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Owens, Mills Outraising Incumbents in Rematches

Love's Democratic challenger outraised her by $25,000. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In Utah's 'Safe Republican ' territory, where Democrat Doug Owens is again vying for the 4th District seat he lost by 5 points in 2014, he is one of the rare rematch candidates to have raised more than the incumbent.  

Freshman Republican Rep. Mia Love has been looking to solidify her hold  in a district Mitt Romney carried by 37 points in 2012. She brought in $325,000 in the final three months of 2015, and spent $302,000 of it, leaving her with $781,000 in the bank. But Owens raised $350,000, spending only $135,000, and has $500,000 in the bank.  

Races Where Spending Bill Vote Could Be an Issue

Neither Republicans nor Democrats, whose Senate committee is led by Tester, see a clear political win from the omnibus vote. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress hadn't even left town when political campaigns in some of the most competitive House and Senate races zeroed in on Friday’s vote on a massive government spending bill. But rather than cleaving along partisan lines, Democrats and Republicans — incumbents and challengers alike — came down on both sides of the issue depending on their states and districts, suggesting national party committees aren't likely to take up the vote in their national messaging. The chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker, voted for the bill – even though some of his most vulnerable colleagues opposed it – while Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Jon Tester of Montana opposed it, with similar divergences in his own party. In the case of this bill, every candidate is on their own.  

Pennsylvania Senate Sen. Patrick J. Toomey voted against the bill, criticizing it as an instrument of the government’s “out-of-control spending” that would exacerbate the deficit, fund the resettlement of Syrian refugees and implement “damaging” federal regulations. And yet, in a statement released after the vote, he went on to tout that the bill for which he did not vote includes bipartisan proposals that he said will support jobs in the Keystone State. He also praised the bill’s suspension of the medical device tax, support for the military, Alzheimer’s research and health care for 9/11 responders.   That’s a contradiction that former Rep. Joe Sestak, who’s vying for the Democratic nomination to challenge Toomey in 2016, seized on in Twitter messages Friday afternoon. https://twitter.com/JoeSestak/status/677930799744868354  

5 Races Where Deep Pockets Could Change the Game

MacArthur spent more than $5 million last cycle, much of which was his own money. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

How much candidates have raised and how much money they have in the bank aren’t the only two numbers that matter in a quarterly fundraising report. The depth of a candidate's pockets and how deeply they're willing to dig into them can be just as, or more, important.  

Campaigns are often loath to draw attention to the self-funded portion of their disclosures — it can undermine the appearance of grass-roots support and set them up for attack.  

Incumbency Isn't Always an Advantage in Fundraising

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In Illinois, 8th District Rep. Tammy Duckworth has raised more than vulnerable GOP Sen. Mark S. Kirk and fellow Democrat Andrea Zopp. Duckworth hauled in $1.46 million to Kirk’s $1.05 million. She ended the period with $2.8 million on hand, compared to Kirk’s $3.62 million.

The biggest surprise came in Arkansas' safe Republican Senate seat. Less than a month after launching his campaign, wealthy former U.S. attorney Conner Eldridge  reportedly raised $403,000 to Sen. John Boozman’s $359,000. Boozman, however, still holds the cash advantage with $1.12 million in the bank. Because House candidates generally raise less money than their upper chamber peers, it’s less unusual for them to out-raise incumbents.  

In New Hampshire, Frank Guinta Soldiers On Amid Controversy

Guinta speaks during a business roundtable discussion on cyber security at Jenaly Technology in Portsmouth, N.H. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Embattled GOP Rep. Frank C. Guinta may be one of the most vulnerable congressional incumbents in the country, but you wouldn’t know it if you spent time with the Republican congressman in his district.  

Instead of hiding out, Guinta's had an active August recess, hosting town halls and visiting businesses in his southeastern New Hampshire-based 1st District as if the controversy swirling around him over campaign violations did not exist.  

Carol Shea-Porter Files to Run Again in New Hampshire (Updated)

Shea-Porter, who has filed to run for her old seat, is seen here in 2013 speaking to the media after a briefing on Syria. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Updated 4:09 p.m. |  Democratic former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter has filed to run again for her old New Hampshire 1st District seat, setting up what could be the fourth election between her and GOP Rep. Frank C. Guinta.  

The conditional factor will be whether Guinta, who has refused to resign over a campaign finance scandal , stays in the race. He could still resign, in which case there would be a special election. Or he could choose not to seek re-election.  

Carol Shea-Porter 'Ready to Win' N.H. Seat Back

Shea-Porter is signaling she wants a fourth rematch with Guinta next fall in New Hampshire. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire told supporters in an email Thursday she is "ready to win" back the seat she was ousted from in 2014.  

Shea-Porter has been contemplating  another rematch with Rep. Frank C. Guinta, the Republican she has sparred with since the 2010 cycle who is currently embattled in a campaign finance scandal . While it's unclear whether Shea-Porter is running again in 2016, her declarative statement is a clear sign she is moving closer to another comeback bid in the Granite State's 1st District.  

Republicans Fear Guinta Scandal Could Imperil 2016

Guinta is facing pressure to resign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Frank C. Guinta's campaign finance troubles could expand from a personal headache to a partywide migraine for New Hampshire Republicans worried about holding his House seat next fall.  

Last week, the Federal Election Commission found Guinta violated campaign finance rules  by accepting more than $350,000 in illegal campaign contributions, ordering him to pay back the funds along with a $15,000 fine. Guinta has refused to admit wrongdoing, but New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte Monday became the highest-profile Republican to suggest the congressman step down.  

The Year of the Rematch

Shea-Porter is contemplating a fourth House race rematch in New Hampshire's 1st District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter is seriously considering a run for Congress in New Hampshire’s 1st District in 2016 — setting up the possibility of yet another House rematch this cycle.  

“I am so grateful to all of you who have been also asking me to run again for the United States House of Representatives,” Shea-Porter said recently in an email to supporters obtained by CQ Roll Call. “I received 48.2% of the vote in a very tough cycle, which mean we can win the seat in 2016 when more voters turn out. My team and I are hard at work looking at everything, and I will send you an email when a decision is made.”  

Exclusive: NRCC Announces 12 Members in Patriot Program

Walden of Oregon is the NRCC chairman in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee announced 12 members will kick-start its Patriot Program for the House GOP's most vulnerable incumbents, according to a news release provided first to CQ Roll Call.  

Eleven of the members were elected in 2014, when Republicans made huge gains across the country. The 12 members represent districts where Democrats typically perform well in presidential cycles, making them top targets in 2016.