We’re Number 1! (and 6)
The Washington Post took a look at the most competitive congressional primaries in the country and named the top 10 incumbents most likely to lose. There are two familiar names on the list: Reps. Tim Holden and Tim Murphy. One of them was listed number one in the country.
In case you haven’t already seen it giddily posted on the social media accounts of these challengers and their staffers, you can read Aaron Blake’s full list here. Here are the Pa. entries:
6. Rep. Tim Holden (D-Pa.): Holden was one of few Democrats who survived in a conservative district last election, and Republicans appeared to do him a favor by moving many of his Republicans to shore up neighboring GOP incumbents and giving him a much more Democratic district in the process. But that new territory also drew new intra-party opposition, and lawyer Matt Cartwright has reportedly put together $600,000 for his primary challenge April 24. Cartwright has also gotten the support of some liberal groups against the Blue Dog Holden, and the Campaign for Primary Accountability has said it will spend $200,000 on taking down Holden.
1. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.): This is a classic establishment-versus-tea party fight. Murphy’s opponent — 27-year-old former Senate aide Evan Feinberg — has been endorsed by Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.). (Feinberg used to work for Paul.) Murphy’s campaign, meanwhile, is touting polling that shows him with a massive lead, but the Campaign for Primary Accountability has pledged to spend $200,000 on ads hitting Murphy. That sort of spending — plus his support from the tea party wing of the GOP — could help Feinberg close the gap quickly.
Whether the list is meant to be a strict ranking or not, the fact that these two races are now on the national radar means one thing: more money coming into the districts. It will be easier for all parties, incumbents and challengers, to fundraise because of this list. And it won’t go unnoticed by third party groups, either.