(The Hill) – Republicans are favored to flip the House of Representatives this November given the national mood, as well as the historical problems the president’s party typically faces in midterm elections.
Still, Democrats still have a fighting chance, thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which galvanized voters and gave President Biden’s party hope that they can stave off a red tide.
Democrats are on the offensive in California’s 22nd Congressional District, represented by impeachment-supporting Republican Rep. David Valadao, and in Nebraska’s 2nd District, represented by Rep. Don Bacon (R). Meanwhile, Democratic retirements in districts like Wisconsin’s 3rd District and Rhode Island’s 2nd District have fueled possible takeover opportunities for the GOP.
Here’s a look at 10 races to watch in November.
California’s 22nd congressional district
The race for California’s 22nd Congressional District will determine whether the second House Republican who voted to impeach former President Trump over his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot is defeated or continues for another term.
Rep. David Valadao is one of two House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, who is running for re-election in November. The other eight either lost their primaries to Trump-backed opponents or decided not to run for re-election.
Valadao is running against Democrat Rudy Salas, California state representative. Trump did not endorse anyone in the open primary for the seat, and Valadao finished second in the primary and advanced in the general election.
FiveThirtyEight considers the race a “throw-off,” with Salas slightly ahead in his election simulation.
Michigan’s 7th Congressional District
Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) represents one of a handful of districts that Trump and the Democratic House nominee won in 2020. She was first elected in 2018 by a few points and won again in 2020 by about the same margin.
She faces Republican Tom Barrett, a Michigan state senator and member of the state’s National Guard who has been a vocal opponent of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) use of emergency powers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Slotkin has championed moderation working at the CIA under both Democratic and Republican administrations, while Barrett has criticized her for consistently voting for Biden’s proposals.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as a toss-up.
Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Don Bacon (R) is running for re-election to represent Nebraska’s 2nd District against Democratic candidate Tony Vargas, a state senator. The three-term incumbent won his last election by more than 4 percentage points despite the fact that it was the only district in the state that went for Biden.
Vargas has leaned on issues like abortion, in addition to prescription drug reduction and affordable health care, among other things. Bacon focused on his record of working with Nebraskans on issues and solving problems such as infant formula shortages.
This race is expected to be no less competitive, given the district’s current Republican tilt. The Nebraska Examiner dreported last month that top House leaders from both parties visited the state, including House Minority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).
New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District
A rematch in 2020 will decide who will represent New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District for the next two years. Rep. Tom Malinowski (D) is running against Republican Thomas Kean Jr. for a second term.
The district has flipped between voting Democratic and Republican in recent years and is likely to be the closest House race this year in New Jersey, a state where most districts lean comfortably Democratic. For that reason, many see it as a key role in how Democrats will fare across the country in November.
Malinowski beat Keane in the 2020 race by just about 5,000 votes, or 1 percent. Malinowski was an assistant secretary at the State Department during the Obama administration, while Kean, the former governor’s son, was the minority leader in the state Senate for nearly 15 years.
FiveThirtyEight’s election simulation states that Kean was slightly favored to win, but a poll last month showed the candidates tied.
New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District
New Hampshire’s 1st congressional district has been hotly contested in recent years, with no one holding the seat for more than two consecutive terms in nearly two decades.
Rep. Chris Pappas (D) is running for his third term against Republican Carolina Leavitt, a 25-year-old former Trump administration press aide. Leavitt defeated Matt Mowers, a 2020 Republican candidate for the seat who worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign and at the State Department, in the GOP primary last month.
Leavitt received support in the primary race from far-right Republicans such as Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rep. Lauren Boebert (Colo.). Pappas is potentially one of the most vulnerable Democratic leaders as Republicans try to take over the House.
A a poll from last week showed Pappas leadding Leavitt by 8 points, but one posted on Wednesday put it in the lead to just 1 point, within the margin of error.
Oregon’s 6th Congressional District
Oregon’s newly drawn 6th Congressional District features a matchup between Democratic candidate Andrea Salinas, a state representative, and Republican candidate Mike Erickson, founder of a consulting firm focused on supply chain and logistics.
On the surface, there are signs that the seat should be more favorable for Democrats, with data website FiveThirtyEight giving the new district a 7-point partisan tilt for Democrats.
But a non-partisan electoral handicap Cook Political Report this week moved his rating from “skinny Democrat” to flip, noting that “surveys from both parties continue to show that Republican supply chain consultant Mike Erickson is tied to or top Democratic state representative Andrea Salinas, an avowed progressive who endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the primary and is not lived on the 6th CD.”
The race is likely to be complicated by the fact that Gov. Kate Brown (D) is considered an unpopular governor in her state, which could make it even more difficult for Democrats.
Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District
Democrats have held the seat representing Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District for more than 20 years, but Republicans have a decent shot at winning it this year.
Rep. Jim Langevin (D) announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election after serving in the seat for two decades, and Democrats nominated Seth Magaziner, Rhode Island’s chief treasurer. Magaziner is running against Republican Allan Fung, the former mayor of Cranston.
A A Suffolk University-Boston Globe poll released Tuesday showed Fung leads Magaziner by 8 points, 45 percent to 37 percent, while 13 percent said they were undecided. Five percent said they would support an independent candidate. The Cook Political Report rates the contest as a draw, indicating it could be a key opportunity for Republicans to regain control of the House.
“Magaziner’s opponent is a quality opponent,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer admitted to reporters last month before the House recess. “I think Magaziner will beat him. But, you know, he’s the mayor of the town, he’s pretty popular, and he’s not an extremist. Not every Republican is an extremist, don’t get me wrong. But in the Republican Party, that’s a shrinking number.”
Texas’ 34th congressional district
Rep. Mayra Flores (R-Texas) made headlines earlier this year after winning a special election in the state’s 34th Congressional District over Democrat Dan Sanchez, filling out the remainder of Rep. Filemon Vela’s (D) term.
But the district Flores currently represents and the 34th Congressional District she’s running for in November are not the same, and she’s now gearing up for competitive re-election against Rep. District.
Data website FiveThirtyEight gives the place a partisan tilt of plus 17 points from Democrats and Politico Notewith Biden hand-carrying the area 2020 below the redesigned lines by 16 points.
Washington’s 8th congressional district
Two-term incumbent Rep. Kim Schrier (D) is running for re-election in Washington’s 8th District against Republican candidate Matt Larkin, who once worked in the George W. Bush administration as a speechwriter, according to The Seattle Times.
The district consists of parts or all of Snohomish, Chelan, Kittitas, King and Pierce counties. Despite the fact that Biden won the district in 2020 by 7 percentage points, the data website FiveThirtyEight gives way to an equal deviation. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report also rates the seat as a toss-up.
Still, Schrier shouldn’t be underestimated: Her first run in 2018 made headlines as the district was held by Republicans for decades before she switched seats that year.
Wisconsin’s 3rd congressional district
Rep. Ron Kind (D) announced last year that he would not seek re-election, leaving Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District seat open after serving in the House for 25 years. He was among a group of Democrats who won his seat in a district also carried by former President Trump in 2020.
The open seat is now seen as one of Republicans’ best chances to take over the House, which includes a showdown between state Sen. Brad Pfaff (D) and retired Navy SEAL Derrick Van Orden (R), who lost to Kind in 2020 as the nominee for the GOP.
Data website FiveThirtyEight gives the district a plus-nine-point Republican favor and coupled with the fact that Van Orden has Trump’s endorsement, Van Orden has a competitive shot at taking the seat this cycle.
The Cook Political Report rates the seat “lean Republican,” and FiveThirtyEight says Van Orden is the favorite to win the election.
Mike Lillis contributed.