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United States Congress elections, 2014

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A total of 468 seats in the U.S. Congress will be up for election on November 4, 2014.

Heading into the election, Democrats control the U.S. Senate while Republicans are the majority in the U.S. House.

As of April 2013, there were seven incumbent senators and one incumbent member of congress who had announced they would not be seeking reelection.

U.S. Senate

See also: United States Senate elections, 2014

The 33 Class II U.S. Senate seats will be up for election. Of those 33 seats, 20 are currently held by Democrats and 13 by Republican senators.

U.S. Senate Partisan Breakdown
Party As of 2014 Election After the 2014 Election
     Democratic Party 53 44
     Republican Party 45 54
     Independent 2 2
Total 100 100

Race ratings

Washington Post

In August 2013 The Washington Post compiled a list of the 10 Senate seats most likely to change control in 2014:[1]

  • Republican Party Georgia: After Michelle Nunn (D) announced her candidacy in July 2013, it greatly increased the chance for Democrats to pick up the seat. On the Republican side, as of August 2013 there already had been five major Republican candidates in the field that could break any which way.[1] Who emerges from that primary will be a huge determining factor when it comes to whether this race is competitive.[1]
  • Democratic Party Iowa: Democratic candidate Bruce Braley seems to be a capable fundraiser and looks set to cruise to his party’s nomination without any trouble.[1] The Republican primary, meanwhile, lacks a clear front-runner. While it features a former Senate aide, a conservative radio host, a former U.S. attorney, a state senator and possibly a retired businessman, Gov. Terry Branstad (R) says he likely won’t endorse in the primary.[1] Democrats have the advantage in this open race as of August 2013, but the political contours of the state suggest it is not out of the question that Republicans can compete there.
  • Democratic Party North Carolina: State house Speaker Thom Tillis (R) has been plagued by headlines about major donors getting seats on the UNC Board of Governors and the money he has received from the gaming industry, and criticism over his decision to launch a Senate campaign while the legislature was still in session.[1] According to Washington Post none of it means Tillis cannot compete with Sen. Kay Hagan (D), who remains vulnerable.[1] However, his rough start was not the way to begin what promises to be a hard-fought campaign.[1]
  • Republican Party Kentucky: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) drew a self-funding primary challenge running to his ideological right as well as a Democratic challenger in Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.[1] Despite a rocky start for Grimes, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee reportedly will ensure she has a solid team around her to make sure she avoids further rookie mistakes.[1] Polling as of Augsut 2013 suggests it is already a close race.[1] According to the Washington Post, "We think McConnell still is a slight favorite to come back to the Senate in 2015, but his chances got longer over the past month."[1]
  • Democratic Party Alaska: Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell appears to be the favorite, and 2010 nominee Joe Miller is the guy Republicans definitely don’t want. In the middle is the potential wild card, state Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan — not to be confused with the Anchorage mayor of the same name — who recently deployed to Afghanistan.[1] Treadwell didn’t get off to a fast start, raising just $180,000 in the first six months of 2013, and there is speculation that Sullivan, who is not a candidate yet, could start looking more attractive as an alternative.[1]
  • Democratic Party Arkansas: Rep. Tom Cotton (R) is the rare Republican recruit with the ability to unite the conservative grass roots and the Republican establishment, spelling trouble for Sen. Mark Pryor (D), the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbent, according to the Washington Post.[1]. Pryor has already taken criticism over the airwaves from both conservative groups on his right and a leading gun-control organization on his left.[1] When Cotton committed to running, things looked even bleaker for the Democrat.

Campaign finance

April 2013

According to an April 2013 Politico report, incumbent Democrats in red states raised "millions" in the first three months of 2013.[2] The candidates highlighted in the article were:

  • Democratic Party Mary Landrieu (LA) had raised $1.2 million and had $3.5 million cash on hand
  • Democratic Party Mark Pryor (AK) had raised $1.9 million and had $3.4 million cash on hand
  • Democratic Party Kay Hagan (NC) had raised $1.6 million and had $2.7 million cash on hand
  • Democratic Party Mark Begich (AK) had raised $948,000 and had $1.5 million cash on hand[2]

August 2013

An August 2013 Politico report reported that the 27 incumbents running for re-election in 2014 had together raised about $125 million by the end of June 2013.[3] The report also found that 2014 may be the most expensive midterm election to date, pointing to the fact that the total amount raised for incumbents seeking re-election is $30 million more than at the same point in 2012 and on par with the amount they had raised in 2010.[3]

The incumbents highlighted in the article were:[3]

National Republican Senatorial Committee

In July 2013, National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) president, Rob Collins, circulated a memo to top donors outlining the path to a majority in the Senate for the Republican Party. From the memo:

"Montana now joins West Virginia and South Dakota as the third red-state where Democrats have not only failed to land their top candidates, but to recruit a candidate capable of winning a general election matchup."

Collins went on to state that Republicans need to win just three seats in states with incumbent Democratic senators.[4]

DCCC & NRCC fundraising

First quarter 2013

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) gained an early fundraising advantage in the first quarter of 2013. It outraised the National Republican Congressional Committee $22.6 million to $17.5 million. Party strategists attributed the edge to Democrats' advantage in Internet fundraising and small-dollar donations. Additionally vulnerable Democratic incumbents lead their endangered Republican counterparts in a majority of races.[5]

July 2013

As of July 2013, the DCCC had outraised the NRCC by $6.5 million.[6]

August 2013

According to an Open Secrets report on FEC filings released on August 13, 2013, the DCCC had raised $40.8 million to the NRCC's $34.3 million.[7]

U.S. House

See also: United States House of Representatives elections, 2014

All 435 seats of the U.S. House will be up for election.

U.S. House Partisan Breakdown
Party As of 2014 Election After the 2014 Election
     Democratic Party 201 188
     Republican Party 234 247
     Vacancy 0 0
Total 435 435

Five primaries to watch

Politico published a list in August 2013 of the five primaries to watch in 2014. They included:[8]

Simpson, a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner, is facing what some are calling his most serious race since he was first elected to the House in 1998.[8]
Attorney Bryan Smith, who has the backing of the anti-tax Club for Growth and RedState founder Erick Erickson, is portraying the incumbent as insufficiently conservative and soft on spending issues.[8] Smith also has the backing of Rod Beck, a former state senator and an influential GOP activist in the state.[8]
Simpson, however, is taking the race seriously, raking in an impressive $306,000 during the second quarter. Smith, meanwhile, suffered an early setback when The Associated Press published a report last week that he had been using a donor’s private airplane to fly to campaign events.
Since 1918, just one Idaho representative has failed to win his party’s nomination before managing to win in the general election.[8]
Shuster’s (R) primary will pit an incumbent against the anti-establishment wing of the party.[8] It’s not the first time Shuster has faced a serious primary. In 2004, he held off Republican challenger Michael DelGrosso, 51 percent to 49 percent.[8]
He must beat challenger Art Halvorson, who has won early endorsements from RedState founder Erick Erickson and the Madison Project, a conservative group that recently ran a 60-second radio ad hammering Shuster for his votes to raise the debt ceiling.[8]
Halvorson, a wealthy commercial real estate developer who has already put $100,000 towards his campaign, has hammered Shuster for his record on spending issues. Travis Schooley, an Army veteran, is also running.[8]
Honda is regarded on Capitol Hill as a well-liked and congenial figure who coasts to victory every other year.[8]
Challenger Ro Khanna, who has taught at Stanford University and works at a Silicon Valley law firm, is tapping a vast network of tech donors to give Honda a surprisingly tough fight in 2014.[8] During the second quarter of 2013, the challenger raised over $1 million and reported having $1.7 million cash on hand — more than four times the amount Honda had.[8] Khanna has built a formidable operation filled with veterans of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, including Jeremy Bird, Obama’s national field director in 2012, and David Binder, one of the president’s pollsters.[8]
Honda has the president’s endorsement — and the backing of Democratic power brokers such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel.[8] While Khanna is likely to draw support from Silicon Valley’s large Indian-American population, Honda enjoys long-standing ties to the Asian-American community, which makes up nearly half the district.[8]
The race is almost certain to extend beyond the June 3 primary.[8] Under California’s newly implemented “Top-Two” system, the top two finishers advance to the November general election, regardless of their party affiliation.[8]
According to Politico there is no incumbent more likely to lose a primary than DesJarlais, the scandal-plagued sophomore Republican congressman.[8] During the final weeks before the 2012 general election, sworn testimony from his 2001 divorce trial was uncovered in which DesJarlais, a former physician and hospital chief of staff, acknowledged having sexual relationships with patients and even prescribing drugs to one of them.[8] DesJarlais still managed to win re-election in the conservative district.[8]
On August 7, 2013, DesJarlais formally launched his bid for a third term.[8] In 2014, DesJarlais will be confronting several serious primary opponents, including state senator Jim Tracy and state representative Joe Carr.[8] While DesJarlais has raised $160,000 in 2013, Tracy has taken in nearly $740,000 and Carr $305,000.[8]
With Tracy, Carr and several other less-well-known Republican challengers running, there is the possibility that the anti-DesJarlais vote could splinter and allow him to skate by with a plurality of the vote.[8]
Vulnerable after the scandal surrounding his wife, Tierney barely managed to win re-election in 2012.[8] In 2010, Patrice Tierney pleaded guilty to helping her brother file false tax returns in connection with his operation of an illegal offshore casino.[8]
Republicans criticized Tiernery about his wife, alleging that he was fully aware of her conduct.[8] he ultimately defeated Richard Tisei (D) by fewer than 4,000 votes — or 1 percent of the vote -- in the general election.
Tisei, a former state house minority leader, is likely to run again in 2014.[8] This time, Tierney will have an added obstacle for re-election, a Democratic primary. Seth Moulton, a Harvard-educated former Marine, has launched a campaign to unseat the congressman. He has recruited veteran Democratic strategist Joe Trippi to help with his campaign.[8] Also running is Marisa DeFranco (D), an attorney who ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2012.[8]

See also