Redistricting and Retirements Shake Up Fight for Control of the House

With less than a year to go before Election Day, mid-decade redistricting and a wave of congressional retirements has reshaped the fight for control of the House of Representatives.


With less than a year to go before Election Day, mid-decade redistricting and a wave of congressional retirements has reshaped the fight for control of the House of Representatives. Given Republicans’ miniscule three-seat majority, neither party has any room for error.

  • As of December 15, 33 members have announced their retirements from the House – 22 Democrats and 11 Republicans. All 11 Republicans are leaving voluntarily are creating open seats in safe GOP districts.
  • However, several Democrats are retiring from seats that election handicappers rate as competitive, making these seats ground zero in the battle for House control. The districts held by Reps. Dan Kildee (D-MI), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), and Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) are expected to be especially competitive.
  • Courts have ordered new congressional maps in three states key to House control: Alabama, Georgia, and New York. Alabama and Georgia’s maps were found to be in violation of the Voting Rights Act, and courts ordered both states to add a new black-majority district.
  • In Alabama, this edict will cost Republicans one seat and likely lead to the election of two black Democrats to Congress from the Yellowhammer State for the first time. In Georgia, the new map will likely allow Republicans to maintain their advantage in the Peach State’s delegation.
  • In New York, the state’s highest court ordered new congressional districts just two years after imposing a court-ordered map ahead of the 2022 midterms. The new map will need to be approved by the Democratic-dominated state legislature and will likely cost Republicans some swing-district members who won thanks to the court-ordered 2022 map.
  • The North Carolina legislature, with veto-proof Republican majorities in both houses, redrew the state’s maps to favor the GOP after Republicans took control of the state Supreme Court, the only obstacle to their ability to draw maps as they pleased.
  • The Tar Heel State’s new map will likely net House Republicans three additional seats, possibly offsetting any losses out of the New York redraw. Reps. Wiley Nickel (D-NC), Jeff Jackson (D-NC), and Kathy Manning (D-NC) have all announced their retirements since the new district lines became law.reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times covered efforts by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to oust anti-Israel House members in Democratic primaries. AIPAC plans to back challengers to far-left Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Cori Bush (D-MO), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), and Summer Lee (D-PA).
  • NBC News elaborated on the decision by Rep. Wiley Nickel (D-NC) not to seek a second term. Nickel claimed Republicans “have rigged the system to favor themselves” and blamed gerrymandering for his decision to retire – for now. In his statement announcing his retirement, Nickel also revealed plans to run for Senate against Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) in 2026.
  • CNN covered the Republican-led redistricting efforts in Georgia. The GOP-controlled legislature were ordered to redraw the maps after a federal judge ruled they conflicted with the Voting Rights Act. Georgia Republicans redrew the state’s map to add an additional black-majority district while maintaining the GOP’s 9-5 seat advantage.



  • The New York Post covered in more detail the possible ramifications of the New York redistricting decision on House Republicans’ chances of maintaining the majority. Republicans hold five swing districts in New York, and all of them could be at risk under the new gerrymandered map that will be drawn by the Democratic-controlled legislature.
  • The Washington Examiner observed that of the members who’ve retired so far, “only seven are considered to be competitive seats, all of which are held by Democrats. Those include the seats held by Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and Dan Kildee (D-MI), both rated as toss-ups by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. Another two seats are considered to be highly competitive as well, including the ones held by Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Katie Porter (D-CA).”
  • The Wall Street Journal reported on how the special election to replace expelled Rep. George Santos (R-NY) could influence how the parties campaign in 2024. The special election “will mark the first prominent clash between the parties in 2024, offering a test of their strength before the November elections. The race also could impact the short-term functioning of the House, where the GOP holds a tenuous 221-213 majority, and can lose no more than three votes if all Democrats are opposed.”

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© Dominic Moore, 2023