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2024 House

Sabato's Crystal Ball

Notes on the State of Politics: March 28, 2024

In this week’s edition of Notes on the State of Politics, we are extending an invite to several events the Center for Politics is holding next week (April 5-6) as part of our 25th Anniversary Gala, as well as looking at the growing number of vacancies in the House, a Democratic retirement in New Hampshire, and a notable special state House election in Alabama.

Kyle Kondik

In Key Ohio Senate Primary, Republicans Go with Trump Again

We take a look at the ultimately not-close Ohio Republican Senate primary and other key results from the down-ballot primaries there and in Illinois. Right before the 2022 Ohio Senate primary, we asked a trusted source about rumblings that state Sen. Matt Dolan (R) was making a late charge in that race. This person’s response to the Dolan hype: “Just wishful thinking on part of moderate Rs in media.” Two years later, and the quote still applies.

Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman

Notes on the State of Politics: March 13, 2024

In this week’s edition of Notes on the State of Politics, we’re looking down the ballot—both at the overall House map now that redistricting is likely done, and at some important primaries coming up in the Midwest next week, highlighted by the Republican Senate primary in Ohio.

Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman

What Stood Out from Super Tuesday

It turns out that the 2024 presidential primary process will not be historic, at least in this sense: Nikki Haley’s victory in the Washington, D.C. primary over the weekend and then Vermont on Tuesday foreclosed the possibility of both Joe Biden and Donald Trump each sweeping every nominating contest this year, something that has not happened in the modern era.

Kyle Kondik

Notes on the State of Politics: Feb. 28, 2024

In the days leading up to the Michigan presidential primary, we must admit to being taken a bit aback at the immense coverage the Democratic contest received. Given all that coverage, we probably don’t need to spend much time setting the scene—some prominent state Democrats and local Arab-American leaders backed a protest “Uncommitted” vote against President Biden in response to his support for Israel in its campaign in Gaza following a Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7. The ongoing conflict has been a political problem for Democrats because the Israeli-Palestinian conflict splits the Democrats in a way that it doesn’t split the Republicans.

Kyle Kondik

Big NY-3 Win Brings Democrats Ever Closer in the House

Rep.-elect Tom Suozzi’s (D) impressive victory in NY-3 should, like all special elections, be kept in context: Special elections can be influenced by unique local factors, and they are often not predictive of the future. Democrats have been doing well in these races, generally speaking, since the Dobbs decision in 2022, and a much bigger November electorate will be different and quite possibly less friendly.

Kyle Kondik

The Race for the House, Part Two

Following last week’s release of 2023’s fourth quarter campaign fundraising reports, we thought this was a good time to go through our House ratings and make a few revisions. The changes don’t alter the overall House rating math all that much: currently, we have 212 districts rated as Safe, Likely, or Leans Republican, 203 as Safe/Likely/Leans Democratic, and 20 Toss-ups. Splitting the Toss-ups down the middle would lead to… a 222-213 Republican House, or exactly zero net change from what happened in 2022. So Republicans are a little bit ahead in the ratings, but we’d classify the overall battle for the House as a Toss-up.

Kyle Kondik

The Race for the House, Part One

With Donald Trump appearing well on his way to a third straight Republican presidential nomination, his lone remaining major rival, Nikki Haley, is arguing that he would not just lose the presidential election, but also oversee a Republican defeat down the ballot, including in the race for control of the U.S. House of Representatives. This question—whether Trump would cost Republicans in down-ballot races—is one that was on the minds of many in both 2016 and 2020, when Trump, respectively, won and then lost competitive presidential races. And it’s on our minds now as we survey the House battlefield.

Kyle Kondik

The Fields Above the Graves: Louisiana 2024 Redistricting

After less than a month in office, Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry, a conservative Republican, somewhat ironically, enacted something that his Democratic predecessor, John Bel Edwards, fought for: He signed into law a congressional map that created a new majority-Black seat. While the motives of Landry, and those of his fellow Republican legislators, were far from altruistic, the map quite plainly provided the new governor an opportunity to settle some scores. But first, some context.

J. Miles Coleman

Notes on the State of Politics… and Democracy

This is the latest edition of Notes on the State of Politics, featuring short updates on elections and politics. First, Managing Editor Kyle Kondik assesses the latest round of House retirements and how this year’s number of incumbents running compares to recent history. Then, Contributing Editor Carah Ong Whaley surveys the public’s growing concerns about the state of American democracy.

Kyle Kondik and Carah Ong Whaley

Boebert’s District Flip

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE — Lightning rod U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R, CO-3) announced over the holidays that she would seek reelection in a redder, open seat on the other side of the state. — The district she leaves behind, CO-3, remains rated as Leans Republican. — A federal judge accepted a redrawn Georgia congressional map recently, setting up Republicans to maintain their 9-5 edge in the state’s congressional delegation. Boebert’s switcheroo In the 2022 House cycle, Colorado produced the two closest wins for either side. For Democrats, the newly-created 8th District, a Joe Biden +5 seat just north of Denver, elected then-state Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D) by about 1,600 votes, or seven-tenths of a point. Moving west, in the geographically vast 3rd District, Republican Lauren Boebert, known as a pro-Trump provocateur, held her Donald Trump +8 seat by just over 500 votes. Looking to 2024, the Crystal Ball began these districts as leaning towards their respective parties—Biden seems likely to carry the 8th again while coming up several points short in the 3rd. But over the holiday break, Boebert threw the political world something of a curveball. Instead of seeking reelection in her current district, she announced that

J. Miles Coleman

Notes on the State of Politics: Dec. 13, 2023

Dear Readers: On the latest episode of our Politics is Everything podcast, former Virginia U.S. House Reps. L.F. Payne (D) and Barbara Comstock (R) discuss a new survey on the perspectives, beliefs, and experiences of former members of Congress, with a specific focus on concerns about violence in 2024. Payne and Comstock are, respectively, the president and president-elect of FMC, the association for former members of Congress, which conducted this survey of former members with the University of Massachusetts Amherst UMass poll. Alexander Theodoridis, the UMass Poll’s co-director who also joins this conversation, was the Center for Politics’s first chief of staff. In today’s Crystal Ball, we take a look at President Biden’s approval rating and how it compares to Donald Trump’s at this time four years ago, as well as yesterday’s important court ruling in New York, which could eventually help Democrats in their bid to win back the U.S. House majority next year. This is our only planned issue of the Crystal Ball this week. — The Editors Biden’s approval lags Trump’s from four years ago Former President Donald Trump never had a particularly good approval rating, although as of mid-December 2019—the same point in Trump’s presidency as

Kyle Kondik

Notes on the State of Politics: Dec. 7, 2023

Dear Readers: This is the latest edition of Notes on the State of Politics, which features short updates on elections and politics. — The Editors KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE — The pending resignation of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-20) and Rep. Patrick McHenry’s (R, NC-10) retirement announcement are notable developments, but they do not precipitate rating changes. — With New York’s George Santos (R, NY-3) expelled from Congress, a special election in his district will be held in February. — A recent special election in Utah’s 2nd District stood out as something of an exception: a special election where Republicans overperformed. — Though Georgia Republicans were ordered to draw a new congressional map, the plan that they produced maintains the state’s existing 9-5 Republican split. McHenry, McCarthy leaving Congress As our regular readers are well aware of by now, one thing that we’ve been working to document over the past month or so is the high clip of retirements in the House. On Tuesday, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R, NC-10) joined the roster of members heading for the exits. Considering McHenry was one of now-former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R, CA-20) top lieutenants while the latter was in power, it

J. Miles Coleman

The (Continuing) Congressional Retirement Flood

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE — As the calendar year draws nearer to a close, more House members have looked towards the exit. — In Michigan, Rep. Dan Kildee (D, MI-8) would have been favored for a seventh term, but without him, his Biden +2 seat moves into the Toss-up category. — On Long Island, the saga of Rep. George Santos (R, NY-3) may soon be ending, as an expulsion vote looms. — Santos already announced he’d forgo reelection and, despite representing a district that would be favorable to Democrats on paper, we are holding the race to replace him in the Toss-up category. Table 1: Crystal Ball House rating change Member/District Old Rating New Rating MI-8 Open (Kildee, D) Leans Democratic Toss-up More seats opening up As we were about to head into Thanksgiving week, we wrote about what we called the congressional “retirement flood.” Even before the holiday season got into full swing, several members, from both sides, were announcing their retirements at a notable clip. Well, more retirements have come since, so we’ll take a moment to catch up to where things stand. On the Democratic side, the most significant news came out of Michigan. Rep. Dan

J. Miles Coleman

The Congressional Retirement Flood

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE — Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) decision not to run for reelection next year pushes our rating for the West Virginia Senate race from Leans Republican to Safe Republican. — Next door, Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D, VA-7) is forgoing reelection in her Biden +7 seat to focus on a 2025 gubernatorial run. Her district now becomes a better Republican target, although we think Democrats are small favorites to hold it, at least for now. — A flurry of other retirements across the board haven’t pushed us to reconsider other ratings, though some primaries may be consequential. Table 1: Crystal Ball Senate rating change Senator Old Rating New Rating WV Open (Manchin, D) Leans Republican Safe Republican Table 2: Crystal Ball House rating change Member/District Old Rating New Rating VA-7 Open (Spanberger, D) Likely Democratic Leans Democratic It’s that time of year When the holiday season starts to approach during the odd-numbered years, that can only mean one thing for political nerds: congressional retirement watch. As members shift from legislating to thinking about spending time with their families, Thanksgiving time is often when retirement announcements start to ramp up. The current cycle seems to fit nicely into

J. Miles Coleman