Poliquin arrives last week for check-in for new members. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
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: