Two Pennsylvania candidates are on the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee list of "essential races":
Pennsylvania House District 31 -- Steve Santarsiero
Status: Democratic Incumbent
Why this Race Matters: This Bucks County district outside of Philadelphia was the most-nominated Essential Race in the entire country, and it’s easy to see why. The district is evenly divided politically, and a district this close with a first-term Democratic representative is a must-win for the Republicans. Conversely, a Democratic victory here would indicate positive outcomes for House Democrats statewide.
Pennsylvania House District 163 -- Shannon Meehan
Status: Republican Incumbent
Why this Race Matters: This is another district that’s shifted away from the Republicans in recent years. John Kerry won here by 15 points, and Barack Obama won here by 20. The GOP incumbent has slowly seen his vote margins erode since his first election in 1978, and retired Army Captain Shannon Meehan, who was severely wounded in Iraq, is his strongest Democratic challenger in recent memory. Winning this district would provide valuable breathing room for the narrow Democratic majority in this crucial redistricting state.