House Watchlist (8/23)


Florida’s 7th district

Florida’s new 7th district (Trump +5.5) is one of the GOP’s top post-redistricting targets. The 2012 iteration of the seat (Biden +10) was greatly altered by state Republicans, who exchanged Democratic turf in Orange County, including the whiter sections of eastern Orlando, for rightward-trending portions of southern Volusia. Marginal Seminole County, home to Sanford and Orlando’s Democratic-trending suburbs, still makes up the district’s core.

The fundamentals and partisanship of the redrawn seat are expected to benefit Republicans this year, but the district should be marginal enough to give Democrats a fighting chance if the national environment is ever on their side. Incumbent Democrat Stephanie Murphy, widely seen as a rising star in her party’s House caucus, decided to retire earlier in the cycle as inauspicious redistricting developments became clear. However, she is unlikely to leave politics because many Democrats consider her a credible statewide candidate down the road.

2022’s political dynamics have naturally focused most pundits’ attention on the battle for the Republican nomination. Based on available evidence, there are three candidates who are in serious contention for it: defense consultant Cory Mills, state representative Anthony Sabatini, and ex-Navy SEAL Brady Duke. The last two St. Pete Polls show Mills leading the pack. He has been ahead of Sabatini by single-digits in most of this cycle’s surveys. Duke, a prodigious self-funder with upset potential, has repeatedly polled third.

Both Mills and Sabatini are undoubtedly conservative, but most observers would probably agree that the latter contender is running further to the right. Endorsements certainly reflect the divide, with outspoken members of the GOP caucus like Marjorie Greene, Madison Cawthorn, and Paul Gosar preferring Sabatini. This primary could be very close, but available data suggest Mills will come out on top when all is said and done. LEANS MILLS

Recognizing the writing on the wall for her party, state representative Anna Eskamani, arguably the top Democratic recruit in the 7th post-Murphy, declined to run. The local brass appears to be backing Karen Green, Vice Chair of the Florida Democratic Party, for the nomination. Neither she, nor any of her primary opponents, has fundraised enough to threaten the GOP in November. LIKELY REPUBLICAN (flip)

Florida’s 10th district

On the Democratic side, Florida’s 10th district primary is attracting a lot of attention for its unique set of candidates. This minority-coalition seat still encompasses the heart of downtown Orlando post-redistricting, but swaps western Orange for the eastern parts of the county that currently find themselves in Murphy’s 7th district. At Biden +32, the 10th remains prohibitive of any Republican victory.

Democratic interest in this district blossomed after incumbent Val Demings chose to run for Senate against Republican Marco Rubio. Four candidates in the field are of note: progressive activist Maxwell Frost, state senator Randolph Bracy, and ex-Congresspeople Alan Grayson and Corrine Brown. A fifth candidate, Aramis Ayala, left this race to run for state Attorney General earlier in the cycle.

Fundraising data, combined with an August Data for Progress poll, suggest that progressive Maxwell Frost is the frontrunner in the primary. Bracy appears to be trailing him despite comfortably leading in a May internal poll. A wide swath of well-known House progressives has endorsed Frost, giving him a valuable network of political connections.

While Grayson and Brown have both represented parts of the Orlando area at certain points in their careers, neither of them has been able to generate palpable momentum. Grayson’s frequent bids for office following his 2010 reelection loss have practically shaped him into a perennial candidate and Brown, after losing renomination to Al Lawson in 2016, has become a convicted felon. LEANS FROST

New York’s 3rd district

The redrawn 3rd district (Biden +8.1) is a diverse seat connecting Queens with communities in Nassau County like Oyster Bay. A high-stakes primary has emerged on the Democratic side here since incumbent Tom Suozzi’s ill-fated primary challenge to Governor Kathy Hochul began. There are four major candidates: DNC member Rob Zimmerman, county legislator Josh Lafazan, progressive healthcare consultant Melanie D’Arrigo, and ex-North Hempstead supervisor Jon Kaiman.

Polling has shown a fractured field, though Zimmerman and Lafazan have the largest warchests. When it comes to endorsements post-Biaggi, Zimmerman leads the pack with support from Hillary Clinton and former Congressman Steve Israel. Lafazan’s only notable endorser is Suozzi himself. D’Arrigo has assembled support pledges from crazier figures on the left like Marianne Williamson but does not seem to have piqued the interest of prominent members such as Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. LEANS ZIMMERMAN

The 3rd is the type of district that should be winnable for Republicans under favorable conditions. Back when the national situation looked better for the GOP, Split Ticket moved the seat to TOSSUP. If the election were held today, Democrats would be favored to win, but the current rating will be kept in place until a better sense of the environment can be ascertained.

New York’s 10th district

Perhaps the most-watched House primary of the night will occur in the 10th district, a safely-Democratic seat running from southern Manhattan to Brooklyn. Prominent neighborhoods encompassed within its modified boundaries include the West Village, the East Village, Soho, Tribeca, the Financial District, Chinatown, Alphabet City, the Lower East Side, Red Hook, Gowanus, and Park Slope. The new 10th also has significant Asian and Hispanic populations, diluting its historically-white lean. Most of the district’s voters live in its Brooklyn section.

There is no technical incumbent here, although White Plains-based Democrat Mondaire Jones has adopted this seat as his own since Maloney moved to the 17th. Jones narrowly has the largest warchest in the field but is only in contention for third or fourth place according to the polling aggregate. Of the incredibly-crowded assortment of candidates, three other contenders stand out: former assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Goldman, Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, and NYC councilmember Carlina Rivera.

While a seat like the new 10th should ostensibly elect a candidate like Niou, who appeals to its sizable Asian constituency, survey data suggest that Goldman is in fact a slight favorite favorite. While his victory is uncertain, Split Ticket is tasked with picking the most likely outcome based solely on available evidence. LEANS GOLDMAN

New York’s 12th district

From a historical standpoint, New York’s redrawn 12th district should not exist. For the first time in living memory, the heavily-Democratic Upper East and West sides of Manhattan have been put into the same district. Both halves encompass different communities with individual preferences that manifest themselves in the form of two lawmakers with unique backgrounds.

The double-bunking that has ensued is historic for pitting two veteran members of the Democratic caucus against each other: Jerry Nadler (west) and Carolyn Maloney (east). Both members have served in Washington for about three decades and hold important Committee Chairmanships, Nadler on Judiciary and Maloney on Oversight. Neither wanted to end up in an internecine contest in which one veteran will eventually be vanquished.

Maloney was initially viewed as the favorite to win the primary despite the fact that she nearly lost renomination in 2020. The primary reasoning for this claim stemmed from the fact that a majority of the new district was composed of territory that she currently represents. Additionally, the portions of Brooklyn and Queens that had backed her 2020 primary challenger Suraj Patel were removed in redistricting.

Despite being at a territorial deficit after losing his old 10th district’s Brooklyn constituents, Nadler appears to have recovered his primary advantage over the last few weeks. Two recent polls from Emerson College, for instance, showed Nadler opening a wide lead against his main opponent. Patel, Maloney’s former foe, is also running this cycle. Surveys indicate that he is poised to take a significant amount of the vote while finishing third. It is possible that he will dilute Maloney’s base in the Upper East Side. LIKELY NADLER

New York’s 17th district

District 17 (Biden +10) is predominantly-based in Rockland and Westchester counties. Its adopted incumbent is Sean Patrick Maloney, the DCCC Chair who moved south from the redder 18th to facilitate an easier reelection. His move forced fellow Congressman Mondaire Jones to run in the 10th district, upsetting some Democrats who perceived Maloney’s course as opportunistic.

Although polling clearly shows that Maloney is the favorite in his primary, he is not uncontested. State senator Alessandra Biaggi has given the incumbent a hearty challenge from the progressive lane. Biaggi, granddaughter of former Congressman Mario Biaggi, lives outside of the district in Pelham. She initially ran for the 3rd district, which crossed the bay onto Long Island under the Hochulmander. LIKLEY MALONEY Should Maloney win his primary, he will face Assemblyman Mike Lawler in a LEANS DEMOCRATIC race.

Oklahoma’s 2nd district (Runoff)

Oklahoma’s 2nd district is a safely-Republican seat located in the heart of once-Democratic Little Dixie. It is being vacated by Markwayne Mullin, now a candidate for the Senate. The first round of the Republican nomination process occurred in June, with 14 different candidates splitting a highly-regionalized field. State representative Avery Frix and former state senator Josh Brecheen both advanced to the runoff with just about 15% of the vote.

Like the first, today’s second round also stands to be incredibly close and regionalized. This district is, after all, predominantly one of small towns and medium-sized cities. Frix, from Muskogee, should win the northern half of the seat while Brecheen takes the south. The ultimate winner of this primary is really anyone’s bet given how split the original field was, but a map from Split Ticket’s own Armin Thomas suggests that Frix might win by carrying the district’s more-populated half. LEANS FRIX

Special Elections

New York’s 19th & 23rd

In the 19th district (Biden +1.5) Split Ticket favors Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro to win the race to replace Lt. Governor Antonio Delgado. Read our detailed breakdown of his LEANS REPUBLICAN race against Democrat Pat Ryan, and its national implications, here.

The 23rd district (Trump +11) is also holding a special election following Tom Reed’s resignation. Republican Joe Sempolinski, Steuben County Republican Committee Chair, is expected to defeat Democrat Max Della Pia, an Air Force veteran. This contest is rated SAFE REPUBLICAN, but could be competitive if previous specials in similarly-red Nebraska and Minnesota seats are any indication. Heavily-Democratic Tompkins County, home to Ithaca and Cornell University, is located within the 23rd.

Honorable Mentions

Florida’s 4th district

Located in and around the city of Jacksonville, Florida’s 4th (Trump +6.7) is an open seat that was created in redistricting. Republicans are favored to win this district in November, a reality reflected by its LIKELY REPUBLICAN classification. The clear frontrunner for the GOP nomination is Florida Senate president pro tempore Aaron Bean. SAFE BEAN

Florida’s 13th district

Like the 4th and 7th districts, the Republican position in the Pinellas-based 13th was ameliorated by redistricting. Incumbent Democrat Charlie Crist is leaving his Trump +6.7 seat to run for Governor, an office he once held as a Republican. Polling suggests that Trump-endorsed 2020 nominee Anna Paulina Luna is favored to win her GOP primary rematch against Amanda Makki. LIKELY PAULINA LUNA Democrats could win this district down the road, but 2022 is unlikely to be the year. LIKELY REPUBLICAN (flip)

Florida’s 15th district

District 15 (Trump +3.2) straddles parts of Pasco, Hillsborough, and Polk counties. Like the 4th, it does not have an incumbent post-redistricting. Republicans are favored to win the general election here despite the district’s soft presidential lean. LIKELY REPUBLICAN

Former Congressman Dennis Ross initially seemed to be the GOP’s primary favorite, but he has since suspended his campaign. The new frontrunner is Laurel Lee, the Sunshine State’s former Secretary of State.

Florida’s 20th district

The 20th is a safely-Democratic, black-plurality seat connecting the vicinities of West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Incumbent Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick was elected in a special election earlier this year, replacing the late Alcee Hastings.

Prior to the special, Cherfilus-McCormick had secured her primary nomination by just 5 votes against former Broward County Mayor Dale Holness. Holness is challenging her again in the new district, but polling indicates that he could be an underdog despite the fact that Broward accounts for most of the 20th’s electorate. Another north-south regional divide in the results is expected. LIKELY CHERFILUS-MCCORMICK

Florida’s 23rd district

Located near Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, the 23rd district (Biden +13.2) is being vacated by incumbent Democrat Ted Deutch. The frontrunner to replace him is Broward County Commissioner Jared Moskowitz, from Coral Springs. SAFE MOSKOWITZ

While the November election in this seat is currently rated LIKELY DEMOCRATIC from an earlier stage of the cycle, Republicans have not shown any local momentum that suggests a possibility of fall victory.

Florida’s 27th district

The 27th district (Trump +0.3) is home to versatile Republican incumbent Maria Elvira Salazar. A former TV reporter, Elvira Salazar defeated Democrat Donna Shalala in a marginal Biden seat in 2020, outrunning Trump even as he put up an exemplary performance in Miami Dade County. The frontrunner on the Democratic side is clearly state senator Annette Taddeo, a credible candidate who is probably running in the wrong place at the wrong time. SAFE TADDEO Salazar remains favored to win reelection in a LIKELY REPUBLICAN race.

New York’s 11th district

Republican Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis was saved from a difficult reelection after the Hochulmander was struck down, removing Park Slope from the draft of her Staten Island-based district. The new seat (Trump +7.6), like its current iteration, stops at the southern edge of Brooklyn, home to Bensonhurst and Fort Hamilton.

Malliotakis is still expected to face Max Rose, the Democratic Congressman whom she defeated in 2020. SAFE REPUBLICAN Rose is favored in his primary against underfunded progressive hopeful Brittany Ramos DeBarros.

New York’s 16th district

District 16 is a reliably-Democratic seat based in Westchester County, home to the communities of White Plains and Yonkers. It is currently represented Jamaal Bowman, a progressive candidate who defeated long-time incumbent and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Eliot Engel in the 2020 primary.

Engel recently endorsed a long-shot primary challenge to Bowman in the form of county legislator Vedat Gashi. Catherine Parker, another county legislator, is also in the race. Bowman remains a favorite, but could post lower margins this year because his seat grew whiter after redistricting moved it north. LIKELY BOWMAN

New York’s 19th district

The redrawn 19th district (Biden +4.6) that will be in use this November connects the Hudson Valley with the eastern-most half of the Southern Tier. There is overlap with the current 19th, where Republican Marc Molinaro is expected to win a special election.

Assuming that happens, the incumbent Molinaro plans on running for a full term in this seat. Notably, the new 19th excludes all of Dutchess County (Molinaro’s home turf) and picks up heavily-Democratic Tompkins (Ithaca). Though it is bluer than its predecessor, this version of the seat is also rated LEANS REPUBLICAN.

Democrats appear divided between lawyer Josh Riley and businesswoman Jamie Cheney, though Riley has connections with former Congressman Maurice Hinchey and has outraised his opponent this cycle. LEANS RILEY

New York’s 22nd district

Originally taken off of the board of competitive seats by the Hochulmander, the eventual adoption of the Servas plan gave Republicans a new lease on life in the Onondoga County-based 22nd. The redrawn district, which now includes Syracuse *and* Utica, clocks in at roughly Biden +7. Had incumbent Republican John Katko (NY-24) waited for Ithaca to be removed from the first draft of his seat, he could have decided against retirement.

The new 22nd is actually slightly-redder than its predecessor. Katko’s record of generating split-ticket voting would have made him a favorite for reelection, but it is unclear whether he would have been able to win a contested primary given the fate of other Republicans who voted to impeach Trump.

Because the November race in this open seat is rated TOSSUP, Split Ticket has watched both its Republican and Democratic primaries closely. On the Republican side, former prosecutor Steve Wells is favored to defeat Brandon Williams. Wells has the endorsement of GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik. LIKELY WELLS Democrats, meanwhile, seem set to nominate Francis Conole, a former commander in the Navy Reserves. LIKELY CONOLE

New York’s 23rd district

The new 23rd district (Trump +17) stretches down from Erie County along the remainder of the Southern Tier. This district is even redder than the current iteration being used in today’s other special election, meaning Democrats have no viable path in November’s SAFE REPUBLICAN race.

Republican Joe Sempolinski, the nominee in the special, will be a lame-duck Congressman after dropping out of the primary for the November race. Fundamentals suggest that Stefanik-endorsed businessman Carl Paladino is favored to beat New York GOP Chair Nick Langworthy. LEANS PALADINO

My name is Harrison Lavelle and I am a political analyst studying political science and international studies at the College of New Jersey. As a co-founder and partner at Split Ticket, I coordinate our House coverage. I write about a variety of electoral topics and produce political maps. Besides elections, my hobbies include music, history, language, aviation, and fitness.

Contact me at @HWLavelleMaps or

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