying Vilsack to President Obama (though it has canceled its ad buy here for October), and King has vowed to repeal Obamacare. Three different polls from September found King leading Vilsack by small margins, but he was under 50 percent in all of them.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
King +4
 

# Kentucky 6th District  

Rep. Ben Chandler (D), a member of the Blue Dog Coalition who voted against President Obama's health care reform law, barely held on to this conservative Lexington area district in 2010, defeating attorney Andy Barr (R) by fewer than 700 votes. This time around, the DCCC has added Chandler to its "Frontline" program for vulnerable Democratic incumbents, while the NRCC started airing ads against him in September, tying him to President Obama. Barr is back for a rematch in 2012 and has been added to the "Young Gun" recruitment program. He has vowed to repeal Obamacare, and has been airing ads attacking Chandler and the Environmental Protection Agency for costing Kentucky thousands of coal jobs. Chandler has hit Barr for supporting Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) proposed cuts to Medicare. While the 6th District is still quite conservative, it became slightly more favorable to Chandler after redistricting. Still, given how close this race was last time, it is worth keeping an eye on at the very least. Barr's internal polls have shown him trailing by single digits and gaining on the incumbent, while Chandler's internal numbers show him with a comfortable double-digit lead.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Chandler +8.5
 

# Maryland 6th District  

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R) has represented this safely Republican district in western Maryland for the last 20 years, and has not faced any real competition since he was elected to Congress. However, the 6th District was redrawn to include parts of liberal Montgomery County in the Washington D.C. suburbs, making Bartlett — a member of the House Tea Party Caucus — vulnerable for reelection. Businessman John Delaney (D), who upset the state establishment favorite in the Democratic primary, has out-raised Bartlett in the last two quarters, even though he trailed in total cash on hand at the end of June. Delaney ran an ad in September criticizing Bartlett for cutting Medicare, voting against raising the minimum wage and giving tax breaks to oil companies. Bartlett may also have shot himself in the foot by claiming that federally-issued student loans are the first step down a "slippery slope" that could lead to something like the Holocaust. An October poll sponsored by the Baltimore Sun found Delaney leading Bartlett by just one point.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Delaney +1
 

# Massachusetts 6th District  

In Massachusetts' 6th District, Richard Tisei (R), a former state senate minority leader and 2010 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, is challenging eight-term Rep. John Tierney (D). This North Shore district became slightly more conservative since redistricting, giving Republicans their only opportunity to play offense in this deeply blue state. Tierney's reputation has been tarnished in part by his wife, "who served a month in jail in 2011 after pleading guilty to helping her brother conceal income from an offshore gambling enterprise," according to the Washington Post. Tierney is facing allegations that he had knowledge of the gambling ring. Tisei's campaign and YG Action Fund have run ads accusing him of lying about his knowledge of the gambling ring. Tisei, who is socially liberal and openly gay, has proven himself to be a serious candidate: He has outraised the congressman in the last three quarters and had more cash on hand at the end of June. His campaign may also be helped by a super PAC started by billionaire Republican donor Paul Singer, who is raising money for Republican candidates who support same-sex marriage. Tierney's first ad of the cycle tied Tisei to the Tea Party movement in an attempt to paint him as too "extreme" for the district. The DCCC has reserved millions in advertising time in the Boston media market for the fall. An independent MassINC poll from September found Tierney ahead 46 to 34 percent, but an independent Boston Globe/UNH poll conducted two weeks later found Tisei up by 6 points (Tisei's internal polling has him in the lead too). In October, Tisei was endorsed by the Boston Globe — no easy feat for a Massachusetts Republican. Even though the demographics of the district should favor Tierney, the combination of his baggage and Tisei's unique background and fundraising bona fides may just prove to be the perfect storm in turning this seat red.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Tisei +0.7
 

# Michigan 1st District  

Tea Party favorite Rep. Dan Benishek (R) was elected to this Upper Peninsula seat in 2010, defeating former state Rep. Gary McDowell (D) by 11 points. McDowell, who has been endorsed by the Blue Dog Coalition, is challenging Benishek again and has been keeping up with the congressman in fundraising. Since the district has a sizable population of senior citizens, the DCCC, AFSCME and McDowell's campaign have run ads targeting Benishek for his vote in favor of Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget plan, claiming it would "essentially end Medicare," in order to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy (the NRCC has run parallel Medicare ads against McDowell). Additionally, the League of Conservation Voters ran an ad accusing Benishek of letting polluters contaminate the Great Lakes and the Upper Peninsula's drinking water. The NRCC has added Benishek to its "Patriot" program for vulnerable Republican incumbents, and McDowell has been added to the DCCC's "Red to Blue" recruitment program. This race is probably the best chance for the Democrats to win back a seat in the Great Lakes state this year. Recent Democratic polls have shown McDowell with a single-digit lead over Benishek.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
McDowell +3
 

# Michigan 3rd District  

Rep. Justin Amash (R) was elected in 2010 with the backing of the Tea Party movement, but has since voted as a libertarian in the likeness of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.). In fact, he was one of only three Republican congressman to endorse Paul in the 2012 Republican presidential primary, and he voted against Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget proposal in 2012, saying its spending cuts didn't go far enough. Amash was also one of a few Republicans to vote against the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, citing that the president's expanded authority to detain suspected terrorists is "one of the most anti-liberty pieces of legislation in our lifetime." Amash starts off as the favorite against self-funding former state Rep. Steve Pestka (D) in this conservative Grand Rapids area district. An October internal poll for Pestka's campaign found Amash ahead 48 to 44 percent, while an Amash internal poll released two weeks later found the congressman up by 14 points.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Amash +9
 

# Michigan 11th District  

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R), who ran a quixotic campaign for president in 2012, resigned from Congress after most of the petition signatures for his reelection effort were found to be fraudulent. The only Republican candidate who collected enough valid signatures to get on the ballot was Kerry Bentivolio (R), a reindeer farmer and public school teacher who identifies himself with the Tea Party and libertarian movements. He defeated state Sen. Nancy Cassis (R), who ran as a write-in candidate with the backing of the local GOP establishment, in the Republican primary. The Detroit Free Press reported that as a teacher, Bentivolio told students that they "were just a paycheck" to him and threatened to make them cry and pound on their desks, which ultimately caused him to resign. Bentivolio's electoral prospects against Democratic nominee Syed Taj (D) are uncertain, but given the Republican lean of this district he still has the advantage in this race. An October poll from Foster-McCollum White Baydoun found Bentivolio leading Taj 47 to 39 percent.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Bentivolio +8
 

# Minnesota 2nd District  

Rep. John Kline (R), who has represented the reliably Republican second district since 2003, drew the short straw with the state's new redistricting map. He is now running in this newly drawn swing district stretching from the Twin Cities to Rochester, and is potentially vulnerable for the first time since he was elected. Democratic nominee Mike Obermueller (D), a state representative, still faces an uphill battle in November, given that the well-entrenched Kline had more than $1.3 million sitting in his campaign war chest at the end of June. An independent SurveyUSA poll from October found Kline ahead 49 to 41 percent.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Kline +8
 

# Minnesota 6th District  

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R), a perennial elusive target for national Democrats, looked to be relatively safe for reelection after launching a failed bid for the presidency. She had more than $1.7 million in the bank at the end of June, and is once again running in a very conservative district. However, she is getting a tougher-than-expected challenge from challenger Jim Graves (D). An August internal poll conducted for Grave's campaign showed Bachmann ahead by just two points, 48 to 46 percent. Graves has run ads accusing Bachmann of putting her national ambition above her responsibilities to her district. While many are skeptical that Graves can make this race competitive, Bachmann's national notoriety and the lack of an Independence Party spoiler on the ballot this year could put this race on the national parties' radars. Bachmann went on the offensive in September, hitting Graves for supporting the stimulus package, Wall Street reform and Obamacare. But all things considered, Bachmann should still win a fourth term. Two independent polls from October found her leading by 6 and 9 points.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Bachmann +6
 

# Minnesota 8th District  

The Democratic-leaning 8th District, which includes the city of Duluth, presents the best pick-opportunity for Democrats in Minnesota. Freshman Rep. Chip Cravaack (R), who unexpectedly defeated incumbent Jim Oberstar (D) in 2010, is quite vulnerable this year. He will face former Rep. Rick Nolan (D), a "Red to Blue" candidate, in the general election and the NRCC has added Cravaack to its "Patriot" program for vulnerable Republican incumbents. American Action Network launched ad against Nolan, saying his views on Medicare are out of the mainstream, and the NRCC attacked him for voting to raise his own pay and for frequently skipping votes while serving in Congress. Democratic House Majority PAC has run ads attacking Cravaack for his vote for Paul Ryan's budget proposal while supporting tax cuts for millionaires. Most recent Democratic and independent polls show Nolan narrowly ahead, while an internal poll for Cravaack's campaign found him leading 50 to 40 percent.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Nolan +2.5
 

# Montana At Large District Open Seat

Rep. Denny Rehberg (R), who has represented the entire state of Montana since 2001, chose to challenge Sen. Jon Tester (D) instead of running for a seventh term. Given the conservative nature of the state, businessman Steve Daines (R) has the upper hand against state Sen. Kim Gillan (D) in the general election. Gillan has tried to portray herself as an independent, while Daines has been touting his support for a balanced budget amendment, gun owners rights, low taxes, and a repeal of Obamacare. Three independent polls from October found Daines leading Gillan by high single-digit margins.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Daines +7.1
 

# Nevada 3rd District  

Freshman Rep. Joe Heck (R) won this suburban Las Vegas swing district by less than 2,000 votes two years ago, and is vulnerable in his first reelection effort in 2012. The 3rd District became evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans after redistricting, so this race should attract significant attention from both party committees. The DCCC landed a strong recruit in state Assembly Speaker John Oceguera (D), who out-raised Heck by more than $100,000 in the first quarter. However, Heck had accumulated a campaign war chest of more than $1.2 million by the end of June, more than double Oceguera's total. The two candidates have reserved more than $1.4 million in combined television airtime in the Las Vegas media market for the fall. Democratic House Majority PAC has run ads hitting Heck for his voting record on women's issues, while the DCCC has attacked Heck for voting against requiring insurance companies to cover cervical cancer vaccines. The NRCC has criticized Oceguera for his tax and spending record as state assembly speaker. The outcome of this close race may ultimately be determined by how President Obama and Mitt Romney fare at the top of the ticket and by the local unemployment rate, which is among the highest in the country. An independent SurveyUSA poll from September and an internal poll for Heck's campaign found him leading Oceguera by double-digits, while two Democratic polls from September and October found Heck leading by 4 and 5 points, respectively.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Heck +8.3
 

# Nevada 4th District New District

Due to population increases, Nevada gained a seat from the redistricting process, which was drawn to favor Democrats. State Sen. Majority Leader Steven Horsford (D) starts off as the favorite in this race against self-funding businessman Danny Tarkanian (R), who unsuccessfully ran for Senate in 2010. Tarkanian, a member of a famous Nevada family, is in some legal trouble and may have to file for bankruptcy — not the best message for someone who is campaigning on bringing Washington's spending under control. Horsford's campaign has tried to tie Tarkanian to the Tea Party, while the NRCC has run ads hitting Horsford over "pay to play" allegations while in the state legislature, and for defaulting on his loans and not paying his personal bills. An independent SurveyUSA poll from September found Tarkanian leading Horsford by three points, while Tarkanian's internal polling has him ahead by more.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Tarkanian +6.5
 

# New Hampshire 1st District  

Freshman Rep. Frank Guinta (R), the former mayor of Manchester, defeated incumbent Carol Shea-Porter (D) by nearly 12 points in 2010 as the Granite State swung firmly to Republicans up and down the ballot. Shea-Porter is back for a rematch to reclaim her old swing district, which has a large number of independent voters. In September she accused Guinta for voting to cut billions from veterans' programs, including health care and housing. Additionally, the DCCC aired an ad attacking Guinta for wanting to put the government in charge of women's health decisions. Guinta has since refuted these attacks, while criticizing Shea-Porter for voting for the 2009 economic stimulus package. After Republicans scored victories across New Hampshire in 2010, the outcome of this race may depend on whether the Democrats can swing the whole state back to their column in 2012. The polls have been all over the place in this race, but most show it to be close.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Guinta +1.8
 

# New Hampshire 2nd District  

Rep. Charlie Bass (R) defeated Ann McLane Kuster (D) by a slim one-point margin in this Democratic-leaning open seat in 2010. Kuster is back for a rematch this year, could get a boost from a more favorable political terrain and from having Barack Obama at the top of the ticket. Obama handily won the district in 2008. She has also outraised Bass in the last five quarters, and had more money in the bank at the end of June. This race presents a decent pick-up opportunity for Democrats and is a high priority for the DCCC, which has run ads in the expensive Boston media market to attack Bass for toeing the Republican party line and supporting Paul Ryan's budget plan, which would overhaul Medicare. The NRCC has also reserved airtime in the district to prop up Bass, who has criticized Kuster for supporting Obamacare. Kuster started running an ad in September hitting Bass for supporting the privatization of Social Security and for supporting the Ryan budget plan. Democratic House Majority PAC has also hammered Bass for calling the Ryan budget a "great statement of principle." Kuster has been running slightly ahead of Bass in recent polling.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Kuster +1.8
 

# New Jersey 3rd District  

Former Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Jon Runyan (R) ousted incumbent John Adler by three points in 2010. Adler, who was the first Democrat to represent the district in more than a century, had planned to challenge Runyan in 2012 but died in April 2011. His wife, attorney Shelley Adler (D), is running in his place. Despite having out-raised Runyan in the first two quarters of 2012, she faces an uphill battle since the 3rd District was redrawn to be more conservative. During redistricting, the Democratic stronghold of Cherry Hill (Adler's hometown) was replaced by the more conservative Brick township, which has a high population of senior citizens. Adler has run ads tying Runyan to Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget plan, which would overhaul Medicare. The NRCC has added Runyan to its "Patriot" program for vulnerable Republican incumbents. Runyan's campaign released an internal poll in September showing him leading Adler 51 to 34 percent, and an independent Stockton poll from October found Runyan up 10. Both the NRCC and DCCC pulled their ad reservations from the Philadelphia media market for the week of October 23-29, a sign that both committees see Runyan as the favorite.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Runyan +13.5
 

# New York 1st District  

Rep. Tim Bishop (D) defeated businessman Randy Altschuler (R) by a razor-thin margin in this eastern Long Island swing district in 2010. Altschuler is back for a rematch in 2012, and has outraised Bishop in two of the last three quarters. Even though Altschuler has the ability to self-fund his campaign, Bishop should be in better shape this time around due to his sizable campaign war chest, which was more than $1.5 million at the end of June. The race took a bizarre turn in August, when Bishop allegedly asked a wealthy constituent for a campaign contribution in exchange for approving the use of fireworks at his son's Bar Mitzvah party. This prompted Bishop to cut a video where he explains that he is "not a criminal." Given how close Altschuler came last time, the NRCC is bullish about his chances and has added him to its "Young Guns" recruitment program. Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS launched their first House ad in this district. The DCCC has added Bishop to its "Frontline" program for vulnerable Democratic incumbents, and House Majority PAC has aired ads criticizing Altschuler for developing an industry "devoted to making outsourcing happen." Democratic and independent polls have found Bishop firmly ahead, but Republican polls have found Altschuler with small single-digits leads over the congressman.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Altschuler +4.5
 

# New York 11th District  

Freshman Rep. Michael Grimm (R), who narrowly ousted incumbent Democrat Mike McMahon in this Staten Island-based district in 2010, should have been a shoo-in for reelection in 2012, but he has been mired in scandal since the beginning of 2012. A January New York Times investigative article revealed that Grimm and an aide to a New York rabbi said that they would find a way to accept cash donations that were over the legal limit or from foreigners without green cards. Grimm vehemently denied that he had done anything to break the law. One month later, the Times reported on Grimm's questionable business dealings with convicted felon Carlos Luquis. While Grimm was cleared by the Office of Congressional Ethics in July, he still faces an FBI investigation on the alleged campaign finance law violations. The DCCC is actively targeting Grimm this year, and even launched a website highlighting the investigations against him. However, Democratic nominee Mark Murphy (D), a former aide to the New York City public advocate, is seen as a lackluster candidate by local Democratic officials, and has mostly been focusing on Grimm's ongoing investigation in his ads. Despite Grimm's legal and ethical woes, this race remains his to lose, due in large part to his plentiful campaign coffers and the traditionally conservative nature of the district. An indpedenet Siena poll from October found Grimm up by 18 points.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Grimm +18
 

# New York 18th District  

First-term Rep. Nan Hayworth (R), who was elected in this suburban swing district by six points in 2010 with the help of the Tea Party, is a top target for Democrats in 2012. She will face attorney Sean Patrick Maloney (D), a former aide to Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson who ran for attorney general in 2006. Maloney out-raised Hayworth in the first quarter of 2012, but has taken some flak for his Manhattan residence. Hayworth is no fundraising slouch either. At the end of the second quarter, she was sitting on a $1.5 million campaign war chest. However, Maloney, the DCCC, Democratic House Majority PAC and AFSCME are making the case that Hayworth's voting record over the past two years, including her vote against health care reform, has been too conservative for the district. Hayworth has called Maloney a carpetbagging lifetime political operative in her ads. Most recent polls have found Hayworth running slightly ahead of Maloney.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Hayworth +5.5
 

# New York 19th District  

Freshman Rep. Chris Gibson (R), who was elected to a Republican-leaning upstate district in 2010 by a comfortable 10-point margin, must now run for reelection in this newly drawn swing district. He will face former CIA attorney Julian Schreibman (D), who assisted in the prosecution and conviction of four al Qaeda members for bombing U.S. embassies in Africa. Schreibman is untested as a candidate, but this race should be quite close given the demographics of the district. However, it will be difficult for Schreibman to paint Gibson as too conservative for the district since Gibson is known for bucking his party. He was one of the few Republican congressmen to vote against Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal in 2012 (even though he voted for it in 2011). The DCCC ran an ad in September tying Gibson to Mitt Romney, the first ad of its kind this cycle. Meanwhile, Crossroads GPS is spending $460,000 on ads attacking Schreibman. Gibson has led Schreibman by varying margins in recent Democratic and Republican polls.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Gibson +6.1
 

# New York 21st District  

In 2010, businessman Matt Doheny (R) came within 2,000 votes of unseating Rep. Bill Owens (D). Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman, who dropped out of the race and endorsed Doheny a month before the election, received about 10,000 votes (his name was still on the ballot) and is widely believed to have cost Doheny the election. Doheny is back to run against Owens in 2012, and has secured support from the Conservative Party, ensuring that the Republican vote will not be split this time. In anticipation of a close race, the DCCC has placed Owens on its "Frontline" program for vulnerable Democratic incumbents, while the NRCC has added Doheny to its list of "Young Gun" recruits. The NRCC has run ads against Owens for his vote in favor of Obamacare, while the DCCC has been hitting Doheny for saying that Paul Ryan's budget, which would overhaul Medicare, "doesn't go far enough." Doheny has criticized Owens for supporting tax increases in his television ads and Owens has sought to portray Doheny as a predatory Wall Street venture capitalist and tax avoider. Owens starts off as the slight favorite in this race, but a strong campaign by Doheny may give him the chance to finish what he started in 2010. In October, an independent Siena poll found Owens leading Doheny by one point, an internal poll for Doheny's campaign found Owens up by two, and an internal poll for Owens' campaign found him ahead by seven points.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Owens +0.4
 

# New York 24th District  

Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R) defeated incumbent Dan Maffei (D) in 2010 by just 648 votes with the help of the Tea Party in this district located between Syracuse and Rochester. Maffei is back to challenge Buerkle again, and is slightly favored to take back his old seat due to his slight fundraising advantage and the Democratic tilt of the district since redistricting. Maffei and the DCCC have hammered Buerkle for being too conservative for the district, citing her opposition to President Obama's health care reform law, her desire to abolish the Department of Education, her support for Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal, and for co-sponsoring a bill with Missouri Rep. Todd Akin (R) that would redefine rape as only "forcible rape.". The NRCC has added Buerkle to its "Patriot" program for vulnerable GOP incumbents, and have reserved fall airtime in the district on her behalf. An independent Siena poll from September found Buerkle and Maffei tied at 43 percent, while most Democratic internal polls have shown Maffei leading. It is notable that in all of the polls, Buerkle's support is under 50 percent — a dangerous sign for any incumbent. This seat is the most promising pick-up opportunity for Democrats in the Empire State.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Maffei +1.8
 

# New York 25th District  

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D), who is seeking a 14th term in this Rochester area district, is facing her first serious challenge since 1986. Her previously safe Democratic district was drawn to become much more conservative after the latest round of redistricting, and she is running against Maggie Brooks (R), a popular 57 year-old former local TV anchor. Brooks out-raised Slaughter by nearly $50,000 in the first quarter of 2012 and just about matched her haul in the second quarter. Slaughter's age (82) and health will likely be issues in the campaign, and Brooks could also get a boost by the fact that the newly configured district is now entirely within the confines of Monroe County, where she serves as a county executive. Sensing her vulnerability, Slaughter started to go negative against Brooks over her tenure as Monroe county executive, even accusing her of corruption. Brooks has run ads accusing Slaughter of raising her own pay in Congress while voting to raise taxes on the middle class. While Slaughter remains a slight favorite in the race, voters in this district may ultimately end up choosing some young blood to represent the district in 2012. An independent Siena poll from October found Slaughter leading Brooks 52 to 42 percent, which closely matches the results from Slaughter's internal polls.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Slaughter +7.5
 

# New York 27th District  

After Rep. Chris Lee (R) resigned in February of 2011, Kathy Hochul (D) won a close special election, successfully running against the controversial Republican budget plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that would overhaul Medicare. She was also helped by a split in the Republican vote, due to the presence of a Tea Party candidate who attracted 9 percent of the vote. Since she will likely face only one Republican candidate in November, she faces a tough battle in her bid for a full term in this conservative district, despite her sizable large campaign war chest. In her ads, she has cited her support for a balanced budget amendment and has distanced herself from President Obama. The NRCC has paid for a billboard truck to drive around the district tying Hochul to President Obama and Obamacare, both of which are unpopular in this conservative Buffalo area district. The DCCC has added her to its "Frontline" program for vulnerable Democratic incumbents. Former Erie County Executive Chris Collins (R) is the Republican nominee, but has a spotty track record in the area. Despite having an accomplished record as county executive and the ability to self-fund his candidacy, Collins was defeated in his 2011 reelection bid. Since announcing his bid for Congress, Collins has not taken a position on Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget and has been attacked by Democratic House Majority PAC over his tenure as county executive. This will be one of the most closely watched races in the country, and may serve as a referendum of sorts on the Ryan budget. An August poll funded by the conservative American Action Network found Collins leading 47 to 34 percent. However, an independent October poll from Siena College found Collins and Hochul tied at 47 percent. The NRCC canceled their ad reservations in the district after American Action Network announced a $600,000 ad buy in the district from October and November.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Tie
 

# North Carolina 7th District  

After declining to run for governor, Rep. Mike McIntyre (D) announced that he was running for reelection in the highly conservative 7th District. McIntyre, one of the few remaining members of the House Blue Dog Caucus, faces a tough race against "Young Gun" state Sen. David Rouzer (R) in the general election, despite his financial advantage. McIntyre has campaigning as a conservative, distancing himself from President Obama and citing his endorsement from the National Rifle Association. The DCCC, which is investing heavily in the race, ran an ad attacking him for his support of Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget. McIntyre's campaign has hit Rouzer for supporting tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and for working as a lobbyist to provide amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants. The NRCC started running ads against McIntyre in the Wilmington media market in August, criticizing his vote for the stimulus package. YG Action Fund and Rouzer's campaign also ran ads in September criticizing McIntyre for voting for the 2009 stimulus package and tying him to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Internal polling from both campaigns has shown McIntyre in the lead, albeit by varying margins.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
McIntyre +10.7
 

# North Carolina 8th District  

The 8th District, which is east of Charlotte, became significantly more conservative after redistricting, making sophomore Rep. Larry Kissell (D) one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the country. President Obama won the old district with 53 percent, but would have won only 42 percent of the vote in the newly configured district. Despite internal polling showing him clinging to a small lead, Kissell, a member of the DCCC's "Frontline" program, is expected to lose to his opponent, Richard Hudson (R), in November. Internal polling conducted for the NRCC in September found Hudson leading Kissell 50 to 41 percent. The DCCC canceled all of their ad reservations in the district, essentially revealing that it does not believe that this race is winnable.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Hudson +4
 

# North Carolina 11th District Open Seat

The 11th District became the most conservative in the Tar Heel State after most of the liberal city of Asheville was removed from it during redistricting. Instead of running for a fourth term in this hostile terrain, Blue Dog Rep. Heath Shuler (D) announced in February that he would retire, making this an almost-certain pick-up opportunity for Republicans. Real estate investor Mark Meadows (R) is the heavy favorite to defeat Hayden Rogers (D), Shuler's former chief of staff, in the general election.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
 

# North Carolina 13th District Open Seat

Rep. Brad Miller (D) has easily held onto his Raleigh area district for five terms, but chose not to run for reelection after his district swung strongly to the right after redistricting. John McCain would have won the newly configured district with 54 percent, but won only 40 percent of the vote in the old district. Former U.S. Attorney George Holding (R), who earned notoriety for prosecuting John Edwards, won the Republican nomination in May. Barring a major scandal, he should defeat state employee Charles Malone (D) in the general election and become the next congressman from the 13th District.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
 

# North Dakota At Large District Open Seat

Just months after being elected to the House in 2010, Rep. Rick Berg (R) entered the race for the state's open Senate seat after Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad announced that he would retire. Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer (R), backed by conservative groups such as the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, won a closely contested Republican primary. Given the Republican lean of the state, he starts off with the advantage over former state Rep. Pam Gulleson (D), a highly touted Democratic recruit that has been running as a moderate, in the statewide general election. Four independent polls from October showed Cramer leading Gulleson by double-digit margins, and the DCCC canceled its ad buy in the state a month earlier.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Cramer +14
 

# Ohio 6th District  

After being defeated by Bill Johnson (R) by five points in 2010, former Rep. Charlie Wilson (D) is back for a rematch in 2012, despite Democratic losses from redistricting. Still, the NRCC is not taking any chances, and has added Johnson to its "Patriot" program to prop up the vulnerable incumbent's campaign. The DCCC aired an ad hitting Johnson's former corporation for profiting from shipping jobs overseas and avoiding the ensuing taxes. Johnson has run ads attacking Wilson for supporting Obamacare, claiming it will cause billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare, while Wilson has hit Johnson for voting for Paul Ryan's budget, which he claims will "end Medicare as we know it." A September internal poll conducted for Wilson's campaign found the two men tied at 46 percent, but a Johnson internal poll conducted two weeks later found the congressman ahead by 8. Still, given the conservative nature of this eastern Ohio district, Johnson is the slight favorite to win a second term.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Johnson +4
 

# Ohio 7th District  

Rep. Bob Gibbs (R) ousted two-term incumbent Zack Space (D) by thirteen points in 2010 in this Republican-leaning district, and is the odds-on favorite to win reelection in 2012. Gibbs will face businesswoman Joyce Healy-Abrams (D) in the general election, who has been added to the DCCC's "Red to Blue" program for emerging races. Healy-Abrams' campaign released an ad in September hitting Gibbs for "voting to end Medicare as we know it." Though Gibbs looks relatively safe this year (the DCCC canceled its ad reservations in the district), the NRCC has added Gibbs to its "Patriot" program for potentially vulnerable Republican incumbents.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
 

# Ohio 16th District  

Due to population losses in the last decade, Ohio lost two House seats, forcing fellow incumbents Jim Renacci (R) and Betty Sutton (D) to face off against each other in Ohio's most competitive House election of the cycle. Both of them have been added to their party committee's program for vulnerable incumbents, each of which view the race as a prime target. Renacci probably has the slight edge in this race given his sizable campaign war chest (more than $1.5 million), superior familiarity with the area (he represented the majority of it for the past two years), and a slight Republican tilt to the district. The DCCC started running a tough ad in September featuring a breast cancer survivor criticizing Renacci for voting against life-saving breast and cervical cancer screenings, and Democratic House Majority PAC hit him for protecting tax breaks for big oil companies while owning their stocks. Meanwhile, Speaker John Boehner's (R) Congressional Leadership Fund has run ads tying Sutton to Nancy Pelosi. Recent Democratic internal polls have shown Sutton and Renacci running neck-and-neck, while an October internal poll for Renacci's campaign found him up by 10 points. The results here may be heavily affected by the parties' respective turnout operations at the presidential level.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Renacci +10
 

# Oklahoma 2nd District Open Seat

Rep. Dan Boren (D), a Blue Dog Democrat who has represented this extremely conservative second district since 2005, decided to retire rather than run for a fifth term. Republicans were already targeting the district prior to his retirement announcement. They are pushing even harder now that this is an open seat contest in deeply Republican territory, and should succeed in flipping this seat. Former U.S. Attorney Rob Wallace (D), the Democratic nominee, has been added to the DCCC's "Red to Blue" program for emerging races. He starts off as the underdog against plumbing company owner Markwayne Mullin (R), a "Young Gun" candidate.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Mullen +12
 

# Pennsylvania 6th District  

In 2010, five-term Rep. Jim Gerlach (R) easily defeated physician and Iraq War veteran Manan Trivedi (D) in this suburban Philadelphia district. Trivedi is back for a rematch in 2012, but the district became more favorable to Gerlach after redistricting, and he is likely to fend off another challenge this year. However, Gerlach is taking no chances, cutting an ad attacking Trivedi for supporting the 2009 stimulus package. An August internal poll for Gerlach's campaign found him way ahead of Trivedi, 54 to 30 percent. The NRCC and DCCC have pulled their money from the Philadelphia media market for the last week in October, moving it to races that they deem to be more competitive.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Gerlach +24
 

# Pennsylvania 8th District  

Mike Fitzpatrick (R) defeated incumbent Patrick Murphy (D) by seven points in this Democratic-leaning district in 2010, but he is only slightly favored to win reelection in 2012. His Bucks County district still tilts Democratic, but he enjoys a comfortable cash on hand advantage over his challenger, Bucks County attorney Kathy Boockvar (D). In her first ad, Boockvar criticized Fitzpatrick for voting to "weaken" the Violence Against Women Act and for sponsoring a bill to redefine rape, while Fitzpatrick's campaign has hit Boockvar for supporting Obamacare. The DCCC has added her to its "Red to Blue" program, and the NRCC has added Fitzpatrick to its "Patriot" program designed to aid the reelection campaigns of vulnerable Republican incumbents, but the NRCC and DCCC both pulled their ad reservations out of the Philadelphia media markets for the week of October 23-29, a sign that Fitzpatrick is probably safe.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
 

# Pennsylvania 12th District  

As a result of redistricting, fellow incumbents Jason Altmire (D) and Mark Critz (D) faced off against each other in the Democratic primary in the newly drawn conservative 12th District in western Pennsylvania. With the help of local unions and Bill Clinton's endorsement, Critz narrowly defeated Altmire in the April primary. Since winning the primary, Critz — a "Frontline" Democrat — has been trying to distance himself from the Environmental Protection Agency and President Obama, who is unpopular in the district, and has announced that he would not attend the Democratic National Convention. Since the district has a high number of of Medicare recipients, Critz has tied his opponent, Keith Rothfus (R), to Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget, which would make significant cuts to the popular entitlement program. The NRCC started running ads against Critz hitting him for voting for Obamacare in the Pittsburgh media market in August, and has added him to its "Young Gun" recruitment program. The DCCC hit back with an ad in September citing Rothfus' tenuous ties to China and criticized him for signing a pledge that protected tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. Democratic House Majority PAC and AFSCME have sought to portray Rothfus as a millionaire Wall Street lawyer. At the end of June, Rothfus had more cash on hand than the Democratic incumbent. Democratic internal polls have shown Critz solidly ahead, while recent Reublican-leaning polls have Rothfus to be slightly ahead. This is shaping up to be the most competitive race in the state, and potentially one of the most competitive in the country.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Rothfus +0.1
 

# Rhode Island 1st District  

Despite the fact that Rep. David Cicilline (D) is in one of the safest Democratic districts in the country (and it became even bluer after redistricting), he is one of the most endangered incumbents of the 2012 cycle. Cicilline, the former mayor of Providence, described the city's financial situation as "excellent" while running for Congress in 2010. Almost as soon as he took office, it was revealed that Providence was $110 million in debt when he left office, and he has become deeply unpopular since then among voters who felt they were misled. He emerged from late bruising primary against conservative businessman Anthony Gemma (D), who accused him of voter fraud. Cicilline is facing a strong candidate in former state police superintendent Brendan Doherty (R), and went negative against him right after the primary, tying him to Mitt Romney, whom he said would be "fantastic for Rhode Island." Doherty has run ads calling Cicilline untrustworthy for lying about the state of Providence's debt as mayor. Though Cicilline trailed in early polling of the race, the race began to tighten in the fall. On October poll from Fleming & Associates found him leading Doherty by just one point, 43 to 42 percent. Since the district is so blue, voters who don't like Cicilline but can't stomach voting for a Republican may choose to cast their ballot for independent candidate David Vogel, who has been polling in the high single digits, which would ultimately help Cicilline. This would be quite an embarrassing loss for the Democratic Party in a district where President Obama won two-thirds of the vote in 2008.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Cicilline +3.7
 

# Tennessee 4th District  

Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R), a physician, looked to be completely safe until allegations surfaced in October that he had a sexual relationship with a patient, and then pressured her to have an abortion after she became pregnant. DesJarlais had previously said that he only supports abortion in cases of rape or to save the mother's life. Then, a second girlfriend spoke up saying he had illegally prescribed her medication at his house and that they had smoked marijuana together. In October, an internal poll for DesJarlais' campaign found him leading challenger Eric Stewart (D) by thirteen points, while an internal poll for Stewart's campaign found him trailing the embattled congressman by five points.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
DesJarlais +9
 

# Texas 14th District Open Seat

Rep. Ron Paul (R) left this seat open to pursue his presidential bid, but the district is conservative enough that it will likely stay in Republican hands. State Rep. Randy Weber (R), the Republican nominee and "Young Gun", is favored to defeat former Rep. Nick Lampson (D) in November. However, an August internal poll conducted for Lampson's campaign found him trailing Weber by three points.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Weber +3
 

# Texas 23rd District  

Rep. Francisco "Quico" Canseco (R) unseated incumbent Ciro Rodriguez (D) in 2010 by five points in this southwestern border district, which includes part of San Antonio. Even though this district is on the conservative side, the majority of its citizens are Hispanic, giving state Rep. Pete Gallego (D) a chance if turnout is high. The NRCC has added Canseco to its "Patriot Program," which is designed to protect endangered Republican incumbents, and has reserved fall airtime on his behalf. The DCCC ran an ad in September criticizing Canseco over misdeeds over the course of his business career, and the League of Conservation Voters has hit Canseco for voting for tax breaks for millionaires and against "clean" energy. A September poll conducted for the Sierra Club found him leading Canseco by 5 points, but an internal poll for Canseco's campaign showed him up by 10. This is likely to be the only seriously competitive House race in the Lone Star State in 2012, and it has become one of the most expensive races in the country.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Canseco +2.5
 

# Utah 4th District  

Rep. Jim Matheson (D), who has represented the deeply conservative 2nd District since 2000, announced that he would be running for reelection in the newly created 4th District, which is also very conservative. After coming close to unseating Matheson in 2010, Utah Republicans are bullish about their prospects in 2012 and will spare no expense in trying to defeat him. They believe they have found a strong (and unusual) recruit to take him on: Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love (R), a black Mormon conservative woman. Matheson, who has long been a political survivor in unfriendly terrain, is likely to face the toughest competition of his political career, and this race has been drawing a great deal of outside attention. Matheson, per usual, skipped the Democratic National Convention to distance himself from the national party. Most recent polls show Love running ahead of Matheson.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Love +8.1
 

# Virginia 2nd District  

Freshman Rep. Scott Rigell (R) defeated incumbent Glenn Nye (D) by 10 points in this conservative coastal district in 2010, and is in a decent position for reelection. However, his opponent, Virginia Beach businessman Paul Hirschbiel (D), outraised Rigell in three of the last four quarters. This got the attention of the DCCC, which has added him to its "Red to Blue" recruitment program, while Democratic House Majority PAC aired an ad against Rigell claiming that he doesn't care about the middle class. Hirschbiel has sought to portray Rigell as extreme on abortion and Medicare in his ads. A September internal poll for Hirschbiel's campaign found him trailing by nine points, 49 to 40 percent, but a Rigell campaign internal poll and an independent Muhlenberg College poll from October both found Rigell with comfortable double-digit leads. The DCCC and NRCC canceled their ad buys in the Norfolk media market in September.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Rigell +14.3
 

# Washington 1st District  

In March, Rep. Jay Inslee (D) announced that he would be resigning from the House to focus his full efforts on his gubernatorial campaign, setting up a vacancy in this competitive district. Snohomish County Councilman John Koster (R) will face off in the general election against self-funding former Microsoft executive Suzan DelBene (D) in a race that has become closer than expected. Democratic House Majority PAC ran an ad in September hitting Koster for wanting to limit abortion rights. Koster has come under fire for suggesting that immigrant farm workers should be tagged with bar codes to make sure that they are working legally. An independent SurveyUSA poll from October found DelBene leading Koster by 3 points. The DCCC cut its ad reservation in the 1st district, presumably because it believes that DelBene is in a strong financial position for the home stretch of the campaign.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
DelBene +3
 

# West Virginia 3rd District  

In 2010, Rep. Nick Rahall (D) was reelected by 12 points in this conservative southern West Virginia district. He should be relatively safe for reelection in 2012, but President Obama's unpopularity in the state may make this race competitive. In order to distance himself from Obama and the national party, Rahall — along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D) and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) — will skip the Democratic National Convention this summer. He has also cited how he has "stood up to Obama on the EPA" to protect the district's coal mining jobs. Rahall is facing state Delegate Rick Snuffer (R), who unsuccessfully challenged him in 2004, in the general election. A July internal poll conducted for Rahall's campaign found him way ahead of Snuffer, 62 to 34 percent.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Rahall +28
 

# Wisconsin 7th District  

Freshman Rep. Sean Duffy (R), an attorney and ex-reality show star from MTV's "The Real World," won this Democratic-leaning open seat by seven points in 2010. Redistricting turned it into a pure swing district, making Duffy vulnerable against former state Sen. Pat Kreitlow (D) in the general election. The DCCC is targeting Duffy in the Minneapolis and Wausau media markets, and has added Kreitlow to its "Red to Blue" candidate recruitment program, while the NRCC has added Duffy to its "Patriot" program to prop up his first reelection effort, and aired an ad attacking Kreitlow on his behalf. Two Democratic polls from September found Duffy with a low-single digit lead and under the 50 percent threshold, but an October poll for the conservative American Action Network found Duffy ahead 51 to 40 percent.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Duffy +6
 

# Wisconsin 8th District  

Rep. Reid Ribble (R), who handily defeated incumbent Steve Kagen (D) in 2010, is a modest favorite for reelection this cycle. His district is a bit more conservative than the 7th District, giving him an initial edge over businessman Jamie Wall (D) in the general election, Still, the NRCC has added Ribble to its "Patriot Program," and the DCCC is bullish about unseating the freshman Republican, adding Wall to its "Red to Blue" program as well. A September internal poll for Wall's campaign found him trailing Ribble 47 to 41 percent. The NRCC canceled its ad buy in this district in October, presumably under the assumption that Ribble is safe for reeelection.
Race Ratings
Cook Rothenberg Sabato
Recent polls
Ribble +6

By Aaron Bycoffe, Adam Carlson, Jay Boice and Andrei Scheinkman.

Sources: The Cook Political Report, The Rothenberg Political Report, Sabato's Crystal Ball