The Pennsylvania primary is huge because it could set the stage for Democrats picking up one-quarter of the seats that they need to win back the House in November.
MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki breaks down Pennsylvania:
Talking about the new lines in Pennsylvania and what that means. Let’s put that in some perspective, old versus new. Nationally Democrats need 23 seats. They need a gain of 23 seats, get that nationally. They get back the house. So, before the withdraw of the map in Pennsylvania, after the 2016 election, this is what things were looking like in Pennsylvania. What you see here are five Republican incumbents who were in districts in Pennsylvania that either Hillary Clinton won or tied or where trump won, but the margin was within single digits. You think if there was a wave election year, these are sort of the seats that would come into play. Democrats were looking before they changed the map, look, in a great year, we can contest five and pick off a couple. Knockdown that 23 nationally. Republicans were looking at it and saying, we can hold all or most of these seats in a really good year, too. That’s what the playing field looked like, too, before they redrew the map.
This is what you had, this is what you have now. Notice a couple things. Some of the names are a little different. You have, first of all, six names instead of five. Now six Republican incumbents are in districts that either Clinton won or trump won by single digits. Meehan that was a Clinton by two districts and redrew it and became a district of 29 Clinton. He has resigned and that’s as good a democratic pick up already. Didn’t have that before. How about Costello, Clinton plus one. They redrew the line and became a ten-point and Costello looked at that and said not running in that districts. Broke the news on your show. Fitzpatrick got more favorable there. Clinton for the Democrats. Dent, that was a Trump plus eight district and now a Clinton district. And two other Republicans come into that hit zone already. Look, 23 is the number nationally. You could get a quarter of the way there if you’re Democrats just in Pennsylvania if you get the kind of wave here that they’re hoping for.
The job for Democrats is much easier if they pick up six seats instead of two or three in Pennsylvania. Democrats could target seats in blue states like New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and California to take back the House. If Democrats come out of Pennsylvania only needing 17 seats to shift in the rest of the country, the House is as good as theirs.
The new map virtually guarantees that Democrats will flip seats in Pennsylvania, but it is the question of how many seats they get that will determine whether or not Democrats take back the House in November.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association