Some candidates were expected to win despite their scandals. In Chicago, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., who ran a vigorous primary campaign in a newly drawn district that went deep into the suburbs beyond his South Side base, has not been seen in public since early June, when he entered a treatment facility for what his doctors said was bipolar disorder. He was expected to easily win reelection in his heavily Democratic district, but his aides have still not signaled when he will return to the Capitol.
In Staten Island, N.Y., freshman Rep. Michael Grimm, R, was favored to win reelection despite an active FBI investigation into his campaign finances from his 2010 race. In the last 10 days of the campaign, after Hurricane Sandy's destruction of his district, Grimm was a frequent presence on his district's streets and in media appearances pleading for help.
The redistricting process also created several incumbent-vs.-incumbent races, including a pivotal race in Cleveland's suburbs pitting freshman Rep. James Renacci, R, against Rep. Betty Sutton, D. That race was a potential harbinger of the presidential contest. Renacci, an entrepreneur who has owned several businesses, embodies the GOP business mantra embraced by Boehner and Romney. Sutton, a member of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition, represents her party's prior successful effort to appeal to exurban and rural voters with a mix of fiscal conservatism and socially liberal views.