Republicans Up For Reelection In 2020

Don’t lose track of the 2020 congressional elections. Here are the Republicans up for reelection in 2020
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) – Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) – Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 2.0]

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In the Senate, more Republican incumbents are seeking reelection in 2020 than Democratic incumbents, leaving the Democrats opportunities to take more Senate seats. In the House, everyone has to run for reelection, because House seats are won for only two-year terms. After the 2018 midterms, both parties will be looking to flip House seats from one party to another, especially if the incumbent was elected as part of the 2018 “Blue Wave.” Republicans will want to take back control of the House, and maintain their control of the Senate.

Which Senate Republicans Are Up For Reelection in 2020?

There are twenty-three Republican-held Senate seats up for election in 2020:

  • Dan Sullivan, Alaska
  • *Martha McSally, Arizona
  • Tom Cotton, Arkansas
  • Cory Gardner, Colorado
  • David Perdue, Georgia
  • ✝Johnny Isakson, Georgia
  • Jim Risch, Idaho
  • Joni Ernst, Iowa
  • Pat Roberts, Kansas (retiring)
  • Mitch McConnell, Kentucky
  • Bill Cassidy, Louisiana
  • Susan Collins, Maine
  • Cindy Hyde-Smith, Mississippi
  • Steve Daines, Montana
  • Ben Sasse, Nebraska
  • Thom Tillis, North Carolina
  • Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma
  • Lindsey Graham, South Carolina
  • Mike Rounds, South Dakota
  • Lamar Alexander, Tennessee (retiring)
  • John Cornyn, Texas
  • Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia
  • Mike Enzi, Wyoming (retiring)
*Arizona will be holding a special election on November 3, 2020 to determine who will hold Arizona’s junior Senate seat. Martha McSally was appointed by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to replace Jon Kyl, who had been appointed to finish out John McCain’s term (expiring 2023). Kyl resigned as of December 31, 2018. The winner of the special election will hold the Senate seat from January 2021 to 2023. Republican candidates include McSally, Craig Brittain, and Daniel McCarthy. Democratic candidates include Mohammed Arif, Sheila Bilyeu, and Mark Kelly. Kelly has been endorsed by Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the End Citizens United PAC.

✝Senator Johnny Isakson (GA), elected in 2016, has announced his resignation at the end of 2019 for health reasons. Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp recently appointed conservative Kelly Loeffler as an interim senator. A permanent replacement for Isakson will be elected in November 2020. To date, the 2020 Republican candidate is A. Wayne Johnson. The 2020 Democratic candidate is Matt Lieberman.

Which Senate Races Will Be Important to Watch?

The following Senate elections will be battleground races for Republicans in 2020:

Martha McSally, Arizona

She was just appointed to fill McCain’s seat in January 2019 after losing to Democratic Kyrsten Sinema in the 2018 Arizona Senate race. She is a junior senator, so her opportunity to make an impression on her constituents is limited. McSally’s biggest Republican rival is Daniel McCarthy. But the Democratic candidate most necessary to beat is probably Mark Kelly, a former astronaut and the husband of Democratic Representative Gabby Giffords. The Senate race for Arizona is forecasted to be a toss-up.

Cory Gardner, Colorado

This race is also forecasted to be a toss-up. Recently, former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper announced his candidacy for Gardner’s Senate seat, which likely significantly ups the ante. Andrew Romanoff is also vying for the seat as well.

Susan Collins, Maine

Republican former Maine Governor Paul LePage has endorsed Collins, but during his tenure, he had criticisms of her that have not been forgotten. The current governor is Democratic Janet T. Mills, elected in 2018. No Republicans are challenging Collins, but a lot of other candidates are. Perhaps most formidable is Sara Gidon, the Democratic Speaker of the state House of Representatives. Other Democrats seeking Collins’s seat are Betsy Sweet, Bre Kidman, and Ross LaJeunesse. Lisa Savage of Maine’s Green Independent Party is also running, as are independents Tiffany Bond and Danielle VanHelsing. The Maine Senate race in 2020 is forecasted to be a toss-up.

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Which Republican-held Senate Seats Are Probably Safe?

According to The Cook Political Report, Republican-held Senate seats that are highly unlikely not to remain in Republican hands include:

  • Dan Sullivan, Alaska
  • Tom Cotton, Arkansas
  • Jim Risch, Idaho
  • Bill Cassidy, Louisiana
  • Steve Daines, Montana
  • Ben Sasse, Nebraska
  • Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma
  • Lindsay Graham, South Carolina
  • Mike Rounds, South Dakota
  • Tennessee – Open
  • John Cornyn, Texas
  • Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia
  • Wyoming – Open

Which House Republicans Are Up For Reelection in 2020?

All of them. Representatives in the House serve terms of only two years. That means that the 197 seats held by Republicans – one House seat is held by an independent, and four House seats are vacant – will be involved in electoral races.

A number of Republican Representatives have announced that they will not be seeking reelection in 2020, leaving their seats vacant. These announcements have increased significantly in the second half of 2019, so it is possible that more representatives will make similar declarations. Obviously, the aim for Republicans will be to ensure that these seats go to another Republican.

The open seats include those of:

  • Martha Roby, AL-02
  • Duncan Hunter, CA-50
  • Francis Rooney, FL-19
  • Rob Woodall, GA-07
  • Tom Graves, GA-10
  • John Shimkus, IL-15
  • Susan Brooks, IN-05
  • Paul Mitchell, MI-10
  • George Holding, NC-06
  • Peter King, NY-02
  • Chris Collins, NY-27
  • Greg Walden, OR-02
  • Mike Conaway, TX-11
  • Mac Thornberry, TX-13
  • Bill Flores, TX-17
  • Pete Olson, TX-22
  • Will Hurd, TX-23
  • Rob Bishop, UT-01
  • Jim Sensenbrenner, WI-05

Additionally, four Republican House Representatives are leaving their House seats to seek other elected roles:

  • Bradley Byrne (AL-01) is seeking a seat in the Senate.
  • Roger Marshall (KS-01) is also seeking a seat in the Senate.
  • Greg Gianforte (MT-At-Large) is leaving to pursue the Montana governorship.
  • Paul Cook (CA-08) is leaving the House to run for a San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors seat.

Which House Republican Seats Will Be Most at Risk?

There are a lot of factors that go into whether a race will be a battleground that cannot be summarized here. Nevertheless, the following Republican House seat races may be considered to be battleground races based on there being no incumbent, there having been very close races in 2018, or a number of other interesting facts:

Devin Nunes, CA-22

Nunes was almost unseated in 2018. He has certainly had his share of bad press ranging from mainstream journalists to Twitter users. Most recently, the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report included phone logs between Nunes and Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, as well as indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas. Democratic rivals attracted by the belief that there may be blood in the water include Phil Arballo, Bobby Bliatout and Dary Rezvani. Up until now, pundits forecasted that Nunes would likely win, but that forecast might need to be revised in light of recent events.

Duncan Hunter, CA-50

Hunter recently announced that he will be resigning his House seat after pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal some $250,000 in campaign funds: a felony for which he is facing up to five years in federal prison. Contenders for his seat to date include Democratic Ammar Campa-Najjar, whom Hunter defeated in 2018 by only 51.7% of votes over 48.3%. Democratic Marisa Calderon is also running for the seat. Republicans Carl DeMaio, Brian Jones, Matt Rahn, and Darrell Issa—a former House Republican—are also running, as are independent candidates David Edick and Helen Horvath.

Rob Woodall, GA-07

There are a plethora of contenders for the open seat Woodall is leaving behind, including Republicans Lisa Babbage, Ben Bullock, Mark Gonsalves, Lynne Homrich, Lerah Lee, Rich McCormick, Joe Profit, Jacqueline Tseng, and Renee Unterman. Democrats seeking Woodall’s open seat are Carolyn Bourdeaux, John Eaves, Nabilah Islam, Zahra Karinshak, David Kim, Brenda Lopez Romero, and Rashid Malik. Georgia’s 7th District includes parts of Gwinnett and Forsyth Counties. Forsyth County has a history of white supremacist Republicanism. Gwinnett County tends to be populated by a mix of Democrats and Republicans, and is located next to Fulton County, which is staunchly Democratic. The DCCC has identified this district as a target, and pundits forecast the race as a toss-up.

Rodney Davis, IL-13

Another DCCC target district. Running against Davis are Democrats Betsy Londrigan and Stefanie Smith. In 2018, Davis defeated Londrigan 136,516 votes to 134,458 votes, after Londrigan won the Democratic primary against Erik Jones, David Gill, Jonathan Ebel and Angel Sides. Londrigan would relish a rematch. According to the pundits, this race is forecast to be a toss-up.

Jim Hagedorn, MN-01

A DCCC target district, perhaps because it flipped to Republican in 2018. Candidates have until June 2, 2020 to file. No Republicans have filed to contest Hagedorn’s right to his House seat. Democratic contenders to date include Johnny Akzam, Dan Feehan and Ralph Kaehler. In 2018, Hagedorn defeated Feehan 146,200 votes to 144,885 votes, and Feehan clearly wants a rematch.

Greg Gianforte, MT-At-Large

This is another DCCC target district: it is an open seat because Gianforte is seeking the Montana governorship. Candidates have until March 9, 2020 to declare. Republican candidates to date are Joe Dooling, Timothy Johnson, Debra Lamm, Matt Rosendale and Corey Stapleton. Democrats who seek the seat are Matt Rains, Kathleen Williams and Tom Winter. In 2018, Gianforte defeated Williams by over 23,000 votes. Whether another Republican can achieve the same success against Williams remains to be seen.

John Katko, NY-24

Democratic hopefuls to replace Katko are Dana Balter, Francis Conole and Roger Misso. In 2018, Katko defeated Balter 52.6% versus 47.4% of votes, and this may turn out to be a rematch. The DCCC has designated this a target district.

Chris Collins, NY-27

Another DCCC target district. This is an open seat, because Collins resigned earlier this year prior to pleading guilty to insider trading. Candidates have until April 2, 2020 to file. Currently, Democrats Melodie Baker and Nate McMurray have declared. Republicans Christopher Jacobs, Robert Ortt and Beth Parlato have also declared, as has Libertarian Duane Witmer. In 2018, Collins defeated Nate McMurray by only just over 1000 votes. It might just be McMurray’s turn.

George Holding, NC-02

Holding recently announced that he will retire rather running under North Carolina’s adopted redistricting plan. To date, no Republican candidate has stepped forth. Democrats seeking the redistricted seat include Jason Butler, Scott Cooper, Monika Johnson-Hostler, and Deborah Ross. Holding seems to believe his new district would be largely Democratic. The DCCC has designated it a target district, and pundits forecast a likely Democratic result.

Dan Bishop, NC-09

Dan Bishop narrowly defeated Democrat Dan McCready in a special election held in September. The special election followed the throwing out of the 2018 midterm race for the district based on evidence of election fraud by a former Republican candidate. Bishop is now being challenged by Republicans Raymond Gerber and Stevie Rivenbark Hull, as well as Fernando Cano Jr. Candidates only have until December 20, 2019 to declare, so it looks like McCready may not be ready to throw his hat in the ring again so soon. The DCCC considers this to be a target district.

Michael McCaul, TX-10

McCaul was first elected in 2004. Democrats who hope to unseat him include Pritesh Gandhi, Shannon Hutcheson and Mike Siegel. In 2018 McCaul defeated Siegel by 51.1% of votes versus 46.8%. This race may turn out to be a rematch. McCaul’s seat is a DCCC target district.

Pete Olson, TX-22

Pundits consider this race to be a toss-up. The DCCC is calling it a target district. Olson has announced that he will retire at the end of his term. He only narrowly defeated Democrat Sri Kulkarni in 2018 (51.4% of votes to 46.5% of votes). Kulkarni is running again, along with Democrats Nyanza Moore. Stunningly, sixteen Republicans are vying in the primary: Bangar Aaloori, Jon Camarillo, Keli Chevalier, Douglas Haggard, Schell Hammel, Aaron Hermes, Greg Hill, Matt Hinton, Felicia Harris Hoss, Dan Mathews, Diana Miller, Clint Morgan, Bangar Reddy, Howard Lynn Steele Jr., Kathaleen Wall, and Joe Walz. This is likely to be a real horse race.

Will Hurd, TX-23

While Hurd first took his House seat in 2014, both Republican and Democratic candidates want the chance to unseat him. Republican rivals include Alma Arredondo-Lynch, Darwin Boedeker, Tony Gonzales, Cecil B. “Burt” Jones, Raul Reyes Jr., Sharon Thomas, and Ben Van Winkle. Democrats include Rosalinda Ramos Abuabara, Jaime Escuder, Gina Ortiz Jones, Liz Wahl, and Brandyn Waterman. The DCCC has identified this as a target district, and there is good reason to believe it will be close: in 2018, Hurd defeated Gina Ortiz Jones—who is running again in 2020—by fewer than 1,000 votes. Pundits are forecasting this race as Lean Democratic, a chance to flip this Republican seat blue.

Kenny Marchant, TX-24

Another DCCC target district. Marchant was first elected to his House seat in 2004. In 2018, however, he defeated Democratic Jan McDowell by only 50.6% of the vote versus 47.5%. McDowell is running again, along with other Democrats including John Biggan, William Carl “Will” Fisher, Richard Fleming, Crystal Fletcher, Kim Olson, and Candace Valenzuela. Additionally, several Republicans would like to be the 24th District Representative: Sunny Chaparala, Beth Van Duyne, David Fegan, Jeron Liverman, and Desi Maes. Pundits forecast this race to be a toss-up.

Jaime Herrera Beutler, WA-03

Beutler was first elected to Congress in 2010. In 2018, she defeated Democratic Carolyn Long only by 52.7% of votes to 47.3%. Long is seeking a rematch, and Democrats Rudy Atencio and Peter Khalil are also running. This is a DCCC target district.

Special Elections in 2020:

Wisconsin District 07: Sean Duffy resigned in September 2019 due to the upcoming birth of a child. Primary elections will be held on February 18, 2020, and a general election will be held on May 12, 2020. Republicans Jason Church, Michael Opela, Sr., and Tom Tiffany are signed up to run in the primary. Democratic primary candidates are Lawrence Dale and Tricia Zunker. This election is forecast to have a Likely Republican result.

What Other House Races Should I Watch?

The chart below lists all of the races predicted to be either perhaps or definitely competitive, other than the ones listed as battleground races above. Two Republican seats besides those listed above are predicted to be very competitive, with a forecast result of a toss-up, designated on the chart as ... “Toss-Up.”

Republican-held House seat elections that are so far predicted not to be competitive, but which have the potential to become competitive, are designated with a forecast of “Likely R.” For Republican-held House seat elections that currently are predicted to be competitive, but in which one party has an advantage, the forecast is “Lean R.”

Name State/District Party Of Previous Incumbent Cook Political Report Forecast
1 Don Young AK–At-large R Likely R
2 David Schweikert AZ-06 R Lean R
3 Ross Spano FL-15 R Lean R
4 Vern Buchanan FL-16 R Likely R
5 Open IN-05 R Lean R
6 Steve King IA-04 R Likely R
7 Steve Watkins KS-02 R Likely R
8 Andy Barr KY-06 R Likely R
9 Justin Amash MI-03 R Toss-Up
10 Fred Upton MI-06 R Likely R
11 Pete Stauber MN-08 R Likely R
12 Ann Wagner MO-02 R Likely R
13 Don Bacon NE-02 R Lean R
14 Mark Walker NC-06 R Likely D
15 Lee Zeldin NY-01 R Likely R
16 Open NY-02 R Lean R
17 Steve Chabot OH-01 R Lean R
18 Troy Balderson OH-12 R Likely R
19 Brian Fitzpatrick PA-01 R Lean R
20 Scott Perry PA-10 R Toss-Up
21 Mike Kelly PA-16 R Likely R
22 Ron Wright TX-06 R Likely R
23 Chip Roy TX-21 R Lean R
24 John Carter TX-31 R Lean R
25 Denver Riggleman VA-05 R Likely R
26 Open WI-07 R Likely R

Which Republican House Seats Are Safe?

Any seat that isn’t listed above is considered by pundit forecast to be Solid Republican. That is approximately 155 seats that are probably entirely safe.

The Rantt Rundown

Many voters are concerned about how Republican congresspersons will fare in 2020. They worry whether the current presidential administration has given sitting Republicans a blow among constituents or a blow to their own moral sense. The pundits seem to think that there probably won’t be more than the usual amount of change. Of the 23 Senate seats held by Republicans, only 3 are forecast to be toss-ups, leaving 20 relatively safe. Of the 197 House seats held by Republicans, only 9 are forecast to be either toss-ups or possibly flip to a Democrat. The rest are relatively safe, with at least 155 considered to be completely safe.

Of course, 2020 is a year away. As we learned in 2018, anything can happen in a year. That applies to the congressional seats in Senate and House held by Democrats as well.

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Rantt 101 // 2020 / Congress / Elections / Republican Party