Latest update, Sep, 2013
It is very early in the race, and our projections have to rely on very sketchy understanding of trends. The most important question for our purpose though, is one for which we don't have an answer: Will 2014 be a Republican House year, as most pundits believe?
Right now, very few Jewish incumbents seem in danger of losing their seats come 2014 (but this is early, early, and again, early in the race – it's not yet even a race). We do expect to see a fair number of Jewish candidates in contested races, based on partial information such as the fact that the Democratic Party "identified the four most vulnerable [Republican incumbents] as Ohio Rep.-elect David Joyce, Illinois Rep.-elect Rodney Davis, Florida Rep. Bill Young and California Rep. Gary Miller" – all candidates in states with a large pool of Jewish potential candidates to draw from.
Current toss-up races and current relatively weakly ranked Republican incumbents are also from such states. Since the number of Jewish House members today is at its lowest in 20 years, another round of declines in Jewish representation might point to a trend that is not merely coincidence – maybe Jewish potential candidates are running from politics? Currently though, we'll assume that 2014 is going to be a fairly positive year for Jewish representation, and even with the expected retirements would put our projection at + 1. This means 23 Jewish representatives.
Current Jewish House members:
As it stands, only one serving candidate is currently in the 'toss up' colum- Brad Schneider of the often closely contested IL-10. Lois Frankel of FL-22 (we wrote extensively about this race) is under the "likely Democratic" column.
Susan Davis (D-CA-53): Won in 2012 by 21 points. Safe.
Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47): Won in 2012 by 10 points. Safe.
Adam Schiff (D-CA-28): Won in 2012 by 51 points. Safe.
Brad Sherman (D-CA-30): Won in 2012 by 20 points. Safe.
Henry Waxman (D-CA-33): Won in 2012 by 6 points. Safe.
Jared Polis (D-CO-02): Won in 2012 by 17 points. Safe.
Ted Deutch (D-FL-21): Won in 2012 by 55 points. Safe.
Lois Frankel (D-FL-22): Won in 2012 by 9 points. Current ranking: likely Democratic.
Alan Grayson (D-FL-09): Won in 2012 by 25 points. Safe.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23): Won in 2012 by 27 points. Safe.
Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09): Won in 2012 by 32 points. Safe.
Brad Schneider (D-IL-10): Won in 2012 by 1.2 points. Democratic toss-up.
John Yarmuth (D-KY-03): Won in 2012 by 29 points. Safe.
Sander Levin (D-MI-09): Won in 2012 by 28 points. Safe.
Eliot Engel (D-NY-16): Won in 2012 by 56 points. Safe.
Steve Israel (D-NY-03): Won in 2012 by 16 points. Safe.
Nita Lowey (D-NY-17): Won in 2012 by 29 points. Safe.
Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10): Won in 2012 by 61 points. Safe.
David Cicilline (D-RI-01): Won in 2012 by 12 points. Safe.
Steve Cohen (D-TN-09): Won in 2012 by 51 points. Safe.
Eric Cantor (R-VA-07): Won in 2012 by 17 points. Safe.
Jewish candidates 2014:
What we have now is not a list of candidates, but rather a list of questions.
Will Randy Altschuler – NY-01 GOP candidate - run again? There are already early reports of anti-Altschuler "buzz". On the other hand, NY-01 is still ranked as "lean Democratic", the weaker category, so the potential might still be there.
If FL-22 is yet again contested, will it be a Jew vs. Jew rematch or will we see new candidates emerging?
AZ-09 Sinema is also under the "lean Dem" column. In the 2012 race, the other candidates were Jewish, but these were Democratic Primary rivals and it's not clear if they intend to run again. Libertarian Jewish candidate Mark Victor is running in this district as well.
Allyson Schwartz (D-PA-13): Won in 2012 by 38 points and seemed safe, but decided to opt for the better job of governor. Of those running to replace her - or possible contenders - there are several Jewish names: Daylin Leach is running, Marjorie Margolies is Jewish. Rothenberg writes that "The Democratic primary to replace Schwartz could be crowded. The district, which includes part of the city of Philadelphia and some suburban areas, is very Democratic, so the primary is where the real fight will occur".
Another candidate who seems to be giving an incumbent congressman quite a hard time is Andrew Romanoff (D-CO-6), who has also reportedly been raising a lot of money in his effort to beat Mike Coffman. While the Cook report still labels this race in the 'lean republican' category, the Rothenberg Report treats it as a 'pure toss-up'. Politico reported that "Combined with the fact that President Barack Obama carried the district by 5 percentage points in 2012, Romanoff’s ability to raise money gives Democrats reason to believe that he has a better chance of unseating Coffman than Democratic state Rep. Joe Miklosi had in 2012... All in all, Coffman and Romanoff present a remarkably even matchup, strategists say. As a result, they suggest that the national political climate, and not necessarily local issues, will be the key to victory in November 2014".
In Arizona, Jewish state representative Adam Kwasman (R-AZ-01) has anounced his plans to challenge the incumbent Democrat Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick. As of now, the district is labeled as toss-up/leaning Democrat. And Kwasman isn't the leading candidate in a Republican primary.
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