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Top 5 House races to watch

With 2024 around the corner, we’re looking at the top five House races that’ll determine which party is in power next Congress.

Now this isn’t just our opinion. We spoke with more than two dozen Republican and Democratic strategists, insiders and politicos about the races they care about.

Here’s where we landed.

Washington’s 3rd District: Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez

Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Wash.) is a rare Democrat representing a district won twice by former President Donald Trump. Gluesenkamp Perez will likely face far-right candidate Joe Kent in a rematch of her 2022 win.

Gluesenkamp Perez is a co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, which has rebranded to include younger and more diverse members of the Democratic Caucus. She has broken with her party on several votes in her first term, including backing the GOP-led NDAA and a bill prohibiting the Biden administration from banning gas stoves.

Kent is back after successfully knocking off Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) in a primary last cycle. GOP strategists hope a forward-looking campaign from Kent (read: not election-denying) will help to flip the seat that Trump won by four points in 2020.

California’s 41st District: Rep. Ken Calvert

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) is a longtime incumbent who is facing a rematch against Democrat Will Rollins in a fascinating test of whether culture war issues will resonate in the 2024 cycle.

Calvert, who’s been in office since the early 90s, saw his district change in 2022 to include more liberal enclaves, such as Palm Springs. As a result, LGBTQ rights have taken center stage in the campaign.

Rollins  who came within five points of beating Calvert last cycle — is a formidable challenger who’s fundraising at an impressive rate. If Rollins wins, it’ll show that voters nationwide are paying attention to red-meat bills that House Republicans have passed this Congress.

Of particular note is Calvert’s perch on the Appropriations Committee, where Republican lawmakers have voted to strip funding from LGBTQ facilities in normally non-controversial spending bills.

Arizona’s 1st District: Rep. David Schweikert

Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) is a perennial Democratic target in a Scottsdale-area swing seat that will be at the heart of the political map in 2024.

Schweikert, who’s faced ethics troubles in the past and squeaked to reelection by under a percentage point last cycle, has attracted a bevy of Democratic challengers. Most interesting in the field is Marlene Galán-Woods, a broadcast journalist and the widow of former GOP Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods.

Michigan’s 7th District (open seat)

With Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) jumping ship for a Senate run, Michigan’s 7th District is now a tantalizing open seat that Republicans are finally hoping they can flip.

The Lansing-area seat is a true toss-up. Without an incumbent, we’ll learn a lot about how Biden is running by watching this contest. Republicans are backing former state Rep. Tom Barrett again in this race. And Democrats are lining up behind former state Sen. Curtis Hertel, who used to work for Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

New York’s 17th District: Rep. Mike Lawler

New York’s 17th District is the most high-profile race in the nation’s premier House battleground state in 2024.

Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) is the incumbent and he’s an outspoken moderate. The New York Republican knocked off DCCC Chair Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) last cycle in a race defined by public safety concerns and inflation.

Can Lawler hang on to a seat that went for President Joe Biden by 10 points in 2020? Lawler will likely face former Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), a leading progressive, in the general. Jones is the favorite to beat Liz Whitmer Gereghty in the Democratic primary. But Jones may emerge bruised from a competitive primary contest.

— Max Cohen and Mica Soellner

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Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.