The 2020 Election is fully underway as millions across the country have already begun to vote by mail. While the Presidential ticket is at the top, there are many important house seats up for grabs down ballot. These seats will be crucial in determining which party controls the House of Representatives for the next two years.
In 2018, the Democrats flipped 41 seats in the House to take control of the lower chamber for the first time since 2010. The GOP was swept in the suburbs and lost dozens of suburban, white-collar districts across the nation. Exit polls from 2018 show that the Democrats led among whites with a college degree by 8 points. This same group voted evenly at 48% each for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016. If Republicans want to re-gain control, they must improve with these voters.
There are several house seats on this list located in deep red territory where President Trump won by over 20 points. It’s likely these are the first races to flip because of the conservative voting blocs and the massive popularity for the President in these districts.
So, let’s get into 5 house seats that Republicans must flip in 2020.
5. Xochitl Torres Small (NM-2)
Torres Small was elected in one of the most rural districts in the nation. The district contains most of the southern half of New Mexico up to the Albuquerque suburbs. President Trump won the district by 10 points and the district is rated as R+6 by Cook Political Report.
Yvette Herrell is the Republican challenger in the race. Herrell was the representative of the district for 8 years and lost to Torres Small by just under 4,000 votes in 2018. If the GOP wants to take back control of the House this cycle, they must win this district.
4. Joe Cunningham (SC-1)
South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District was represented by ex-Governor (and former Presidential candidate) Mark Sanford from May 2013 until 2018. A Republican, Sanford has been extremely critical of President Trump since he first ran for President in 2015.
In the 2018 Republican Primary, Sanford was defeated by the Trump endorsed Katie Arrington. Arrington struggled against the more moderate Joe Cunningham in the general election and lost the seat. Sanford won the district by 22 points in 2016 so there’s a good chance that the seat will flip red.
3. Ben McAdams (UT-4)
Utah has been a state that hasn’t been friendly to Donald Trump. Despite Mitt Romney winning the state with 72% of the vote, Trump failed to break 50% and struggled with conservative Mormons. In 2018, Mia Love — a Republican who refused to support President Trump — lost her house race narrowly to Ben McAdams.
McAdams was the mayor of Salt Lake City for six years before being elected to Congress. The District is rated as R+13 by the Cook Political Report and Romney won the district by 37 points in 2012. Former Super Bowl champion Burgess Ownes is the GOP challenger in November’s election. Owens has a fairly strong chance of flipping the seat back to the GOP.
2. Kendra Horn (OK-5)
Horn had one of the biggest upset victories in the 2018 midterms. Most people wrote off her seat because it was a district that President Trump won by 23 points. She was able to pull off a victory in the Oklahoma City district by just over 3,000 votes and is now facing off against State Senator Stephanie Bice.
This seat outside of #1 is one of the most likley to flip red in November. Bice has some local name recognition and with Trump on the ballot in a red state, he is sure to help carry over Republicans down ballot. Horn voting for both articles of impeachment in December tarnished her moderate appeal to many.
1. Collin Peterson (MN-7)
This is easily the most flippable seat for Republicans this cycle. Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District is large and covers almost all of the state’s entire western border with North and South Dakota. The district has been represented by conservative Democrat Collin Peterson since 1990. Peterson even uses a personal single-engine private plane to travel around the district.
President Trump won the district by over 30 points but, Peterson has managed to survive two recent challenges. He is one of the few pro-life Democrats remaining in Congress and is well liked. But, it will be difficult for him to pull off a third victory since the rise of Donald Trump has swung his district dark red.