August 3 Updates: Republican Diane Black (TN-06) announced she will run for governor of the state in 2018. Additionally, although no formal announcement has been made, it seems highly likely that Republican Lou Barletta (PA-11) will run for U.S. Senate. Neither of these are yet reflected in the table below.
We've updated the table of U.S. House members not seeking reelection to their seat in 2018. The list is up to 18, including 11 Republicans and 7 Democrats.
Democrat John K. Delaney, who represents Maryland's 6th congressional district, has become the first formally declared challenger to a second term for President Trump. Delaney, who is in his third term, will not run for Congress in 2018 so that he can focus on the presidential bid. Delaney laid out his rationale for running in a Washington Post opinion piece and has launched his campaign website that includes this video:
There are just over 1,190 days until the 2020 presidential election, making Delaney's announcement the earliest one in recent history (probably longer). Delaney is not well-known nationally, so the novelty of going first will garner him some attention.
New Mexico Republican Rep. Steve Pearce announced that he will run for governor of that state in 2018. Incumbent Gov. Susana Martinez, also a Republican, cannot run again due to term limits. Pearce's colleague in the House, Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham had previously announced her entry into the race. A poll from earlier this year gave Martinez just a 43% approval rating. The gubernatorial race is currently rated 'Lean Democratic' by Sabato's Crystal Ball.
14 current members of the House have announced they will not be seeking reelection in 2018. The list includes eight Republicans and six Democrats. Three of the Republicans are retiring, while the other eleven members are running for Governor or U.S. Senator. Five of the 14 seats are expected to have competitive races in 2018.
First-term Democratic congresswoman Jacky Rosen has formally announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate in 2018. Assuming she secures the nomination, she will take on Republican incumbent Dean Heller, who will be seeking reelection to a 2nd term in the Senate from Nevada. Rosen currently represents that state's 3rd congressional district, which encompasses most of the state south of Las Vegas.
A late June poll from Public Policy Polling showed Rosen and Heller virtually tied, with Rosen ahead 42% to 41%. This will be one of the most watched races of 2018 as it is one of the few realistic opportunities for a Democratic pick-up on a difficult map. Of the 34 seats to be contested in 2018*, 25 of them are already held by Democrats**. Of the nine Republican-held seats, Nevada is the only one in a state not won by Donald Trump in 2016. Aside from Nevada, of the ten races currently seen as most competitive for next year (tan on map below), only Arizona is currently in Republican hands.
Republican Jason Chaffetz of Utah's 3rd congressional district resigned from Congress Friday morning. The five-term Representative, who was chairman of the House Oversight Committee announced back in April that he would not run again. That was then followed up by the decision to leave Congress before the end of his term. Chaffetz will join Fox News as a commentator. A special election will take place on November 7th. The seat is very likely to remain in Republican hands.
Republicans now have 240 House seats to 193 for Democrats. In addition to Chaffetz's seat, California's 34th District is currently vacant. Democrat Jimmy Gomez won a special election for that seat earlier in June and is expected to be sworn-in on July 11th.
Republicans Karen Handel (GA-06) and Ralph Norman (SC-05) were sworn-in and joined the House of Representatives on Monday. Both won their seats in special elections held on June 20th. This brings Republicans back to full strength, at 241 seats. Democrats currently hold 193 seats.
The one remaining House vacancy will be filled when Democrat Jimmy Gomez takes his seat for California's 34th District. That is expected to take place after the 4th of July recess.
While the Georgia race drew far more attention, and became the most expensive House race in U.S. history, the Republican margin of victory there was actually slightly larger than in the South Carolina race. Handel won by 3.8%, while Norman won by 3.2%.
For today's special elections in Georgia and South Carolina, we're pleased to include links to the live results as reported by Decision Desk HQ. This is a mostly volunteer-driven alternative to the Associated Press (AP), whose counts and projections are used by the vast majority of media organizations. Decision Desk places reporters on the ground in each county to relay returns from local election officials. This information is combined with results published on the web by the state division overseeing elections. The goal of this combined effort is to get vote totals and projections out quickly and accurately.
Below are the live results for both districts as reported by Decision Desk HQ. We've also included a link to the AP counts as reported by The New York Times.
Congressional special elections are being held today in Georgia's 6th district as well as the 5th district in neighboring South Carolina. The two seats have been vacant since the prior incumbents resigned to join President Donald Trump's administration. Polls in both states are open until 7PM, Eastern Time.
Georgia 6th District
This race that has garnered national attention, becoming the most expensive House election in U.S. history along the way. The district has been in Republican hands since a young history teacher named Newt Gingrich won the seat in 1978. Incumbent Tom Price, now Secretary of Health and Human Services, was reelected with a 23% margin last November. However, Trump only won the district by 1.5%. This dichotomy set the stage for this race to become a proxy battle for the nation's political divisions and the early performance of full Republican control in Washington.