Politics Magazine

How Are The Taking Back The House Districts Doing?

Posted on the 17 July 2013 by Polliticstoday @polliticstoday

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Yesterday was actually kind of a big deal if you care about Taking Back The House in 2014.  No, there wasn’t any major moves so to speak and we did not gain a new challenger in a seat that could be flipped blue.  However, we got to check out the early pulses of our races as quarterly fundraising totals were released for all races yesterday.  The DailyKos has a nice table for all of you, so check out this link.

Anyway, lets focus first on races we have previously highlighted and see how things are going.

Minnesota’s Sixth District – Michele Bachmann (incumbent)

  • This was our first diary in the series but with the announcement of Bachmann’s “retirement”, this race has been scrubbed from our series.  

Colorado’s Sixth District – Mike Coffman (incumbent)

  • Mike Coffman (R): $530,000 raised, $102,000 spent, $855,000 cash on hand.
  • Andrew Romanoff (D): $506,000 raised, $80,000 spent, $918,000 cash on hand.

This is looking like one of the best races in the country right about now.  Coffman has flirted with birtherism in the past and this district has a slight Democratic lean.  Romanoff, who challenged Michael Bennet in a Senate primary in 2010 (in which he was endorsed by Bill Clinton, while President Obama went for Bennet), was formerly the Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives.  This is one of the top pickup opportunities for the Democrats in 2014 as Romanoff is a pretty big name.  

Illinois’s 13th District – Rodney Davis (incumbent)

  • Rodney Davis (R): $455,000 raised, $86,000 spent, $703,000 cash on hand.
  • Erika Harold (R): $78,000 raised, $16,000 spent, $62,000 cash on hand.
  • Ann Callis (D):  $226,000 raised, $15,000 spent, $211,000 cash on hand.

Rodney Davis is a first-term Congressman who will have a primary opponent in former Miss America Erika Harold.  Harold appears to be launching a challenge to Davis’s right but it is unknown how serious of a charge she can make.  Callis was the DCCC-recruited candidate who essentially cleared the field.  She’s a former judge and it seems like her campaign has gotten off to a tepid start.  Still, she’s got plenty of time and odds are that Davis will have to spend SOME money against Harold.  Plenty of time left.  Consider dropping a few dollars to Callis’s campaign.

California’s 31st District – Gary Miller (incumbent)

  • Gary Miller (R):  $232,000 raised, $309,000 spent, $575,000 cash on hand.
  • Pete Aguilar (D):  $302,000 raised, $29,000 spent, $290,000 cash on hand.
  • Eloise Reyes (D):  $104,000 raised, $10,000 spent, $194,000 cash on hand.
  • Joe Baca (D):  $38,000 raised, $16,000 spent, $27,000 cash on hand.

Thanks to California’s “top-two” system, Gary Miller somehow serves this blue district.  Miller has been in Congress for awhile but given his voting record and the blueness of the district; he is the Democrats TOP pickup opportunity of the cycle, bar none.  Aguilar is the DCCC-supported candidate and has cash left over from his 2012 campaign so he is off to a good start.  Attorney Eloise Reyes could make a play for the general and ex. Rep Joe Baca is not in good shape right now.  


New York’s 11th District – Michael Grimm (incumbent)

  • Michael Grimm (R):  $438,000 raised, $155,000 spent, $577,000 cash on hand.
  • Domenic Recchia (D):  $303,000 raised, $44,000 spent, $666,000 cash on hand.

Michael Grimm is in the midst of his second term in Congress and Democrats have their sights set on him with DCCC-supported candidate Domenic Recchia.  There has been some worry that Recchia isn’t ready for primetime but he has some money to him and isn’t doing a bad job of fundraising.  Grimm will have the early edge here, but this race will be decided on the ground.  Very curious how Recchia does.

California’s 21st District – David Valadao (incumbent)

  • David Valadao (R):  $376,000 raised, $55,000 spent, $449,000 cash on hand.

This is a district that could be ripe for the picking but there’s no Democratic challenger in the field yet and no rumors of one coming up either. This is a seat that will likely be blue in 2016 but as of now, Valadao has to like where he is.  

Florida’s 2nd District – Steve Southerland (incumbent)

  • Steve Southerland (R):  $429,000 raised, $87,000 spent, $477,000 cash on hand.
  • Gwen Graham (D):  $377,000 raised, $73,000 spent, $304,000 cash on hand.

I like the chances here.  Southerland has no problems raising money and will likely roll in cash throughout the cycle but Gwen Graham, daughter of Florida political icon Bob, is one of the top Democratic recruits.  Graham had a good quarter and I expect that to only get better from here on out.  It will be a tough race but I’m excited for Graham to really run a great campaign.

Michigan’s 11th District – Kerry Bentivolio (incumbent)

  • Kerry Bentivolio (R):  $65,000 raised, $23,000 spent, $38,000 cash on hand.

The Democrats need to run a candidate here, even though the demographics heavily favor Republicans, there is a pickup opportunity here as “accidental Congressman” Kerry Bentivolio is a pretty terrible fundraiser.  I expect him to get a credible challenge in a primary but if it gets too fractured, Bentivolio could be on his way to the general.  

New York’s 19th District – Chris Gibson (incumbent)

  • Chris Gibson (R):  $286,000 raised, $25,000 spent, $431,000 cash on hand.
  • Sean Eldridge (D):  $437,000 raised, $77,000 spent, $639,000 cash on hand.

I have a feeling this race could get very ugly.  Gibson is the least conservative House Republican and Eldridge is a very wealthy man who is married to one of the co-founders of Facebook.  Republicans have already accused Eldridge of being a “carpetbagger” which probably shows you that they have some fear that Eldridge could take the seat from them.  Eldridge gave his campaign $215,000 but he’s a pretty decently well-known name throughout the state.  Eldridge is also openly gay and was one of the biggest marriage equality activists in the state.


California’s 10th District – Jeff Denham (incumbent)

  • Jeff Denham (R):  $506,000 raised, $66,000 spent, $835,000 cash on hand.
  • Michael Eggman (D):  $118,000 raised, $7,000 spent, $110,000 cash on hand.

Jeff Denham had a great quarter of fundraising but he also might be interested in making another run for Lieutenant Governor in 2014.  Eggman is a DCCC endorsed campaign but I wouldn’t worry too much on his low fundraising totals.  It appears he’s just getting his campaign started as he has recently started tweeting and he started a bit later in the cycle than other candidates.  


Nevada’s 3rd District – Joe Heck (incumbent)

  • Joe Heck (R):  $385,000 raised, $61,000 spent, $659,000 cash on hand.
  • Erin Bilbray (D):  Just announced a bid, no totals yet.

Heck is going to be in for a big fight this year but luckily for him, he has some money to spend and had a solid quarter.  The Democrats recruited Erin Bilbray-Kohn to run and she has announced that she is running, but she announced too late in the cycle so she doesn’t have to file totals.  Bilbray is well-connected though so I can’t envision any problems of her raising dough.

Michigan’s 1st District – Dan Benishek (incumbent)

  • Dan Benishek (R):  $200,000 raised, $75,000 spent, $260,000 cash on hand.

Benishek has not been the greatest campaigner in this reddish district (ancestrally Democrat, trending Republican) and Democrats are aiming for Jerry Cannon, a retired Army Major General, to run here and he could be a good candidate.  Still, Benishek will have the advantage but its a race to watch.

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