2022 Strategy New

It's all about the House...

As we most recently witnessed in Virginia and New Jersey, we can no longer count on the anti-Trump forces to drive Democratic voters to the polls.  It will be a hard-fought battle to hold the House and the Senate.  But there is still plenty of time, and strategic organizing and proper messaging can make a huge difference. The first step in curating the most effective and impactful actions is to identify which races will be most likely to flip.  Those could be Democratic held seats that need to be defended or Republican held seats that represent an opportunity.  Together We Elect meticulously researches the universe of House and Senate races to determine which deserve our attention. The Together We Elect Analytics Team (Michelle Olson and Rina Schneur) have completed  a detailed analysis using several criteria:

  • Partisan lean of the district and trends in partisanship from 2012 – 2020
  • Incumbency
  • Congressional Election results in prior cycles
  • Money raised*

* not a factor yet, but will increasingly become one to determine viability

We prioritize races by both their potential winability (no lost causes please) as well as our potential  marginal impact (no shoe-ins either).  We only pick districts we think we can make a difference!  The results in 2021 elections make clear that those seats in swing districts that were flipped in 2018 will require a lot of effort to defend and it will be important to prioritize the right races.

Key Conclusions:

The House is much more at risk than the Senate.  

The current House breakdown is 220 Democrats vs 212 Republicans (Three vacancies – 2 D, 1 R).  Assuming the vacancies remain in the party of the prior office holder, we are just five seats away from a flipped House.  As we’ve seen, anger drives the party out of power to the polls in greater numbers.  Over the past three mid-term  cycles, the party of the president on average loses 41 House seats.  The more partisan the politics the more this dynamic is intensified. On top of that, while the number of retirements from Congress is roughly the same across party lines (10 Democrats vs 9 Republicans) there is a huge difference in the type of districts these retirees represent. Far more Democrats are vacating swing district seats: Conor Lamb, Cheri Bustos, Charlie Christ, Tim Ryan.  House Republicans are largely retiring from safe Republican seats. Redistricting will also (slightly)  favor Republicans as more state legislatures are in Republican hands (especially in those states where the legislature controls the redistricting process). 

The good news is in the Senate.  Although Democrats hold it just by the VP vote, all five of the Senate retirees are Republican, leaving open seats which are much easier to flip. One of these is Pennsylvania which has a high probability of flipping given the strength of the Democratic field and the current partisan leaning of the state. The Senate is by no means “safe”:  there are four vulnerable Democratic Senators facing strong candidates. But it looks much better than the House.

Key races are scattered throughout the country

Given the House is much more at risk than the Senate, and that all new legislation must pass the House, we believe that saving the House is the top-most priority of Together We Elect.  We have identified 40 swing races (both Democratic and Republican held) that will likely determine the majority in the House.  They are scattered across 19 states and many are in states that we were not active in in 2020: eg. New Jersey and California.  This list will continue to change and likely grow as we identify more vulnerable seats. 


# House # Senate
Maine 1
Arizona 2 1
California 4
Florida 3 1
Georgia 1 1
Iowa 3 1
Illinois 2
Michigan 2
Minnesota 1
Nebraska 1
New Hampshire 1 1
New Jersey 4
Nevada 2 1
Ohio 1 1
Oregon 1
Pennsylvania 3 1
Texas 4
Virginia 2
Washington 1
Wisconsin 1 1
North Carolina 0 1

Senate Analysis

Of the 33 Races this cycle, our analysis shows nine of them as truly competitive, with four being Democratic holds and five as potential flips.  Additionally there are two races that are often mentioned: Iowa and Missouri that look like pretty solid Republican holds at this point.

Four Democratic Holds:

Georgia – Warnock Herschel Walker, Latham Saddler Tossup
Arizona – Kelly Jim Lamon (leading in $), Black Masters, Mark Brnovich Tossup
New Hampshire – Hassen No one (Ayote and Sununu both passed) Lean D
Nevada – Cortez Masto Former attorney general Adam Laxalt and former Army Captain Sam Brown lead in $ ($1M compared to Cortez $8M) Tossup

Five Potential Flips:

Pennsylvania – Open John Fetterman ($8M), Conor Lamb ($2.6M) and Valerie Arkoosh($2.4M) + 6 others Carla Sands ($3.6M), Jeff Bartos (2.8M) + 11 others. Dr Oz and D. McCormick not yet filed Tossup
North Carolina – Open Cheri Beasley ($2.7M), Jeff Jackson (2.8M) + 6 others Ted Budd ($2M), McCrory ($2M), Mark Walker (.5M) + 7 more Tossup
Wisconsin – Johnson Marc Lasry, Tom Nelson, Mandela Barnes NA Tossup
Ohio – Open Tim Ryan Josh Mandel, JD Vance, Bernie Moreno, Mike Gibbon + others Tossup
Florida – Rubio Rep. Val Demings NA Lean R

House Analysis

Of the 220 current Democratic members of the House, 24 are retiring and 11 of which are in vulnerable districts. By comparison, just 11 House Republicans are retiring and none of them sit in competitive districts.  Vulnerable seats exist all over the country and many states which didn’t receive much attention in 2020 will need focus in 2022: California, New York, New Jersey and Virginia.

The Effect of Redistricting

The redistricting landscape is going to shift the playing field dramatically, and its impact won’t be entirely known until after the redistricting maps are finalized, likely not until the new year.  Our target races will be revised on an ongoing basis as the new districts become clearer and more candidates finalize their run.

Target House Races

AZ-01 ⦿ Tom O’Halleran (D)
CA-21 ⦿ David Valadao (R)
CA-25 ⦿ Mike Garcia (R)
CA-39 ⦿ Young Kim (R)
CA-48 ⦿ Michelle Steel (R)
FL-26 ⦿ Carlos Giménez (R)
FL-27 ⦿ María Elvira Salazar (R)
GA-07 ⦿ Carolyn Bourdeaux (D)
IA-01 ⦿ Ashley Hinson (R)
IA-02 ⦿ Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R)
IA-03 ⦿ Cindy Axne (D)
IL-14 ⦿ Lauren Underwood (D)
ME-02 ⦿ Jared Golden (D)
MI-08 ⦿ Elissa Slotkin (D)
MI-11 ⦿ Haley Stevens (D)
MN-02 ⦿ Angie Craig (D)
NE-02 ⦿ Don Bacon (R)
NH-01 ⦿ Chris Pappas (D)
NJ-03 ⦿ Andy Kim (D)
NJ-05 ⦿ Josh Gottheimer (D)
NJ-07 ⦿ Tom Malinowski (D)
NJ-11 ⦿ Mikie Sherrill (D)
NV-03 ⦿ Susie Lee (D)
OR-04 ⦿ Peter DeFazio (D)
PA-07 ⦿ Susan Wild (D)
PA-08 ⦿ Matt Cartwright (D)
TX-07 ⦿ Lizzie Fletcher (D)
TX-15 ⦿ Vicente González (D)
TX-23 ⦿ Tony Gonzales (R)
TX-24 ⦿ Beth Van Duyne (R)
VA-02 ⦿ Elaine Luria (D)
VA-07 ⦿ Abigail Spanberger (D)
WA-08 ⦿ Kim Schrier (D)
Georgia Raphael Warnock D
Arizona Mark Kelly D
New Hampshire Maggie Hassan D
Nevada C Cortex Masto D
Pennsylvania OPEN SEAT R
North Carolina OPEN SEAT R
Wisconsin Ron Johnson R
Florida Marco Rubio R
Iowa Chuck Grassley R