Seven close races that could decide control of the House

The battle for control of the House of Representatives intensifies as more and more general election matchups are scheduled.

Republicans are favored to regain a majority in the lower house given national sentiment and the historical precedent that a first-term president’s party lost seats in the government’s first midterm elections.

However, a Morning Consult-Politico poll released this week found that Democrats and Republicans are stuck on the general congressional vote, each with 42 percent support.

As the number of true swing districts steadily decreases as districts are redistributed, the struggle for majority may come down to a relatively small number of districts that qualify as toss-ups.

Here are seven:

Virginia’s 2nd congressional district

Last month, Virginia Sen. Jen Kiggans defeated three other Republicans in the party’s primary to take on Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) in the state’s 2nd congressional district.

The 2nd The district includes Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Isle of Wight County, Southampton County and the East Coast and has a sizeable military population due to its proximity to Naval Station Norfolk. Luria and Kiggans both served in the Navy. Luria was first elected to Congress in 2018, defeating Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Va.) and flipping the district to Democrats.

Republicans see the district as an important opportunity to catch up, and it has been redistributed in a way that could favor the GOP. The bipartisan Cook Political Report labeled the race a “toss-up,” while FiveThirtyEight took the district from a meager R+2 to R+6.

In the primary, Kiggans received the support of the Congressional Leadership Fund and E-Pac from House GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.). Additionally, GOP group Winning for Women Action Fund last week launched a six-figure purchase of radio and television ads for Kiggans.

Virginia’s 7th congressional district

Further north, in Virginia’s 7th congressional district, Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) also got an official challenger for the general election a few weeks ago.

Former police officer and Prince William County Supervisor Yesli Vega defeated five other Republicans in the primary. Vega received support from notable conservative figures, including Senator Ted Cruz (Texas) and Ginni Thomas, wife of conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Like Luria, Spanberger was part of the 2018 blue wave that turned Congress around during former President Trump’s first term. Spanberger defeated Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) that year.

While Vega served in public safety, Spanberger has a background in national security and previously served as a CIA officer. Vega drew heavily on her law enforcement background throughout the campaign, echoing national Republican messages on crime. Spanberger was a more moderate voice on crime in the Democratic Party and has been vocal against progressive calls to defund the police.

Unlike Luria’s district, the redistribution made Spanberger’s district slightly more favorable to the Democrats. Before the reorganization, the district was farther from Washington and closer to central Virginia. However, the latest map from Congress moved their district closer to Washington, DC FiveThirtyEight moved the district from R+5 to D+2 after the redistricting process. However, the race will still be competitive. The non-partisan Cook Political Report classified it as a “toss-up”.

Nevada’s 3rd congressional district

Last month, real estate attorney April Becker easily won the Republican nomination to take on Rep. Susie Lee (D-Nev.) in the state’s 3rd congressional district. The district has been competitive in recent years, playing a crucial role in presidential elections since 2004. Former President Trump won the district by a point in 2016, while President Biden won it in 2020 by less than a point. The last Republican to take the seat was former Rep. Joe Heck, who was ousted by the current Senator. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) in 2016.

The 2020 re-election process added Democrats to the district, but Republicans still express optimism given Biden’s low approval ratings and national sentiment. Polls were scarce in the district, but a poll conducted by GOP election researcher Dave Sacketton on behalf of Becker’s campaign and the National Republican Congressional Committee showed Lee trailing Becker 46 percent to 44 percent. However, the survey’s margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points. The poll was reported by the Washington Examiner.

Lee and Democrats lean into fallout over Supreme Court decision Roe v. to overthrow Wade in hopes of attracting voters. On Monday, Lee’s campaign ran a TV spot Hitting Becker over the problem.

The Cook Political Report rates the race as a toss-up.

The 28th congressional district of Texas

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) faces a hard-fought campaign after narrowly winning his Democratic primary against progressive Jessica Cisneros by just 289 votes. During the intra-party struggle, Cuellar’s Texas home and campaign offices were raided by the FBI as part of an investigation into US businessmen and their ties to Azerbaijan. Cuellar and his team have claimed no wrongdoing on his part was found. Additionally, Cuellar, known as the most conservative Democrat in the House, has struggled with attacks from Cisneros on many of his positions, including access to abortion.

Cuellar, a blue dog Democrat, continued to focus on issues such as the flow of migrants across the US southern border and the economy, taking a more conservative stance than Cisneros. However, Cuellar now faces Republican Cassy Garcia, a former associate of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is focused on the same issues as national sentiment continues to be Republican-favorable.

Garcia is one of three Republican Latinas running in South Texas’ house districts this cycle, including Rep. Mayra Flores (R-Texas), who won the special election for Texas’ 34th congressional district last month. Republicans argue that the Flores victory is evidence that the GOP continues to gain traction in districts along the US southern border.

The Cook Political Report rates the district as “toss-up”.

Pennsylvania’s 17th congressional district

Pennsylvania’s 17th congressional district is up for grabs after Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) left his seat to run for state Senate and ultimately passed his primary to Lt. gov. John Fetterman (D) of Pennsylvania lost.

Now voting attorney and Iraq War veteran Chris Deluzio, a Democrat, is pitted against Republican Jeremy Shaffer, a former Ross Ward commissioner. Both easily won their respective primaries.

Deluzio has championed his pro-abortion stance, his support for labor unions, and his fight against corporate power, among other things. Shaffer focused on issues such as electoral integrity, border security, his anti-abortion stance, and his support for gun rights.

Shaffer is a member of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Young Gun” list, which provides campaign support for candidates. Deluzio was also included in the House Democrats’ campaign arm’s “Red to Blue” program, showing how both political parties are channeling resources to compete for the contested House seat.

The Cook Political Report rates the seat as a “toss up” for November; Data site FiveThirtyEight describes the partisan as a Democrat in the 17th congressional district.

Ohio’s 13th congressional district

The Ohio House seat will certainly be a test of former President Trump’s influence. He backed conservative political commentator and attorney Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, who also received high-profile endorsements from Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.), the chair of the House GOP conference, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R -Calif.), received.

Gilbert also received support from the Republican women’s group Winning for Women PAC.

Gilbert is up against Ohio State Assemblywoman Emilia Sykes (D), who ran unopposed in her elementary school and has served in the state legislature since 2014. More recently, she was Minority Leader in the House of Representatives and has held several other high-profile positions in the state legislature, including Minority Whip and Assistant Whip.

Both of her parents, Barbara and Vernon Sykes, previously held the same seat in the House of Representatives as she did.

Data website FiveThirtyEight notes that the 13th district has a partisan bias of plus two points Republican according to Ohio’s new congressional map, and the Cook Political Report rates the seat as a “toss” for November.

Oregon’s 5th congressional district

Progressive challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner made headlines in late May after winning her Democratic primary against seven-term Rep. Kurt Schrader (D).

Schrader, who received President Biden’s endorsement, drew the ire of progressives after first voting in the lower chamber against a nearly $2 million coronavirus relief package and after he and two other moderate Democrats in the September had voted against legislation that would have allowed drug prices to be negotiated by the Health and Human Services Secretary.

Meanwhile, McLeod-Skinner received support from groups like the Working Families Party and Progressive Democrats of America, alongside Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).

McLeod-Skinner is now taking over for former Happy Valley Mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R), who was joined by House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.). Among other things, Chavez-DeRemer has focused her campaign platform on advocating for parental involvement in the school curriculum, their rejection of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and inflation.

FiveThirtyEight gives the 5th congressional district a three-point Democrat partisan bias and rates the seat a “toss up.”

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