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Where House and Presidential Races Converge

Coffman, R-Colo., faces a tough re-election race in a true presidential swing state. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Coffman, R-Colo., faces a tough re-election race in a true presidential swing state. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s going to be hard for most House races to get any attention this year, with a competitive presidential race and the fight for control of the Senate. But a handful of districts have the luxury of not only hosting a competitive House race, but also being swing areas of presidential battleground states.  

In states such as New York, California or Minnesota, House strategists and campaigns are largely on their own to motivate voters and get them to the polls. But in a few districts, House strategists and candidates can focus on persuading voters, since the presidential nominees, national parties and, in some cases, the Senate campaigns will have done the heavy lifting to get out the vote.  

Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call ratings for the House race and presidential race are included with each district.  

Colorado’s 6th District:  Democratic state Sen. Morgan Carroll is challenging GOP Rep. Mike Coffman in this Aurora-based swing district of an emerging swing state. President George W. Bush carried the district 54-45 percent in 2004 and President Barack Obama won it in 2008 (54-45 percent) and 2012 (52-46 percent). Each outcome was nearly identical to the statewide outcome. Colorado’s 9 electoral votes are likely up for grabs in November.
House Race Rating: Leans Republican. Presidential Rating:  Tossup.  

Virginia’s 2nd District:  GOP Rep. Scott Rigell is retiring but his colleague, GOP Rep. Randy Forbes, is running for re-election here after his neighboring district was redrawn to be significantly more Democratic. Democrats are hoping to cultivate a top-tier challenger to win the seat for the first time since 2008, but this Virginia Beach-anchored seat is virtually must-win territory for the presidential nominee. Mitt Romney and John McCain carried the 2nd with 51 percent in the last two presidential elections. Virginia’s 13 electoral votes are in play this fall.
House Race Rating: Leans Republican. Presidential Rating:  Tossup.  

Florida’s 18th District:  Senate candidate/Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy’s open seat in southeastern Florida is one of the most competitive House races in the country. Both presidential nominees will be focused on the seat to capture the Sunshine State’s 29 electoral votes. Obama carried the district with 51 percent in 2008 but Romney won it with 51 percent four years later. In the House race, wealthy CEO Randy Perkins is the front-runner on the Democratic side while the Republican primary is wide open. A competitive Senate race will also boost turnout.
House Race Rating:  Tossup. Presidential Rating:  Tossup.  

New Hampshire’s 1st District. Democrats and Republicans will be battling up and down the ballot in the Granite State. Presidential nominees will be aiming for New Hampshire’s four electoral votes, GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte faces Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country, and Republicans are trying to keep control of Rep. Frank C. Guinta’s seat. Obama carried the 2nd District with 53 percent in 2008 and 50 percent in 2012, which was within a couple points of his statewide performance.
House Race Rating:  Tossup. Presidential Rating: Tossup/Tilts Democratic.  

Iowa’s 3rd District. Democrats have their sights firmly set on freshman GOP Rep. David Young. It’s not clear whether they have a candidate capable of knocking off an incumbent, but there is no question that the Des Moines-based district will be a top priority for the presidential nominees. Obama carried the 3rd with 52 percent in 2008 and 51 percent in 2012, which was within a couple of points of his statewide performance each time. Republicans need Iowa’s six electoral votes to be in play to broaden the presidential playing field.
House Race Rating: Pure Tossup. Presidential Rating: Leans Democratic.  

Nevada’s 3rd District:  GOP Rep. Joe Heck is running for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s open Senate seat, leaving behind a competitive open House seat of his own. Republicans are in the middle of a crowded primary, while Democratic strategists are hoping Jewish community leader Jacky Rosen can take over the seat. Obama won the district, which is south of Las Vegas and anchored by Henderson, with nearly 54 percent in 2008 but less than 50 percent in 2012. The 3rd will be important territory for the Senate race as well as the Silver State’s six electoral votes in the presidential election.
House Race Rating:  Tossup. Presidential Rating:  Favored Democratic .


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

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