Every one of the House’s 435 seats is up for grabs. At least 212 of those seats lean Republican, while 192 of them favor Democrats, the Cook Political Report announced on Sept. 21. The organization rates 31 of the House elections as toss-ups.
There are dozens of races that could result in new party representation. Newly drawn maps that now favor one party over another will have an impact on some districts. Some races feature battles between first-time candidates vying to replace longtime representatives who are retiring or seeking another office.
There are also districts where Democrats were elected during President Donald Trump’s term and now face steep reelection challenges at a time when President Joe Biden’s approval rating is low and the economy is plagued with high inflation.
Based on one or more of the aforementioned factors, here are eight examples of House seats that could flip and determine which party has control.
Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District
Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa) advanced to the general election without competition in Iowa’s June 7 Democratic primary, but her tenure in Congress could reach an end in her midterm election against Trump-endorsed Republican Zach Nunn.
The Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball rate Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District race as “lean Republican,” while Inside Elections calls it a toss-up.
Republicans believe they can flip Iowa’s only blue district, which is now rated “R+2” by FiveThirtyEight after redistricting.
In 2018, Axne defeated two-term incumbent David Young (R-Iowa), 49 percent to 47.5 percent. She edged Young again in 2020, 48.9 percent to 47.6 percent.
The new 3rd Congressional District includes nine counties that tend to vote Republican and supported Trump in 2020.
Nunn is a current state senator and a former state representative who served as a U.S. Air Force combat aviator in Afghanistan and Iraq and director of cybersecurity on the National Security Council.
Axne was first elected in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District in 2017. She previously worked for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Management, and Iowa Department of Administrative Services from 2005 to 2014.
She’s supported by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who campaigned with Axne on July 9.
Nunn received the Trump endorsement on July 6.
“Zach Nunn is a conservative warrior running to represent Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District!” Trump wrote in a statement through his Save America PAC. “A combat veteran, Zach knows how to strengthen our military, defend our country, and care for our brave veterans.
“In Congress, Zach will tirelessly work to support our great farmers, cut taxes, and protect our Second Amendment.”
Congressional voting records show that Axne has voted with Biden and Pelosi 100 percent of the time, a fact that the National Republican Congressional Committee is emphasizing in ads.
Axne is positioning herself as a moderate and is attacking Nunn for his opposition to abortion.
Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District
Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District general election features a rematch between incumbent Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.) and business owner Lisa Scheller.
The circumstances are different this year compared to 2020, when Wild defeated Scheller, 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent.
With President Joe Biden’s low approval rating, a high inflation rate, and a rising cost of living, Wild has some obstacles to overcome. The Republican Party is reminding voters that she has consistently supported Biden and Pelosi.
The Cook Political Report rates the 7th Congressional District race as “leans Republican.” FiveThirtyEight calls it “highly competitive” with a slight Republican lean. Sabato’s Crystal Ball and Inside Elections call it a toss-up.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee named Wild to its “Frontline” program, which provides extra resources and support to vulnerable candidates.
The National Republican Congressional Committee added Scheller to its “Young Guns” program, which is led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and provides candidates with “the tools they need” to win.
Wild was an attorney and the city solicitor in Allentown, Pennsylvania, before she was elected to fill the remainder of Rep. Charlie Dent’s (R-Pa.) term in Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District in a special general election in May 2018.
That same month, she won the Democratic primary for the 7th Congressional District and then decisively defeated Republican Marty Nothstein in the general election in November 2018.
In 1945, Scheller’s grandparents founded Silberline Manufacturing, which makes aluminum-based pigments for paints and coatings.
When her brother died in 1998, Scheller took over running the Tamaqua, Pennsylvania-based company, which is located in Lehigh Valley.
She currently serves as its chairman and president. Scheller is also a former Lehigh County commissioner.
Wild topped Scheller by more than 14,000 votes (195,475 to 181,407) in 2020.
Redistricting is expected to be a factor in the race.
The 7th Congressional District spans Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon counties along with a small part of Monroe County.
Carbon County, which Trump prevailed with 65 percent of the vote in 2020, was added to the congressional district, while most of Monroe County, where Trump received just 44 percent support in 2020, was removed.
Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District
Democrats have held Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District since 1875, when Ulysses S. Grant was president. Republicans believe that Trump-endorsed Andy Ogles can defeat state Sen. Heidi Campbell.
Redistricting split Davidson County through downtown Nashville and shifted portions of the former 5th Congressional District to the mostly rural and historically Republican 6th Congressional District and 7th Congressional District.
Incumbent Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) has represented the district since 2003 but announced in February that he wouldn’t seek reelection.
Ogles is the mayor of Maury County and has campaigned as a pro-Trump “America First” conservative. He topped a crowded field on Aug. 4 to win the 5th Congressional District Republican nomination.
Campbell was mayor of Oak Hill, Tennessee, before serving as a state senator.
Her campaign released an internal poll in August that claimed she held a three-point lead over Ogles.
The district is rated as solid Republican by the Cook Political Report, safe Republican by Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and likely Republican by Inside Elections.
Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District
In a race that received widespread national attention and generated millions of dollars in spending, Trump-endorsed Republican challenger John Gibbs stunned Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District primary in August.
Meijer, whose surname is familiar because of his family’s national supercenter chain that’s based in Michigan, was the only freshman legislator in the group of 10 House Republicans who chose to impeach the president in the final days of his administration.
Gibbs is the underdog again in the general election against Grand Rapids, Michigan, attorney Hillary Scholten, who was unopposed in the Democratic primary.
The redrawn 3rd District is now seen as Democratic-leaning.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) issued a statement attacking Gibbs as a “far-right extremist who was carried over the finish line in his primary only by the most fringe elements of his party.”
A U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official during the Trump administration, Gibbs was appointed by Trump to lead the Office of Personnel Management but wasn’t confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Gibbs grew up in the Lansing area and didn’t live in western Michigan until last year.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Stanford University and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University, served as a missionary in Japan, and worked in Silicon Valley as a software engineer before his role at HUD.
Meijer defeated Scholten in 2020, 53 percent (213,649) to 47 percent (189,769).
Political analysts can’t agree on the pulse of the race.
The Cook Political Report rates it as “lean Democrat,” Inside Elections calls it “tilt Democrat” and Sabato’s Crystal Ball defines it as a toss-up.
Ohio’s 9th Congressional District
When the calendar turns to January 2023, some residents will be in for a shock in Ohio’s redrawn 9th Congressional District.
Whether longtime Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) keeps her seat or Republican U.S. Air Force veteran and nuclear energy executive J.R. Majewski prevails, a segment of the population in northwest Ohio will have a representative whose platform is drastically different.
Kaptur is 76 and is closely aligned with President Joe Biden. She has a lifetime rating of 11.85 by the American Conservative Union. Biden was given a 12.57 rating during his tenure in the U.S. Senate.
She was first elected to the U.S. House in 1982, when President Ronald Reagan was midway through his first term.
Kaptur is the longest-serving woman in the history of the House. If she defeats Majewski and takes office for a 20th term, she’ll surpass former Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) as the longest-serving female member in the history of Congress.
The 42-year-old Majewski gained national acclaim when he painted a Trump 2020 sign in the yard of his Port Clinton home near the Lake Erie shoreline.
He built a career managing nuclear power plants before mounting a grassroots campaign.
Majewski announced that he was running for the 9th District Republican nomination before the map was redrawn.
The first-time candidate faced long odds running against state Rep. Craig Riedel and state Sen. Theresa Gavarone, who had more money and name recognition.
Yet when the results were announced in the May 3 Republican primary, Majewski earned the nomination with 35.7 percent of the vote compared to Riedel’s 31 percent and Gavarone’s 28.5 percent.
For a decade leading to the current election cycle, the 9th District covered 140 miles of Lake Erie’s coastline, including the Democratic strongholds of Toledo in northwest Ohio and Cleveland in the state’s northeast corner.
Kaptur breezed to election victories, consistently securing more than 60 percent of the vote.
Now, after the most recent redistricting process, the 9th District includes Ohio’s rural northwestern corner, which Kaptur has never represented. Voters there are more conservative, while Democratic-leaning Cleveland is no longer in the district.
Political forecasters give Republicans a slight edge in winning the district.
Kaptur was added to the DCCC’s “Frontline” program for vulnerable House members.
Majewski was named one of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s (NRCC) “Young Guns,” which identifies the party’s top U.S. House recruits for 2022.
Recently, The Associated Press reported that Majewski exaggerated or misrepresented portions of his resume, including a mention that he deployed to Afghanistan.
The NRCC decided to cancel a $960,000 ad buy in the Toledo market that would have supported Majewski.
The New American reported that military documents it received from Majewski illustrate that he deployed to a classified location not long after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He was given a secret clearance level, the outlet wrote.
The AP reported that files show Majewski “never deployed to Afghanistan but instead completed a six-month stint helping to load planes at an air base in Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally that is a safe distance from the fighting.”
Majewski told The New American that his mission to Afghanistan was classified and records aren’t available through a public records request.
In a press conference on Sept. 23, Majewski said he provided his personal military information and photographic proofs to the AP in July. Military absentee ballots are scheduled to be mailed in late September, he noted, limiting his time to respond to the accusations.
In a Facebook video posted on Sept. 24, Majewski said: “Here’s how it works. The AP writes a hit piece about you, slanders your name, and sits on it for three months. When they release it, you can’t defend yourself because what you need to defend yourself is constrained by time. Rules for radicals are lie, lie, lie, and accuse opponents of what you are doing.”
Texas’s 15th Congressional District
Considered by many political pundits as Texas’s most competitive congressional midterm race, progressive Democrat Michelle Vallejo faces Trump-endorsed Monica De La Cruz.
Vallejo is pro-abortion and supports “Medicare for All,” while De La Cruz is a staunch conservative who opposes abortion and touts the “America First” platform.
Vallejo finished second behind Ruben Ramirez in the Democratic primary but then defeated him in the runoff election.
The seat is open because Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) is running in the newly redrawn 34th Congressional District, which is considered friendlier to Democrats.
Vallejo and De La Cruz are first-time candidates in a redrawn south Texas district that Trump would have won by 2.8 points in 2020.
De La Cruz lost to Gonzalez by less than 3 percentage points in 2020 in a traditionally Democratic district.
The Cook Political Report and Inside Elections call the race “lean Republican,” while Sabato’s Crystal Ball believes it’s “likely Republican.”
New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District
At 25, Karoline Leavitt barely met the minimum age requirement to serve in the U.S. House. She won a crowded Republican primary that included 2020 nominee Matt Mowers.
She became the second Generation Z candidate to win a congressional primary in 2022. Florida Democrat Maxwell Alejandro Frost was the first.
In a race that Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball rate as a toss-up, Leavitt faces incumbent Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.), who called Leavitt “the most extreme, out-of-step nominee that 1st District voters have ever seen.”
Leavitt is a former Trump White House assistant press secretary. She was director of communications for House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) after leaving the White House.
Trump didn’t endorse a candidate in the primary but offered praise to Leavitt after her victory.
“Amazing job by Karoline Leavitt in her great New Hampshire victory,” Trump said in a post to Truth Social. “Against all odds, she did it—and will have an even greater victory on Nov. 8. Wonderful energy and wisdom!”
Pappas served as a member of the New Hampshire Executive Council and was first elected in 2017.
Ohio’s 1st Congressional District
While Republicans are hopeful that Majewski will end Kaptur’s 40-year reign in northern Ohio, Democrats believe they can unseat longtime Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) in a redrawn district in southwest Ohio that now leans blue.
Chabot is running for a 14th term. He was first elected in 1994 and has served in Congress for so long that he was a House impeachment manager during the impeachment trial of then-President Bill Clinton.
Redistricting now puts Chabot at a disadvantage as the new boundaries cover an area that Biden would have won by about 9 points in 2020. Cincinnati City Councilman Greg Landsman is a former Cincinnati Public Schools teacher who won the Democratic primary.