Incumbent Kim Schrier (D) and Matt Larkin (R) are running in the general election for Washington’s 8th Congressional District on November 8, 2022.
Schrier, a pediatrician, was first elected in 2018, winning the open seat by a margin of five percentage points. Before that election, Republicans had represented the 8th District since 1983. Schrier was re-elected in 2020 in one of 37 U.S. House races decided by five percentage points or less.
Larkin, an attorney and owner of a manufacturing business, was the 2020 Republican nominee for Washington attorney general.
Politico’s Jessica Piper wrote after the top-two primary, “The [party vote share in the primary] indicates a close race brewing this fall[.] … [Schrier, who] spent significantly on early ads boosting her standing and seeking some distance from the Biden administration, remains in a competitive position. But Republicans may be able to invest more in the race now that they have a clear candidate[.]”
Both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) have prioritized this election. The DCCC designated Schrier as a member of its 2022 Frontline Program, a program providing resources intended to help incumbents hold competitive seats. The NRCC included this district in its target list for 2022 and named Larkin as an “On the Radar” member of its Youngs Guns program.
Voters in the district backed Joe Biden (D) in the 2020 presidential election by a margin of seven percentage points. According to The Cook Political Report and FiveThirtyEight, the district’s partisan lean did not change after redistricting.
The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 seats in the House are up for election. As of August 18, 2022, Democrats hold a 220-211 advantage in the U.S. House with four vacant seats. Republicans need to gain a net of seven seats to win a majority in the chamber.