Just like Oregon’s race for governor, the race for the House of Representatives from Oregon’s 5th Congressional District is being rated a “toss-up” by major elections forecasters. One says it’s among the most-watched House races in the 2022 midterms.
Both the non-partisan Cook Political Report and “Sabato’s Crystal Ball” from the University of Virginia Center for Politics say the race between Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner and Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer could go either way.
The 5th District was redrawn following the 2020 Census. It now includes much of Deschutes and Jefferson counties which used to be in the 2nd District.
Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., is the incumbent, but he was defeated by McLeod-Skinner in the May primary.
Almost immediately after Schrader losrt, Cook downgraded the district from “Lean Democrat” to a “toss-up.”
Kyle Kondik, Managing Editor at Sabato’s Crystal Ball, said the Oregon 5th is one of about two dozen House races in the country it has listed as a “toss-up.”
“Usually in a neutral kind of year, a seat that Biden won by high single digits, in this era in which presidential voting can be so predictive of district outcomes, you might think the Democrats would have an edge in this race. And they may still end up carrying the seat,” said Kondik. “This is still a little bit of a Republican-leaning environment — maybe not as much so as it was earlier in the year, particularly before the Dobbs abortion decision.
Kondik notes that Republicans and outside Republican groups have been highly focused on this race, indicating they believe it’s winnable. The Congressional Leadership Fund, the biggest spender on the Republican side, has made a significant investment, Kondik said.
The 2nd District continues to be represented by Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ore. Both ratings agencies have not handicapped that race, indicating that they expect it to stay in Republican hands.