Democrats are running so strong in this midterm election that they are challenging in districts that they never win.
One example of how far the map has shifted in favor of House Democrats is a district 50 miles from Chicago that was reported on by the LA Times:
In past years, Underwood — or any Democrat, really — wouldn’t be a formidable challenge to Rep. Randy Hultgren, a four-term Republican incumbent who won his last race in this suburban-rural district by nearly 20 percentage points. But this election cycle, opposition to Trump is allowing Democrats to compete in places once far out of reach.
Political forecasters and the few public polls in the race suggest the contest is a toss-up, with an edge in Hultgren’s favor given that Republicans outnumber Democrats in the district.
Republicans are scrambling to protect seats in House districts that Trump won by double digits in 2016:
— Emily C. Singer (@CahnEmily) October 29, 2018
The Democratic target map is huge and expanding
Democrats won’t win all of these seats. In places where Republicans outnumber Democrats by a substantial margin, those races may tip toward the incumbent Republican. If Republicans are defending seats that Trump won by double digits. There are 69 battleground districts that supported Republicans by 15 points in 2016 that Democrats lead 50%-46% according to a Washington Post poll published on October 8.
The Republican firewall was originally premised on holding those suburban GOP held seats, but as those close seats have slipped away, support for Democratic candidates has spread to districts where Democrats normally don’t win. Republicans are being forced to spend resources defending seats in districts that have been safe for them for years and decades.
The Republican firewall has collapsed and Republicans are trying to hang on for dear life in places where Democrats haven’t been competitive for years. This is why the odds are good that Democrats will win the House in six days.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a 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