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Photo: Andy Jacobsohn/Dallas News
By Bruce Stanford (@brhstanford)
There’s a lot of talk about whether the Republicans will keep or lose the House of Representatives in this years midterm elections. They can afford to lose 23 districts, assuming they don’t pickup any seats elsewhere. If the Democrats get to number 23, 24, 25 districts flipped on their quest to take the House, these will probably be the three districts the Republicans need to win to block the Democrats from taking the House. Which is why, according to our polling and analytics, these are going to be the 3 most important seats the Republicans must win if they want to keep the House this fall.
This is a very business-Republican oriented district, and Kevin Yoder is a classic pro-business Republican. He fits the mold of this district very well. Not to mention, he’s been an incumbent here since 2010. Yoder has won each of his elections easily, winning by double-digits every time. Even when Clinton won his district by 1%, Yoder still won by 11% in 2016. If the Republicans can’t even hold on to a district like this, where the incumbent perfectly fits the mold of its electorate and has name recognition- then they would likely lose the House.
2. Texas 32nd- Pete Sessions (R-TX)
Pete Sessions (no relation to Jeff Sessions) has represented this Dallas suburb since 1997, and is a powerful player in the Republican party. He’s been the Chairman of the House Rules Committee since 2013, an important post in the House. Sessions has survived the great blue waves of 2006 and 2008, and once seemed impenetrable until Clinton won his district in 2016. This immediately made Sessions district a target for the Democrats, and a prime pickup opportunity. While this should this once reliably Republican district has become a swing area, a longtime incumbent like Sessions should still be able to win. The pressure is on the Republicans to hold it though- because if they don’t the Democrats will probably take the House.
3. California 45th- Mimi Walters (R-CA)
Out of all the swing districts this year in California- this is one the Republicans must win. The Democrats can flip up to 4 districts in California and still fall short of flipping the House if they can’t beat Walters. She is a relatively new incumbent, only serving since 2015. But yet, she is a popular female Republican who’s district voted for Romney and Clinton both, however still has a natural Republican lean. If the Democrats are able to beat this popular female incumbent in a natural leaning Republican district- then Republicans will certainly lose the House.