In our continuing effort to study the 2018 electoral landscape, FairVote is tracking announcements from members of Congress who will not seek re-election, and describe how the new open seat impacts our projections for the upcoming elections to the U.S. House of Representatives.
This week, Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA-07) announced that he will not seek re-election in 2018. Meehan is one of the 23 Republicans to represent a district won by Hillary Clinton in 2016 and the sixth to retire this term. Pennsylvania’s 7th District has a Democratic partisanship of 50.1 percent, and the district remains too close to call using FairVote’s highest confidence projections.
However, this rating could change. This week, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled that the Republican drawn congressional map was unfairly crafted to benefit Republicans and must be redrawn for the 2018 elections. As a result of the ruling, the 7th, which has been described as a district resembling Goofy kicking Donald Duck, is likely to undergo significant changes.
Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics drew four hypothetical new maps, and Pennsylvania’s 7th District shifted towards the Democrats by roughly nine to eleven points, depending on the lines. If this shift happens under the eventual district lines, the 7th District will likely be a safe Democratic pickup opportunity. We will provide a more thorough update on the impact of the Pennsylvania redistricting on our 2018 projections as soon as we have the new map.
We can still make high confidence projections in 378 races, 207 for Republicans and 171 for Democrats.
Here is a summary of all vacancies heading into 2018 so far:
And here is the full list of open seats: