Districts that backed Obama, then Trump

Democrat won 2016 House race

Republican won 2016 House race

ME

NH

MN

WI

NY

IA

NJ

IL

NV

Democrat won 2016 House race

Republican won 2016 House race

ME

NH

WI

MN

NY

IA

NJ

NV

IL

Note: One Pa. district is excluded because the state has new congressional lines this year.

Voters in the House districts on the map above backed President Barack Obama in 2012 and President Trump in 2016.

At the same time, eight of the 20 districts also elected a Democrat to the House — meaning many voters likely chose both a Democrat and a Republican on the same ballot.

How will they react two years into Trump’s presidency, a notoriously bad year for whichever party holds the White House?

After primary elections in Minnesota and Wisconsin on Tuesday, November matchups are set in all but one of these 20 Obama-Trump districts. (We’re also omitting one swing Pennsylvania district because the state has new district boundaries this time.) About half are considered intense battlegrounds for the fall, while others are held by popular incumbents who have garnered more support than the president in the past.

Some districts swung wildly from Obama to Trump. Others barely crossed the line.

[Just how big of a deal has Trump been in Republican primaries anyway?]

Two Minnesota districts gave Trump the largest margins of this bunch. Democrats held both of those seats, but both are retiring, making them some of the most vulnerable in the country.

How large was the swing from Obama to Trump

Democrat won House seat in 2016

Republican won House seat in 2016

Seat open in 2018

D+10

0

R+10

Obama

margin (’12)

Trump

margin (’16)

MN−8

MN−1

IL−12

NY−21

NY−1

ME−2

NY−11

NY−2

NY−19

NJ−3

NJ−2

WI−3

IA−2

IA−3

IA−1

NY−18

NH−1

MN−2

NV−3

IL−17

Dem. won 2016 House race

GOP won 2016 House race

Seat open in 2018

D+10

0

R+10

Obama

margin (’12)

Trump

margin (’16)

MN−8

MN−1

IL−12

NY−21

NY−1

ME−2

NY−11

NY−2

NY−19

NJ−3

NJ−2

WI−3

IA−2

IA−3

IA−1

NY−18

NH−1

MN−2

NV−3

IL−17

In Minnesota’s 2nd District and Nevada’s 3rd District, Obama and Trump each posted very small margins of victory. Both House races are competitive this time around, with Democrats given a small advantage in the Nevada race.

While Illinois’s 17th District narrowly backed Trump, it had previously supported Obama by double digits. It was a big swing toward Trump, but Rep. Cheri Bustos (D) won there by 20 points on the same ballot.

[These women have won their primaries. Will they be elected in November?]

Seven Republican-held seats and the Democrat-held Minnesota seats mentioned above are considered among the most competitive in the country by the Cook Political Report.

How competitive are House races in Obama-Trump districts

Democrat won House seat in 2016

Republican won House seat in 2016

Seat open in 2018

SOLID D

WI-3

IL-17

NY-18

IA-2

LIKELY D

NJ-2

LEAN D

NV-3

NH-1

TOSSUP

NY-19

MN-2

IL-12

IA-1

MN-1

NJ-3

ME-2

IA-3

MN-8

LEAN R

LIKELY R

NY-11

NY-1

SOLID R

NY-2

NY-21

Dem. won 2016 House race

GOP won 2016 House race

Seat open in 2018

MN-1

MN-8

IA-1

IA-3

IL-12

IA-2

ME-2

IL-17

MN-2

NY-18

NH-1

NY-1

NY-2

NJ-3

WI-3

NJ-2

NV-3

NY-19

NY-11

NY-21

SOLID D

LIKELY D

LEAN D

TOSSUP

LEAN R

LIKELY R

SOLID R

In these swing districts, the candidates who are nominated can make a big difference. Four Republicans who are considered safe by Cook (on the right above) outpaced Trump in their districts. Given their popularity, it’s less likely negative views of Trump would drag on their reelection bids.

The only district here with a Republican retirement, New Jersey’s 2nd District, is in the likely Democratic column because a conservative Democrat won the nomination.

In many competitive districts, strong challengers — many of them veterans — have been nominated to take on longtime incumbents. The military is much more highly regarded than Congress in polling.

Both parties have nominated some candidates with past controversial statements, in some cases altering the competitiveness of those races. There are also a handful of challengers who lost 2016 races who are back for another go.

Which candidates are running in Obama-Trump districts

District Rating Democratic nominee Republican nominee
    * denotes incumbent
SOLID D
SOLID D

Rep. David Loebsack*

A six-term congressman who won by 7.5 points in 2016

Christopher Peters

A former Army surgeon who took 46 percent of the vote as the Republican candidate in 2016

SOLID D
SOLID D

Rep. Cheri Bustos*

A three-term congresswoman who won by 20.6 points in 2016

Bill Fawell

State party leaders disavowed him in early August because of conspiracy theories he posted to social media

SOLID D
SOLID D

Rep. Sean Maloney*

A three-term congressman who won by 11.2 points in 2016, also running for state attorney general

James O'Donnell

A county legislator and former state trooper, lost a lawsuit to force Maloney out of the race to run for AG

SOLID D
SOLID D

Rep. Ron Kind*

A moderate 11-term congressman who ran unopposed in 2016

Steve Toft

A retired Army colonel. He had millions of dollars less on hand than Kind in mid-July

LIKELY D
LIKELY D

Jeff Van Drew

A conservative Democratic state senator who won his competitive primary against three more progressive candidates

Seth Grossman

A lawyer and former Atlantic City Council member whom Republicans disavowed for offensive comments he made about black and Hispanic people. Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo (R), who won by 22 points in 2016, is retiring.

LEAN D
LEAN D No nominees yet — primary is Sept. 11
LEAN D
LEAN D

Susie Lee

A philanthropist who lost a primary in the 4th District in 2016. Rep. Jacky Rosen (D), who won by 1.3 points in 2016, is running for Senate.

Danny Tarkanian

A conservative real estate investor waging his sixth shot at elected office. Trump persuaded him to drop a Senate bid and run for this seat instead. He lost to Rosen in 2016

TOSSUP
TOSSUP

Abby Finkenauer

A 29-year-old Iowa state lawmaker who said she would "work with anyone who is serious about creating good paying jobs and lowering health-care costs" in a recent ad

Rep. Rod Blum*

A two-term incumbent who won by 7.7 points in 2016. He voted for the GOP health-care overhaul.

TOSSUP
TOSSUP

Cindy Axne

A former state official who won the primary after the Democratic favorite was forced to end her candidacy over forged petitions

Rep. David Young*

A two-term incumbent who won by 13.7 points in 2016

TOSSUP
TOSSUP

Brendan Kelly

A Navy veteran and prosecutor who has Democratic Party financial backing, has called for "new leadership" in Congress

Rep. Mike Bost*

A two-term incumbent who won by 14.6 points in 2016

TOSSUP
TOSSUP

Jared Golden

A Marine Corps veteran and state lawmaker, won a competitive primary

Rep. Bruce Poliquin*

A two-term incumbent who won by 9.6 points in 2016

TOSSUP
TOSSUP

Dan Feehan

An Iraq War combat veteran and Obama-era Defense Department official. Rep. Tim Walz (D), who won the primary for governor, won this seat by 0.8 points in 2016.

Jim Hagedorn

A party-backed candidate who won the GOP nomination for a third time, he nearly won the district in 2016. His father once represented an overlapping district.

TOSSUP
TOSSUP

Angie Craig

A former hospital executive, she lost to Lewis by two points in 2016. Has hit Lewis for his support of the GOP health-care overhaul. Would be the first openly gay representative from Minnesota.

Rep. Jason Lewis*

A freshman lawmaker who won by 1.8 points in 2016. In recordings published by CNN in July from his time as a radio host, Lewis is heard making bigoted remarks about women.

TOSSUP
TOSSUP

Joe Radinovich

A former state legislator and labor organizer, he will compete for the district Obama carried twice, but Trump won in 2016. Rep. Rick Nolan (D), who won by only 0.6 points in 2016, is retiring.

Pete Stauber

A commissioner in the district’s biggest county, as well as a former hockey player and police officer, he also starts the general election campaign with hundreds of thousands more dollars on hand than Radinovich

TOSSUP
TOSSUP

Andy Kim

A former Rhodes scholar, Obama National Security Council adviser on ISIS and aide to General David Petraeus, he only recently moved back to this district

Rep. Tom MacArthur*

A two-term incumbent who won by 20.4 points in 2016, he led a compromise on the GOP health-care overhaul and voted for the Republican tax package, despite its limiting of the state-and-local-tax deduction, which is used by many New Jersey residents

TOSSUP
TOSSUP

Antonio Delgado

A lawyer and Rhodes scholar, he has been attacked by Faso for lyrics he used in a 2007 rap album. Obama won this Upstate New York district twice before Trump won in 2016

Rep. John Faso*

A freshman lawmaker who won by 8.6 points in 2016 over a liberal populist political activist

LIKELY R
LIKELY R

Perry Gershon

A businessman who said at a fundraiser in February that he was inspired to run for Congress by parallels between "the rise of Donald Trump today and the rise of Hitler"

Rep. Lee Zeldin*

A two-term incumbent who has closely aligned himself with Trump, he won by 16.4 points in 2016

LIKELY R
LIKELY R

Max Rose

A 31-year-old businessman and Army veteran, he had more than $1 million on hand as of the end of June

Rep. Daniel Donovan*

With help from Trump, he won a primary challenge against former Rep. Michael Grimm, whom he replaced in 2015 when Grimm went to prison for tax fraud. Donovan won by 24.9 points in 2016. He voted against House efforts to overhaul health care and taxes.

SOLID R
SOLID R

Liuba Grechen Shirley

A consultant for nonprofits and first-time candidate, she beat a more seasoned party figure for the Democratic nomination.

Rep. Peter T. King*

A 13-term incumbent who won by 24.1 points in 2016, greatly outpacing Trump there. He voted against the GOP tax bill.

SOLID R
SOLID R

Tedra Cobb

A small-business owner and former county legislator, she won more than 50 percent of the vote in a crowded primary. Says she is running because Stefanik voted for the GOP's health-care overhaul

Rep. Elise Stefanik*

A two-term incumbent who won by 35.1 points in 2016, posting big gains over Trump's margin there. She voted against the GOP tax bill but supported the health-care overhaul.

Of course, these are not the only persuadable districts in 2018. Voters in 15 districts backed Republican Mitt Romney in 2012 and Democrat Hillary Clinton four years later, souring on Trump. As the midterms approach, opinions of the president also loom over contests in those districts.

Republicans currently hold every one of those House seats and will be trying to defend several where the incumbents opted to retire.

About this story

Election results from Polidata. Race ratings and some candidate information from the Cook Political Report. Other candidate information from the biographical directory of Congress, the Center for Responsive Politics and news reports.

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