U.S. House Races: A Preliminary Look, Part 2

AP Photo/Matthew Brown

In yesterday’s diary post, this writer laid out the process of generating the list of vulnerable House seats for both parties.  Today, I continue with a look at seats in the Midwest and West.

The Midwest


  • Lauren Underwood (IL-14)- she will face Jim Oberweis.  These are the far western suburbs of Chicago where she defeated Randy Hultgren by 15,000 votes two years ago.  No offense, but Oberweis has a somewhat losing resume dating back to 2002.  This writer will keep it in this category only because Trump is at the top of the ticket.  $4.6 million raised.
  • Abby Finkenauer (IA-1)- She won in 2018 by 17,000 votes over a notoriously bad campaigner and fundraiser, Rod Blum.  That will not be the case in 2020 against her likely opponent, Ashley Arenholz.  $3 million raised.
  • Dave Loebsack (IA-2)- Actually an open seat as Loebsack, who usually prevails by large margins, is stepping down.  For the GOP, it is between former Congressman Bobby Schilling and Marianette Miller-Meeks (who has a cooler name).  For the Democrats, it Rita Hart.  $1.2 million raised.
  • Cindy Axne (IA-3)- he likely opponent will be David Young who she managed to defeat by less than 8,000 votes in 2018.  It would be wonderful to win all three of these districts out of Iowa.  However, this is the most likely to flip.  It is going to be an expensive race.  $3.2 million raised.
  • Collin Peterson (MN-7)- Most likely opponent: Noel Collis or Michelle Fischbach.  Every two years, Peterson is put on these lists and every two years he wins.  Representing the more conservative western third of Minnesota, perhaps his time is up this year.  $1.5 million raised.
  • Kendra Horn (OK-5)- Likely opponent: Janet Barresi, Stephanie Bice, or Terry Neese.  Horn surprised Steve Russell by less than 4,000 votes in 2018, but there will be no surprises this year with Trump at the top of the ticket.  $4.2 million raised.


  • Rodney Davis (IL-13)- Davis will oppose Betsy Dirksen Londrigan who he prevailed against in 2018 by 2,100 votes and the Democrats were blocked from importing 2,200 votes of dead people from Chicago.  This will be an expensive race.  $4 million raised.


  • Sharice Davids (KS-3)- her likely opponent will be either Amanda Adkins or Sara Hart Weir.  Being Kansas, one would normally consider this seat more vulnerable for a Democrat.  Still, she did defeat Keith Yoder by 31,000 votes in 2018 and unlike some women elected in 2018, Davids has kept a low profile.  $2.5 million raised.
  • Elissa Slotkin (MI-8)-  She will likely face off against Paul Junge for the GOP.  Considering she took of Mike Bishop by 13,000 votes in 2018, running against a lesser known in 2020 places her in this category.  Still, over $4 million raised thus far.
  • Angie Craig (MN-2)- these are the St. Paul suburbs where Craig beat Jason Lewis by almost 19,000 votes in 2018.  Richard Olson will be the likely GOP candidate.  $2.1 million raised.


  • The Michigan Third District race-  This is a special case if Justin Amash is running for reelection under the independent or Libertarian banner.  The problem is that he is also considering a Presidential run.  Regardless, he’s outta the GOP and two Republicans are vying it out- Lynn Afendoulis and Peter Meijer- to take on most likely Hillary Scholten for the Democrats.  $1.9 million raised, but most of it by Amash ($1.1 million).  Between Afendoulis and Meijer, they have out raised Scholten 2-1.
  • Jim Hagedorn (MN-1)- a rematch of 2018 against Dan Feehan who Hagedorn managed to hold off by less than 2,000 votes.  Minnesota is difficult to gauge and this district along the southern border of the state is no different.  $1.9 million raised.
  • Ann Wagner (MO-2)- Her opponent will be Jill Schupp.  By Missouri standards, her 15,000 vote victory in 2018 may have been “close,” but not this year.  $2.6 million raised.
  • Steve Chabot (OH-1)-  His likely opponent is Nikki Foster or Kate Schroder.  Perhaps because the district encompasses 80% of Cincinnati some pundits view this seat as vulnerable, but this writer does not see it.  $2.7 million raised.

The West


  • Terrance Cox (CA-21)- Opponent: David Valadeo who lost to Cox in 2018 by less than 1,000 votes.  $3 million raised (almost evenly split).
  • Harley Rouda (CA-48)- Opponent: Michelle Steel.  Rouda defeated Dana Rohrabacher handily in 2018 in a nominally GOP-leaning district.  Rouda has no incumbent to pin Russia on this time out.  $4.3 million raised (almost evenly split).
  • Xochitl Torres-Small (NM-2)-Likely opponent: three viable candidates in Claire Chase, Yvette Herrell, and Chris Mathys.  Herrell lost a close open race after Republican Steve Pearce ran for Governor instead.  $4.2 million raised.
  • Lizzie Fletcher (TX-7)- $4.3 million raised, 44% by GOP.  Opponent: Wesley Hunt.  This should be a great race to watch as Fletcher, a gun grabber, goes up against a black West Point graduate.  $4.3 million raised (almost evenly split).
  • Ben McAdams (UT-4)- Likely opponent: Kathleen Anderson or Kim Coleman.  McAdams stunned Mia Love in 2018 winning by less than 800 votes.  Please, Mitt Romney, stay out of this.  $2.9 million raised.


  • William Hurd (TX-23)- Open seat. The GOP is headed for a runoff between Tony Gonzalez and Raul Reyes.  For the Democrats it will be Gina Ortiz Jones who almost defeated Hurd two years ago.  This district is toast, folks…  $3.2 million raised (most on the Democrat side).
  • Kenny Marchant (TX-24)- Another open seat. Beth Van Duyne will be the GOP candidates and Democrats are in a runoff between Kim Olson and Candace Valenzuela.  This will be a close race and hopefully the Dems will emerge damaged from the runoff.  $2.1 million raised.


  • Gil Cisneros (CA-39)- Opponent: Young Kim.  Kim lost by less than 8,000 votes in 2018 to Cisneros in this Fullerton-based district. $3 million raised.
  • Colin Allred (TX-32)- Opponent: Genevieve Collins.  This district north of Dallas may be slipping away from the GOP.  $3.6 million raised.


  • Pete Olson (TX-22)-  Another Texas open seat.  The GOP is slated for a runoff between Troy Nehls and Kathaleen Wall while Sri Kulkarni, who ran and lost to Olson in 2018, will be the Democrat candidate.  Nehls, the Fort Bend County sheriff, kind of surprised the deep-pocketed Walls by doubling her vote in the primary.  $4.8 million raised.