WASHINGTON — When you look at this year’s House races, roughly 40 races seem competitive, out of 435 House seats. Though they’re spread around the country, some states stand out.
California has arguably six seats in play, divided evenly between the two parties. Democratic Rep. Ami Bera, whose father was sentenced to a year in prison because of election fraud, faces perhaps the toughest fight in his evenly divided Sacramento-area district.
New York has five seats in contention, from the eastern tip of Long Island to the central part of the state. Four are held by Republicans, including two lawmakers who are retiring.
Thanks to redistricting, most of Florida’s 27 congressional districts were redrawn and there are competitive races in at least four.
Overwhelmingly Republican Texas, Utah and Nebraska each have a freshman facing a tight re-election fight: Republican Reps. Will Hurd in west Texas and Mia Love from Salt Lake City’s suburbs, and Omaha-area Democrat Brad Ashford.
Many GOP or independent voters unhappy with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump could decide to skip voting entirely in November. But would House Republicans draw votes from such people if they vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton?
With the intensifying partisan climate of recent years, voters have shown less willingness to split their vote between presidential and congressional candidates of different parties.
Polling from American National Election Studies, run by the University of Michigan and Stanford University, finds just 10 percent of voters said they split their vote in 2012. That was down from 25 percent in 1988.
Presidential and House candidates of opposing parties prevailed in just 6 percent of congressional districts in 2012, down from 34 percent in 1988, according to data from the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute.
Trump could break that trend. But both sets of figures suggest people backing Clinton would be unlikely to support a House GOP candidate.