5 Neck-and-Neck House Races

Threats to reporters, alleged earwax-eating take center stage
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2014 10:13 AM CDT
5 Neck-and-Neck House Races
Incumbent Republican Rep. Michael Grimm.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Given the stakes, you may be tempted to focus more on Senate races next Tuesday than House ones—but there's plenty of political drama to hold your attention in the lower chamber. Among the most interesting races:

  • In New York's 11th district, a man facing a federal indictment on 20 counts—who also threatened on camera to hurl a reporter off a balcony—is actually leading the race, both parties say. Republican Rep. Michael Grimm is ahead of Domenic Recchia in a red area of Staten Island, and Recchia hasn't helped himself with befuddled discussions of policy, Politico reports.
  • In California's 52nd, a poll shows Democratic Rep. Scott Peters with 45% of the vote to ex-San Diego councilman Carl DeMaio's 46%. DeMaio is facing trouble over accusations of sexual harassment from a former staffer; he denies them, and police aren't looking to charge him. The GOP is still hopeful.

  • In West Virginia's 3rd, an almost four-decade incumbent is grappling with Koch-funded attacks pushing his association with President Obama. Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall is now just behind Republican Evan Jenkins in both parties' polls—and if Jenkins wins, Republicans are poised to hold onto the seat for a long time.
  • Here's an odd one: Both candidates running in Florida's 26th are caught up in scandals, and perhaps the weirdest is the accusation that Democratic incumbent Joe Garcia ate his own earwax on TV, the Daily Beast reports. But opponent Carlos Curbelo has taken flak for calling Medicare and Social Security "Ponzi schemes."
  • In Nebraska's 2nd, the race could hinge on an inflammatory ad. Former RNC chairman Michael Steele says the ad, which targets Democratic state lawmaker Brad Ashford, is "racist." The spot argues that Ashford backed a "good time law" resulting in the early release of convicted murderer Nikko Jenkins. The district offers Democrats a chance at a new seat, but some in the GOP believe the ad could help the party keep it.
Of course, some people think this election is pretty boring... (More Election 2014 stories.)

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