10 Most Vulnerable House Seats
Earlier this week Roll Call took a deeper look at the most highly contested House races across the country. They ranked the top 10, starting with the most likely to flip. Between redistricting, rematches, and Freshman flubs, these are the most important races to watch until the election.
1. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.)
2nd full term (68 percent)
Richardson is the only Member on this list who faces a member of her own party – and a fellow Member – on the ballot. Her race against Rep. Janice Hahn, created by California’s new “top-two” primary system, was mostly over before it began. The state party and powerful California Labor Federation are with Hahn. Throw in the persistent ethics trouble Richardson has found herself in since she came to Congress, including being officially reprimanded on the House floor in August, and the result is a Member who is all but certain to lose.
2. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.)
10th term (61 percent)
The 86-year-old Congressman’s district underwent one of the biggest partisan conversions of any in the country as a result of redistricting. The bottom line is it was drawn to elect a Democrat, and it will in November: businessman John Delaney. If national Republicans or their aligned outside groups had seen evidence that this race was winnable, they might have reserved TV time. But none of them seems willing to gamble in the very expensive Washington, D.C., media market. Bartlett should have retired, as many expected him to do.
3. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.)
2nd term (53 percent)
Kissell has been on all three Top 10 Vulnerable Member lists we’ve done this cycle. But with a month to go until Election Day, there is the best tangible proof yet that his chances of winning a third term are slim. National Democrats recently pulled their TV reservations in Kissell’s district – a big sign the former teacher and textile worker is viewed as a political goner. To be clear, Kissell had little control over his predicament. GOP-led redistricting was meant to decimate Democrats in the Tar Heel State. Kissell would need a miracle to overcome the partisan slant of his new district.