The Off-the-Radar Congressional Targets of 2012

These aren't the flashy marquee races of 2012, but they could be crucial in the battle for Congress.

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 Ohio's 16th District

No individual House race is crucial, but many are important bellwethers, and the redistricting process throws a monkey wrench into the careers of many up-and-coming legislators. Take Ohio's 16th District, which will stretch from suburban Cleveland into the state's rural middle. In a rare occurrence, the race will pit two incumbent representatives from opposite parties against each other in a district that could go either way. Republican Rep. Jim Renacci, who was elected in 2010 and currently represents the 16th, will face three-term Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton, whose previous district based in Akron was effectively eliminated. Sutton, a rising star among Buckeye Democrats, was one of the principle authors of the "Cash for Clunkers" stimulus program.

  • See a  political cartoons about the 2012 GOP race.
  • Opinion: 10 Predictions for 2012.
  • Slideshow: 10 Celebrities and Business Leaders Who Gave to the GOP Last Cycle.

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