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U.S. Representative Mike Simpson (R-ID) wipes his brow as he and Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) join a bipartisan group of lawmakers calling themselves the Go Big Coalition for a news conference to encourage members of the so-called
Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), one of several House members facing a tough primary challenge
Every cycle, a number of House members find themselves facing tough primary challenges. This year is no different, with several sitting House members in danger of being fired by their own party. It's rare for a sitting House member to lose renomination: Since 1994 it's happened only 31 times (excluding incumbent-versus-incumbent battles). However, every cycle a few House members manage to alienate their own electorate.

What follows is a look at the House incumbents who face a potentially tough primary fight. In all likelihood most will win: Despite Congress' unpopularity, the renomination rate is sky-high. However, it's a virtual certainty that at least some of the people mentioned below will be thrown out of office by another member of their party.

To start out, here are the incumbents who look like they are in the most danger:

Head below the fold for a look at each race, and why each representative is fighting for renomination.

May 6

NC-03: Walter Jones (R), most of the North Carolina coast

Walter Jones has long been a bit of an odd duck in the House GOP caucus. He was one of very few House Republicans to support banking regulations, and he voted against John Boehner for speaker last year. A number of Republicans are fed up with his apostasies and are backing former Bush administration Treasury aide Taylor Griffin.

Thanks in large part to donations from banking groups and Jones' own poor fundraising, Griffin has outraised the incumbent. Outside groups are getting involved, with the Emergency Committee for Israel attacking Jones on foreign policy. After a 2008 scare, Jones turned back primary challenges with ease, but a number of establishment conservatives hope this will be the year Jones' luck runs out.

In Jones' favor, he has the advantage of hailing from a well-known North Carolina political family. Griffin also has some liabilities: While he is a North Carolina native, he only moved back to the state in 2013 after years in Washington. Griffin also burned through most of his money, with Jones holding a $158,000 to $97,000 cash-on-hand lead as of the end of March. Whoever wins the GOP primary should have little trouble in this conservative seat.

OH-14: David Joyce (R), northeast Ohio

Freshman Rep. David Joyce was elected in 2012 without winning a Republican primary. He was nominated by local party chairs when now-former Rep. Steve LaTourette dropped out of the race after winning renomination. Joyce faces a credible challenge from state Rep. Matt Lynch, who has a reputation for being an ardent conservative. Lynch is rallying tea party support and portraying Joyce as not conservative enough.

However, Lynch entered the race late and has little money. As of late March, Joyce held a massive $1,218,000 to $49,000 cash-on-hand lead over his challenger. Joyce also has well-funded allies on his side, with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce airing an ad for him. The incumbent also doesn't seem to have done much in office to anger primary voters.

The district went for Romney 51-48, and Democrats have a credible candidate in attorney Michael Wager. Team Blue's odds would almost certainly be better if the underfunded and very conservative Lynch wins rather than Joyce. For now, Daily Kos Elections rates this as Likely Republican.

May 20

GA-04: Hank Johnson (D), eastern Atlanta suburbs

Four-term Rep. Hank Johnson faces a serious primary opponent in DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown. A little over half the district is in DeKalb County, and Brown is widely credited for reforming what was a very corrupt sheriff's department. While neither candidate has raised a massive amount, Brown holds a $165,000 to $93,000 cash-on-hand edge over Johnson. Additionally, Johnson has occasionally gotten bad press for his strange comments.  

Johnson still has a lot going for him. The incumbent has the support of President Obama, which could make all the difference. Johnson also does not appear to have done much to alienate primary voters, strange comments aside. No matter who wins, this 77-percent Obama seat isn't going anywhere.

ID-02: Mike Simpson (R), eastern Idaho

Longtime Rep. Mike Simpson is a close ally of Speaker John Boehner, which doesn't sit well with insurgent Republicans. While Simpson isn't particularly moderate, he's also not much of a fire-breathing conservative. Lawyer Bryan Smith is portraying Simpson as insufficiently conservative and as a supporter of earmarks. Smith also has some deep-pocketed allies, with the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund both backing him. Simpson's vote for the financial industry bailout is also a potential liability. In 2010, he only prevailed with 58 percent of the vote against a primary challenger who did not have Smith's connections, and he can take nothing for granted here.

The incumbent has the support of the deep-pocketed U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Mitt Romney, who is reportedly very popular in the district, is backing Simpson and running an ad for him. Smith also has his own problems—Simpson is seizing on his challenger's career as a trial lawyer, which is not exactly a plus in a Republican primary.

Democrats have an interesting candidate in former Rep. Richard Stallings. If Smith prevails, Stallings will have a better shot at an upset, but in a seat as conservative as this the Republicans have a lot of room for error here.  

May 27

TX-04: Ralph Hall (R), Sherman, Paris, Texarkana, Rockwell

Just shy of 91 years old, Ralph Hall is seeking what he says will be his last term in this safely red seat. Some Republicans don't particularly want Hall sticking around and one of them, former US Attorney John Ratcliffe, has forced Hall into a primary runoff. Hall only won 46 percent in the March primary and the runoff will likely be dominated by even more conservative voters. Ratcliffe is personally very wealthy and has the backing of the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund. Hall won less than 60 percent in his 2010 and 2012 primaries against unremarkable opponents, and it looks like he has a real fight here.

In his favor, Hall is quite conservative and his long service has earned him a good deal of support at home. Hall also seems to have figured out late in the campaign how to portray his age as a positive. Hall also earned the backing of third-place primary finisher Lou Gigliotti, which could prevent Ratcliffe from consolidating the anti-Hall vote. Ratcliffe's own backers may have also done their guy more harm then good when they ran an ad outright attacking Hall for being too old and attacking Hall for some earmarks conservatives would normally like.

June 3

CA-15: Eric Swalwell (D), Hayward, Pleasanton, San Ramon

Freshman Rep. Eric Swalwell was one of the beneficiaries of California's new and unpredictable top-two system in 2012. Instead of holding separate party primaries, all candidates run on one ballot and the two top vote-getters advance to the general. Swalwell faced then-Rep. Pete Stark, a fellow Democrat, and pulled off a surprising win. This year, state Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett is hoping to repeat Swalwell's feat. Corbett is well known in the district and has portrayed herself as a more experienced candidate.

Corbett has not run a very active campaign so far and is facing a large fundraising deficit. Swalwell has also nailed down influential endorsements, including President Obama's and the state party's. Furthermore, it's not guaranteed Corbett will make it to the general against Swalwell. Republican Hugh Bussell is running and if he can consolidate the district's conservative voters in June, he could place second to Swalwell and keep Corbett out of the general election. Regardless of what happens, the Democrats will keep the seat.

CA-17: Mike Honda (D), Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Fremont

Since his 2000 win Honda has not needed to worry about re-election, but well-funded former Commerce Department official Ro Khanna aims to change that. Khanna has a big $1,947,000 to $1,084,000 lead over Honda in cash-on-hand. The challenger is also likely to advance to November, as two Republicans are running and should split what conservative vote there is. Khanna is running to Honda's right and if he consolidate Republicans, independents and some Democrats, he may have a shot at unseating Honda in the general.

Honda appears to have done little to anger voters here, which could make it difficult for Khanna to argue its time for fresh blood. Honda also has the influential backing of President Obama and the state party. This heavily blue seat will stay with the Democrats no matter how things go.

MS-04: Steve Palazzo (R), Mississippi Gulf Coast, Hattiesburg

Palazzo faces a very unusual primary challenge from former Rep. Gene Taylor, the Democrat he unseated in 2010. Taylor was a very popular and very conservative politician who represented the area for over two decades, and he may be able to take advantage of fond memories of his tenure. Palazzo also has had some stumbles—while Taylor was widely praised for his work after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area, Palazzo earned bad headlines in early 2013 when he became the only member of the state's congressional delegation to vote against Hurricane Sandy aid. After it emerged that Palazzo had asked the federal government for Katrina aid money, Palazzo changed his vote. Impending job losses at the local Kessler Air Force Base have also given Taylor ammunition to argue he was the more effective congressman.

Still, it's a very good bet that Republican primary voters are not keen to dump one of their own for a former Democrat. In any case, Palazzo is more than willing to remind them of his opponent's past. Taylor also has not raised much money so far while Palazzo seems to be taking the challenge seriously. No matter who prevails, this seat will remain Republican.

June 24

NY-13: Charlie Rangel (D), Harlem, Spanish Harlem, Washington Heights

Longtime Rep. Charlie Rangel saw his popularity drop in recent years, especially after a financial scandal led to the House censuring him. Rangel narrowly survived a primary challenge against state Sen. Adriano Espaillat 44 to 42 percent in 2012, and is seeking what he says will be his last term. Espaillat is running again and this time he has the backing of influential former Rangel supporters who think it's time for the incumbent to depart. The district's changing demographics also pose a challenge for Rangel. Another African-American candidate, well known pastor Michael Walrond, is running and could split the African-American vote enough to allow the Dominican-born Espaillat to win.

A little-known Hispanic candidate is running and could cost Espaillat some votes he needs. Some time has also passed since Rangel's personal problems came to light, and voters may be more keen to give the incumbent one more term as a result. The general election will be a lot less interesting, as this is one of the safest Democratic seats anywhere.

NY-22: Richard Hanna (R), Utica, Binghamton

Sophomore Rep. Richard Hanna is one of the few genuinely moderate members in his caucus. He earned some conservative wrath in 2012 when he encouraged women to donate to Democrats. This year he faces conservative Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, who is sure to remind voters of his apostasies.    

Tenney entered the race pretty late and doesn't have much time to organize or raise money. Hanna has the ability to self-fund and can invest whatever is needed to keep his seat. Unfortunately, Democrats are not fielding anyone in this swing seat. Hanna is guaranteed to be on the November ballot as the Independence Party candidate, so he could conceivably run as the de facto Democrat if he loses the primary.

August 5

MI-03: Justin Amash (R), Grand Rapids, Battle Creek

Sophomore Rep. Justin Amash is a member of the party's libertarian wing and has cast some votes the establishment does not like. Businessman Brian Ellis is running as a more conventional conservative and is capable of spending significant amounts of his own money. Ellis has run ads attacking Amash for not supporting an anti-abortion bill and for voting against the Balanced Budget Amendment (albeit from the right).

In Amash's corner are the Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity. Amash is also a vocal critic of the NSA, which is likely to play very well with the party base. The seat leans Republican and Democrats don't look like they have a credible candidate who could win.

MI-11: Kerry Bentivolio (R), Livonia, Novi, Troy

Freshman Rep. Kerry Bentivolio won this seat largely by accident. The underfunded candidate was waging a quixotic primary against Rep. Thad McCotter, but got a major boost after McCotter was thrown off the ballot for fraudulent petition signatures. This time around, very wealthy foreclosure attorney David Trott is looking to take advantage of Bentivolio's inexperience. Through superior fundraising and self-funding, Trott has a massive $1,042,000 to $130,000 cash-on-hand lead over the incumbent. Bentivolio also has several strange details from his past that are likely to haunt him in the primary.

As a foreclosure attorney, Trott has some baggage of his own. One ugly story is how Trott played a role in forcing a 101-year old woman out of her home. Bentivolio will probably need more stories like this to come out in order to have a shot here. Democrats are keeping an eye on this Republican-leaning seat, and both candidates' flaws could give them an opening. Bentivolio would still likely be a better foil for Team Blue. We currently rate the general as Likely Republican.

August 7

TN-03: Chuck Fleischmann (R), Chattanooga, Oak Ridge

Sophomore Rep. Chuck Fleischmann won a pretty unimpressive 39 percent in his 2012 primary against venture capitalist Weston Wamp and ice cream magnate Scottie Mayfield. Wamp, the son of former Rep. Zack Wamp, is running again and outraised Fleischmann in the last fundraising quarter.

Fortunately for Fleischmann, Wamp recently generated some very bad headlines. In an attempt to win Mayfield's endorsement, Wamp met with his former rival and foolishly recorded the conversation without Mayfield's knowledge: Mayfield was understandably not happy and endorsed Fleischmann. It also doesn't look like Fleischmann has done anything to offend primary voters. Either man should be favored to keep this East Tennessee seat in GOP hands.

TN-04: Scott DesJarlais (R), Dayton, Murfreesboro

If you're looking for the incumbent most likely to lose his seat in 2014, you've found him. Rep. (for now) Scott DesJarlais, a physician, saw his career self-destruct when it emerged that he had affairs with several of his patients and encouraged at least one to have an abortion. DesJarlais has seen his donations dry up and state Sen. Jim Tracy has amassed a $911,000-to-$198,000 cash lead. If DesJarlais pulls off a win, it will probably qualify as one of the greatest upsets ever.

Democrats held this seat until the 2010 red wave, but it's probably gone for the foreseeable future. DesJarlais's scandal came out during his 2012 re-election campaign against a Democratic state senator, yet he still won 56-44.  

TN-09: Steve Cohen (D), Memphis

As a white representative in a predominantly African-American seat, Steve Cohen has never been able to take his re-election completely for granted. However, Cohen has easily won, cycle after cycle. The incumbent generated some headlines in 2013 when he announced he had a previously unknown daughter, but a paternity test showed he was not in fact related to her. Wealthy attorney Ricky Wilkins seems to think Cohen's recent turbulence may give him a shot at unseating the congressman.

It's far from clear if Cohen's story actually hurt him (it's quite possible he may appear more sympathetic, if anything). In any case, after three easy primary wins, Cohen should start out as the clear favorite. The district is heavily Democratic and will stay blue.

September 9

MA-06: John Tierney (D), Lynn, Salem, Newburyport

Rep. John Tierney has not had an easy few years. His wife went to prison for a month after she doctored her brother's taxes to cover up illegal activities. While Tierney was not implicated in any of this, the scandal almost cost him re-election in 2012 against Republican former state Sen. Richard Tisei. This year Tierney has a primary challenge to worry about from veteran Seth Moulton. Tierney was outraised by Moulton in the last two fundraising quarters, though he maintains a $977,000-to-$651,000 cash lead.

Tierney will benefit from some time passing since his wife's troubles. Additionally, Moulton does not look like the best person to appeal to liberal primary voters, with him describing himself as "fairly centrist." National Democrats also continue to support Tierney.

No matter who wins the primary, a competitive general election is expected. Tisei is running again and has been fundraising well. We currently rate the general as Lean Democratic.

November 4

LA-05: Vance McAllister (R) Alexandria, Monroe

Rep. Vance McAllister only won his seat in a 2013 special, and he may soon lose it. The married McAllister was caught on tape kissing a staffer, and the fallout has him looking very vulnerable if he runs again. So far, former Grant Parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley is running and others are likely to join him.

Louisiana has every candidate run on one ballot in November: If no one wins more than 50 percent, the top two advance to a December runoff. It's possible the process could save McAllister; if he winds up in a runoff with a Democrat, he'd probably be favored in this conservative seat. Still, he'll need a lot to go right here for him to return to the House.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:39 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Of all those mentioned (13+ / 0-)

    DesJarlais is beyond screwed (no pun intended) and Bentivolio is probably a heavy underdog. I also think Hall narrowly goes down and Rangel is maybe 50/50 as well. Other than that Vance McAllister is the only one who really jumps out at me as being in immediate danger of losing, though with primaries being a lot harder to predict it wouldn't surprise me if someone else lost. John Sullivan losing last cycle came out of nowhere.

    •  Matt Lynch is not an "ardent conservative" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gygaxian

      He is a lunatic.

      Matt Lynch's house:

      IMG_0261

      Primaries are not about who has more money. They're about who has more passion. There is exactly zero passion for David "I'm not a moderate but I play one on TV" Joyce; Lynch is packing halls.

      You say Joyce has done nothing to anger primary voters? The hell he hasn't! In order to try to be a match for this swingy district, Joyce has been doing his best to impersonate a moderate and a sane person. Teabaggers HATE this! They are livid. Sure, it would help Joyce in the general, but you're not talking about the general here. Haven't you seen the ads right here on DailyKos (where they are completely wasted) for Matt Lynch saying "Elect a true conservative"?

      The most passionate GOP primary voters in this district aren't looking for someone who fronts as a "moderate," even if his voting record is 99% conservative.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:06:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How do you advertise (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darth Jeff, jncca

        or turn out voters without money? Why would anyone ever suggest that money has no importance in politics? It's obviously contrary to the truth.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:00:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, you could do what Matt Lynch is doing — (0+ / 0-)

          bomb DailyKos with ads urging people to vote for Matt Lynch in the primary even though no one here will vote in the GOP primary in Oh-14. I just saw another ad before clicking on this diary, announcing that "Matt Lynch opposes Common Core." Whatever. I'm not switching parties for that. Oh wait I live in Oh-11, not Ohio-14.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

          by anastasia p on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:11:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I wouldn't have OH-14 here if I didn't think (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        there was a chance Lynch would win.

        That said, from my vantage point it doesn't look good for him. He doesn't need to out-raise Joyce to win, but he should be raising enough to at least get his message out. So far he hasn't. The ardent Tea Partiers may know who he is, but even in a low turnout primary they are only a portion of the electorate.

        Fundraising is also a good indication of how organized a campaign is. It's far from the be-all end all (I've seen terrible campaigns stuffed with donations), but it's a very good start. Lynch couldn't even break $100K in his time in the race. Furthermore, he got an FEC notice from failing to file his pre-primary numbers. Not a good sign of a well oiled machine.

        You're right, in a low turnout race the crazies will dominate. But there are still limits. Saturday's firehouse primary in VA-10 has anemic turnout, yet the craziest candidate, Del. Bob Marshall, still lost badly to the more conventional GOPer. Lynch may be able to pull off a surprise, but it looks like he isn't running the type of campaign to do it.  

        Contributing Editor, Daily Kos Elections. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident).

        by Jeff Singer on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:40:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Many of my activist friends in Oh-14 (0+ / 0-)

          think Lynch has a shot. They're not predicting a victory, but they think there's a chance he could pull it out. They are rooting for him! Unfortunately, most can't change parties to vote in the GOP primary because most are Democratic officials or working on Democratic campaigns.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

          by anastasia p on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:13:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Activists' opinions (0+ / 0-)

            Activists' opinions are frequently biased and warped by wishful thinking. I wouldn't give much credence to them unless they are basing their opinions on private (but scientific) polling.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:17:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think it's "wishful thinking" (0+ / 0-)

              if so, obviously the diarist is of the same opinion. Most of them are saying they think he has a SHOT, but they are not counting on it. Not much wishful thinking among the people I know. Also, Democrats in general tend to be doomsters, in case you haven't noticed. We always predict the worst outcome. Go back to September of 2012 and look for "Obama just lost reelection" posts after the first debate.

              Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

              by anastasia p on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:46:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  "Matt Lynch will fight higher taxes" (0+ / 0-)

            The ad is up there right now.

            Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

            by anastasia p on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:44:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I think Rangel will lose this time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey

      He was just over 50/50 last time. How much closer can an election get without him losing it?

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:06:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope so. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jncca, MichaelNY, Calamity Jean

        The Dems should not tolerate corruption. It drags down the reputation of our whole party. Deservedly. We have enough challenges without this kind of self-inflicted wound.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:10:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I suspect he just might too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        since Espaillat has been getting a lot more support from the Bronx than he did last time and that's the real swing bloc for them since neither really has represented (much) of it before. It will be interesting to see the turnout dynamics here since it will literally be at the top of the ballot since New York disgustingly holds its congressional primaries separate from state ones so that legislators who lose congressional primaries (ahem Lee Zeldin, Espaillat, etc) can still run for reelection.

        I also have no idea if there is any substantive policy difference between the two of them as the race has wholly focused on being a time for change blah blah.

  •  Explain no Dem candidate in NY-22? (9+ / 0-)

    Do NY Dems expect him to caucus with them if he wins on the Independent line? This isn't a bright red district, and the fact that it elected a moderate Rep. tells me a moderate Dem could compete here.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:49:26 AM PDT

    •  Local Dems say they couldn't find anyone (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, Matt Z, PinHole, Simplify, MichaelNY

      http://www.uticaod.com/...

      Oneida County Democratic Party Chairman Mitch Ford said the lack of a candidate does not mean his party supports Hanna.

      “We were aggressively looking for a candidate, but we were unsuccessful in finding one,” he said.

      Contributing Editor, Daily Kos Elections. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident).

      by Jeff Singer on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:56:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think he would (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, dopper0189

      The GOP in the district may have beef with him, but if house leadership stays out of it he may still caucus with the GOP.

      Moderate Republican, PA-5

      by PSUCentrePA on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:00:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PSUCentrePA, dopper0189

        Probably not. However, he may turn even more moderate in his voting.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:01:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes he would (0+ / 0-)

          I think though, if the local GOP wants to get rid of Rep. Hanna it is going to be now since no democrat is on the ballot.
          He would go into the primary, if he lost he has no reason not to switch to Democrat or Independent.  He won't be able to run for re-election without it, the question is, is Hanna a team-player or as bad a Rep. Grimm in some some ways?

          If he is a team player he will step aside after the primary (if he loses), if not he will switch to independent or Independence Party and go up against State Assemblywoman Tenney in general election.  I think though, if the national GOP and house leadership stays out of the race, Rep. Hanna will still caucus with the GOP if he lost the primary.

          Moderate Republican, PA-5

          by PSUCentrePA on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:36:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  All he has to do if he's a "team player" (0+ / 0-)

            is caucus with the Republicans if he wins either on the Republican or Independence Party lines. Do you think Senator Murkowski isn't a team player for your party?

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:04:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think she is a team-player (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              Because she basically ran as a republican in the write-in and won, although she lost the primary.  I don't think the NRSC was upset to see her back.  She votes against the GOP sometimes, but she stays in the caucus.  Team players stay that way or do the right thing whenever something comes up.  She did the right thing challenging Miller, saved the GOP from having another gaffe machine with a megaphone in congress.

              Moderate Republican, PA-5

              by PSUCentrePA on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 05:12:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  The Walter Jones commercial reads....."Walter (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PSUCentrePA, Matt Z, MichaelNY

    Jones...A good man.....but not a good republican.".....or conservative.....or whatever.

    •  Better Jones, who occasionally has a clue (9+ / 0-)

      than a carpetbagger conservative from DC. NC already has one of those in NC-11, where Mark Meadows moved from Florida to an exclusive Western NC gated community to run for Congress.

      Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

      by bear83 on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:25:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Funny story about Walter Jones (8+ / 0-)

      When he was first elected in 1995, he was one of the most conservative Republicans. Some considered him a member of the then-lunatic fringe.

      In the almost 20 years since then, the GOP has twisted so far to the right that he is now one of the most liberal Republicans. And not because his views have changed much over the years.

      Says a lot about how things have changed in recent years.

      •  Freedom fries (4+ / 0-)

        Walter Jones will always be remembered for that.

      •  Actually, his views have changed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, llywrch

        He converted to Catholicism, which changed many of his political beliefs (for the better).

        21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        politicohen.com
        Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

        by jncca on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:41:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's really interesting (0+ / 0-)

          What denomination had he previously adhered to, and when did he convert?

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:07:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hm, I actually wasn't 100% correct (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, llywrch

            Jones was raised Protestant, as most North Carolinans are, and he did convert to Catholicism on his own, but it was earlier in life at the age of 31.  However, he does seem to be more of a liberal Catholic (similar to the Pope) than a conservative one.

            Against that backdrop, Jones' road to Damascus may seem especially long. But in truth, his conversion did not come about in spite of his conservative politics, his religious beliefs, his own military background, and his Marine constituency. It came about because of them.
            I'd encourage you to read this article, which I just found.
            http://www.motherjones.com/...

            Jones also wrote letters to the families of every single soldier killed in Iraq.

            21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
            politicohen.com
            Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
            UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

            by jncca on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:18:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          But from his Wikipedia article, he'd still be considered an arch-conservative by 1990s standards: he's opposed to government spending -- which he calls "pork barrel spending" -- & he endorsed Ron Paul for president in 2008.

          Unlike the average conservative Republican, though, he seems not to be a creep or asshole, & actually tries not to take hypocritical stands. And he's been known to work in a bi-partisan manner, like Congressmen used to do -- but is anathema to today's uncompromising Teabagger.

          So, in other words, being a decent human being dooms your Republican politician to being labelled a RINO nowadays. :-(

  •  Why do I have a feeling that NC-03 (0+ / 0-)

    would be competitive if Jones isn't on the ballot? Could Heath Shuler move there and win, if in the future the GOP nominates a wingnut post Jones? The district voters don't seem to be as doctrinairely conservative as some other NC seats.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:52:29 AM PDT

  •  You should probably add (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, Odysseus, Matt Z, llywrch

    newly-indicted Michael Grimm, R (NY-11) to that list. We don't yet know whether he'll step down but chances are good that he won't make it to the general. If he does, he'll be seriously damaged goods when he faces Domenic Recchia.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:56:11 AM PDT

  •  Walter Jones (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Matt Z, MichaelNY

    His district includes Camp Lejeune, which is a wild card because Jones was the rare Republican who voted against going into Iraq.  Are today's marines resentful of going to war for a lie?

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:07:10 AM PDT

  •  The United States of John Roberts (7+ / 0-)

    When cash on hand is the most important criteria in winning elections.

    If we lie to the government, it's a felony...but if they lie to us it's politics.

    by rmb on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 09:17:34 AM PDT

    •  And in which matching funds (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, MichaelNY

      are an impingement upon rich people's "free speech."

      No joke, that's what they ruled when striking down Arizona's public campaign finance law.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:02:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it "burdens" their speech. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        That was the argument. The good guys (well now mostly gals) on the court were right that it actually means there will be more speech and more competition in the "market of ideas".

        The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

        by James Allen on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:04:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not really. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      Cash on hand only counts the candidate's cash on hand, not the Koch brothers'.

      29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

      by TDDVandy on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:32:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hank Johnson (5+ / 0-)

    I get the feeling those comments aren't going to matter much to voters; if he has a problem it's more of a "he's been there long enough, give the other guy a chance" attitude.

    Steve Cohen isn't going anywhere; his detractors have tried and failed every two years like clockwork.

  •  CA "top 2" is soooo stupid (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, abgin

    A step backward in electoral reform, not forward. Direct attack on freedom of association.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:03:21 AM PDT

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      But it was a political response to John Burton's redistricting that protected nearly all incumbents and generated a Congressional delegation that only changed when retirement occurred.  I may not approve of the top 2 system, but it is hard to argue that the top 2 system has resulted in more Democracy in California, and generated more competitive elections overall.

      "The Attorney General will not cast aspersions on my asparagus" - Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert-R to Attorney General Eric Holder.

      by walja on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:54:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But the redistricting commission ballot measure (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen

        was separate from the top 2 ballot measure.

        Putting top 2 on the ballot was moderate Republican Abel Maldonado's price for voting for the state budget, back when it took ⅔ of the legislature to do that. Then Maldonado ran for Congress, won in the primary as intended... and then lost in the general. And now we're all stuck with Maldonado's failed fever dream.

        As for more competitive elections, top 2 didn't work to get more moderate candidates, and I don't think that should be a goal of an electoral system anyway. It also allows for an even worse spoiler effect, and party folks work behind the scenes to try to clear the field instead of more out in the open in a primary. The problem was lack of primary voter participation and lack public campaign finance, not party primaries themselves.

        I was against the redistricting commission ballot measure at the time because I thought that a truly nonpartisan commission wasn't achievable and that Republicans would be over-represented. The commission did a fine job and proved me wrong.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:30:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JacobNC, PSUCentrePA, KyleinWA

      Top 2 is great.  It's just not perfect.  What's the problem with Top 2 (besides the occasional vote split?)

      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

      by jncca on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:43:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  parties don't get to nominate their own (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simplify, abgin

        candidate. That's also why I oppose open primaries in general.

        The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

        by James Allen on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:02:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I see these kinds of comments a lot now (0+ / 0-)

          I am a small "d" democrat first, so all in all, I prefer the top 2 primaries to the single-party primaries. However, a system that gives some weight to 2nd choices is better, so as to avoid the kinds of travesties that happened in CA-31.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:13:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And is also why I support them. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, JacobNC

          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

          by jncca on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:19:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The question is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          whether this is a good thing or not.

          You should see some of the shenanigans that go on with local elected officials in counties around here where the Republican primary is decisive.  Democrats essentially don't get a say unless they go vote in the Republican primary.

          29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

          by TDDVandy on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:39:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  then vote in the R primary (0+ / 0-)

            The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

            by James Allen on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:43:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But you just said (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              that you are against open primaries as well.

              Not for nothing, but under the current system, in noncompetitive states/districts/localities, you essentially have a small fraction of the electorate deciding the election.  So you end up with representatives who appeal to the firebreathers who actually vote in the Republican primary (see: Cruz, Ted.)

              29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

              by TDDVandy on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:45:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not against people registering in a party (0+ / 0-)

                just to vote in the primary, I'm against open primaries.

                The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

                by James Allen on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:53:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Requiring people to reregister (0+ / 0-)

                  as you undoubtedly know, makes it more difficult and less likely for people to vote in another party's primary.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:56:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  which makes it less like an open primary (0+ / 0-)

                    it is a small burden so not a significant hurdle, but enough that not everyone will do it, which would make the partisan primary useless.

                    The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

                    by James Allen on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 02:59:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Not a small burden (0+ / 0-)

                      in places where you have to change your registration months in advance.

                      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                      by MichaelNY on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:01:39 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  oh no! (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Simplify

                        they won't be able to interfere in how a private organization chooses to represent itself and its members!

                        The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

                        by James Allen on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:07:35 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  If you really want to make it hard (0+ / 0-)

                          Require dues to belong to the party. But don't argue on one side of your mouth that voter ID laws are an undue burden and on the other that requiring re-registration months in advance is not much of a burden. If you like making it as hard as possible, you can always just use that argument and be done with it.

                          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                          by MichaelNY on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:19:17 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  voter ID =/= registration. (0+ / 0-)

                            The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

                            by James Allen on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:21:39 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I get that (0+ / 0-)

                            But you're just supporting making it hard, so what's the fundamental difference? The fundamental difference is only that you support making it hard merely to change one's registration to vote in another party's primary, not to make it hard to vote in general elections. But let's not split hairs, please.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:32:41 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm not supporting making it hard to do anything (0+ / 0-)

                            I just only support someone being able to take part in choosing the representative of a political party if they are willing to join it, even if just for a short time to vote in a primary.

                            The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

                            by James Allen on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 03:39:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely no (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      It gives voters, whose views are clear minority in the district, still be influential and asked for vote. In liberal Democratic districts (say, in Bay Area) moderates and Republicans may decide which of 2 Democrats in November wins (usually going for more moderate one). They would have zero influence under "normal primary" system. The same (in a mirror way) with Democrats and liberals in Republican districts.

  •  Walter Jones is one of few Republicans that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jncca, Gygaxian, MichaelNY

    supports campaign finance reform, including publicly funded elections.  I hope he keeps his seat.

    I think NC-02 should be included on this list.  Renee Ellmers is facing Frank Roche, who is gaining traction over Ellmers' moderate position on immigration.  Ellmers will probably win, but if you're including TN-09 on this list I think NC-02 is at least a race to watch.

    •  And NE-02 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, MichaelNY

      Didn't Dan Frei release a poll of him losing to Lee Terry 43-39 or something.

      18 year old gay Democrat living bright blue in deep red SC-04 (Gowdy). "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." - John Lennon

      by SCDem4 on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 11:49:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And CO-05 as well (0+ / 0-)

        With Bentley Rayburn challenging Doug Lamborn.

        18 year old gay Democrat living bright blue in deep red SC-04 (Gowdy). "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." - John Lennon

        by SCDem4 on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 12:45:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How serious a challenge is that? (0+ / 0-)

          Doug Lamborn is not right-wing enough for some, is that it?

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:14:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Regarding C)-05, NC-02, and NE-02 (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, SCDem4, JacobNC, David Jarman

            I thought about including all three, but just don't see them going anywhere.

            CO-05 is the hardest to figure. Lamborn certainly isn't the most popular guy in the GOP. But he did turn back a well funded candidate pretty decisively in 2012. Furthermore, Rayburn just doesn't seem the greatest candidate ever: He didn't do well in 2006 and 2008.

            In NC-02, Roche has been raising almost nothing, and he had only $9,000 on hand at the end of March. Frei in NE-02 hasn't been doing much better. He did have an optimistic looking poll showing Terry up only 47-36, but the fact that he wouldn't even name the pollster is not encouraging.

            I don't want to suggest these primary battles come down to who has the most money. But I do believe candidates need to at least have enough to get their message out. Unless they're well known, personally wealthy, or have a well funded outside group helping them, it's going to be very hard for them to reach the voters they need. Upsets do happen, but it doesn't look like Rayburn, Roche, and Frei are particularly serious candidates.

            Contributing Editor, Daily Kos Elections. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident).

            by Jeff Singer on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 01:49:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I heard rumors that Ro Khanna... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TeddySanFran

    Is a Koch Brother shill to undermine incumbent Mike Honda (D)  in CA-17 by electing a right-leaning candidate in the Democratic race. Just rumors. Whenever I posted a comment on other political websites (i.e., Huffington Post and Politico), the comments get deleted almost immediately.

    Since the Republican Party has much in common with the endangered spotted owl than one-sixth of the U.S. population, it would make sense for the Koch brothers to get friendly right-leaning Democrats into office in California.

  •  Bentivolio (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    Just to drive home how lucky Krazy Kerry got, it such be remembered that because no one expected Thad to get kicked off the ballot, not only was there no serious Democratic opposition candidate, but there was no serious primary candidate.  A former state legislator had a few weeks to try and mount a write-in campaign.  This is on top of the district being recently redrawn which had further set the Dems back in the general (it should be remembered that Kerry actually lost the special election in the old district to a Dem who served out the last few months of Thad's term, and then won the new district in the general which were both held on the same day).  If there has been a more perfect road to the nomination by a Some Guy, I certainly haven't seen one.  Kerry is as good as gone.

    Amash, on the other hand, could probably keep MI-03 for life, and it's funny to see people talk about it.  I guess it's worthy of note since a guy is willing to spend millions against him, but beyond that, Ellis is no more of less a better ideological fit for the district.  The whole "he's not voting enough like a religious conservative neo-con" crap isn't going to work in this district, anymore. lol

    Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Kodos.

    by MetroGnome on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 08:07:56 PM PDT

  •  I like Walter Jones (0+ / 0-)

    Which means he will probably get booted.

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