By the time you hit the bottom of this article, we will answer who wins the 2020 Georgia House races.
Whether you call it the Peach State, the Empire State of the South, or home, some of the 14 US House districts in this state have taken on an interesting character in the last few years. We watched the 2018 midterm elections hit the Republican Party hard in America’s suburbs, and Georgia, in ordinary cases a red state, was not impervious to it. The GOP lost the 6th District, which had been the subject of a expensive and rancorous special election in 2017, and almost lost a safe seat next door.
This is a state which will also vote in a presidential election and elect two senators in November. With the prospect of Georgia being decided by single-digits again, this could mean the House races get overlooked. We won’t forget them, however. In fact, how the up-ballot races affect the state’s House representation is quite the curiosity in a few places. Most of the state’s congressional districts will not be in play, but several have caught our eye, and will be sure to catch yours as well.
US House Rating Scale
Here’s our chart showing how we rate the 2020 Georgia House races. We don’t do tossups.
2020 Georgia House Races Current Prediction Summary: April 18
Current Georgia US House Map
Georgia’s 1st District, covering the entirety of the state’s beautiful Atlantic coast, Savannah, and inland areas of southeastern Georgia, has been in Republican hands for decades. 2018 was as close as the Democrats have come in this district in some time, and even at that, they lost by a sizable margin. Buddy Carter may have a 2018 rematch on his hands but this is not a serious Democratic target.
Every now and then, Sanford Bishop has a tough race for re-election. However, southwestern Georgia is ancestrally Democratic at the US House level. Wave elections have come and gone for both parties and Bishop still stands, and he is now one of the more senior members of the House. We expect Bishop to be fine.
The 3rd District is very Republican in nature, and has been for a while. You would not have even known there was a Blue Wave elsewhere based on the 2018 results here. As such, Drew Ferguson is in good shape.
Hank Johnson represents a seat that has a very solid Democratic base of support. Joe Biden will win this district going away and so will Johnson as he seeks re-election.
John Lewis is a fixture in Georgia politics, and we wish him well in his recovery as he fights for his life. In the House since 1987, Lewis has never had a difficult general election race for Congress. He intends to stand for re-election in 2020 and winning will not be a problem.
Democrats came back from a special election defeat to stun Karen Handel here in 2018. Handel is seeking a rematch with Lucy McBath, the woman who defeated her. The DeKalb portion of this district helped put McBath over the top, and she may need those votes again to repeat history. Donald Trump barely carried the seat in 2016, and that in itself should tell you something: George W. Bush was winning here by huge margins. Barack Obama got trounced here twice. It’s fascinating how quickly the 6th has shifted – or that it just isn’t “Trump territory” per se. Were Trump running up Bush margins here, or even McCain or Romney margins, McBath would be in (a lot of) trouble due to down-ticket ripples. Yet, he likely won’t come close, so we have to give the edge to the incumbent.
Once upon a time, you could have credibly made the case that this was a safe Republican seat. Like the 6th District, both of these were reliable GOP seats at the start of the decade. However, in the midterm elections, incumbent Rob Woodall suffered a swing against of over 10 percent and held on by about 400 votes. Woodall promptly announced his retirement and now Democrats have a real shot to pick up this open seat. Democrats gaining the 7th would be another ominous sign for the Republicans about how the suburbs have shifted away from them these last few years.
Republicans gained this seat in the 2010 Tea Party Wave and have not had to work hard to keep it. In fact, Austin Scott has been unopposed in most of his re-election runs. The Democrats have nothing doing in the 8th District so Scott is on his way to a win.
This is a mega (MAGA?) Republican seat in northeastern Georgia, and can probably be considered one of the most GOP-bent seats in the country. Doug Collins is stepping aside to run for Senate, a race he might well win, but another Republican will be elected in his wake.
Georgia’s 10th is east of but well outside Atlanta, making this Republican ground. Jody Hice falling in this seat on election night would be a surprise.
We are not thinking Barry Loudermilk has an issue here. His prior runs for Congress have not been problematic in terms of vote totals and this north-of-Atlanta district still has a solid Republican lean.
If only there were some golf being played up in Augusta this year. We’ve had a few throughout our House predictions so far, and for now, this is one of those in-between districts. Just a “strong lean” might not be enough, but “safe” feels like it’s too strong. So, we will with some hestitation put this in “safe.” Rick Allen, just like Donald Trump, should carry the 12th together but there are more Republican seats in Georgia than this one based on its recent electoral history.
Here we have a seat lying just south and west of Atlanta in fertile Democratic territory. David Scott is safe.
The 14th and final seat in Georgia is similar politically to the 9th District. Also like the 9th District, it’s an open seat. Republicans are falling over each other trying to crowd into the primary as they could be in Congress for a long time if they win it.