Incumbent Matt Cartwright (D) and Jim Bognet (R) are running in the general election in Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District on Nov. 8, 2022.
Emily Wilkins wrote in Bloomberg Government that Cartwright’s “district not only supported [Donald] Trump in 2016 and 2020, but Cartwright won it in 2016, 2018 and 2020 — the only Democratic lawmaker running this year who can make that claim. While other candidates in purple districts look to Cartwright as an example, he isn’t taking his past success for granted this year.”
Wilkins also wrote, “Bognet is working to capitalize on Biden’s low poll numbers. His ads blame Biden for high inflation and highlight Cartwright’s record of voting with Biden’s policies 100% of the time.”
Cartwright is an attorney who was first elected to the U.S. House from the 17th Congressional District in 2012. After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court adopted a new congressional district map in 2018, Cartwright was elected to the 8th Congressional District in 2018 and 2020. Cartwright said that he “is a fighter for all hardworking northeastern Pennsylvanians, standing up to corporate special interests and Washington insiders to lower prices, protect and expand access to health care, and grow our local economy.”
Bognet owns a political consulting and communications firm and worked in President Trump’s administration. Trump endorsed Bognet over Mike Marsicano in the district’s 2022 Republican primary. Bognet said on his campaign website that he was running “to empower American families and small businesses, unleash American energy independence, and create good jobs at good wages.”
This is one of 18 U.S. House districts in 2022 where the same candidates ran against each other in consecutive election cycles. Cartwright defeated Bognet in 2020, 52% to 48%. This is also one of 13 U.S. House districts Democrats are defending that Donald Trump (R) won in 2020.
The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 House districts are up for election. As of October 10, 2022, Democrats held a 220-212 majority in the U.S. House with three vacancies. Republicans need to gain a net of five districts to win a majority in the chamber.
Daily Kos calculated what the results of the 2020 presidential election in this district would have been following redistricting. Joe Biden (D) would have received 48.0% of the vote in this district and Donald Trump (R) would have received 50.9%. As of October 2022, 47% of the district’s active voters were registered Democrats, 38% were registered Republicans, and 15% were either registered with some other party or unaffiliated.