2022 House Guide: Montana, Nevada, Texas, and West Virginia
Current Partisan Split: 1-0 Republicans (+1.0)
Projected Partisan Split after 2022: 1.9-0.1 Republicans (+1.8)
Democrats and Republicans argued in Montana whether to create a 2R-0D-0C map or a 1R-0D-1C map and in the end, decided to compromise. District makers created a deep red seat on the East side of the state (MT-02) and a semi-competitive seat on the west side (MT-01). Incumbent MT-AL representative Matt Rosendale will run in MT-02, leaving MT-01 as an open seat in 2022. MT-01 is only R+11 and could be competitive in extreme Democratic environments later in the decade, but Montana will likely send a pair of Republican representatives to Washington in 2022.
Current Partisan Split: 3-1 Democrats (+2.0)
Projected Partisan Split after 2022: 2.1-1.9 Democrats (+0.2)
Democrats had the ability to gerrymander Nevada and chose to create a map that focuses on preserving their current 3-1 advantage. They diluted the deep blue vote of the current deep blue NV-01 seat, choosing to create three light blue seats in the Southern part of the state that we rate as D+4 (NV-01), D+2 (NV-03), and D+4 (NV-04). With incumbents in all three seats, Democrats will need to hold all three if they want any chance of maintaining Senate control in 2022. But in the short term, this gerrymander could seriously backfire as Republicans have chances to win 3 or even 4 seats in Nevada. We rate all three competitive seats as “Lean D” currently.
Current Partisan Split: 23-13 Republicans (+10.0)
Projected Partisan Split after 2022: 25.1-12.9 Republicans (+12.2)
Texas Republicans completely revamped the map for 2022, with the primary goal of shoring up current incumbent's seats throughout the state. 23 of the 38 seats have PVIs of R+20 or greater and 11 more seats have PVIs of D+25 or greater. This leaves only 4 of 38 seats that will be remotely competitive throughout this decade. First, Tony Gonzales (R) could have to continue to fight for re-election in TX-23. TX-23 is now an R+12 district, but in an extremely Democratic environment, Gonzales could face a real battle for re-election. The other three competitive districts are currently held by Democrats in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Democrats hope to hold onto TX-28, a D+3 district on the West side of the valley. Incumbent Henry Cuellar is extremely popular and won re-election by an adjusted margin of 19 points in 2020. Cuellar is unlikely to lose a general election in 2022, but he is one of the most conservative Democrats in the House and faces considerable resistance from the left. Attorney Jessica Cisneros primaried Cuellar from the left in 2020 and almost won, just losing by a few percentage points. Cisneros has already announced she is running again against Cuellar in 2022 and has a realistic chance to finish the job this time. And if Cisneros wins, Republicans could certainly flip TX-28. Republicans targeted TX-15, the Central district in the Rio Grande Valley, creating an R+7 district. They also created a Democratic vote sink in the neighboring TX-34 through a D+11 district. After incumbent TX-34 congressman Filmon Vela (D) decided he would not run for re-election, TX-15 incumbent Vincente González (D) decided to switch districts and run in the solidly blue TX-34. With González abandoning TX-15, we rate the district as “Likely R” as it will take a major regression among Hispanic voters for Republicans to manage to lose TX-15. González is likely to hold his new home of TX-34 in a potential general election, but we expect he could face stiff primary competition from those who argue he does not truly care about the people of TX-34 and just wants to advance his own political career.
Current Partisan Split: 3-0 Republicans (+3.0)
Projected Partisan Split after 2022: 2-0 Republicans (+2.0)
After West Virginia lost a district in the 2020 census, two incumbent Republicans are forced to fight against each other in a 2022 primary. WV-01 and WV-02 representatives David McKinley (R) and Alex Mooney (R) will run against each other to fight to represent WV-02 in the Northern part of the state. McKinley has an advantage over Mooney, as the new WV-02 district consists 65% of his territory and only 35% of Mooney’s territory. He leads preliminary polling by double-digits and even scored an endorsement from Andrew Yang (which could admittedly hurt him in West Virginia). President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has endorsed Mooney. Since McKinley has a slight populist bent, similar to West Virginia’s governor, Jim Justice, it will be intriguing to see whether Justice pushes himself into the race and endorses McKinley. As the Republican Primary effectively serves as the general election in West Virginia, analysts will be closely watching the result this May. Current representative Carol Miller (R) will run unopposed to represent WV-01, which is located in the Southern half of the state.