Top 10 House Races to Watch on Election Night

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All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for election on Nov. 8. The Democrats currently hold a 221-212 advantage in the House, with two vacancies, although based on polling figures, the Republicans appear poised to capture a majority in the chamber this year.

RealClearPolitics gauges 228 seats as leaning, likely, or solidly Republican, 174 similarly poised to go Democratic, and 33 as toss-ups. Most of the toss-up seats currently belong to Democrats. If Republicans win the night, as generally predicted, the big question will be how big the “red wave” will be and the size of the GOP’s majority.

Analysts differ on the key races. That list includes some that are seen as bellwethers, or areas where outcomes tend to mirror broader trends. The list also includes some races where veteran lawmakers are in a tight race to defend their seats.

Here’s a list of 10 House races to watch on election night.

North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District

Because it’s in the East and the polls close at 7:30 p.m. local time, the race between Democratic state Sen. Wiley Nickel and young Donald Trump-backed Republican newcomer Bo Hines in the 13th Congressional District will yield results early. And its demographics, split between North Carolina’s rural counties and Raleigh’s suburbs, make it useful in analyzing other races in similar districts. (Read More)

Iowa’s 3rd District

Iowa’s 3rd District covers most of the state’s southwest quadrant, roughly an area including Des Moines, its suburbs and fast-growing exurbs, as well as rural areas to the borders with Nebraska and Missouri. Democratic incumbent Rep. Cindy Axne has won the seat twice without yet reaching 50 percent of the vote. Following redistricting, the area voted narrowly for Donald Trump over Joe Biden in 2020.

It’s the second most likely tipping point after North Carolina’s 13th District, analyst Nathaniel Rakich said in a FiveThirtyEight podcast. Rakich said it’s a good seat to watch because it has two reasonably strong candidates, the incumbent Axne and GOP state Sen. Zach Nunn. Campaign ads mostly feature national issues, such as abortion and crime, rather than local ones. (Read More)

New York’s 17th District

This race in New York’s 17th District features the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, one of the most influential members of his party and who wouldn’t be expected to be in a close race in this Hudson Valley district.

But Republicans are making a late surge in the blue state, led by gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin. His anti-crime message has resonated as New York City residents deal with a crime wave in the streets and subways. (Read More)

Ohio’s 9th District

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), 76, and who was first elected in 1982, is the longest-serving woman in House history. If the close Biden ally wins the election over Republican J.R. Majewski, she’ll pass the late Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) as the longest-serving woman in Congress. (Read More)

Michigan’s 3rd District

Republican Rep. Peter Meijer lost his 3rd Congressional District seat in a primary upset to John Gibbs. Meijer, whose family owns a Michigan-based supercenter chain, was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in the final days of his administration. Gibbs was a Trump appointee to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, although not confirmed to the position. (Read More)

Texas’s 15th District

This race in the traditionally blue-voting 15th District, in South Texas, is seen as a stark clash of ideology between two Hispanic women, Democrat Michelle Vallejo and Republican Monica De La Cruz. (Read More)

Georgia’s 2nd District

Sanford Bishop has held the 2nd District seat in southwest Georgia for 30 years since it was drawn as a black majority district. He’s stood out as a moderate who can cross the party aisle and a Democrat who can appeal to white farmers and other rural voters. But redistricting has helped the Republicans here, and newcomer Chris West is still in the race. Republicans hope a red wave on election night will help the young lawyer and real estate developer upset the congressional veteran Bishop, the longest-serving member of the Georgia delegation. Bishop’s long record and deep roots in the district could help him hang on to win. (Read More)

Oregon’s 5th District

For a redrawn district stretching from Portland’s southern suburbs further south and inland, Oregon’s 5th District race might serve as a referendum on the Portland metro area’s progressive politics.

It’s now an open seat after a moderate Democrat incumbent, Kurt Schrader, lost the primary to progressive candidate Jamie McLeod-Skinner. While Schrader was endorsed by President Joe Biden, the very progressive Warren endorsed McLeod-Skinner. The civil servant faces Lori Chavez-Deremer, a Republican and former mayor of the Portland suburb Happy Valley. (Read More)

California’s 27th District

This district in Los Angeles County has become more difficult for Republicans through redistricting, losing the conservative Simi Valley. The 25th District has covered the area, and Republican Mike Garcia holds that seat. But the new 27th District trends Democratic by almost 13 points. (Read More)

New Hampshire’s 1st District

Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas, elected in 2018, faces Republican Karoline Leavitt, who is just 25. She worked as an assistant press secretary in the Trump White House and later as director of communications for House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) (Read More)

By Dan M. Berger

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