As we prepare for the 2020 elections, Yesh Ginsburg and Steen Kirby will give a general overview of all 435 United States House of Representatives races. This is a basic overview to introduce you to the major candidates. All Partisan Lean numbers are taken from the Cook Partisan Voting Index. We will update this page as the races progress if anything noteworthy arises.

Georgia is too large of a state to break down in one article, so we’re going to split the 14 Congressional Districts into two articles. This article will look at the first seven districts, where four of the Democrats’ five seats lie. The other will focus on the Republican-heavy rest of the state.

Georgia’s 1st Congressional District

Incumbent: Earl Carter (Republican, third term)

Partisan Lean: R+8

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Earl Carter (R) 144,501 57.77
Lisa Ring (D) 105,633 42.23

 

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Earl Carter (R) 210,243 100

Republican Candidate:

Earl Carter (campaign website)

“Buddy” Carter is a consistent small-government Republican who had a surprisingly close election in 2018. He’s facing competition again, but it’s hard to imagine this seat actually flipping. It’s been in Republican hands since the 1990s.

Democratic Candidate:

Joyce Marie Griggs (campaign website)

Griggs does not yet seem to be campaigning as seriously as Ring did two years ago, but she still has time. She’s a liberal Democrat trying to flip a safe seat. Griggs is more progressive than Ring was two years ago, as well.

Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District

Incumbent: Sanford Bishop, Jr. (Democratic, 14th term)

Partisan Lean: D+6

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Sanford Bishop, Jr. (D) 135,709 59.56
Herman West, Jr. (R) 92,132 40.44

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Sanford Bishop, Jr. (D) 148,543 61.23
Greg Duke (R) 94,056 38.77

Republican Candidate:

Donald Cole (campaign website)

Republicans aren’t unseating Sanford, but it’s worth noting that Vivian Childs (who lost a close primary to Cole) would have been a much stronger candidate for this district. Cole is running on a strong pro-life platform, as well as conservative positions on religious freedom and guns.

Democratic Candidate:

Sanford Bishop, Jr. (campaign website)

Bishop is popular and has only had one election come within ten points within since he came to office. He’s a standard Democrat who should have no issue keeping this seat as long as he wants it.

Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District

Incumbent: Drew Ferguson (Republican, second term)

Partisan Lean: R+18

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Drew Ferguson (R) 191,966 65.53
Chuck Enderlin (D) 101,010 34.47

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Drew Ferguson (R) 207,218 68.35
Angela Pendley (D) 95,969 31.65

Republican Candidate:

Drew Ferguson (campaign website)

Ferguson’s campaign site is just a way to donate, but he doesn’t need much more than that. He’s popular enough and conservative enough in this deep red district to not have to worry much about re-election.

Democratic Candidate:

Val Almonord (campaign website)

Almonord is a relatively moderate Democrat, though he is more liberal on some issues than others. He is not spending much in this campaign, which is to be expected in a district that Ferguson is expected to win by about 30 points.

Georgia’s 4th Congressional District

Incumbent: Hank Johnson (Democratic, seventh term)

Partisan Lean: D+24

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Hank Johnson (D) 227,717 78.99
Joe Profit (R) 61,092 21.01

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Hank Johnson (D) 220,146 75.72
Victor Armendariz (R) 70,593 24.28

Republican Candidate:

Johsie Cruz (campaign website)

Cruz is an outspoken conservative with little financial backing, but she’s running an aggressive campaign. An immigrant from Venezuela, she is staunchly conservative and anti-Socialist. One of her main campaign planks is the elimination of the income tax. It’s a fascinating campaign that might have potential in some other swing districts, but it’s hard to see her making this one close.

Democratic Candidate:

Hank Johnson (campaign website)

Johnson is a very liberal Democrat, who can sometimes side with the progressive wing. He consistently wins elections by a wide margin in this very safe district.

Yesh’s notes: Johnson, of course, gained national infamy for his poorly-worded (at best) question/metaphor about Guam during a Congressional hearing a decade ago. That hasn’t hurt his popularity in his district or his reelections since then though.

Georgia’s 5th Congressional District

Incumbent: None (Previously held by Democrat John Lewis for 17 terms)

Partisan Lean: D+34

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
John Lewis (D) 273,084 100

 

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
John Lewis (D) 253,781 84.44
Douglas Bell (R) 46,768 15.56

Republican Candidate:

Angela Stanton King (campaign website)

Stanton King is a fascinating young Black conservative with a backstory of having a child at 14, being pardoned by President Trump, and a lot of stuff in between.

Yesh’s notes: It’s not a winnable race, but when she was facing John Lewis she had a chance to make a real splash nationally with her backstory and her politics. No longer facing Lewis, her race is much lower-profile, but it also offered her a chance. Of course, she has since veered into some weird conspiracy tweets regarding COVID-19 and Herman Cain’s death. She definitely still has potential to be a new face of the GOP if she makes this race somewhat close, but that feels less likely than it did a month ago.

Democratic Candidate:

Nikema Williams (campaign website)

Williams has not yet updated her campaign website from her State Senate campaign. She was a late selection by the Georgia Democratic Party to replace Lewis on the ballot, after the longtime Congressman and civil rights icon passed away following his primary victory. She has not had much time to campaign or show how she will try to fill Lewis’ shoes, but in a seat this safe it’s possible she doesn’t need to.

Georgia’s 6th Congressional District

Incumbent: Lucy McBath (Democratic, first term)

Partisan Lean: R+8

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Lucy McBath (D) 160,139 50.51
Karen Handel (R) 156,875 49.49

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Tom Price (R) 201,088 61.68
Rodney Stooksbury (D) 124,917 38.32

Republican Candidate:

Karen Handel (campaign website)

This seat has rapidly moved away from Republicans since 2016. Handel, a moderate Republican, earned this seat in 2017 with a Special Election victory over Jon Ossoff. She barely cleared that election, but couldn’t win it in 2018. The Republicans don’t have a better candidate to try and win back this seat, though, so she gets to try to win it back herself.

Democratic Candidate:

Lucy McBath (campaign website)

McBath is a relatively moderate Democrat. Her campaign website isn’t much other than a way to donate and sign up for the mailing list. It doesn’t matter, though. Georgia voters know both her and Handel well right now. This district has probably moved further away from Republicans since 2018, but expect this race to be pretty close once again.

Yesh’s notes: I don’t particularly expect this race to be as close as in 2018, but if Handel does make some gains it’s worth noting that there is a third party on the ballot. Jayla Harrison is on the ballot as a member of the conservative-sounding Commandments Party. (I cannot find much information about Harrison’s campaign or what the Commandments Party believes. But in an incredibly tight election, I would expect her voters to be drawn away from Handel more than McBath.)

Georgia’s 7th Congressional District

Incumbent: Rob Woodall (Republican, fifth term)

Partisan Lean: R+9

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Rob Woodall (R) 140,430 50.07
Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) 140,011 49.93

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Rob Woodall (R) 174,081 60.38
Rashid Malik (D) 114,220 39.62

Republican Candidate:

Rich McCormick (campaign website)

McCormick easily won the Republican nomination for this district after Woodall retired. This fast-changing district is rapidly moving away from Republicans, as evidenced by the 20-point shift from 2016 to 2018. Bourdeaux is back to finish what she started in 2018, and it’s definitely likely that she’ll succeed. McCormick is running as a generic Georgia conservative, but it’s hard to see that succeeding in this district anymore.

Democratic Candidate:

Carolyn Bourdeaux (campaign website)

Bourdeaux is a liberal Democrat running in a rapidly blue-shifting district. She almost won two years ago, and she has both spent more and has far more cash available than her opponent. This is still generally rated as a toss-up district, but it’s pretty clearly leaning towards a flip.

Overview

Democrats control four of these seven seats, but it’s hard to predict how this group will shake out in 2020. Either of the last two districts can flip in either direction.

Interested in the rest of our primers for other House races? We have them all listed on our primer home page.

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