Sneak preview week – setting the stage for this fall

Welcome to the Monday, July 11, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Previewing this year’s U.S. House elections
  2. And a look at the U.S. Senate
  3. Across 11 states, senate presidents have collectively raised $19.5 million this election cycle

Preview this year’s U.S. House elections

Throughout the week, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the nation’s key elections, giving you the insight and context you need as Election Day approaches.

First up, the House. There are 120 days until the November 8 general elections, so we wanted to take some time to walk through this year’s races for Congress! Let’s start with the U.S. House.

All 435 seats in the U.S. House are up for election this year, along with the seats of five of the chamber’s six non-voting members.

As a recap: Democrats maintained their majority following the 2020 elections, winning 222 seats to Republicans’ 213. As of July 8, Democrats hold a 220-210 majority with five vacant seats. Republicans need to gain a net of eight seats to win a majority.

As of July 8, 37 districts are rated as Toss-ups by the Cook Political Report, Inside Elections, or Sabato’s Crystal Ball. Democrats hold 27 of those seats, Republicans hold eight, and two are vacant.

Regardless of how the elections turn out, we can already expect to see a number of new faces in the chamber next year. Forty-nine representatives—31 Democrats and 18 Republicans—are not seeking re-election. This is up from 2020, when 36 members opted against re-election and represents the second-highest number of outgoing House incumbents over the past decade.

Of those 49 outgoing incumbents, 32—22 Democrats and 10 Republicans—are retiring from public office. The remaining 17—nine Democrats and eight Republicans—are running for some other office.

The 2022 election will be the first to take place following apportionment and redistricting after the 2020 census. 

Seven states lost one seat, five states gained one seat, and Texas gained two seats.

Here’s a look at those newly-created House seats and their general election race ratings as of July 8:

Redistricting can also result in incumbent v. incumbent elections, which guarantee at least one incumbent must lose. There are six incumbent v. incumbent primaries, where incumbents from the same party compete against one another. So far, there are also two incumbent v. incumbent general elections:

In total, nine incumbents—three Democrats and six Republicans—have already lost in primaries, and at least two more Democratic defeats are guaranteed due to upcoming incumbent v. incumbent primaries in Michigan and New York.

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And a look at the U.S. Senate

In addition to the U.S. House races, 34 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate are up for regular election, with the winners beginning six-year terms next year. 

There are also two special U.S. Senate elections scheduled for November 8. One will fill the final four years of U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe’s (R) term in Oklahoma. Another will be held to fill the final weeks of Vice President Kamala Harris’ (D) term in California. That seat is also up for regular election this year, putting a total of 35 individual U.S. Senate seats up for election in November.

Following the 2020 elections and January 2021 runoffs in Georgia, control of the chamber was split evenly for the first time since 2001 and for the fourth time in U.S. history. Vice President Harris serves as the chamber’s tie-breaking vote, which gave Democrats control via a power-sharing agreement. 

Of the 35 seats up for election, Democrats hold 14, and Republicans hold 21. Either party needs a net gain of one seat to win full control of the chamber.

Five races—three for seats held by Democrats and two for those held by Republicans—are rated as Toss-ups by the Cook Political Report, Inside Elections, or Sabato’s Crystal Ball. They are:

Republicans are defending two Senate seats in states Joe Biden (D) won in the 2020 presidential election: Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Democrats are not defending any Senate seats in states Donald Trump (R) won in 2020.

Four of the 34 seats up for regular election changed party hands the last time they were up for election. Two, in Illinois and New Hampshire, switched in 2016. The other two, in Arizona and Georgia, changed party control in 2020 and 2021, respectively, following special elections. All four seats switched from Republican to Democratic control.

Eleven of the seats were won by fewer than ten percentage points the last time they were up for election. Of those, seven were won by fewer than five percentage points, four of which are held by Democrats and three by Republicans.

Aside from Inhofe, six incumbents—one Democrat and five Republicans—are not seeking re-election in 2022: Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), and Pay Toomey (R-Pa.).

The five retiring Republicans are the most in a decade. In total, the number of retirements is up two from 2020.

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Across 11 states, senate presidents have collectively raised $19.5 million this cycle

As part of our partnership with Transparency USA, we’ve been bringing you regular updates from the world of campaign finance. 

Today, we are taking a look at senate presidents, a position held by members who preside over state senate proceedings. The lieutenant governor serves as the president of the senate in 25 states. In other states, the president is a state senator chosen by other members of the chamber.

In the current election cycle, across 11 states, senate presidents have collectively raised $19.5 million.

More than half of that total has come from Dan Patrick (R-Texas), who has raised $11.8 million. Three other senate presidents—Eleni Kounalakis (D) of California ($2.9 million), Mark Robinson (R) of North Carolina ($2.0 million), and Suzanne Crouch (R) of Indiana ($1.3 million)—have raised more than $1 million. 

These four senate presidents are all lieutenant governors. Patrick and Kounalakis are the only two running for re-election this year.

Here are fundraising figures across these 11 states with data available from Transparency USA for this election cycle:

Use the link below to learn more about our partnership with Transparency USA.

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