Incumbents have edge, but redistricting scrambles House race outlooks

By Brooke Newman | Cronkite News

Congressional incumbents have already raised millions for the 2022 midterm elections and have the added benefit of name recognition, but analysts said those advantages will be countered by the redrawing of House district boundaries, which puts the races in a “state of limbo.” /File photo by Natasha Khan/Cronkite News

Arizona’s congressional incumbents have the advantage of name recognition and massive fundraising leads – but analysts say they might need both as congressional redistricting has “put us all in a state of limbo” for the 2022 House races.

There are other variables for next year as well, including an open seat in District 2 where Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Tucson, is not seeking re-election. But for now, fundraising “is something members of Congress can control” and they have, with the latest campaign finance reports showing incumbents had raised $3 million and had $4.7 million in the bank as of June 30.

“Showing the ability to raise money is important early on to show you have a viable race and that you’re a viable candidate,” said Paul Bentz, senior vice president of research and strategy at HighGround Inc.

Arizona’s House races are sure to be overshadowed by the race for the Senate seat held by freshman Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz. His election gave the state two Democratic senators for the first time in a half-century and helped Democrats gain the slimmest majority in the Senate.

With control of the Senate at stake, both parties are expected to funnel money to the race, where Kelly has already raised $10 million and three of his Republican challengers have raised more than $3 million combined.

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