These Are The 10 Races Democrats View As ‘Critical’ In Their Bid To Maintain Control Of The House


House Democrats’ main fundraising arm highlighted 10 races in districts that are either open or that Democrats think they have a chance to flip, identifying them as “critical” to their dwindling chances of holding onto the majority in a memo sent to donors on Friday.

Key Facts

With 18 days until the midterm election, the House Majority PAC told donors in a push for more funding, “we can only win if we have the resources we need in the final sprint” in a memo that highlighted these ten races:

California 13: After redistricting, Rep. Barbara Lee (D) is running in the 12th congressional district, leaving this Central Valley seat open. California Assemblymember Adam Gray (D) and Republican farm owner John Duarte are tied at 37% in a July poll of 400 voters by RMG Research. The district is rated a toss-up by RealClearPolitics, but voted for President Joe Biden by 12 points in 2020.

Illinois 17: Incumbent Rep. Cheri Bustos (D), the former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair, is not running for re-election. Democrat Eric Sorensen, a first-time candidate and former TV meteorologist, led Republican Esther Joy King by nine points in a September poll by Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling. While the district leans Republican, according to RealClearPolitics, it voted for Biden by eight points in 2020. King, an attorney, lost to Bustos by four points in 2020.

North Carolina 13: Republican Rep. Ted Budd’s district is open as he runs against Democrat Cheri Beasley for a Senate seat. State Sen. Wiley Nickel (D) led Republican Bo Hines, a former North Carolina State football player endorsed by former President Donald Trump, by two points in a June poll by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The district leans Republican, according to RealClearPolitics, and voted for Biden by a slim margin in 2020.

New Mexico 02: This is another district Democrats have a shot at flipping. In an October poll conducted by Global Strategy Group on behalf of Democrat Gabe Vasquez, he held a two-point lead over incumbent Rep. Yvette Herrell (R) . Cook Political Report rates the district as leaning one point Republican, but designated the race as a toss-up.

New York 22: After the district currently represented by Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney was redrawn in the state’s redistricting process, she announced plans to run in the 24th district, leaving her seat open. Democrat Francis Conole is hoping to flip the seat by beating Republican Brandon Williams. A recent Siena College poll shows the Democrat behind by five points.

Ohio 01: Democrat Greg Landsman was up three points over incumbent Rep. Steve Chabot (R) in an internal poll conducted for the Democrat’s campaign by Impact Research this week. The district leans Republican, according to RealClearPolitics.

Ohio 13: Democrats are vying to maintain control of the district currently represented by Rep. Tim Ryan (D), who is locked in one of the most closely watched Senate races in the country with Republican J.D. Vance. State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D) is facing first-time candidate, Republican Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, in the race, which is rated a toss-up by Cook Political Report.

Oregon 06: Republican Mike Erickson is running against State Rep. Andrea Salinas (D) in this newly created toss-up district. Republican polling firm Cyngal found Erickson leads the race by seven points in a survey released in August.

Pennsylvania 17: The district, currently represented by Democrat Conor Lamb, who is running for the Senate, leans Democratic, according to RealClearPolitics. Democrat Chris Deluzio had a six-point lead over Republican Jeremy Shaffer in an internal poll released earlier this month for Deluzio’s campaign by Brilliant Corners Research & Strategies.

Critical Quote

“Democrats have stronger candidates and a better message than the GOP extremists who care more about passing a national abortion ban than lowering costs for Amerian families and moving our economy forward,” the House Majority PAC wrote in Friday’s memo.


Republicans have a 7 in 10 chance at gaining control of the House, which Democrats control with a 222-213 majority, according to FiveThirtyEight politics.

Big Number

48. The percentage of voters in swing districts who said they would vote for a Republican in a recent CNN/SSRS poll, compared to 43% who said they would back the Democrat running in their congressional district.

Further Reading

Voters In Competitive Congressional Districts Are More Likely To Vote Republican—These Are The Races To Watch (Forbes)

House Dem super PAC makes late cash plea (Politico)

Voters’ Economic Outlooks Are Bleak—And More Trust Republicans Than Democrats To Handle The Issue (Forbes)