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Allen West, Others Face Challenges In 2012 House Races

House Races 2012

By DONNA CASSATA   02/25/12 08:10 AM ET  AP

WASHINGTON -- Call it basic political math. Twenty-five new seats put the Democrats over the top in the House, giving them back the majority they lost two years ago. Republicans acknowledge they'll lose some seats, but maintain they will remain in charge. Ten 10 races to watch in the coming months that could provide some clues to the outcome on Election Day:

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DEMOCRATS

Georgia 12th Congressional District: Can four-term conservative Rep. John Barrow survive in the Republican South?

California 24th: If eight-term Rep. Lois Capps wins, Democrats could be on their way to significant gains in the state, a boost to their shot of winning the House.

Utah 4th: Six-term Rep. Jim Matheson is a regular GOP target in this solid Republican state, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce likes his voting record.

North Carolina 7th: The GOP-drawn maps are a nightmare for Democrats in the state. Can eight-term Rep. Mike McIntyre, another conservative, continue the minimal Democratic presence in the South?

New York 26th: First-term Rep. Kathy Hochul lifted Democratic spirits last year with a win in a special election. Republicans are looking to take the seat back.

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REPUBLICANS

Illinois 11th: Seven-term Rep. Judy Biggert is a top Democratic target after the party drew political boundaries to its liking. She could face former Rep. Bill Foster, who lost in 2010.

Florida 18th: The outspoken and well-funded freshman Rep. Allen West switched to the district and immediately drew Republican challengers.

Colorado 6th: New district lines make it tougher for two-term Rep. Mike Coffman.

California 7th: Defeating nine-term Rep. Dan Lungren is one part of the Democratic calculation to winning big in California.

New York 13th: First-term Rep. Michael Grimm has been dogged by questions about his fundraising and business practices in a district that includes Staten Island and part of Brooklyn.

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Filed by Paige Lavender  |