These 12 races could decide which party gains control the US House
Control of the U.S. House of Representatives is at stake in Tuesday’s midterms, with Republicans favored by nonpartisan forecasters to win control, which would allow them to block President Joe Biden’s agenda and investigate his administration.
Here are twelve races that could determine which party wins control of the chamber:
Alaska’s at-large District
Democrat Mary Peltola won a surprise victory in an August special election, beating two Republicans: former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and businessman Nick Begich. Republicans objected to Alaska’s new system of “ranked choice” voting, in which voters list candidates in order of preference, although Peltola would have won even under the old system as she got the most votes. The three will face off again in November.
Arizona’s 2nd District
Democratic Representative Tom O’Halleran faces a difficult race after his district covering much of the eastern half of the state was redrawn to include more Republican voters.
His Republican opponent, Eli Crane, is a former Navy SEAL who in September 2021 called on Arizona’s legislature to decertify Biden’s win in 2020.
California’s 22nd District
Republican Representative David Valadao was one of only 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in his second trial. He is now facing a tough challenge from Democratic state representative Rudy Salas in a Central Valley district that has been redrawn substantially since the last election.
Florida’s 13th District
This suburban Tampa district is one of several Democratic-held seats in Florida that Republicans are likely to pick up thanks to a new district map backed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.
Republican Anna Paulina Luna, a U.S. Air Force veteran, is favored over Democrat Eric Lynn, a former Obama administration official.
Iowa’s 3rd District
Democrat Cindy Axne rode the Democrats’ 2018 midterms “blue wave” to victory, but redistricting has made her district slightly more Republican this year. Zach Nunn, a state senator and former Air Force pilot, is hoping to capitalize on that. The issues of abortion and inflation are expected to dominate the race.
Kansas’s 3rd District
Democrat Sharice Davids faces a difficult race after Republicans redrew her suburban Kansas City district to take in more rural, Republican-leaning areas. However, the national debate over abortion could work in her favor: voters in this conservative state in August rejected a constitutional amendment that would have banned the procedure. She will face Amanda Adkins, a former chair of the state Republican Party.
Maine’s 2nd District
Democratic Representative Jared Golden narrowly won this mostly rural district in 2018. Now, he will face Republican Bruce Poliquin, who formerly held the seat. Golden is a moderate Democrat who often distances himself from party leadership, while Poliquin is emphasizing hot-button issues like immigration and gun rights, rather than the fiscal topics he ran on before. Two independent candidates have not drawn significant support but could be a factor because Maine, like Alaska, uses ranked choice voting.
New York’s 17th District
Incumbent Democratic Representative Sean Patrick Maloney is facing a surprisingly tight race for his Hudson Valley seat against Republican state lawmaker Michael Lawler. Maloney is the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party’s U.S. House campaign arm, and ousting him would be a major win for Republicans.
Ohio’s 9th District
Democrat Marcy Kaptur faces perhaps her most difficult re-election since 1983 after Republicans redrew her Toledo-area district. An Associated Press report that Republican nominee J.R. Majestic misrepresented his military career may have helped her chances. Republicans have pulled their advertising for Majewski, a vocal Trump advocate who was at the U.S. Capitol during the riot on Jan. 6, 2021. Analysts have switched predictions for the seat in Kaptur’s favor.
Oregon’s 5th District
Democratic voters ousted moderate incumbent Kurt Schrader in a primary election in favor of progressive challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner. But some analysts have said the district, which includes suburbs of Portland and Salem, leans Republican. McLeod-Skinner faces Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer, a former mayor of Happy Valley, a Portland suburb.
Rhode Island’s 2nd District
Democrats were expected to easily hold their seat in this Northeast district, which has voted Democratic since 1991. But Republicans this year nominated Allan Fung, a local mayor, who has run as a moderate against Democratic state treasurer Seth Magaziner. Fung has heavily focused his campaign on inflation, while Magaziner argues that Fung would enable the far right House Republicans’ agenda.
Virginia’s 2nd District
Democratic Representative Elaine Luria, a retired naval commander, has drawn national attention for her work on the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on Congress. She faces a tough re-election fight in a military-heavy district centered on Virginia Beach, and has focused on the issue of abortion. Republican challenger Jen Kiggans, a state senator, says voters are more concerned about inflation.
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