Welcome to the Thursday, September 21, Brew.
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Fourteen U.S. House members have announced they will not run for re-election in 2024, below 2018-2022 average
- Democratic win in Tuesday’s special election narrows Republican majority in New Hampshire’s House of Representatives
- GQR’s Anna Greenberg talks polls in the latest episode of On the Ballot
Fourteen U.S. House members have announced they will not run for re-election in 2024, below 2018-2022 average
On Tuesday, we looked at U.S. Senate retirements in recent election cycles. Today, we’ll look at retirements on the other side of the Capitol—the U.S. House.
On Sept. 18, U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) became the 14th U.S. House member not to seek re-election in 2024. Wexton has represented Virginia’s 10th Congressional District since 2019. In 2018, she defeated incumbent Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) 56%-44%. Wexton is retiring from public office following a medical diagnosis.
The 14 Representatives who are not running for re-election in 2024 is currently below the three most recent cycles. Eighteen House members had announced their retirements at this point in the 2022 cycle, and 17 had announced their retirements at this point in the 2020 cycle. Twenty-one had announced at this point in the 2018 cycle.
From 2000 to 2022, an average of 36 members retired from the House of Representatives. The year with the most retirements was 2018, when 52 incumbents did not seek re-election.
Ten of the 14 U.S. House members not running for re-election—eight Democrats and two Republicans—are running for the U.S. Senate. These members include seven running for the open seats in California, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, and Indiana, specifically:
- Reps. Barbara Lee (D), Katie Porter (D), and Adam Schiff (D) are running to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) in California;
- Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D) is running to replace Sen. Tom Carper (D) in Delaware;
- Rep. David Trone (D) is running to replace Sen. Ben Cardin (D) in Maryland;
- Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D) is running to replace Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) in Michigan; and,
- Rep. Jim Banks (R) is running to replace Sen. Mike Braun (R) in Indiana.
And three other House members are challenging incumbent Senators:
- Rep. Alex Mooney (R) is running against Sen. Joe Manchin (D) in West Virginia;
- Rep. Rubén Gallego (D) is running against Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I) in Arizona; and,
- Rep. Colin Allred (D) is running against Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in Texas.
Additionally, Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) is running for state attorney general in North Carolina.
Besides Wexton, Reps. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) and Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) are the only other House incumbents to have announced their retirements from public office.
Including Wexton, 20 members of Congress—six Senators and 14 Representatives—have announced they will not seek re-election next year. This includes 14 Democrats—four in the Senate and 10 in the House—as well as six Republicans—two Senators and four House members.
Democratic win in Tuesday’s special election narrows Republican majority in New Hampshire’s House of Representatives
On Tuesday, Democrats won control of a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives that may help determine control of the chamber later this year.
Democrat Hal Rafter defeated Republican James Guzofski 56%-44% in the special election to represent a Rockingham 1 district seat in the state House. The previous incumbent, Benjamin T. Bartlett IV (R), resigned on April 26 due to health concerns.
Rockingham 1 is a three-seat district. In 2022—the first election year under new district lines—Republicans won all three seats. In 2020, former President Donald Trump (R) carried the new Rockingham 1 49.1% to 48.7%.
Rafter’s win means Republicans will now have a one-seat majority in the state House.
When we last wrote about this election, the partisan composition of the New Hampshire House stood at 199 Republicans, 197 Democrats, two independents, and two vacancies—one in Rockingham 1 and the other in Hillsborough 3.
Since then, two other state house members—Democrat William Hatch and Republican Troy Merner—have resigned, bringing the partisan composition of the chamber to 198 Republicans, 196 Democrats, two independents, and four vacancies.
Once Rafter is sworn in, Republicans will have 198 seats to Democrats’ 197. A Democratic victory in the Nov. 7 special election for the Hillsborough 3 seat would bring the House’s partisan composition to an even 198-198. A Republican victory would result in a 199-197 split (with two independents and two vacancies).
The Hillsborough 3 seat became vacant after longtime Rep. David Cote (D) resigned on July 6. Cote, in office since 1982, won re-election in 2022 but resigned without being sworn in due to health concerns. Democrat Paige Beauchemin and Republican David Narkunas are running in the Nov. 7 special election.
Like Rockingham 1, Hillsborough 3 is a three-seat district. In 2022, Democrats won all three seats. In a special election held in May to fill a different vacancy, Democrat Marc Plamondon won the district 72%-28%.
New Hampshire is one of 22 Republican trifectas, meaning Republicans control both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s office. As of this writing, the party has a 14-10 majority in the Senate. Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, in office since 2017, is not running for re-election next year.
Rafter is a partner for Waterline, an organization that provides river flow information for boaters and anglers. Guzofski is a Northwood selectman and a chaplain for the Northwood Fire Department.
The special election in Rockingham 1 wasn’t the only special election to help determine control of a state House on Tuesday. In Pennsylvania, Democrat Lindsay Powell defeated Republican Erin Connolly Autenreith 65%-35% in HD 21, meaning Democrats will regain their 102-101 House majority.
As of Sept. 20, 51 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2023 in 19 states. Forty-one of those have already taken place. Three seats have changed partisan control as a result of special elections—one changed from Democratic to Republican, and two from Republican to Democratic.
Between 2011 and 2021, an average of 74 special elections took place each year.
GQR’s Anna Greenberg talks polls in the latest episode of On the Ballot
In this week’s episode of On the Ballot, host Victoria Rose talks with Democratic Pollster Anna Greenberg. Greenberg is a senior partner at the polling firm GQR and a former professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
During the conversation, Greenberg discusses the reasons campaigns use polling and the insights they gain from it. She also talks about the distinct challenges pollsters encounter when working with campaigns at various government levels.
Greenberg also reflects on the evolution of the polling industry throughout her career and shares her thoughts on the growing public skepticism about media polls. Plus, she tells us why state polls matter much more than national polls in presidential years, why she believes 2024 is shaping up to be an “incumbent protection cycle,” and which states she thinks are swing states today vs. 2016.
Want to learn more? Click the link below and listen to our full conversation with Professor Greenberg! And for more insights about today’s polling scene, check out our January interview with RMG Research’s Scott Rasmussen.
Remember, new episodes of On the Ballot drop every Thursday afternoon. If you’re reading this on the morning of Sept. 21, there’s still time to subscribe to On the Ballot on your preferred podcast app and catch this week’s release!