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Top 5 Races to Watch in New England
Posted at 5 a.m. on Aug. 21, 2014
New England hasn’t been fertile territory for Republican candidates of late, but the party has an opportunity to gain House seats in the region this November.
Surprisingly, even though the races have evolved, there is no change to the regional Top 5 Races to Watch list from last summer.
Here are the top five races to continue watching this cycle in New England:
Massachusetts’ 6th District. There are two races to watch in this district this fall. The first is the Sept. 9 Democratic primary between Rep. John Tierney and Iraq War veteran Seth Moulton, along with three others. Tierney is expected to win, but Moulton raised considerable money for a first-time candidate challenging an incumbent. In the general, Tierney would face Republican Richard Tisei in a rematch of their close 2012 contest. This is a Democratic district, but Tierney’s issues and Tisei’s strengths make this uniquely competitive. The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Tossup/Tilts Democratic.
Maine’s 2nd District. The district has evolved since the last time it was open in 2002, but it could develop into a serious Republican opportunity. Democratic state Sen. Emily Cain and former Republican state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin won competitive primaries and are facing off in the general. Cain should have the advantage — but Democrats have some work to do and Poliquin should be taken seriously in this midterm election. The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Democrat Favored.
New Hampshire’s 1st District. This district keeps swinging back and forth between the two parties. This cycle, Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter is the target. Former Rep. Frank Guinta is expected to win the Sept. 9 GOP primary, but he must get past business school dean Dan Innis. The seat is almost guaranteed to have another close general-election race. The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Tossup/Tilts Democratic.
New Hampshire’s 2nd District. As the more Democratic district in the state, this isn’t a great Republican opportunity, but it has some interesting storylines. Former state Sen. Gary Lambert and state Rep. Marilinda Garcia are facing off in the Sept. 9 GOP primary. Some Republican strategists believe Garcia is too conservative to win the district, but her nomination would give the caucus a young, Latina candidate to support against Democratic Rep. Ann McLane Kuster. The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Leans Democratic.
New Hampshire Senate. Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is not in imminent danger of losing, but there aren’t many other races in the region worth paying attention to. Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brown is likely to win the GOP primary, but he has a long ways to go to knock off Shaheen. If he is in the game in October, it will likely be a great night for Republicans in the Senate. The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Democrat Favored.
What races would you add to or subtract from the list?
Note: This is the second in a series of regional looks at the most competitive House and Senate races to watch. The New England region includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. The previous region covered: Mid-Atlantic.