Three veteran House Democrats — Nick Rahall of West Virginia, John Barrow of Georgia, and Minnesota's Collin Peterson — who represent strong Republican-leaning districts are facing intensified efforts in the November midterms.
All three races appear to be competitive polls show, Politico reported.
Rahall was first elected in 1976 and is seeking his 20th term. He is considered supportive of the coal industry, according to the Almanac of American Politics. He voted for the Affordable Care Act and is regarded as the most vulnerable of the three Democrats. His opponent is Republican Evan Jenkins. Outside PACS have already spent some $3.5 million on the race, according to Politico.
"The Rahall brand elevates him out of the Democrat vs. Republican framing," said Rahall campaign manager Samuel Raymond. "He knows his constituents by their first name; they call him by first name. I truly believe that he has reinforced his brand by standing up to President Obama," Politico reported.
Republican Rick Allen is challenging Barrow in Georgia. Barrow is seeking a sixth term, having first been elected in 2004. The district has been redrawn to make it even more heavily Republican.
The congressman regularly breaks with the Democrats to vote with the Republican majority, according to the Almanac. He is running with the endorsements of the National Rifle Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The National Republican Congressional Committee is funneling $1.1 million for television ads targeting Barrow over votes supportive of President Barack Obama, Politico reported.
Collin Peterson in Minnesota is facing Republican Torrey Westrom. The National Republican Congressional Committee has committed $2.7 million to Westrom. A fiscal conservative, Peterson has been in the House since 1990 and is aiming for a 13th term, according to the Almanac. He has the backing of the Minnesota Farm Bureau, Politico reported.
Dan Conston of the Congressional Leadership Fund, which is connected to House Speaker John Boehner, argued that all three Democrats are "truly vulnerable" and that given the partisan makeup of their districts, "If we win, we'll never have to compete for these seats again," Politico reported.
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