Election News

GOP Rep. Phil Roe to Retire in 2020

January 3, 2020

GOP Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee announced Friday that he will retire at the end of the current Congress. Roe is in his 6th term, and represents the most conservative district in this deep red state.  Donald Trump won here by about 57% over Hillary Clinton in 2016; only five districts across the country had larger Trump margins that year1.

 

36 current members of the House have announced they will not run in 2020: 27 Republicans and 9 Democrats.  The number includes Rep. Duncan Hunter (R, CA-50), who is expected to leave Congress early this year.

1 Interestingly, three of the six incumbents in these reddest of districts are retiring. In addition to Roe, that includes Reps. Michael Conaway (TX-11) and Mac Thornberry (TX-13) 

Julian Castro Exits Presidential Race

January 2, 2020

Former Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Julian Castro ended his bid for the Democratic nomination Thursday. The only Latino in the race, Castro had struggled for support, averaging just over 1% in national polls as 2019 drew to a close.

Castro tweeted his announcement with a video of his year on the campaign trail.

Castro was mayor of San Antonio from 2009 until 2014, when he was confirmed as HUD Secretary. He served in that position until the end of President Barack Obama's 2nd term in January, 2017.

270toWin Democratic Nomination Content:

2020 Election Calendar

Map with National Polls & State Links

Delegate Calculator (interactive piece expected within next week)

Running List of Latest Polls (polling should pick up significantly this month)

Delegate Allocation Thresholds

Superdelegate Rule Changes for 2020

Projected 2024 Electoral Map Based on New Census Population Data

December 30, 2019

On Monday, the Census Bureau released U.S. population estimates (data here) as of July 1, 2019. This is the final annual update before the 2020 Census, which will set the population of the United States as of April 1, 2020. 

The Census results will lead to a reapportionment of the 435 congressional districts across the 50 states. The official changes should be known in late December, 2020.  This will kick off a redistricting effort in most states during 2021. Boundaries will be redrawn, with districts added or combined in those states that will gain or lose representation.

However, the new estimates allow for a pretty good projection of where things will end up. For the 2nd consecutive decade, Texas (+3 seats) and Florida (+2 seats) look to be the big winners. They were also the only two states to gain more than one seat in 2010. Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon are projected to gain one seat. As the number of districts is fixed, these 10 seats must come from somewhere else.   One seat is expected to be lost by each of Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia. 33 states will see no change.

If this estimate proves accurate,

  • It will be the first time California has ever lost a congressional seat. 
  • Montana will regain a 2nd district lost after the 1990 Census
  • Rhode Island will have a single district for the first time since the original apportionment that preceded the first Census in 1790
  • Florida will surpass New York in congressional districts, the culmination of a 70-year shift in population
    • In 1950, New York had 45 districts; Florida had 6

Voters will choose representatives in the redrawn districts beginning with the 2022 midterm elections.

Electoral College Impacts

The new electoral map will be effective with the 2024 presidential election. There are no changes to the 2020 map from that used in 2016.

Since each state receives electoral votes equal to its congressional delegation (House + 2 Senators), there is a 1:1 relationship between the change in House districts and electoral votes.

 

The projected 2024 electoral map is seen below; click or tap it for an interactive version. Had this map been in place in 2016, Donald Trump would have won 309 electoral votes, 3 more than he actually won (excluding faithless electors). 

The Road to 270: North Dakota

December 30, 2019

The Road to 270 is a weekly column leading up to the presidential election. Each installment is dedicated to understanding one state’s political landscape and how that might influence which party will win its electoral votes in 2020. We’ll do these roughly in order of expected competitiveness, moving toward the most intensely contested battlegrounds as election day nears. 

The Road to 270 will be published every Monday. The column is written by Seth Moskowitz, a 270toWin elections and politics contributor. Contact Seth at s.k.moskowitz@gmail.com or on Twitter @skmoskowitz.

North Dakota

In 2016, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in North Dakota by 36%, greatly expanding upon Mitt Romney’s 20% margin of victory from four years earlier. This 16-point jump is the greatest rightward shift made by any state between 2012 and 2016. To understand how North Dakota, a state with origins in left-wing populism, would become one of the most conservative in the span of 100 years, let’s look back to its origins.

Statehood, Farming, and a Population Boom

Congress originally organized the Dakota Territory in 1861. It was primarily composed of land acquired from France in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. During the early and mid 1800s, the U.S. traded with, repressed, and eventually drove drove out Native Americans in the territory. In 1870, when the population of northern Dakota was just 2,400, farmers and homesteaders began to move into the territory. By 1880 northern Dakota had 37,000 residents. In 1890, the year after statehood, North Dakota’s population had grown fivefold to 191,000.

Both North and South Dakota entered the United States on November 2, 1889, becoming the 39th and 40th states, respectively.1 Regional differences, as well as disputes over a future capital, pushed the formation of two independent states.

Settlers continued to immigrate to North Dakota as homesteaders through the turn of the century. By 1915, 79% of North Dakota’s population were either immigrants themselves or the children of immigrants. These settlers, largely from Scandinavia, Germany, and Russia, weren’t afraid of the northern chill that prevented many Americans from moving to the region.

Presidential Elections in Early Statehood

Republicans have controlled North Dakota presidential politics for most of its history. But the state has a streak of populism that goes back to its earliest days. In 1892, the North Dakota Democratic Party and the Populist Party formed a fusion ticket and together won two of the state’s three electoral votes2. The Republican, Benjamin Harrison, won the state’s third elector.

From 1896 to 1928, though, Republicans won seven of the nine presidential contests. Democrat Woodrow Wilson then won the state’s electoral votes both in 1912 and 1916. In 1912, however, the Republican vote was split between Republican William Taft and Theodore Roosevelt, who had broken from the GOP to create his own Progressive Party. That year, Taft and Roosevelt together received about 56% of the vote while Wilson received just 34%.

Political Parties, Coalitions, and Trends in Early Statehood

These topline presidential results, however, obscure the complexity of North Dakota’s politics. The state’s early politics revolved around the concerns of farmers. Both Democrats and Republicans would absorb some of the populist reforms popular among these agrarian communities.

The populist movement had sparks of success in the 1890s but the effort got its first big win in 1906. That year, progressive Democrats and Republicans banded together to elect Democrat John Burke as governor. While he did not establish the reforms many farmers wanted, he did push for other populist policies to fight corruption, reform the voting system, and improve working conditions.

The true populist insurgency, though, would come nine years later with the formation of the Nonpartisan League. Reformers and populists who had spent years criticizing the Republican Party from within broke off to form the Nonpartisan League, or NPL, in 1915. The NPL advocated for progressive and socialist policies — most significantly government control over farming-adjacent industries (grain mills, banks, railroads) — in order to strengthen farmers and weaken urban and eastern corporations. The NPL also fought for other reforms including women’s suffrage, improved and expanded government services, and anti-interventionism. In 1916, the NPL ran a slate of candidates in the Republican Party’s primary, effectively hijacking the state-level Republican Party. By 1918, the NPL dominated statewide political offices.

Unsurprisingly, this agenda was not popular among all business leaders or out of state corporations. These interests united into the conservative Independent Voters Association. The IVA acted as a capitalist counterbalance to the socialist policies of the NPL.

By 1922, internal organizational problems, the radicalism of the group’s platform, and external attacks by the IVA had eroded the NPL’s support. The group’s ideas, though, would linger in North Dakota politics and the group itself would make a comeback in future decades.

When wartime prices for grain dropped following WWI, and again when the Great Depression hit, farmers in North Dakota suffered. Farms foreclosed, jobs were automated away, and the rural populations fell as people moved into cities. The North Dakota Farmers Union in the 1920s and a revitalized Nonpartisan League in the 1930s would emerge to once again fight low commodity prices, save farmers’ livelihoods, and push progressive reforms.

Presidential Elections Since the Midcentury

In 1932, for the first time in its history, a Democratic presidential nominee would win a majority of the vote. That year, and again in 1936, Franklin Roosevelt won decisive victories in the state.

In 1940, Midwestern native Wendell Willkie was able to win back rural, small town areas in the Northern U.S. Through these victories, he was able to bring the state back to its Republican roots even as he lost the election to Roosevelt. From that year on, with the exception of 1964, North Dakota would vote Republican in every presidential contest.

Political Parties, Coalitions, and Trends in the Midcentury

As had been the case in earlier elections, the topline presidential results don’t tell the whole story. In 1956, the Nonpartisan League merged with the Democratic Party, becoming the Democratic-NPL Party. The new party continued to fight for progressive policies including a higher minimum wage and taxes on the wealthy. While Republicans still controlled the state legislature, the new Democratic-NPL party had significant success. Before the Democratic Party and the NPL merged, Democrats held five seats in the state legislature. In 1957 that number grew to 28 and by 1959 it was 67. By the 1980s, the Democratic-NPL would be strong enough to take control of the State Senate.

Democrats also gained ground in congressional elections. In 1960, Democrats picked up a U.S. Senate seat that the party would hold through 2018. In 1980, Democrats also won the state’s at-large U.S. House seat. In 1986, Democrats won the other Senate seat, kicking off a 24-year stretch of Democratic control of the entire congressional delegation.

North Dakota’s unique brand of politics — defined by its agrarian populism — allowed Democrats to win down-ballot even as Republicans dominated presidential politics. Democrats promised to fight for North Dakota’s farmers, and in a state where agricultural concerns are paramount, this was successful.  Other factors — including automatic voter registration, a tight-knit community, a willingness to vote for candidates over party, and a significant Native American population — also helped Democrats down-ballot.

A Changing Economy Changes Politics

Concentration of the farming industry has changed North Dakota politics. In 1959, there were nearly 55,000 farms averaging 755 acres in size. By 2018 there were just 26,100 farms, each averaging 1,500 acres. As giant agribusinesses began to replace small family farms, North Dakotas left-wing populist streak faded. This receding left-wing populism eroded Democratic strength in North Dakota. Also responsible for this attrition, though, is political polarization along racial, geographical, religious, and cultural lines.

The energy boom, starting in 2007, also dramatically changed the state’s economic and political landscape. With the development of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and other new technology, North Dakota’s Bakken Shale Formation opened for business. From 2006 to 2018 North Dakota increased its production of natural gas by over 1,200%. In the same period, North Dakota’s petroleum production moved from 108,000 barrels per day to 1,264,000. North Dakota now ranks 2nd among the states for total crude oil production and 10th for natural gas production.

This created lots of new jobs and a heightened demand for workers. Since 2010, North Dakota’s population has grown by about 100,000, or 13%. The oil boom, and its associated population influx, took place during the Great Recession. Amazingly, North Dakota’s unemployment rate peaked at 4.3% in 2009 while the national average was closing in on 10%. 

Along with jobs, though, the oil and gas broom brought overpopulation, oil spills, unsafe working conditions, environmental concerns, and strained infrastructure. In 2016 and 2017, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and its effect on Native Americans and their ancestral lands, led to political clashes and national controversy.

The new reliance on energy production brought North Dakota even further into the Republican camp. In North Dakota, as in other energy-producing state like Wyoming and West Virginia, the Republican Party has successfully billed itself as the party of energy and Democrats as a threat to the economy and jobs. The oil boom wrung the remaining power from North Dakota Democrats. 

Contemporary Politics in North Dakota

No Democratic presidential nominee has won North Dakota since Lyndon Johnson beat Barry Goldwater in 1964. Recently, though, the state has become even more staunchly Republican. In 2008, Republican nominee John McCain won North Dakota by a 9% margin. By 2016, the GOP margin had grown to 36% with Donald Trump as nominee. The message of the contemporary Republican Party is resonating strongly in The Peace Garden State.

Trump won 51 of the state’s 53 counties. He improved upon Mitt Romney’s performance in every single county in the state. The two counties Clinton did carry — Rolette and Sioux — are over 75% Native American. Together, they accounted for only about 5,000 votes, not enough to give Clinton a significant boost. 

Republicans have also expanded their dominance to other federal elections. Before the 2010 midterms, Democrats held both of North Dakota’s U.S. Senate seats and its single House seat. In 2010, Republicans flipped one Senate seat and the House seat. In 2012, Heidi Heitkamp won by just 1% in an open race for the seat held by retiring Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad. But six years later, North Dakota’s Republican lean was too strong and she lost to Republican Kevin Cramer by 11%.

The Democratic-NPL Party has the best chance of winning back voters in the eastern part of the state. This is the most densely populated area and home to Fargo and Grand Forks. The state gets more rural, conservative, and Republican the farther west one goes. Even in her 2018 loss, Heitkamp was able to carry 10 eastern counties, all of which Clinton lost. The right Democratic nominee might be able to find future success in this region.

For now, though, North Dakota looks safely Republican on all political levels. In an age where geography and demographics reign supreme in politics, the white, rural state of North Dakota fits neatly into the Republican column.

President Benjamin Harrison shuffled the statehood papers on his desk and signed them blindly. While North Dakota is generally considered the 39th state, it is lost to history which document Harrison signed first.

Voters chose electors directly. There was not a slate of Democratic electors separate from the Populist ones. Two of the Populist electors were chosen. One of them cast his ballot for Cleveland, a choice that was announced beforehand.

Next Week:   New York

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Reports in this series:

The Road to 270: Alabama

December 23, 2019

The Road to 270 is a weekly column leading up to the presidential election. Each installment is dedicated to understanding one state’s political landscape and how that might influence which party will win its electoral votes in 2020. We’ll do these roughly in order of expected competitiveness, moving toward the most intensely contested battlegrounds as election day nears. 

The Road to 270 will be published every Monday. The column is written by Seth Moskowitz, a 270toWin elections and politics contributor. Contact Seth at s.k.moskowitz@gmail.com or on Twitter @skmoskowitz.

Alabama

Alabama’s history is reflected in its contemporary voting patterns. The region that once had thousands of slaves is still heavily African American and forms a horizontal strip across the state. In 2016, 12 of the 13 counties that Hillary Clinton won were in this territory. Donald Trump won every other county except one. To understand how the state became the GOP stronghold it is today, we have to go back over 200 years.    

Statehood to Civil War

In the late 1700s, what we now consider Alabama was split up between Spain and the Georgia. In 1795, Spain relinquished a strip of land to the U.S. that covered part of current-day Mississippi and Alabama. This was called the Mississippi Territory.  The territory expanded in 1804 and again in 1812 as Georgia and then Spain gave up more land. The territory opened to settlers after Andrew Jackson defeated and expropriated Native American land in the Creek War in 1814. Settlers and farmers rushed into the newly available and fertile land. Alabama and Mississippi split in 1817 and two years later, in 1819, Alabama became the 22nd state admitted to the Union.

Thousands of slaves were brought to Alabama to work on plantations in the Black Belt, a region stretching across central Alabama named for its fertile, black soil. Unsurprisingly, white Alabamans opposed the abolition of slavery and the state seceded during the Civil War. By that point, Alabama had over 435,000 slaves, composing 45% of the state’s population. 

Reconstruction and Brief Republican Dominance

Following the Civil War, the Republican Party briefly dominated Alabama politics. The 15th Amendment enfranchised recently freed slaves who voted, along with unionists and some poorer white farmers, for Republicans.  In both 1868 and 1872 Alabama voted for Republican (and former Union commanding general) Ulysses S. Grant.

Voter Suppression, New Constitutions, and Democratic Dominance

It wasn’t long before Democrats instituted voter suppression and intimidation tactics that would restrict access to the ballot box, primarily affecting blacks and poor whites. The party appealed to white racial unity and, in 1874, won the governorship. This began an era of Democratic state dominance that would last for nearly a century. It also allowed Alabama Democrats to call a Constitutional Convention.  

A new state Constitution passed in 1875 rolled back the reforms of Reconstruction. The new document segregated public schools and shrunk the government and public services. Republicans, while weak, still occasionally won local elections with a coalition that included blacks, small-scale farmers, labor. The Republican Party and Populist Party also ran successful fusion tickets that denied Democrats complete dominance through the 19th Century.

It was the 1901 Constitution, with its goal of “white supremacy and purity of ballot” that crushed Alabama Republicans. The new constitution established poll taxes and educational requirements to restrict access to the ballot box. It worked: Alabama’s vote totals dropped 30% from 150,000 to 100,000 between the 1900 and 1904 elections. And the Democratic margin expanded 27% in those four years.

Democrats continued to control Alabama throughout the first half of the 20th Century. The Republican Party found some support with northern Alabama whites and black voters who made it to the ballot box. However, The Great Depression and the New Deal would break down this coalition (Any supporting link?), bringing Democratic dominance to a peak in the 1930s. In the 1936 election, Democrat Franklin Roosevelt beat Republican Alfred Landon 86% to 13%.

Start of Democratic Difficulties

The National Democratic Party began to take more liberal stances — the most significant for Alabama being civil rights — that state Democrats opposed. The 1948 election marked a turning point. President Truman was, by the standards of the time, extremely progressive. He supported ending segregation in the army, eliminating poll taxes, and instituting an anti-lynching law.

A breaking point came at the 1948 Democratic national convention, when the party added a civil rights plank to its platform. The Mississippi delegation and half of the Alabama delegation walked out of the convention, created the States’ Rights Party, and nominated South Carolina governor Strom Thurmond as their candidate. In Alabama, Thurmond, who was listed on the ballot as the Democratic nominee, beat Republican Thomas Dewey 80% to 19%.

While Democrats would win Alabama in the following three elections, they would never regain their dominance of the earlier era. Shifting national policies reoriented Alabama and ended the state’s reflexive support of the Democratic Party. 

Civil Rights and the Modern Republican Party

Alabama was at the center of the civil rights movement. It was here that the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Selma to Montgomery marches happened; where Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his letter from Birmingham jail; where four girls were killed in the Birmingham church bombing; and where Alabama Governor George Wallace stood in the doorway at the University of Alabama to block black students from entering in defiance of a federal court desegregation ruling.

The 1964 election transformed Alabama politics. Earlier that year, Lyndon Johnson had successfully pushed Congress to pass John F. Kennedy’s civil rights bill following Kennedy’s assassination. He campaigned on an anti-poverty domestic agenda he called the Great Society. The Republican, Barry Goldwater, was a staunchly conservative senator from Arizona. He championed small government, criticized ongoing New Deal programs, and fought the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as government overreach.

Johnson crushed Goldwater nationally 61% to 38%. In Alabama, though, Goldwater received 69% of the vote,* becoming the first Republican to win the state since 1872. Republicans also flipped five of the state’s eight congressional seats, the first time any Republican in Alabama would win a congressional election in the 20th Century. The Goldwater Landslide ended the era of Post Office Republicans, a mocking nickname for only being able to secure positions (such as postmaster) through federal appointments and patronage.

Alabama would vote for the Republican nominee in every subsequent election except 1968, when it voted for third party candidate and former Alabama Governor George Wallace, and 1976, when it voted for fellow southerner Jimmy Carter. 

The Republican takeover began in 1964 and slowly trickled down-ballot. In 1980, the state elected its first Republican U.S. Senator since reconstruction. Republicans retook the majority of U.S. House seats in 1996 and haven’t relinquished the majority since.

In 1986, Guy Hunt became the first Republican governor since 1874. The governorship flipped between parties until 2003, and has been Republican since. Republican legislative power began to grow in the 1990s and by 2010 they had flipped both legislative chambers, giving the party a trifecta. The last statewide executive office, excluding judgeships, won by a Democrat, was for Public Service Commission back in 2008.

Recent Presidential Politics

Alabama has not had a competitive presidential election since 1980. That year, Georgia’s Jimmy Carter lost Alabama by just 1%. Ronald Reagan carried the state by 22% in 1984. Bill Clinton tightened the margin to 7% in 1992 and 1996, the most recent times that Alabama would be decided by single digits. Since 2004, Alabama has gone to the Republican nominee by 20% or more. Donald Trump’s 28-point victory over Hillary Clinton marks the largest margin since Richard Nixon’s landslide victory in 1972.

Of Alabama’s 67 counties, Clinton won just 13. She won Jefferson County (home to Birmingham and the biggest county in the state), as well as 12 counties that formed a contiguous horizontal strip across the middle of state. These regions have a much higher black population than the rest of the state — the legacy of slavery mentioned earlier — making it friendly Democratic territory. Trump won the rest of the state, including rural counties and the more urban Madison and Mobile Counties.

Party Dysfunction

The Republican dominance doesn’t mean the party is without problems. Governor Robert Bentley resigned in 2017 after he was accused of using state funds to have an affair and a recording of the affair the surfaced. This year, Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard was convicted of 12 felonies and ethics violations.

Perhaps most significantly, Alabama Republicans lost a special U.S. Senate election in 2017. The seat opened after President Trump appointed Senator Jeff Sessions to be his Attorney General.  The seat should have been safely Republican, but the party nominated the controversial former Alabama Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore, leaving the door cracked for Democrats. The month before the election, several women alleged that Moore had made sexual advances towards them when they were underage. Democratic nominee Doug Jones managed to edge out the damaged Moore by 22,000 votes.

The Alabama Democratic Party has had its own share of dysfunction. A battle over control of the state party led to the ousting of the old guard. The controversy, ostensibly about bylaws, but really about the direction and leadership of the Democratic Party, was divisive and racially tinged. (If you are interested, I strongly recommend this three-part series by the popular podcast Reply All on the war for the Democratic Party). 

Looking to 2020

Alabama entered the Union in 1819 with three Electoral College votes. This number steadily rose, reaching a peak of 12 in the 1910s and 1920s. The state lost one elector after the 1930, 1960 and 1970 Censuses, remaining at nine through the 2010 Census. According to population projections, Alabama is on track2 to lose another congressional seat, and therefore another electoral vote, following the 2020 Census.

Regardless of the outcome of the Census, Alabama will still have nine electoral votes in 2020. And they are almost certain to go to President Trump.    

1 The Democratic slate of electors in 1964 were unpledged due to the Alabama Democratic Party’s opposition to Lyndon Johnson.

2 The Census Bureau is expected to release its 2019 population update on December 30. Any changes will be reflected on the projected 2024 electoral map.

Next Week:   North Dakota

Reports in this series:

Mapping the Impeachment Vote

December 20, 2019

President Trump was impeached by the U.S. House on Wednesday on a nearly 100% party-line vote. The maps below reflect the district/party voting for and against impeachment. Click or tap to see a full list of Representatives voting yes or no and their election status for 2020.

Supported Impeachment

230 members - 229 Democrats and one independent - supported at least one article of impeachment. One Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden (ME-2) supported Article I and voted against Article II. Otherwise, the votes across the two were identical.

Against Impeachment

In the official roll call, 195 Republicans and two Democrats voted no on both articles of impeachment. However, Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-2) has since left the Democratic Party to join the GOP; that shift is reflected on the map below. The only current Democrat to have voted no is Rep. Collin Peterson (MN-7), who represents a western Minnesota district that Trump won by 31 points in 2016.

Other

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2) voted 'Present'. Three members did not vote for different reasons: Reps. Duncan Hunter (R, CA-50), Jose Serrano (D, NY-15), and John Shimkus (R, IL-15). Additionally, there are four vacancies in the House.

 

Rep. Jeff Van Drew Switches to Republican Party

December 19, 2019

Rep. Jeff Van Drew left the Democratic Party for the GOP Thursday, pledging his "undying support" for President Trump during a meeting at the White House.

The switch had been expected, although the timing was previously unknown. As a Democrat, Van Drew was one of only two members of his former party to vote against both articles of impeachment on Wednesday*. 

With this change, there are 232 Democrats, 198 Republicans and one independent in the House. There are four vacancies. The Interactive House Map has been updated to reflect the change.  In anticipation of the party shift, several forecasters moved the 2020 election rating to Leans Republican earlier in the week. New Jersey's 2nd district voted for the president by about 5% over Hillary Clinton in 2016. 

* The other was Collin Peterson (MN-7), who represents a district Trump won by 31 points in 2016. Democratic Rep. Jared Golden (ME-2) cast a yes vote on Article I and a no vote for Article II. Golden was the only member that cast a different vote on each article.

GOP Rep. Mark Meadows Not Running in 2020; May Leave Congress Before End of Term

December 19, 2019

Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, a staunch ally of President Trump, said Thursday that he would not seek reelection in 2020.  Meadows told Politico that he may leave Congress before the end of his term to take an as-yet unspecified role with the president. 

Meadows is in his 4th term representing the conservative 11th district encompassing much of western North Carolina. The district became slightly less hospitable after recent court-approved redistricting added in more of the Asheville area.  However, the changes were not significant enough that they would have affected Meadow's reelection prospects.   Under the current boundaries, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 29 points in 2016; that drops to 17 points with the reconfigured lines.  The district remains Safe Republican for 2020.  (Related:  2020 House Interactive Map)

35 current House members have announced they will retire or seek another office in 2020*. This includes 3 Republicans in North Carolina, all of whom have made their decision since the map was changed. Unlike Meadows, however, the other two - Reps. George Holding (NC-2) and Mark Walker (NC-6) were redistricted into heavily Democratic areas.

The list includes Rep. Duncan Hunter (R, CA-50) who is expected to resign in early 2020.

New Editing Features of the Historical Interactive Maps

December 19, 2019

The historical interactive maps have been updated with new editing features. You can now edit candidate names, parties and colors to change the course of history. Up to five candidates can be included in any prior presidential election. 

GOP Rep. Mark Walker Won't Run in 2020

December 16, 2019

Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina has announced he won't seek a 4th term in 2020.  As part of a recent court approved redistricting, the boundaries of his 6th district became virtually unwinnable for a Republican. Using the new borders, Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump by over 21% in 2016.

The retirement is not a surprise. There had been speculation Walker would challenge Sen. Thom Tillis in the GOP primary, but he said he won't seek any office in 2020.  He did say he would seriously consider running for Senate in 2022, when Republican Richard Burr is expected to retire.

Walker is the 2nd GOP casualty of North Carolina redistricting; Rep. George Holding recently announced his retirement in a district that is now safely Democratic. Overall, 34 current House members have announced they are retiring or seeking another office in 2020.  This includes Rep. Duncan Hunter, Republican of California, who is expected to resign in early 2020.