You are currently viewing A dozen House incumbents face challenges ranging from longshot to dire

A dozen House incumbents face challenges ranging from longshot to dire

And of course, because this is a redistricting year, every state on the docket has a brand-new congressional map. To help you follow along, you can find interactive maps from Dave’s Redistricting App for Colorado, Illinois, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah.

Updating your knowledge of redistricting on Daily Kos Elections’ The Downballot podcast

Note that the presidential results we include after each district reflect how the 2020 race would have gone under the new lines in place for this fall—even, inexplicably, in Nebraska’s 1st District. And if you’d like to know how much of the population in each new district comes from each old district, please check out our redistribution tables.

Our live coverage will begin at 8 PM ET at Daily Kos Elections when polls close in Illinois, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. You can also follow us on Twitter for blow-by-blow updates, and you’ll want to bookmark our primary calendar, which includes the dates for primaries in all 50 states. Lastly, you can track the outcomes of each of these key races with our cheat sheet.

South Carolina

Polls close at 7 PM ET. Runoffs are being held for the Democratic primary for Senate—where Republican incumbent Tim Scott is heavily favored to defeat the winner in November—as well as the GOP contest for superintendent of education, and several legislative seats and local offices.

Illinois

Polls close at 8 PM ET/7 PM local time.

IL-Gov (R) (57-40 Biden): Six Republicans are facing off in the primary to take on Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, but most of the focus has been on just two of them. That’s because Pritzker and his allies at the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) have decided that state Sen. Darren Bailey would be a far easier opponent for the governor than Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, and they’ve spent about $35 million on ads designed to ensure that Republicans nominate Pritzker’s preferred candidatea tactic Democrats are trying in several other GOP primaries on Tuesday.  

Irvin, who would be Illinois’ first Black governor, has received $50 million in contributions from the state’s wealthiest man, billionaire Ken Griffin, thanks to the state’s lack of donation limits. Bailey, an ultra-conservative legislator who once pushed a hopeless bill to kick Chicago out of Illinois, has benefited from smaller, but still substantial, $17 million in support from conservative megadonor Richard Uihlein. While Uihlein, unlike Pritzker and the DGA, actually wants Bailey to be governor, all these groups have highlighted Irvin’s past moderate stances and attacked his record as mayor while promoting Bailey as an ardent conservative.

Several recent polls have shown this strategy working as Bailey has overtaken Irvin, with one pro-Bailey survey showing venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan now in second. Sullivan, though, released a poll late in the contest finding him tied 27-27 with Bailey as Irvin lags behind with 13%. Donald Trump, for his part, endorsed Bailey on Saturday evening, just three days before Election Day.

IL-01 (D) (70-28 Biden): Democrats have a truly packed 17-person primary to succeed retiring Rep. Bobby Rush in a safely blue constituency based in the South Side of Chicago and the city’s southwestern suburbs.

Rush himself is supporting Karin Norington-Reaves, who is a former CEO of the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership; another well-connected contender is businessman Jonathan Jackson, who is the son of two-time presidential candidate Jesse Jackson. The race also includes two sitting elected officials in state Sen. Jacqueline Collins and Chicago Alderman Pat Dowell, as well as businessman Jonathan Swain, who has raised and spent the most money.

A mid-May internal for Collins, which is the only poll we’ve seen here, found Jackson in the lead with 19%, as Collins and Dowell each took 14%, with Norington-Reaves far back with just 5%. During the final days, two super PACs aligned with the crypto industry dropped $1 million to promote Jackson; Norington-Reaves, by contrast, received $760,000 in outside support from an unrelated group around this time.

IL-03 (D) (70-28 Biden): Illinois Democrats created what is essentially a new seat centered around heavily Latino areas in southwestern Chicago and the city’s western suburbs, and two Democrats are running serious campaigns. In one corner is state Rep. Delia Ramirez, who has several progressive groups on her side as well as 4th District Rep. Chuy Garcia, who currently represents over 40% of this seat. Her main opponent is Chicago Alderman Gilbert Villegas, who has emphasized public safety. Villegas, who is a Marine veteran, has the support of VoteVets as well as Garcia’s predecessor, former Rep. Luis Gutiérrez.

The race turned particularly negative in the final weeks. Ramirez has been running commercials portraying Villegas as a lobbyist for corrupt special interests, while VoteVets has spent heavily on spots attacking the state representative for signing onto a 2020 letter calling for “defund[ing] the Chicago Police Department immediately.”

IL-06 (D & R) (55-44 Biden): Redistricting has led to an incumbent-versus-incumbent Democratic primary between Marie Newman and Sean Casten in a seat in Chicago’s inner western suburbs. Newman’s existing 3rd District makes up 41% of this new seat, while Casten’s current 6th District forms just 23%. 

However, Newman faces an ethics investigation into charges she sought to keep a potential primary opponent out of the race when she ran in 2020 by offering him a job as a top aide if she won, a story that Democratic Majority of Israel has run ads attacking her over. For her part, Newman has been airing ads positioning herself to the left of Casten, including a spot in which she discussed having an abortion.

A mid-May internal for Casten showed him ahead 36-27. The race largely paused about two weeks before Election Day after the congressman’s teenage daughter died suddenly and Newman announced that she was halting negative ads.

The Republican contest has attracted considerably less attention, but the GOP is hoping they’ll have an opening in a wave year. The two main contenders are each the mayors of small communities: Keith Pekau of Orland Park and Gary Grasso of Burr Ridge. 

IL-07 (D) (86-12 Biden): Longtime Rep. Danny Davis faces a rematch against anti-gun violence activist Kina Collins—whom he beat 60-14 in 2020—in a constituency based around Chicago’s West Side and downtown. This time, though, Collins has run TV ads, which makes her the first Davis challenger to ever do so; the congressman, who represents about 85% of the redrawn seat, only responded with his own TV messaging late in the campaign. A third Democrat, Denarvis Mendenhall, is also running but has raised little.  

While there were almost no independent expenditures during the 2020 race, both Davis and Collins have each benefited from outside group ads this year: The incumbent’s allies at Opportunity for All Action Fund have spent about $430,000 to praise his record, while the Justice Democrats have dropped around $390,000 on messaging faulting Davis for missing votes. President Joe Biden endorsed Davis two days ahead of the primary.

IL-08 (D) (57-41 Biden): Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi faces an intraparty challenge from Junaid Ahmed, who runs a technology consulting firm, in a seat based in Chicago’s outer western suburbs that experienced some changes under the new map. Ahmed, who is portraying himself as a progressive alternative to the incumbent, has spent over $1 million total here, though that’s less than half the amount that Krishnamoorthi has deployed in his bid for a fourth term.

IL-13 (R) (54-43 Biden): Republican Rep. Rodney Davis decided to run in the 15th District after Democratic mapmakers transformed his light red constituency into a Democratic-leaning seat that now snakes from East St. Louis northeast through Springfield to the college towns of Champaign and Urbana. Republicans, however, still think they can hold on here.  

Four candidates are seeking the GOP nod, and two main contenders are former federal prosecutor Jesse Reising and activist Regan Deering, whose family ran the agribusiness giant Archer-Daniels-Midland for more than 40 years. The winner will likely go up against former Biden administration official Nikki Budzinski, who has decisively outraised her two intraparty foes and earned endorsements from several prominent unions.

IL-15 (R) (68-30 Trump): Republican Reps. Rodney Davis and Mary Miller are facing off in a safely red seat in rural central Illinois, and both have powerful allies in this expensive fight. Donald Trump and the anti-tax Club for Growth are pulling for Miller, a far-right extremist who told Trump at a rally on Saturday, “I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday.” (Her campaign responded by insisting she’d meant to say “right to life.”) Davis, who had long sought to present himself as a moderate in order to win under the previous map, has the Illinois Farm Bureau on his side. Miller’s current 15th District makes up 31% of this constituency, while Davis’ existing 13th forms 28%.

While Davis has far outraised Miller, outside groups have spent comparable amounts to back each incumbent. Miller’s side has touted her support from Trump and attacked her colleague for supporting gun safety laws. Davis’ forces have pushed back by arguing Miller isn’t really the conservative she presents herself as; they’ve also focused on the fact that one of her closest volunteers is a convicted sex offender. A pair of polls released in the final week showed a tight race, though they disagreed on who was ahead.

IL-17 (D) (53-45 Biden): Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos announced her retirement months before her party transformed this constituency in the state’s northwest corner from a 50-48 Trump seat to one that would have favored Biden, and six fellow Democrats are campaigning to replace her. The winner will almost certainly go up against 2020 nominee Esther Joy King, who lost to Bustos 52-48 and now has just one little-known primary foe.

Team Blue’s field consists of Rockford Alderman Jonathan Logemann; Rock Island County Board member Angie Normoyle; former TV meteorologist Eric Sorensen; former state Rep. Litesa Wallace; and two others. 314 Action Fund, which backs Democrats with STEM backgrounds, has deployed $620,000 to promote Sorensen, while Democrats Serve PAC has spent a smaller $130,000 on behalf of Logemann, an Army National Guard veteran.

Other Illinois races to watch: IL-14 (R)

Mississippi

Polls close at 8 PM ET/7 PM local time.

MS-03 (R) (62-37 Trump): Rep. Michael Guest, who was one of the 35 House Republicans who voted last year for a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, experienced a shocker in the primary when he found himself trailing Navy veteran Michael Cassidy 47.5-46.9. The congressman himself acknowledged he’d run a complacent campaign for this central Mississippi seat, but Guest and his allies at the House Leadership Fund, which has spent $450,000 for the runoff, have been determined to avoid a repeat of that debacle. They’ve run commercials attacking Cassidy for the first time, while the challenger, by contrast, has received no serious outside aid even after his near-knockout win three weeks ago.

MS-04 (R) (68-30 Trump): Rep. Steven Palazzo only outpaced Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell 31-25 in the first round of voting, and all five of the defeated candidates quickly endorsed Ezell for the runoff. Ezell has run commercials reminding voters that the incumbent, who was first elected to represent the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2010, is the subject of an ethics investigation into allegations that he illegally used campaign funds for personal purposes; Palazzo’s critics have also portrayed him as uninterested in doing his job. Unlike in the neighboring 3rd District, there has been no major outside spending here.

Oklahoma

Polls close at 8 PM ET/7 PM local time. A runoff would take place Aug. 23 in any contests where no one earns a majority of the vote.

OK-Sen-B (R) (65-32 Trump): Longtime Sen. Jim Inhofe announced in late February that he would resign, effective ​​when the current Congress ends, and 13 fellow Republicans are on the ballot for a special election for the final two years of his term. Inhofe is pulling for his former chief of staff, Luke Holland, but his early endorsement did little to deter better-known contenders.

One familiar name is Rep. Markwayne Mullin, who represents a seat in the eastern part of the state. There’s also former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon, who ran in the 2014 special election for the Sooner State’s other Senate seat but lost the primary to then-Rep. James Lankford by a surprisingly wide 57-34 margin. Another prominent contender is former state Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who later served as Trump’s first head of the Environmental Protection Agency but resigned in the face of numerous scandals. Also in the running is state Sen. Nathan Dahm, who has benefited from outside spending from allies of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, and self-funding physician Randy Grellner.

An early June poll showed Mullin in first with 38%, while Shannon enjoyed a 19-6 lead over Pruitt for the second spot in a likely runoff.

OK-Gov (R) (65-32 Trump): Dark money groups have spent millions on commercials attacking Gov. Kevin Stitt in the Republican primary, with his critics relentlessly portraying him as weak on crime and focusing on a recent scandal at the state’s tourism department. Stitt has three intraparty rivals, though only Joel Kintsel, who took a leave of absence as head of the state Department of Veterans Affairs to run against his boss, has received notable outside support. An early June poll, though, showed Stitt far ahead with 61% as Kintsel barely registered.

OK-02 (R) (76-22 Trump): Republicans have an enormous 14-person field to succeed Senate candidate Markwayne Mullin in an eastern Oklahoma seat that closely resembles the district Mullin has represented for a decade. It’s anyone’s guess who will advance to the likely runoff.

The best-funded candidate by far is wealthy businessman Guy Barker. Former state Sen. Josh Brecheen, meanwhile, has attracted the most outside spending both in support and opposition to his campaign. Other candidates to watch are state Sen. Marty Quinn; state Reps. Avery Frix and Dustin Roberts; former state Rep. David Derby; Muskogee Chief of Police Johnny Teehee; state Party Chair John Bennett; Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Wes Nofire; and Economy Pharmacy CEO Chris Schiller.

OK-05 (R) (58-39 Trump): Freshman Rep. Stephanie Bice has just one underfunded GOP primary foe, conservative YouTube show host Subrina Banks, but Bice voted in favor of creating a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol—a vote now associated with severe incumbent underperformances in several other Republican primaries. Republican mapmakers gerrymandered this Oklahoma City-based seat to make sure they’d hold it no matter what, and Bice currently represents about three-quarters of the new constituency.

Colorado 

Polls close at 9 PM ET/7 PM local time.

CO-Sen (R) (55-42 Biden): Allies of Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet have taken a keen interest in the GOP duel between self-funding businessman Joe O’Dea and state Rep. Ron Hanks, a vocal proponent of the Big Lie who attended the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol. A super PAC called Democratic Colorado has spent millions on ads designed to help the underfunded Hanks take the GOP nod, while O’Dea has fired back with his own messaging against Hanks. We haven’t seen any polling, though, so we’ll only know whether this effort has been successful once the votes come in.

CO-Gov (R) (55-42 Biden): Democrats are also taking action to ensure that Republicans pick businessman Greg Lopez to take on Gov. Jared Polis instead of University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl, who is Colorado’s only statewide-elected Republican. Lopez, like Hanks, has struggled to raise money, but the super PAC Colorado Information Network is running commercials promoting him as the candidate who “supports Trump and agrees with him that the 2020 election was stolen.” Again, though, without polling, we’re flying blind.

CO-05 (R) (53-43 Trump): Rep. Doug Lamborn is the subject of an ongoing ethics investigation into allegations that he misused official resources by having congressional staff perform personal and campaign-related tasks for him and his wife, and he now faces three intraparty foes in a Colorado Springs-based seat that changed minimally under the new map.

Lamborn’s most prominent foe is state Rep. Dave Williams, who earned the top spot on the ballot by dominating at the GOP’s April convention and has attacked the incumbent’s ethics. Lamborn, though, has made use of his financial advantage to run commercials portraying the state representative as insufficiently conservative. The contest also includes business owner Andrew Heaton and Navy veteran Rebecca Keltie, who have each raised little.

CO-08 (R) (51-46 Biden): Thanks to strong population growth, Colorado earned a brand-new seat in reapportionment, leading the state’s independent redistricting commission to create this swingy constituency in Denver’s northern suburbs. Four Republicans are campaigning here, and this is yet another race campaign where Democrats are trying to pick their opponent. The winner will go up against state Rep. Yadira Caraveo, who has no opposition in the Democratic primary.

Democratic organizations are airing ads aimed at boosting far-right Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine, who won at the party convention, by saying that she “led the effort to audit the 2020 election in Colorado” while bashing state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer for having “refused to support Trump’s audit of the election.” Kirkmeyer, though, has benefited from outside support herself, including help from a group that’s part of the Koch political network. Two other Republicans, Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann and retired Army Green Beret Tyler Allcorn, have received considerably less attention even though they’ve each brought in more money than either Saine or Kirkmeyer.

CO-SoS (R) (55-42 Biden): Three Republicans are competing to take on Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold, but the one who has attracted by far the most attention is Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters. Peters was indicted in March for allegedly breaching the county’s election systems during her attempt to demonstrate fraud in 2020, though that hardly stopped her from winning at the GOP convention the following month. In May, a judge forbade Peters from administering her county’s elections.

Peters’ two intraparty opponents are former Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson and economic development specialist Mike O’Donnell. Anderson is the only member of this trio who acknowledges that Biden won the 2020 election.

Other Colorado races to watch: CO-03 (R) & CO-07 (R)

Nebraska

Polls close at 9 PM ET/8 PM local time. 

NE-01 (special) (54-43 Trump): A special election is taking place to succeed Republican Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, who resigned in March after he was convicted of concealing illegal campaign funds he received from a foreign national. The Republicans are fielding state Sen. Mike Flood, who was challenging Fortenberry for renomination before the incumbent’s conviction, while Democrats have nominated state Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks. The two each won their respective primaries in May for a full term and they will face off again in November in this constituency in the Lincoln area. Bizarrely, the special is being held under the new district lines even though the winner will fill out the remainder of Fortenberry’s term, which he of course won under the old lines.

New York

Polls close at 9 PM ET.

NY-Gov (D & R) (61-38 Biden): Democrat Kathy Hochul became the first woman to lead New York last year after Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace, and the new governor now faces intraparty opposition from two very different opponents: New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a self-described democratic socialist whom Hochul fended off 53-47 in the 2018 primary for lieutenant governor; and Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Long Island moderate who badly lost in the 2006 primary for governor. Every poll shows Hochul far ahead of her two rivals.

Things are less clear on the Republican side, where four candidates are hoping to become the first Republican to win a statewide race since 2002. Rep. Lee Zeldin, who decisively won the state party convention in March, had long looked like the frontrunner, but a recent poll gave him just a 25-23 edge against former Trump White House staffer Andrew Giuliani, the son of Donald Trump’s most embarrassing attorney. Wealthy businessman Harry Wilson and 2014 nominee Rob Astorino, who convincingly lost that race to Cuomo, were further behind with 13% and 8%, respectively.

NY-LG (D) (61-38 Biden): Three candidates are competing in a Democratic primary for lieutenant governor that took a startling turn in April when incumbent Brian Benjamin, whom Hochul had appointed to replace her the previous year, resigned after being arrested on corruption charges. In New York, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor compete in separate primaries but often run together as an informal ticket, and Hochul responded to her running mate’s fall by convincing the legislature to change the law that would have kept Benjamin on the ballot; she then appointed Rep. Antonio Delgado, who held a competitive seat in the Hudson Valley, as her new lieutenant governor.

Delgado now faces two opponents who are each allied to one of Hochul’s primary foes: activist Ana Maria Archila, who is Williams’ running mate, and former New York City Councilwoman Diana Reyna, who is running alongside Suozzi. Delgado, like Hochul, has enjoyed a big financial advantage over his rivals as well as support from the state’s powerful labor unions, while Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Archila in the final week of the race, joining the many progressive groups on Archila’s side. The nominees for governor and lieutenant governor will run together in November, so there’s a real possibility that Hochul could be sharing a ticket with one of her critics.

Utah

Polls close at 10 PM ET/8 PM local time.

UT-01 (R) (57-38 Trump): Freshman Rep. Blake Moore, who also voted to create a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attacks, has two primary foes in a northern Utah seat that didn’t change much after redistricting. Retired intelligence officer Andrew Badger, who beat Moore at the April party convention, has been running to the incumbent’s right and pledged to join the far-right House Freedom Caucus. Former Morgan County Councilmember Tina Cannon, who has the support of former Rep. Rob Bishop, has focused on the fact that Moore doesn’t live in either incarnation of the 1st District, the old or new. Neither of the challengers, though, has brought in much money.

UT-03 (R) (57-38 Trump): Rep. John Curtis, another Republican who supported a Jan. 6 commission, is once again going up against former state Rep. Chris Herrod: Curtis won the 2017 special primary 43-33, and he prevailed 73-27 in their rematch the following year. Herrod, per usual, has raised very little money for his campaign for this seat in the Provo area and southeastern Utah, which largely resembles Curtis’ current seat.

Other Utah races to watch: UT-Sen (R)

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