After two election cycles in which record numbers of women ran for and won congressional office, the 2022 election presents distinct complexities for incumbent women in the U.S. House. Most notably, congressional reapportionment and redistricting creates new conditions in which incumbents – women and men alike – will run in 2022. And while record numbers of new women won U.S. House seats in 2018 and 2020, 11 (10D, 1R) women have already announced that they will not be running for re-election to the U.S. House in 2022.
As the election cycle moves forward, we will update the data below to provide insights into redistricting effects on U.S. House incumbent women’s electoral status in 2022. For more on all women running across levels of office, see our 2022 Summary of Women Candidates.
Redistricting Effects on Incumbent Women
To determine redistricting effects on women incumbents for the U.S. House, we rely on FiveThirtyEight’s Redistricting Tracker to determine the status of new congressional maps as well as the partisan lean of newly-created House districts. We also rely on and report below FiveThirtyEight’s 2020 partisan lean scores to determine the shift in partisan lean between 2020 and new 2022 maps. See below for more detailed methodology.
Our criteria for inclusion in the table of women incumbents particularly affected by redistricting include:
- The state’s congressional map is finalized and not being contested in court; and
- At least one of the following is true:
- The partisan lean of the woman’s district has flipped from one party to another;
- The new map has led to the woman incumbent running in the same district as another U.S. House incumbent;
- The woman’s new district is significantly more or less (+/-10 points) favorable to their party AND that change either puts them in or removes them from a district where the party lean is 10 points or smaller (indicating competitiveness);
- Women in districts already within 10-point margins in 2020 partisan lean scores are in 2022 districts with partisan lean scores that are at least 2 points more or less safe.
Women incumbents who are not running for re-election (see above) are not included in this table unless they indicated that their retirement was influenced by redistricting.
Methodological Detail: In all calculations, we compare the partisan lean of the incumbent’s current district to the partisan lean of the district for which she has declared candidacy in 2022. FiveThirtyEight defines “partisan lean” as the average margin difference between how a district votes and how the country votes overall. For example, if a district has a FiveThirtyEight partisan lean of R+5, that means it is 5 percentage points more Republican-leaning than the nation as a whole. Thus, the partisan lean score is a relative score, not an indicator of partisanship of any district in absolute terms. For more, see FiveThirtyEight’s methodology for determining partisan lean scores and description of how to best interpret them.