Nine Races to Watch in the Midterm Elections

A voter casts his ballot for the midterm primary election in Grove City, Ohio

Control of the U.S. House of Representatives is at stake in the Nov. 8 midterm elections, with Republicans favored by nonpartisan forecasters to win a majority in the chamber, which would allow them to block President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda and launch investigations of his administration.

Here are nine races that could determine which party wins control of the chamber:


Democrat Mary Peltola won a surprise victory in an August special election, beating two Republicans: former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and businessman Nick Begich. Republicans objected to Alaska’s new system of “ranked choice” voting, in which voters list candidates in order of preference, though Peltola would have won even under the old system as she got the most votes. The three will face off again in November.


Democratic Representative Tom O’Halleran faces a difficult race after his seat covering much of the eastern half of the state was redrawn and encompasses more Republican voters.

His Republican opponent, Eli Crane, is a former Navy SEAL who in September 2021 called on Arizona’s legislature to “decertify” Biden’s win in 2020.


Republican Representative David Valadao was one of only 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in his second trial. He is now facing a tough challenge from Democratic state representative Rudy Salas in a Central Valley district that has been redrawn substantially since the last election.


This suburban Tampa district is one of several Democratic-held seats in Florida that Republicans are likely to pick up thanks to a new district map backed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.

Republican Anna Paulina Luna, a U.S. Air Force veteran, is favored over Democrat Eric Lynn, a former Obama administration official.


Democrat Sharice Davids faces a difficult race after Republicans redrew her suburban Kansas City district to take in more rural, Republican-leaning areas. However, the national debate over abortion could work in her favor: voters in this conservative state shocked the country in August by rejecting a constitutional amendment that would have banned the procedure. She will face Amanda Adkins, a former chair of the state Republican Party.


Democratic Representative Jared Golden narrowly won this mostly rural district in 2018. He will face Republican Bruce Poliquin, who formerly held the seat. Golden is a moderate Democrat who often distances himself from party leadership, while Poliquin is emphasizing hot button issues like immigration and gun rights, rather than the fiscal topics he ran on before. Two independent candidates have not drawn significant support but could be a factor because Maine, like Alaska, uses ranked choice voting.


Democrat Marcy Kaptur faces perhaps her most difficult re-election since 1983 after Republicans redrew her Toledo-area district. But her chances are looking better after the Associated Press reported that Republican nominee J.R. Majewski misrepresented his military career. Republicans have pulled their advertising for Majewski, a vocal Trump advocate who was at the U.S. Capitol during the riot on Jan. 6, 2021. Analysts have switched predictions for the seat in Kaptur’s favor.


Democratic voters ousted moderate incumbent Kurt Schrader in a primary election in favor of progressive challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner. But analysts say she may be too liberal for this district, which includes suburbs of Portland as well as Salem. She faces Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer, a former mayor of Happy Valley, a Portland suburb.


Democratic Representative Elaine Luria, a retired naval commander, has drawn national attention for her work on the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on Congress. She faces a tough re-election fight in a military-heavy district centered on Virginia Beach, and has focused on the issue of abortion. Republican challenger Jen Kiggans, a state senator, says voters are more concerned about inflation.

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Washington; Editing by Andy Sullivan and Josie Kao)