Congressional Vulnerability Rankings

Pennsylvania is sure to be a key state in this year’s presidential election and will host a competitive Senate contest between the Democratic incumbent Bob Casey and Republican challenger Dave McCormick. However, the Keystone State could also become a contender in the race for control of the narrowly divided U.S. House of Representatives.

For the eighth time since 2010, PoliticsPA has published Congressional Vulnerability Rankings for the Pennsylvania delegation. This is our second handicap in Pennsylvania’s 2024 congressional races and first in about 10 months.

For the second year in a row, our top “Highly Susceptible” category excludes any breeds. But the second-highest category, “Vulnerable,” has four — in order Democrats Reps Matt Cartwright, Zuzanna Dzika AND Chris Deluzio and republican Rep. Scott Perry.

The third-largest category, “Potentially Vulnerable,” includes one more spot – the one held by Republicans Brian Fitzpatrick. The lowest category, “Minimally Vulnerable,” includes two others: Democrats Representatives Chrissy Houlahan AND Summer Lee.

Pennsylvania’s remaining 10 House of Representatives seats are not currently at risk at all, although if that changes, we will include that in our next update. Overall, Democrats currently have a 9-8 advantage in the congressional delegation.

Here’s our full breakdown. Statistics come from American Politics Almanac 2024.

Highly sensitive

No racing


No. 1: 8th Congressional District

Beneficiary: Matt Cartwright (D)
Term: 6th term
Geography: Northeastern Pennsylvania: Primarily Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Monroe Counties
2022 House Result: Cartwright, 51%-49%
2020 presidential election result: Trump, 51-48%
Partisan Voting Index (Cook Political Report with Amy Walter): R+4
White: 75%
Black: 6%
Latinos: 13%
Bachelor’s degree or higher: 26%
Poverty rate: 13%

Cartwright finished second on our previous list of delicate points, behind Democrat Republican Susan Wild. But both Democrats and Republicans now view him as the most vulnerable official in the delegation, albeit narrowly. Cartwright’s district is slightly less Democratic than Wild’s – Trump won it by three points – and the Republican Party has been gaining ground in this part of Pennsylvania under Trump.

Republicans and Democrats agree that the GOP challenger to Cartwright, construction director Rob Bresnahanhe is a robust recruit and, as a political novice, has no voting record that could be mined by the Cartwright campaign.

Cartwright has over $3.1 million in the bank, but Bresnahan has a respectable $835,000.

No. 2: 7th Congressional District

Beneficiary: Zuzanna Dzika (D)
Term: 3rd term
Geography: Lehigh Valley: Mainly Lehigh and Northampton Counties
2022 House Score: Wild, 51%-49%
2020 presidential election result: Biden, 49.7-49.1%
Partisan Voting Rate (Cook Political Report with Amy Walter): R+2
White: 69%
Black: 5%
Latinos: 19%
College degree or higher: 30%
Poverty rate: 11%

Wild has won this swing district three elections in a row, but by decreasing percentages – 54%, 52% and most recently 51%. This time he will face her six-term state Rep. Ryan Mackenziewho won a three-way GOP primary against National Guard veterans Kevin Dellicker and lawyer Maria Montero.

Mackenzie previously worked on the then-senator’s 2004 re-election campaign. Pat Toomeyand as an official in the U.S. and Pennsylvania Departments of Labor. But he says he has significantly less in the bank – $126,000 – than Cartwright’s challenger, Bresnahan. This is one of the reasons why this seat is less likely to tip over than last year.

No. 3: 17th Congressional District

Beneficiary: Chris Deluzio (D)
Term: 1st term
Geography: Pittsburgh’s northern suburbs: Allegheny and Beaver counties
2022 House Result: Deluzio, 53%-47%
2020 presidential election result: Biden, 52-46%
Partisan Voting Rate (Cook Political Report with Amy Walter): Even
White: 82%
Black: 8%
Latinos: 2%
Bachelor’s degree or higher: 42%
Poverty rate: 8%

Deluzio won this swing district by a six-point margin in 2022, keeping it for Democrats after Conor Lamb he ran unsuccessfully for the Senate. Republicans are joyful with their veteran candidate and the state Representative. Rob Mercury. Deluzio, with almost $1.5 million in the bank, leads Mercuri in the pursuit of money, but the challenger has a respectable $540,000 in the bank.

No. 4: 10th Congressional District

Beneficiary: Scott Perry (R)
Term: 6th term
Geography: Harrisburg and surrounding areas: Dauphin, Cumberland and York counties
2022 House Result: Perry, 54%-46%
2020 presidential election result: Trump, 51-47%
Partisan Voting Index (Cook Political Report with Amy Walter): R+5
White: 71%
Black: 10%
Latinos: 9%
Bachelor’s degree or higher: 32%
Poverty rate: 10%

In this ranking, Perry moved from 5th to 4th and from potentially vulnerable to vulnerable. Even though he lives in a Republican district, the region is tinted purple, and Perry’s far-right politics have left him vulnerable. He chaired the hard-line Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives and was under investigation by the FBI for his involvement in the efforts of then-President Donald Trump to invalidate the 2020 presidential elections.

It seems that Democrats have found a robust rival in the country Janelle Stelson, who is well known in the district due to her long tenure as a news anchor at WGAL-TV. After winning the primary by six votes, Stelson is targeting mixed voters by presenting himself as a moderate. (She he was a republican until last year.) Internal Stelson campaign survey found that it was within the margin of error in the match against Perry.

Republicans believe Perry has a chance to win in 2022 despite the delicate lead in the GOP ticket – candidate for governor Doug Mastriano and candidate for the Senate Mehmet Oz – shows he can survive, especially considering Trump will be on the ballot and drawing Republicans to the polls. However, Perry’s re-election chances are complicated by the fact that he has significantly less in the bank – $513.00 – than any of the other three officials in our “Vulnerable” category.

Potentially vulnerable

No. 5: 1st Congressional District

Beneficiary: Brian Fitzpatrick (R)
Term: 4th term
Geography: Philadelphia suburbs: Bucks County
2022 House result: Fitzpatrick, 55%-45%
2020 presidential election result: Biden, 52-47%
Partisan Voting Rate (Cook Political Report with Amy Walter): Even
White: 80%
Black: 4%
Latinos: 6%
Bachelor’s degree or higher: 42%
Poverty rate: 5%

As a Republican, Fitzpatrick is a perennial target in a district that backed Biden by five points. However, Fitzpatrick’s moderate voting record and his family history (his slow brother ranked ahead of him) strengthened his position. He’s also fresh off his first win against Mark Houckchallenger to his right.

There is a Democratic candidate Ashley Ehasza former Army Apache helicopter pilot who lost to Fitzpatrick by 10 points in 2022. Ehasz is ahead of Fitzpatrick in the money race (he has almost $3.7 million in the bank), but she has a respectable $820,000 in the bank.

Minimally susceptible

No. 6: 6th Congressional District

Beneficiary: Chrissy Houlahan (D)
Term: 3rd term
Geography: Southeastern Suburbs: Chester and Berks Counties
2022 House Result: Houlahan, 58-42%
2020 presidential election result: Biden, 57-42%
Partisan Voting Rate (Cook Political Report with Amy Walter): D+5
White: 69%
Black: 5%
Latinos: 16%
Bachelor’s degree or higher: 46%
Poverty rate: 9%

Houlahan, who easily defeated a drastically underfunded GOP challenger in 2022, faces a similarly underfunded GOP challenger this year: Neil YoungAND social studies teacher and wrestling coach. Neither side sees this race as significant in 2024.

No. 7: 12th Congressional District

Beneficiary: Summer Lee (D)
Term: 1st term
Geography: Pittsburgh
2022 House Result: Lee, 56%-44%
2020 presidential election result: Biden, 59-39%
Partisan voting rate (Cook Political Report with Amy Walter): D+8
White: 73%
Black: 15%
Latinos: 3%
Bachelor’s degree or higher: 38%
Poverty rate: 14%

Lee, a staunch progressive, survived her biggest re-election challenge when she won the primary against an Edgewood City Council member Bhavini Patel. Among other things, Patel raised Lee’s support for an Israeli ceasefire in Gaza, but Lee countered the attacks.

Now that she is the Democratic candidate, Lee should be able to break through the district’s blue-chip parties and win a second term. She faces Republican manufacturing executive James Hayes in November, but even Republicans doubt their chances in this district in November.

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