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Top Races in 2016: The West

The race to replace Reid will be one of the most competitive of the cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The race to replace Reid will be one of the most competitive of the cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This is the eighth in a series looking at the most competitive House and Senate races in 2016. The West region covers Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.  

Nevada Senate: The race to replace Minority Leader Harry Reid should be one of the best in the country. The parties are confident in their recruits, both of whom have clear primary paths. The general election features battle-tested GOP Rep. Joe Heck against Democratic state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who has been elected statewide twice against nominal opposition. Republicans could use a victory in Nevada to cancel out a loss in another state, but it won’t be easy in a presidential year.  

Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call rating: Tossup .  

Nevada 3rd District: Democrats haven’t been able to defeat Heck, but his open seat should be a top takeover target. President Barack Obama won the district narrowly in 2012, and by a wider 9 points in 2008. A handful of Republicans are running including state Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson, former congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian, Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, think tank CEO Andy Matthews and others. Democrats are still actively looking for a top recruit, but they can’t afford to let this opportunity slip away.  

Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rating: Tossup.  

California 17th District:  The seat isn’t at risk of a Republican takeover, but it’s one of the most competitive in the country. In 2014, Democrat Ro Khanna narrowly lost to Democratic Rep. Michael M. Honda, 52 percent to 48 percent, in a race that went all the way to November. Khanna is back, and Honda is under investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics. In 2014, Honda only improved from 48 percent to 52 percent from the primary to the general election, which doesn’t give the eight-term lawmaker a high ceiling.  

Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rating: Safe Democrat.  

What races would you add to the list?


Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016

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