Decision 2020: Elaine Luria vs. Scott Taylor (VA-02)

Mani Tangellamudi ’24

Elaine Luria, Official Portrait, 116th Congress
Elaine Luria. U.S. House Office of Photography/House Creative Services, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Virginia 2nd Congressional District encompasses Accomack, Northampton, and York counties and is considered one of the most competitive congressional districts in Virginia. As a district, it has traditionally held conservative representatives in office, with 8 in 10 being Republican in the past ten elections. The district is 67% white and has an average income of $70K, about $15K higher than the average, giving some reason behind a Republican history and reason to the district being R+3. Moreover, there was redistricting in 2012 that was deemed unconstitutional in 2016 and had no effect on the party that held office the year the redistricting was changed.

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Decision 2020: Jeff Van Drew vs. Amy Kennedy (NJ-02)

Jack Comegno ’24

Jeff Van Drew Official Portrait 116th Congress
U.S. House Office of Photography/House Creative Services, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

I have been following the Jeff Van Drew vs. Amy Kennedy U.S. Congressional race for the New Jersey 2nd District. This race is being impacted by local issues, the Presidential race, and a difference in campaign money. Right now, the race is considered a “toss-up,” but a recent poll shows Kennedy in the lead by 6 percentage points. Will the incumbent, Jeff Van Drew, changing parties and becoming Republican help him, or will it show him as a traitor to the Democratic party, and possibly even “pull him down” because of President Trump’s low favorability ratings in the district?

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Decision 2020: Chip Roy vs. Wendy Davis (TX-21)

Clayton Brosend ’24

Chip Roy, official portrait, 116th Congress
Chip Roy. United States Congress, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Texas District 21 race for U.S. House is considered to be one of the biggest toss-ups heading into the 2020 election. This contest between Republican incumbent Chip Roy and Democratic challenger Wendy Davis will speak to the larger, more gradual political movements in the district. The longtime red district, having seen diminishing Republican victories since 2012, is widely described as a toss-up, with only one report defining it as Republican-leaning.[1]

Texas House District 21 lies north of San Antonio and covers a significant portion of Austin. The district has been represented by Republicans since 1979, but has seen a gradual change as voter demographics have shifted. In the 2012 Presidential election, Mitt Romney carried the district by 22 points. This margin decreased in 2016 to only ten points. In the 2018 Senatorial election between Senator Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke, the candidates tied in District 21.[2]

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Decision 2020: Joe Cunningham vs. Nancy Mace (SC-01)

Adriana Quinonez Solano ’24

Joe Cunningham, Official Porrtait, 116th Congress
Joe Cunningham. U.S. House Office of Photography/House Creative Services, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The race of Democratic incumbent Joe Cunningham against Republican Nancy Mace, who has served as a member of the South Carolina House of Representative for District 99, has sparked concerns over the fate of the 117th Congress. South Carolina District 1 which covers the majority of the Atlantic coast from Charleston to Hilton Head Island, has become one of the most crucial toss-up districts in the presidential election. District 1 is made up by majority white veterans, retirees, and immigrants. District 1 has remained a predominantly Republican district for the past four decades until 2018 when the congressional seat was flipped by Joe Cunningham.

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Decision 2020: Andrew Garbarino vs. Jackie Gordon (NY-02)

Vanessa Igras ’24

New York’s Second Congressional District is undergoing massive change this election cycle; from demographic changes to the impending departure of longtime incumbent, Peter King (R), this toss-up district is now looking for a candidate with the insight and sound reasoning to represent a new generation of Long Islanders.

Jackie Gordon. Via Ballotpedia.

This district is found along the south shore of Long Island, New York. It includes Suffolk County and a small portion of Nassau County. The make-up of this district strongly contributes to the unpredictable nature of this race. According to the New York Times, there were 360,000 registered Republicans in Nassau County in 1996, which was around 100,000 more than the Democrats had at the time. By 2019, the number of registered Democrats had grown to more than 400,000, while the number of Republicans had decreased by more than 30,000. There was a similar trend in Suffolk County; Republican registered voters increased by 18,000 people, while Democrats witnessed a more sizable increase of 160,000 new registered voters.

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Decision 2020: Xochitl Torres-Small vs. Yvette Herrell (NM-02)

Lauren Chu ’23

Xochitl Torres-Small is a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives and represents New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District. The district serves the southern half of New Mexico, including Las Cruces, Roswell, and a southern portion of Albuquerque. It is also the fifth largest district in the U.S.

NM-02 in Blue. Department of the Interior via Wikimedia Commons.

Running against incumbent Torres-Small in the district’s upcoming general election is Yvette Herrell (R) . Steve Jones (I) will also be running in the race as a third-party candidate. Between Torres-Small and Herrell, this will be the second general election. Back in 2018, Torres-Small won the election by a slim margin of 51% against Herrell’s 49%. Prior to Torres-Small’s 2018 victory, the last Democratic representative of the Second Congressional District was Harry Teague in 2011.

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Decision 2020: Debbie Mucarsel-Powell vs. Carlos Giménez (FL-26)

Ryan Cialone ’23

FL-26. Starrfruit via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).

The race in Florida’s 26th congressional district is shaping up to be an interesting one indeed. The two contenders are the incumbent Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, elected in 2018, and the challenging Republican and Mayor of Miami-Dade County Carlos Giménez.

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Decision 2020: Andy Kim vs. David Richter (NJ-03)

Flavia Scotto ’22

NY-03. Mr. Matté via Wikimedia Commons.

On November 3, New Jersey will elect twelve U.S. Representatives, one for each congressional district. Of particular interest is District 3, which includes parts of Burlington and Ocean Counties. Andy Kim, a Democrat, is the incumbent who faces re-election against David Richter, an engineer, lawyer, and former CEO of Hill International.

The district is one of particular focus for both parties. It went blue for Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012 before opting for Donald Trump in 2016. Interestingly enough, it was one of thirty congressional districts who did so, yet it is currently represented by a Democrat. It is also important to note that Kim only narrowly won in 2018 with 50% percent of the vote as compared to his opposition’s 49% percent. These factors may explain why there does not yet seem to be a clear indication of who will win, despite the election being less than a month away. Presently, many websites suggest that the majority of New Jerseyans will vote for Kim, while many more polls predict it to be a toss-up.

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Decision 2020: Anthony Brindisi vs. Claudia Tenny (NY-22)

Lily Sellers ’22

NY-22. United States Department of the Interior/ 7partparadigm via Wikimedia Commons.

In New York’s 22nd congressional district, incumbent Anthony Brindisi (D) is running against former congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R). During the last election in 2018, Tenney was holding the house seat and lost by a margin of less than 4,500 to Brindisi. In fact, Tenney did not concede until 25 days after the election.

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