Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:
New York 13: Bellwether for the GOP?
Primary: September 14, 2010
Location: Staten Island and some parts of Brooklyn
Days until the election: 43
(CNN) – New York's 13th congressional district may turn out to be a good bellwether for whether the GOP can ride the waves of anti-incumbent sentiment to take back some of the seats that they lost in the Democratic tsunamis of 2006 and 2008.
The district, which is comprised of Staten Island and a little bit of Brooklyn, has traditionally veered away from its true blue neighbors, with a six term GOP stalwart – former Rep. Vito Fossella – who held the seat until he was busted for a DUI and an extramarital affair during his campaign for re-election in 2008.
And while the sitting Democratic congressman, Rep. Mike McMahon, won his seat in 2008 with a very strong 61percent of the votes, the district still gave a majority of its votes to the McCain/Palin ticket in 2008. Prominent analysts Stu Rothenberg and Charlie Cook favor the Democrat in their horse-race ratings, but it wont be a walk in the park for McMahon to hold on to his seat, as he faces insurgent Tea Party endorsed Republican candidate Mike Grimm in November.
McMahon, who voted against his party for health care reform, has campaigned as a "centrist" Democrat, winning an important endorsement from New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, which could ultimately play a large role in helping him to retain the seat, should he succeed in doing so. He has raised a sizeable amount of money to compete with his GOP opponent – over $2 million dollars – and he has a little over half of that left as cash on hand for the crucial remaining days until the election.
GOP nominee Mike Grimm, who is a Marine and a Gulf War vet, bucked the local Republican establishment (including former Rep. Vitro Fossella) and went on to crush his opponent in the Republican primary. One of his largest challenges as he looks to the final weeks of the election is that he has spent a little over half of his campaign funds, leaving him with slightly more than $300,000 as he heads into the general election. He'll need to fundraise aggressively to stack up against McMahon's warchest. Yet Grimm has an excited base of GOP voters going into election day, and he has the allure of being an outsider.