Who'll be the next to bail? Introducing the Daily Kos Elections 2020 House open seat watch
We’ve been tracking open seats in the House at Daily Kos Elections for a long while, and for two key reasons: Retirements may be indicative of party morale, and open seats in general often provide the best pickup opportunities—for either side—every cycle.
Both proved to be the case in 2018. Republicans smashed their all-time record with 41 open seats, a figure that included 25 members who simply retired outright. That not only accurately foretold the GOP’s dim feelings about their chances in the midterms, it also gave Democrats a major opening, as 12 of the 42 seats they flipped from red to blue in November came in open seats. (Both seats that Republicans flipped—Minnesota’s 1st and 8th—were also open seats.)
As Democrats look to preserve, or even expand, their House majority in 2020, it’s therefore worth taking an early look at the potential seats that may open up due to retirements, resignations, primary challenges, or members departing to run for other offices. In addition to two already-confirmed retirements (both Republicans: North Carolina’s Walter Jones and Utah’s Rob Bishop), we’ve identified a preliminary list of 31 potential seats that may come open in 2020—or earlier.
First up, the Republicans: