TagU.S. House

More U.S. House elections decided by MOVs of five percentage points or less in 2022 than in 2020

In 2022, 40 U.S. House elections were decided by margins of victory of five percentage points (pp) or less, up from 37 in 2020. 

Democrats won 22 of those races, up from 19 in 2020. Republicans won 18, the same number as in 2020.

California and New York each had five races decided by five percentage points or less — the most in the country. Three of Nevada’s four districts were decided by such margins.

In Nevada, Democrats won the three districts decided by 5 pp or less – more than in any other state. In New York, Republicans won four of five races decided by 5 pp or less – more than in any other state.

In 2020, California and Texas had the most districts decided by five percentage points or less, with four each, followed by Iowa and Pennsylvania, with three districts each.

Democrats were most successful in Pennsylvania, where they won all three districts decided by five percentage points or less. Republicans were most successful in California, where they won all four districts decided by such margins.

 

Compared to previous cycles, Democrats won more U.S. House races decided by five percentage points or less this year than in any other year since 2012. On the Republican side, the 18 races the party won this year are tied with 2020 as the second-most they have won since 2012.

The closest U.S. House election this year was in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, where Lauren Boebert (R) defeated Adam Frisch (D) by a margin of 0.17%, or 546 votes out of more than 300,000 votes cast. Boebert’s margin was 540 votes more than the closest race in 2020. In that race, Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) defeated Rita Hart (D) by a margin of 6 votes out of nearly 400,000 cast, the narrowest margin of victory in any U.S. House election since 1984.



Emilia Sykes (D), Madison Gesiotto Gilbert (R) running in Ohio’s 13th Congressional District

Emilia Sykes (D) and Madison Gesiotto Gilbert (R) are running in the November 8, 2022, general election for Ohio’s 13th Congressional District. Incumbent Rep. Tim Ryan (D) did not run for re-election but for U.S. Senate in Ohio.

Spectrum News‘ Taylor Popielarz wrote, “Tim Ryan’s decision to run for Senate created a rare open seat and a very competitive race.” After 2020 redistricting, the 13th District—which race forecasters rated as Solid Democratic in 2020—is more Republican in 2022. According to FiveThirtyEight, the new 13th District has an R+2 lean, while the old district was even, meaning neither party had an advantage.

Popielarz wrote, “The [old] 13th District included the Mahoning Valley for the last decade, stretching from Trumbull and Mahoning counties west to Summit County. […] The new 13th that emerged from redistricting is quite different. It includes half of Stark County and all of Summit County.”

Sykes has served in the Ohio House of Representatives since 2015 and served as minority leader from 2019 to 2021. Before being elected to the state house, Sykes worked as an administrative staff advisor at the Summit County Fiscal Office and as a law clerk at a U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Sykes said in a campaign ad, “The other side […] are hoping you’ll forget that I worked with both parties to raise pay, keep us safe, and cut taxes. And they definitely don’t want you to know that I have a plan to lower costs and keep more money in your pockets.”

Gilbert is a small business owner, attorney, and television commentator. She also worked on Donald Trump’s (R) 2016 presidential election campaign as a national surrogate, among other roles, and on Trump’s 2020 campaign as an advisory board member. In an interview with Spectrum News, Gilbert said, “I’m the only candidate in this race that’s talking about the common sense solutions on these issues when it comes to inflation, it comes to energy crisis, it comes to the prices from the gas pump to the grocery store.”

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 six 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 50.7% of the vote in this district and Donald Trump (R) would have received 47.9%.



Incumbent Chris Pappas (D) and Karoline Leavitt (R) face off in NH-01

Incumbent Chris Pappas (D) and Karoline Leavitt (R) are running for New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District on November 8, 2022.

Pappas served on the New Hampshire Executive Council and in the state House of Representatives before Congress. He emphasizes his experience owning a restaurant. Pappas says his record includes working for affordable healthcare for New Hampshirites and combatting the opioid crisis. Pappas called Leavitt “the most extreme, out-of-step nominee” the district has seen and has criticized Leavitt’s support for the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.

Leavitt was a presidential writer and assistant press secretary under President Donald Trump (R). She highlights working for her family’s small business while growing up and her work in the Trump administration. Leavitt discusses securing the border, supporting police, and banning critical race theory as priorities. She said Pappas, along with President Joe Biden (D) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D), are “destroying our economy, brainwashing our children, and allowing illegals to invade.”

Democrats have held the seat since 2017. The 1st District changed party hands five times in elections between 2006 and 2016, alternating between Democrat Carol Shea-Porter and Republican Frank Guinta. Pappas was first elected in 2018, when he defeated Eddie Edwards (R) 54% to 45%. In 2020, Pappas defeated Matt Mowers (R) 51% to 46%.

Leavitt defeated Mowers in the 2022 Republican primary 33% to 26%.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 districts in the House are up for election. As of September 20, 2022, Democrats hold a 221-212 advantage in the U.S. House with two vacancies. Republicans need to gain a net of six 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 52.2% of the vote in this district and Donald Trump (R) would have received 46.2%.



Three candidates running in Michigan’s 7th Congressional District

Incumbent Elissa Slotkin (D), Tom Barrett (R), and Leah Dailey (L) are running in the general election for Michigan’s 7th Congressional District on Nov. 8, 2022.

Michigan’s congressional district boundaries were redrawn after the 2020 census. Slotkin was first elected to represent Michigan’s 8th Congressional District in 2018, defeating incumbent Mike Bishop (R) 50.6% to 46.8%. In 2020, she was one of seven Democrats to win a House district that voted for former President Donald Trump (R) in the 2020 election. In December 2021, Slotkin announced that she would run for re-election in the redrawn 7th District, saying, “This new district contains nearly two-thirds of the population that I currently represent, my current congressional headquarters, and my campaign offices from 2018 and 2020.”

The redrawn 7th District encompasses Clinton, Ingham, Livingston, and Shiawassee counties, most of Eaton County, and parts of Oakland and Genessee counties, as well as Lansing, the state’s capital. According to data from Daily Kos, voters in the redrawn 7th District backed President Joe Biden (D) in the 2020 presidential election over former President Donald Trump (R) 49.4% to 48.9%.

Slotkin said, “After three years of representing this area of Mid-Michigan in Congress, I understand the mandate that families here expect me to prioritize: making daily life more affordable by lowering the cost of prescription drugs and child care; rebuilding Michigan’s manufacturing capacity by creating good-paying American jobs that cannot be outsourced; and not letting China eat our lunch.” On her campaign website, Slotkin said, “I’m running for re-election … because I want to build the next generation of cars and chips here in the U.S.; lower the cost of prescription drugs; fight for the Roe standard to preserve women’s personal freedom; and prevent corporate money from warping the political process.”

Before she was elected to Congress, Slotkin was a Middle East analyst in the CIA and worked in national security under Presidents George W. Bush (R) and Barack Obama (D).

Barrett was elected to represent Michigan Senate District 24 in 2018. Before serving in the Senate, Barrett represented District 71 in the Michigan House of Representatives from 2015 to 2019. Barrett served in the U.S. Army during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom and was a helicopter pilot in the Michigan Army National Guard.

In his response to Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, Barrett said he was running for Congress “to cut inflation by opposing reckless spending in Washington D.C. to lower the cost of living.” In order to “[m]ake America energy independent again,” Barrett said he would “work to expand America’s energy production, open pipelines, increase drilling, and end our reliance on foreign oil.” On his campaign website, Barret said, “My opponent, Elissa Slotkin, has voted with President Biden every single time – a perfect 100% voting record in support of his disastrous policies.” He said, “[Slotkin’s] support for corporate welfare, slashing domestic energy production, open borders, and higher inflation, is crushing Mid-Michigan families.”

Democratic and Republican House campaign committees have prioritized this election. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) included Slotkin in Frontline, its program to help Democratic incumbents win re-election in competitive House districts. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) included the 7th District in its target list and designated Barrett as a member of the highest tier of its Young Guns program. According to Daily Kos, as of Sept. 19, the DCCC, House Majority PAC, NRCC, and Congressional Leadership Fund had spent more combined in this race than in any other House district.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 districts in the House are up for election. Democrats hold a 221-212 advantage in the U.S. House with two vacancies.



Abigail Spanberger and Yesli Vega are running for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District on Nov. 8

Incumbent Abigail Spanberger (D) and Yesli Vega (R) are running in the general election for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District on November 8, 2022.

Spanberger was first elected in 2018, defeating then-incumbent David Brat (R) 50.3% to 48.4%. Before that election, a Republican had represented the 7th District since 1971. According to various estimates, the district became more Democratic as a result of redistricting. The Cook Partisan Voting Index score for the old district was R+2, while the score for the new district is D+1. According to data from Daily Kos, voters in the redrawn 7th District supported Joe Biden (D) over Donald Trump (R) 52.6% to 45.8% in the 2020 presidential election.

Before she was elected to Congress, Spanberger worked in federal law enforcement and was a case officer in the CIA. In June 2022, Spanberger said, “My strength and what I endeavor to do every day is to listen to voters and to be responsive to the needs that people are facing. And I don’t just talk about problems such as inflation or the cost of prescription drugs or the challenges that our communities are facing. I endeavor to hit them head-on.”

Vega, who has a background in local law enforcement, was elected to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors in 2019.

Vega’s campaign website says, “Yesli looks forward to fulfilling Congress’s responsibility of being a check and balance on the woefully inept Biden administration. She will be a strong advocate for the timeless American ideals of freedom, limited government, and restoration of the rule of law.”

Both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) have prioritized this election. The DCCC designated Spanberger as a 2022 Frontline Member, providing her campaign resources meant to help her win re-election and maintain a Democratic majority. The NRCC included this district in its list of Democratic-held target seats and named Vega as an “On the Radar” member of its Young Guns program.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 districts in the House are up for election.

Additional reading:



Incumbent Craig, Kistner, and Overby running in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District general election on Nov. 8

Angie Craig (D), Tyler Kistner (R), and Paula Overby (Legal Marijuana Now Party) are running in the general election in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District on Nov. 8. 

Nathan L. Gonzales of Inside Elections wrote in Roll Call in April 2022 that “The suburban Twin Cities seat didn’t change much in redistricting; just 8 percent of the 2nd District is new to both candidates. And Biden would have won it by 7 points, putting it within reach for Republicans in the current political environment.”

Craig was first elected in 2018, defeating then-incumbent Jason Lewis (R), 53% to 47%. She was re-elected in 2020 against Kistner, 48% to 46%.

Before serving in the U.S. House, Craig worked as a journalist and in corporate communications and executive roles in the medical device industry. She stated why she was running on her campaign website as follows: “I worked hard to get where I am, but I was pretty lucky, too. For too many Americans, hard work doesn’t pay off like it used to. College is unaffordable and technical training is unavailable. Healthcare costs too much. Incomes aren’t keeping up with the costs of groceries and prescription drugs. We can do better.”

Kistner served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and was a consultant at the time of the 2022 election. He stated his campaign’s mission on his website: “I’m running for Congress to ‘serve’ – not to serve big business, not to serve the political elites – but to serve Minnesotans who are increasingly concerned about our country’s future. I will be a check and balance to the Biden Administration and work to make a greater prosperity for our children and future generations.”

This race was one of 89 congressional races that were decided by 10 percent or less in 2020.

As of September 2022, three election race newsletters rated the contest as a Toss-up. Kyle Kondik of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics told MPR News in June 2022, “Look, this is a race that Craig only won by a couple of points in 2020. And we have a pretty good feeling that the political environment for Democrats is going to be worse, perhaps significantly worse, than it was 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 districts in the House are up for election. As of September 13, 2022, Democrats hold a 221-212 advantage in the U.S. House with two vacancies. Republicans need to gain a net of six 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 52.5% of the vote in this district and Donald Trump (R) would have received 45.4%. Biden carried the previous version of the district in the 2020 presidential election, 52.4% to 45.5%. Trump carried the district in 2016 with 47% of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s (D) 45%.

Additional reading:



Incumbent Frank Mrvan (D) and Jennifer-Ruth Green (R) are running in Indiana’s 1st Congressional District

Incumbent Frank Mrvan (D) and Jennifer-Ruth Green (R) are running in the general election for Indiana’s 1st Congressional District on November 8, 2022. William Powers (Independent) is running as a write-in candidate.

Mrvan was elected to the 1st District in 2020, winning the open seat 57% to 40%. A Democrat has represented the district since 1930. According to The Cook Political Report and FiveThirtyEight, the district’s partisan lean did not change significantly after redistricting. In the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden (D) received 53.6% of the 1st District’s vote to Donald Trump’s (R) 44.8%. According to data from Daily Kos, the redrawn 1st District voted for Biden 53.4% to 45.0%.

Mrvan says he is running for re-election “to continue to address the pandemic health crisis, make investments to grow the Northwest Indiana economy with good-paying jobs, and bridge the division gripping our nation.” He said, “Throughout my career as an elected official, I have listened to all individuals and worked in a bipartisan fashion to bring people together to solve problems. I look forward to continuing to represent our collective interests in Washington, D.C., and bringing back federal resources to enhance the Northwest Indiana economy by supporting existing businesses and attracting new people and good-paying jobs to our region.” Before being elected to Congress, Mrvan served as township trustee for North Township, Indiana, for 15 years.

Green served in the U.S. Air Force for 12 years, after which she joined the U.S. Air Force Reserve and founded a nonprofit STEM education organization. In a campaign ad, Green said, “Our economy is shrinking, costs are surging, and crime is skyrocketing. And career politicians aren’t getting the job done.” In another ad, she said, “I’m a proud conservative. And like you, I’m concerned about skyrocketing gas prices and inflation, liberal efforts to defund the police, and woke madness like indoctrinating our children with critical race theory. … In Congress, I’ll defend the Second Amendment, protect life, and advance President Trump’s America First policies.”

In May 2022, The Times’ Dan Carden wrote, “Northwest Indiana is poised to have its first competitive congressional election in decades.” After Sabato’s Crystal Ball moved the district’s rating from leans Democratic to toss-up in July 2022, managing editor Kyle Kondik wrote, “This working-class, post-industrial northwest Indiana district has seen its Democratic lean erode in the Donald Trump era, even though Biden still carried it by 8 points. But Democrats have been losing ground in these kinds of districts in recent years[.] … This district is covered by the Chicago media market, so the ad wars could get pricey, although it may be that the most competitive race in the Chicago media market is this one, which is taking place across the Illinois border in Indiana.”

Both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) have prioritized this election. The DCCC designated Mrvan as a member of its 2022 Frontline Program, a program providing resources intended to help incumbents hold competitive seats. The NRCC listed Indiana’s First Congressional District as one of its target districts in 2022, and Green qualified for the highest tier of the NRCC’s Young Guns program.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 districts in the House are up for election. As of September 13, 2022, Democrats hold a 221-212 advantage in the U.S. House with two vacancies. Republicans need to gain a net of six districts to win a majority in the chamber.



Incumbent Cindy Axne (D) and Zach Nunn running in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District election

Incumbent Cindy Axne (D) and Zach Nunn (R) are running in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District election on Nov. 8, 2022.

The Gazette’s Liz Mathews said the race was “likely Iowa’s most competitive House election.” In the 2020 election, Axne defeated David Young (R) by 1.4 percentage points. According to a Daily Kos analysis of the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump (R) would have defeated Joe Biden (D) by 0.1 percentage points in the 3rd district and, after redistricting, would have defeated Biden by 0.4 percentage points in the redrawn district.

Axne has represented Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District since 2018. Axne ran a digital design firm and worked for the Iowa state government from 2005 to 2014, including positions in the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Management, and Iowa Department of Administrative Services. “My parents raised me to speak out and not be afraid to take on the tough fights – even when it’s uncomfortable and means standing up to someone more powerful – and that’s how I’ve lived my life. And now, it’s why I’m running for Congress, because every Iowan deserves to be heard,” Axne said.

Nunn has represented Iowa State Senate District 15 since 2019, and previously represented District 30 in the Iowa House of Representatives from 2015 to 2019. Nunn served in the Air Force in Afghanistan and Iraq and was a national counterintelligence officer and director of cybersecurity on the National Security Council. As of the 2022 election, Nunn owned a marketing business and commanded an intelligence squadron in the Iowa Air National Guard. “As Iowans, we live in tight knit communities and will always lend a helping hand to our neighbors during natural disasters and tough times. We are selfless, hard-working, and honest people living right in the Heartland of America – and it’s time to bring more of these values to Washington,” Nunn said.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 districts in the House are up for election. As of Sept. 2, 2022, Democrats hold a 219-211 advantage in the U.S. House with five vacant districts. Republicans need to gain a net of seven districts to win a majority in the chamber.



U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (D), Mark Robertson (R) running in a district that became less Democratic due to redistricting

U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (D), Mark Robertson (R), and Ken Cavanaugh (L) are running in the general election for Nevada’s 1st Congressional District on November 8, 2022.

The partisan balance of Nevada’s 1st Congressional District changed as a result of redistricting following the 2020 census. According to data compiled by Daily Kos, Joe Biden (D) would have won this district in the 2020 presidential election with 53% of the vote. Under the old district lines, Biden won the 1st District with 62% of the vote. The district’s Partisan Voter Index, a measurement tool that scores each congressional district based on how strongly it leans toward one political party, changed from D+15 in 2018 to D+3 in 2022.

Titus was elected to the U.S. House in 2013 and also served a term from 2009 to 2011. Titus served in the Nevada State Senate from 1998-2008 and worked as a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Titus outlined her policy stances to Nevada Newsmakers. She said: “I am a progressive, but I don’t believe in defunding the police. I’m for Medicare for all, but you’ve got to do it in a step-by-step process. I am for every environmental issue out there … But I can’t just say overall the ‘Green New Deal’ because that is a push toward nuclear power.”

Robertson served in the U.S. Army and retired as a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves. He also taught as an assistant professor and adjunct faculty at UNLV, the National Defense University, and the American College. In his response to Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, Robertson said, “He can use his national and international experience to develop solutions to the complex problems we face as a Nation.” He highlighted school choice, 1st Amendment issues, border control, police funding, and balancing the federal budget as top issues.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 districts in the House are up for election. As of September 13, 2022, Democrats hold a 221-212 advantage in the U.S. House with two vacancies. Republicans need to gain a net of six districts to win a majority in the chamber.



New York’s Democratic-held 3rd Congressional District draws attention following local Republican gains in 2021

Robert Zimmerman (D), George Devolder-Santos (R), Mekita Coe (People’s Party), and Melanie D’Arrigo (Working Families Party) are running in the general election for New York’s 3rd Congressional District on November 8, 2022.

Incumbent Tom Suozzi (D) is not running for re-election.

The 3rd District, located on Long Island including the northern portion of Nassau County and parts of Queens, voted for Democrats by an average margin of 13 percentage points between 2012 and 2020 before redistricting.

In 2021, Republican candidates won a number of local races in the district, including the defeat of Nassau County’s incumbent executive and winning the county’s open district attorney position.

As of June 2022, 40% of the district’s active voters were registered Democrats, 28% were registered Republicans, and 32% were either registered with some other party or unaffiliated.

Zimmerman, a Democratic National Committee member, owns a marketing communications company. Zimmerman said, “I’ll fight to defend abortion rights, stop gun violence, protect voting rights, address the climate crisis, and make Long Island and Queens more affordable for middle-class families.”

Devolder-Santos works in finance and investing and was the district’s Republican nominee in 2020. In a Candidate Connection survey submitted to Ballotpedia, Devolder-Santos said, “I will work to end the inflation crisis and lower gas prices … make New York’s Third Congressional District a safer place for everyone … [and] preserve the American dream for many generations to come.”