House: Which House districts are the most likely to change hands heading into next year's pivotal elections? The 2024 elections might be more than a year away, but we can tell you right now thanks to the new edition of our House Vulnerability Index.
Our index, which we've been using for more than a decade relies on just two data points: how red or blue every district is (based on an average of its presidential results over the last two elections) and how well each incumbent performed in the 2022 midterms. We rank each criterion (with open seats given a zero for the second factor), combine the ranks, and then re-rank the entire House, separated by party. This gives us an excellent view of the congressional battleground—something we can confirm by analyzing how it's performed in the past (the answer: very well).
So which are the most vulnerable seats? For Republicans, the top five are all freshmen who were lucky enough (or unlucky enough, depending on how things pan out) to win races last year in blue districts in California or New York—two states where poor Democratic turnout allowed the GOP to win on turf that's normally out of reach. Democrats' toughest defense, meanwhile, will be in Michigan's 7th District, a very swingy seat that's open next year because Elissa Slotkin, a strong campaigner and impressive fundraiser, is running for the Senate.
As more incumbents retire, or as maps get altered in redistricting, we'll keep updating the index from now through Election Day, so it's an eminently bookmarkable tool for activists and analysts alike.
Find David Jarman's full explanation for how the HVI works—as well as links to the complete index, including all the underlying data—in our detailed introductory post.