Districts 12, 8 and 6 were ranked at No. 30, 39 and 68 respectively as among the top races in the country deemed likely to change partisan control.
Now, just a few weeks later, just 73 races made the ranks – and the PA races have largely stayed the same. PA-12 is still ranked at No. 30, PA-08 is still at 39 and PA-06 has fallen three places from No. 68 to 71.
This month the PA-12 race between Rep. Mark Critz (D-Cambria) and his opponent Keith Rothfus has kept the top slot.
“Here comes the cavalry,” wrote National Journal; because neither candidate has all that much cash compared with other top races in the country, outside groups are likely to play a large role for the district this cycle.
The NRCC released an ad last week blasting Critz for supporting Obamacare, as the Rothfus campaign put out their own ad touting the Allegheny County attorney’s “regular guy” status. House Majority PAC struck back with an anti-Rothfus ad within days.
Coming in second is still PA-08 because, according to National Journal, Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick’s (R-Bucks) district is moderate. They wrote last month, before Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan was selected to be Mitt Romney’s running mate, that PA-08 is one of several districts, “that will test whether Democrats can successfully exploit Ryan budget votes.”
The recent backlash against Missouri Rep. and Senate candidate Todd Akin’s remarks regarding “legitimate rape” may end up changing the conversation in suburban Philadelphia, says National Journal. Boockvar told the organization earlier this month that Fitzpatrick’s stance on abortion is one of the reasons why he’s too conservative for the district.
Bringing up the rear is PA-06, Rep. Jim Gerlach’s (R-Chester) district. National Journal didn’t see fit to write any explanation of this race or its ranking, but it’s obvious enough that this district is a longtime Democratic target.
PoliticsPA reported last month that we expect a close race in the SEPA district, especially given that Democratic congressional hopeful Manan Trivedi has more cash on hand ($527K) than any other Democratic challenger in the state.
August has been a busy month, but there’s a reason why National Journal calls this ranking “The Calm Before.”
Campaigns across the state and country have slowly been rolling out ads and amping up their polling, but fall campaign season is almost underway, and everything will be amplified post-conventions.
And “with no wave emerging for either side for the first time in four cycles, campaign strategy and candidate strength will matter more than they have recently,” wrote the Journal’s Scott Bland.
The two House campaign committees having already reserved $90 million in TV air time, reports National Journal – and outside groups stand likely to spend that amount of money several times over.
Romney’s Paul Ryan pick is certain to factor in, as will any current and future gaffes on either side of the aisle.
In other words? Buckle up, politicos. It’s going to be one heck of a ride to E-Day.