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Nevada Republican Rep. Joe Heck’s decision to run for Senate last summer gave Democrats an opening to compete for his 3rd District seat. But up until Tuesday, the national party had taken heat for its struggles to recruit in the district and wasn’t excited about the candidates already in the race.
That changed when Jacky Rosen, the leader of a Henderson synagogue, announced her candidacy for the 3rd District Tuesday.
Because of the advantages of the office, senators tend to raise more than their primary and general election challengers. But not always.
Especially if the challenger also holds federal elected office or has previously.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the dean of the Nevada congressional delegation, endorsed state Sen. Ruben Kihuen in a crowded Democratic primary in Nevada’s 4th District on Thursday.
Reid’s endorsement of Kihuen, a former Reid aide, was widely expected. But his support could help Kihuen distinguish himself among the three other Democrats vying for the chance to take on freshman GOP Rep. Cresent Hardy — one of the most vulnerable House Republicans in the country.
Rep. Cresent Hardy, R-Nev., leads all four of the potential Democratic opponents in head-to-head matchups for his 4th District seat, an internal poll conducted for his campaign and obtained by CQ Roll Call shows.
Hardy — who is arguably the most vulnerable House Republican in 2016 — has the slimmest lead over former state Assemblywoman Lucy Flores.
A set of polls conducted for the Human Rights Campaign found incumbents would imperil their re-election chances if they oppose a bill that bans discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.
The polling, shared first with CQ Roll Call, found that in six districts held by Republicans, voters would be less likely to support the GOP incumbent if they opposed the Equality Act. A seventh poll conducted in a competitive seat held by a Democrat found the same result. The Equality Act is a bill introduced in July that would “extend existing non-discrimination laws to protect [LGBT] people.”
EMILY’s List put 15 GOP incumbents “On Notice” for their re-election bids Monday, naming its top GOP targets for 2016, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.
The group, which backs women who support abortion rights, says each incumbent has a bad record on women’s health issues, and will make it a priority to find female recruits to challenge them next fall. The list is almost identical to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s top targets in 2016, when the party will seek to put a dent in Republicans’ historic House majority.
Updated March 19, 10:40 p.m. | Former Nevada Rep. Steven Horsford’s decision not to seek his old House seat next year has set off jockeying on the Democratic side for one of the party’s top pickup opportunities.
Republican Rep. Cresent Hardy defeated Horsford in 2014, but party leaders hoped to convince the former lawmaker to run again this cycle, which should have favorable presidential-level turnout. Full story
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will launch robocalls against more than two dozen House Republicans Tuesday over the Department of Homeland Security funding flap, according to a script of the call provided first to CQ Roll Call.
The National Republican Congressional Committee announced 12 members will kick-start its Patriot Program for the House GOP’s most vulnerable incumbents, according to a news release provided first to CQ Roll Call.
Eleven of the members were elected in 2014, when Republicans made huge gains across the country. The 12 members represent districts where Democrats typically perform well in presidential cycles, making them top targets in 2016.
They haven’t even been sworn in yet, but these members start off the cycle as underdogs in their quests for re-election in 2016.
Most of 2016’s initial targets are incoming Republicans, swept into office in a GOP midterm wave. They will represent districts Democrats carried with big margins in presidential election years — seats the newly minted Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján will probably want back. Only one vulnerable Democrat made this list.
What’s more, the window for either party to oust these freshman could close quickly. It’s easier to defeat an incumbent in their first re-election, before they solidify a stronghold on the seat.
In alphabetical order, here are the incoming members who start the 2016 cycle as underdogs:
There’s no rest for the weary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has yet to name the new committee chairman for 2016, but the DCCC is already getting a jump on recruiting during the final days of New York Rep. Steve Israel’s tenure.
On Thursday morning, Israel held the first 2016 recruitment meeting since Election Day. He named two northeastern congressional districts as top targeting opportunities, and party strategists are readying for at least five rematches from 2014, according to a committee aide. Full story
In what is already a strange cycle, operatives on both sides are bracing for surprises on election night.
Rumors flew last week about a surprise poll or errant television reservation that could spell doom for an incumbent considered a safe bet for re-election a week ago.
Some of these suggestions were just that — rumor. But many operatives are convinced Tuesday night will feature at least one upset.
Here are the under-the-radar races keeping strategists excited and worried Tuesday night:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched its first independent expenditure advertisement in Nevada’s new 4th district, where a surprisingly competitive race has developed in what had been considered a Democratic-favored seat.
The ad targets Republican nominee Danny Tarkanian’s support for Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget plan and says he supports privatizing Social Security and eliminating the Department of Education. Tarkanian is battling Nevada Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford (D) for the seat. Full story
Updated 7:12 p.m. | Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) continued in his chosen role of Democratic attack dog today, this time entering the fray in a House campaign in Nevada and criticizing GOP nominee Danny Tarkanian’s finances.
Following a failed real estate deal, Tarkanian and his family are facing a $17 million judgement from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Tarkanian has said his family is the victim of fraud in the California project. Reid, however, has other ideas. He called the real estate deal a “ridiculous loan.”
“His judgment was so bad that he gambled and lost his family’s entire nest egg because he failed to do his homework,” Reid said on a conference call today.
The juggernaut GOP-affiliated group Crossroads GPS will soon announce a massive $8.1 million television and radio effort for House Republicans slated to begin Saturday and run for three weeks.
The group will target races in 11 districts from the West Coast to the central plains to just north of New York City.
The targeted seats are: