Who is on their way to victory in the 2020 Michigan House races?
The Great Lakes State was something of a success story for Democrats in 2018, going from a 9-5 deficit in seats to a 7-7 tie off of two pick-ups in Greater Detroit. Prior to the 2020 election, Democrats have a 7-6-1 edge thanks to Justin Amash quitting the GOP and eventually becoming the first Libertarian Party member of the US House of Representatives.
Amash’s open seat in the 3rd District is one of several races political observers will be watching this year. Will Republicans continue to be on defense in their remaining seats across the state, or are a few of their recent losses back in the mix? Find out here how we predict these elections are going to go.
US House Rating Scale
2020 Michigan House races are rated on the below tossup-free scale.
2020 Michigan House Races Current Prediction Summary: September 10
Current Michigan US House Map
The days of a guy like Bart Stupak winning in this Northern Michigan seat seem to be long gone. GOP candidates have had less trouble since picking the seat up a decade ago, and this got to the point where the incumbent, Jack Bergman, easily survived the 2018 Blue Wave. He is safe.
This is an area Donald Trump is likely to win – though if by the same margin as last time, who can say. The 2nd District has been in Republican hands for a long time, long before Bill Huizenga showed up in Washington.
Justin Amash split with the Republican Party and then split with his district in deciding to seek a longshot presidential bid instead of run for re-election. His odds of getting re-elected would have been minimal, but he may have siphoned enough GOP votes to swing this seat to a Democrat. We think this usually-Republican seat will revert back to “normal” but the open seat is an opportunity for voters to try something else, so it’s still a “weak lean” for the time being.
The GOP is under very little threat in this interior Lower Peninsula seat.
The Kildee name carries a lot of weight in this district, given how long their family has represented it. It is not the most Democratic seat in Michigan, with Trump doing a lot better here than expected, but historically Democratic enough that we would not be worried about it today.
RATINGS CHANGE, SEPT. 10: R2 TO R1
SEPT. 10: We are not liking what we’re seeing in Fred Upton’s re-election race these days. While we’re not yet convinced he will lose, we have to concede the possibility, so we’ve moved this to level one “weak lean.”
MAY 9: Fred Upton’s 2018 re-election run was surprisingly close, but in a wave election, sometimes you see unexpected results. The GOP did not lose this last time around and they probably won’t now on presidential turnout, but who knows? This could be another sneaky-interesting race in 2020.
This is not a very Democratic seat by any means but they have won it on occasion before, so it makes sense that it would be on the radar of some Democrats looking to expand their map. It’s getting harder to see this one flipping, however. The likely Democratic nominee against Tim Walberg is Gretchen Driskell, who has already lost this seat to Walberg in the two past elections. We see this as somewhere in between a “strong lean” and “safe” for Walberg.
Michigan’s 8th was a Democratic flip in 2018, as the Republicans lost ground in the suburbs all over the country. We have also seen Democrats picking up districts in which Donald Trump won, this being one of them. Even if Donald Trump carries this district again, can Elissa Slotkin hold her seat? We tend to think yes, but in another close race, perhaps closer than last time.
As big as the Kildee name is in the Flint area politically, the Levin name is still bigger in Michigan politics and in the Detroit suburbs. Democrats will not have difficulty holding on in the 9th District.
This will be an open GOP seat as Paul Mitchell, not the same guy with the hair care products, is retiring. The district he leaves behind in Michigan’s Thumb is pretty Republican, so they will win the race to succeed him.
Michigan’s 11th District was a featured race of ours in 2018. The two seats the Democrats flipped in Michigan in 2018 are very similar. Both are suburban, both went to Donald Trump in 2016, and both elected up-and-coming young women to Congress who had worked with the Obama administration in some fashion. It’s difficult to say either the 8th or the 11th is in more danger of flipping back to the GOP. Haley Stevens won her race by a little more in 2018, which is splitting hairs considering Slotkin got 51 percent and Stevens got 52. Right now, we think they both stay Democratic but perhaps in equally or tougher races than they had in 2020.
And as big as the Kildee and Levin names are in local politics where they represent, the Dingell name tops them all. Between John and Debbie Dingell, that family has been in Congress since the mid-1950s. Not a chance Dingell loses in 2020.
Regardless of whatever would happen here in a primary to Rashida Tlaib, she represents a very safe Democratic seat.
This is another Detroit-based seat that is solid blue, and will remain that way beyond 2020.