Republicans win 61 districts overlapping a Pivot County, Democrats win 35

Remember Pivot Counties? Those 206 counties that voted for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012 before voting for Donald Trump (R) in 2016? 

We last checked in on those counties in 2020 and found that 181—called Retained Pivot Counties—supported Trump again, while 25—called Boomerang Pivot Counties—switched back and supported Joe Biden (D).

Today, we are looking at how U.S. House races turned out in districts that overlap with these counties.

This year, 98 U.S. House districts overlapped with at least one Pivot County. As of Nov. 16, Republicans won 61 of those districts and Democrats won 35. Among the two uncalled races, a candidate from each party leads in one.

These figures are about the same as in previous U.S. House elections (2020 and 2018) even after redistricting. 

Before redistricting, there were 102 districts overlapping Pivot Counties, of which Republicans won 64 in 2020 and Democrats won 38.

Although they began as swing counties in the 2016 election cycle, the voting pattern in these Pivot Counties appears to have become more reliable for one political party.

  1. Seventy-three districts up in 2022 contained only Retained Pivot Counties. Republicans won 50 of those districts and Democrats won 23.
  2. Twelve districts contained only Boomerang Pivot Counties. Democrats won eight of those districts and Republicans won four.
  3. Thirteen districts contained both Boomerang and Retained Pivot Counties. Republicans won seven of those districts, Democrats won four, and another two are uncalled.

The map below shows the winner of each district in 2022 and what type of Pivot Counties the district overlaps.

We also took a look at Reverse-Pivot Counties, those six counties that voted for John McCain (R) in 2008, Mitt Romney (R) in 2012, and Hillary Clinton (D) in 2016. All six counties supported Biden in 2020.

Nineteen U.S. House districts overlapped these Reverse-Pivot Counties. As of Nov. 16, Democrats had won nine and Republicans had won eight. Both parties each lead in one of the two uncalled races.