DemDaily: The Fighting Freshman

March 23, 2023

The US House races of 2024 are taking shape, beginning with the most vulnerable of its new members.

Going into the 2024 elections, Republicans control the House 222 to Democrats' 213 members -- 74 of whom are newly elected freshmen.

Of those, eight Democrats and nine Republicans enter their reelection campaigns in the toss-up category with their seats won, in most cases, by mere percentage points.

This group alone could sway control of the House in 2024. As with all races at this point, however, there are many unknowns, especially among states still experiencing the hangover of redistricting.

The most profound shifts still to come could be in North Carolina and Ohio, two states with long-running gerrymandering problems. Both state courts ruled that maps drawn by Republican legislatures were unlawfully partisan and ordered neutrally drawn temporary lines used for 2022.

Under the terms of both courts’ orders, however, maps will need to be redrawn for future election cycles -- and approved by their respective state supreme courts, both of which became decidedly more conservative in the midterm elections.

This is expected to present problems for some otherwise secure seats like that of freshman Jeff Jackson (D), who won his Charlotte-based D+6 district by 15%, but is expected to be a prime target of what will still be GOP-drawn maps for 2024.

The Partisan Voting Index (PVI), established by The Cook Political Report, measures how each district performs at the presidential level compared to the nation as a whole. So a score of D+2 means that in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, that CD performed two points more Democratic in terms of two-party vote share than the rest of the country.

New York Democrats will be investing heavily in reversing significant Republican gains in the 2022 elections, where a court-ordered redistricting map shook up the state's Democratic dominance.

Five of the state's GOP delegation are new members who won Democratic-leaning districts, some on the coattails of 2022 Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin. While Zeldin lost to incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul (D), he carried all five of these congressional seats in the general election.

Recruitment of candidates for these seats is among the top priority for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, under the new leadership of Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA).

DemList will keep you informed.

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: US House, Ballotpedia, Wiki, Brennan Center, Cook, Sabato

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