Five Incumbents in 'Friendly Fire' Races Who Are Guaranteed to Lose

In Illinois, California, Louisiana and Iowa, incumbents battle against each other on Election Day

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Rep. Jeff Landry, R-La., holds a sign during a speech by President Barack Obama to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011.
Rep. Jeff Landry, R-La., holds a sign during a speech by President Barack Obama to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011.

Five congressional incumbents are guaranteed to lose Tuesday. Due to redistricting, there are 10 incumbents pitted against each other in California, Iowa, Louisiana and Illinois.

In California's 30th District, Rep. Howard Berman and Rep. Brad Sherman will face off for the final time. Berman and Sherman, both pro-choice, DREAM Act and healthcare-law loving Democrats, have battled in an explosive congressional race, complete with nasty ads, Republican endorsements and a near-physical altercation during a debate at Pierce College. Polls show Sherman with the advantage.

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In Ohio's 16th District, where Republicans hold the advantage, the race between Democrat Rep. Betty Sutton and Republican Rep. Jim Renacci has been flooded with outside money. According to campaign finance reports, outside groups have dumped $10 million into the House race.

The Cook Political Report predicts a win for Renacci, saying the district leans Republican, but pundit Larry Sabato says the race leans Democratic.

In Louisiana's 3rd District, freshman Rep. Jeff Landry has fought a tough race against four-term Republican Rep. Charles Boustany. The Republicans compete after Louisiana lost a congressional seat in the 2010 Census. Boustany leads in campaign cash and establishment endorsements. Landry, on the other hand, has the support of conservative power groups, including the Family Research Council, Tea Party Nation and FreedomWorks. Landry has attacked Boustany for being a Washington insider and voting with Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi to increase his salary. Boustany has released internal polling showing himself with a 20 point lead.

[READ: Where They Stand: the Final Polls of the 2012 Election]

In Iowa's 3rd District, two long-time congressmen are embattled in one of this season's closest nail biters. Iowa lost a congressional seat to redistricting, forcing to big agriculture heavyweights Republican Tom Latham and Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell to compete against one another this cycle. Latham has the fundraising edge and "right" party affiliation in the Republican-leaning district. But Boswell's lived through tough races before and a Benneson Strategy Group poll in early fall showed the incumbents neck-and-neck.

In California's 44th District, two Democrats, Rep. Laura Richardson and Rep. Janice Hahn, have conducted a calmer-than-anticipated congressional race. Hahn looks to have a lead in the polls and has outraised her opponent $2.4 million to $530,000. Richardson was the target of a House Ethics Committee investigation earlier this cycle after she pressured members of her congressional staff to work on her campaign.

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  • Lauren Fox is a political reporter for U.S. News and World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or reach her at