More change for Congress 

Posted: 8:59 pm Monday, June 11th, 2012

By Jamie Dupree

The voters continue their march to November and a new Congress today in seven states, with the highlight being a special election in Arizona to replace ex-Rep. Gabby Giffords, who resigned earlier this year to deal with the aftermath of would she suffered in an assassination attempt.

Along with the Arizona special election, Maine, North Dakota, Nevada, South Carolina and Virginia will all have primary voting for Congress today; Arkansas will also have several runoffs to fill out the November ballot for the U.S. House.

Unlike earlier rounds of voting this year, no incumbents seem to be at risk in today’s primary voting for the Congress; Democrats are the favorite to keep the Giffords seat in Arizona, where her former aide Ron Barber leads in the polls.

Barber suffered wounds in the same attack that seriously wounded Giffords; a new survey from Public Policy Polling has him ahead by 16 points over his Republican rival Jesse Kelly.

Both men are also squaring off in a multi-candidate field for the right to run in November as well.

25 states still must hold their primaries and final runoffs for Congress before the November elections, as several incumbents will be at risk of losing later this month in New York and Utah.

Already, the new Congress that convenes in January will have 56 different members from the one that was sworn in after the 2010 election – and that number will only grow in coming months.

Then, add in lawmakers who lose in November in both parties – and we will have another big change in the Congress.

Politico reported earlier this week that the 113th session of Congress could have at least 155 members with less than four years of experience – that would be over 35% of the House.

The elections in 2010 brought 96 new members to the House – 87 Republicans and 9 Democrats.

We may not reach that level in 2012, but there will be another big chunk of fresh faces in January of 2013 – and Tuesday we take another step down that road.