Midterms road map: 10 races to watch on Election Night
CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 11/6/2018, 2:56 p.m.
Iowa's 3rd District: Obama-Trump Turf
There's been a lot of attention paid to the 25 GOP seats Clinton carried in 2016 -- and rightfully so -- but Democrats are also on offense in many of the dozen districts that swung from Barack Obama in 2012 to Trump four years later. Iowa's 3rd District is a prime example. Obama twice won this southwestern Iowa district, home to the capital city of Des Moines, on his way to capturing the Hawkeye State during both of his presidential runs. Trump carried the district by three points as part of his nine-point victory in the state. Do voters in Iowa and other spots on the Obama-Trump map swing back to the Democrats? This contest features a matchup between two-term GOP Rep. David Young and Democrat Cindy Axne, a small business owner and first-time candidate.
Texas' 7th District: The Swanky Suburbs
For Democrats, gaining the 23 seats needed to win control of the House will likely mean flipping several upscale suburban districts with large numbers of college graduates. Texas' 7th District, home to the west Houston suburbs, fits that mold. This once solid Republican seat sent George H.W. Bush to Congress in 1966. But the changing demographics of the district -- which became majority-minority after redistricting in 2011 -- have turned it into one of the most competitive House races in the Lone Star State. Trump lost the district by a single point to Clinton, 48% to 47%, after Romney carried the district 60% to 39% four years earlier. Nearly $18 million has been spent on TV ads in the race between nine-term GOP Rep. John Culberson and Democrat Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, an attorney.
Georgia's 6th District: The Wave Maker
For decades, Georgia's 6th District has been solid Republican turf -- electing Newt Gingrich and Tom Price to Congress -- and voting for GOP presidential candidates such as Romney and John McCain by wide margins. Then Trump entered the picture. In 2016, Trump won the suburban Atlanta district by a single point. GOP Rep. Karen Handel scored a four-point victory in a fiercely-contested 2017 special election against Democrat Jon Ossoff. Now she faces a challenge from gun control activist Lucy McBath, whose son was shot and killed in 2012 after a dispute over loud music. If Democrats are winning districts like this one in Georgia, then the party should be in the majority come January with some room to spare.
Missouri Senate: A Red State Toss-Up
The Senate story this cycle has centered on the favorable map for Republicans with 10 Democratic incumbents running in states Trump won in 2016 -- five of them by double digits. Democrats hold a very narrow path to the majority -- one that almost certainly closes if Sen. Claire McCaskill is unable to hold on in Missouri. The two-term Democrat won her first race in 2006, a strong year for the party, and benefitted from a weak opponent in 2012. Polls in the Show Me State show the race is deadlocked. If McCaskill is able to defeat Republican Josh Hawley, the state's attorney general, that would be a positive sign for other Red State Democrats such as Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Jon Tester in Montana and Joe Manchin in West Virginia.