Pennsylvania May Be ‘Ground Zero’ of Democrats’ 2018 Comeback

Don’t call Pennsylvania ‘Trump Country.’

The Keystone State may have been the linchpin of Donald Trump’s 2016 victory, but according to POLITICO it is now ground zero of the Democratic Party’s 2018 comeback.

Recent polls have shown large leads for the incumbent Democratic senator and governor, who are likely to bring victories for other Democratic candidates on their coattails.

As a result, Democrats could possibly gain as many as six new congressional seats. That total would be over 25% of the seats the party needs nationwide to win back control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

One thing driving Democratic Party optimism is a new POLITICO/AARP poll that shows both Senator Bob Casey and Governor Tom Wolf with very large leads over their Republican challengers.

On top of that, newly-drawn congressional districts do away with GOP gerrymandering, and this new map has Democrats expecting major gains in November’s elections.

When the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the implementation of a new congressional-district map earlier this year, it gave a huge boost to Democrats in their quest to pick up House seats.

Democrats already picked up a GOP congressional seat in March when Democrat Conor Lamb won a special election to replace Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned in scandal last year. Lamb, in a newly drawn district, is a heavy favorite to win reelection in three weeks.

The POLITICO/AARP Pennsylvania poll has Democrats with a small but significant three point lead on the generic ballot among all likely voters.

Of the 18 House districts in Pennsylvania, eight are rated by POLITICO as “solid” or “likely” Democratic, while only six are “solid Republican.” All of the remaining House seats are tossups that could easily lead to Democrats picking up more House seats.

In 2012 and 2016 Republicans won 13 of the state’s 18 congressional districts even though Democratic candidates, on aggregate, won more votes than Republicans.

In his U.S. Senate race, Casey leads Rep. Lou Barletta by 15 percentage points, 47 percent to 32 percent. Casey is one of 10 Senate Democrats seeking reelection this year in a state Trump barely won in 2016.

Wolf, meanwhile, has a 12-point lead over former state Sen. Scott Wagner, 48 percent to 36 percent.

Wagner released a Facebook video last week that caused a firestorm. In the video he addressed his opponent, saying, “Gov. Wolf — let me tell you — between now and November 6, you better put a catcher’s mask on your face because I’m going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes.”

All-in-all 2018 promises to be a big turnaround year for Democrats in Pennsylvania. And as a result, they may lead the way to a new Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.