Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

RATINGS CHANGE: Virginia’s 2nd District

Democrats want to target Rigell. (By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats want to target Rigell. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When you’re 17 seats short of a majority in the House, it’s easy to say that every competitive district is a “must win” for Democrats. But Virginia’s 2nd District is a microcosm of Democratic difficulties.

The 2nd District is anchored in the politically competitive Hampton Roads region. President Barack Obama won the seat twice (albeit narrowly), in the 2008 and 2012 elections. Meanwhile Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., was elected to the House in 2010, 53 percent to 42 percent, over one-term Democratic Rep. Glenn Nye.

Democrats thought they found a top-tier challenger to Rigell last cycle. But wealthy philanthropist Paul Hirschbiel (also a friend of Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.) never gained traction against the incumbent. Rigell was re-elected with 54 percent last year.

Democrats are searching for top candidate, but there doesn’t appear to be one on the horizon. Maybe someone will emerge after this fall’s state elections in the commonwealth, but that may be too late to gear up against Rigell.

We are changing the rating from Republican Favored to Currently Safe Republican in the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings.

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