The Cook Political Report shifted 13 districts in favor of the Democrats, including the one occupied by House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).

These are the changes:

As you can see on the map, it’s not just Republican districts. There are a handful of districts that the nonpartisan group have found the GOP basically doesn’t have a chance to flip or win an open seat.

The Cook Report explained why they made the changes:

The bad news for Republicans, of course, is that Trump’s approval rating is still 40 percent and that they still trail Democrats on the generic ballot by eight points. That’s enough to offset the GOP’s edge from favorably drawn districts and endanger their 23-seat majority (by our estimate, Democrats would need to win seven to eight percent more votes for House to win 218 of 435 seats).

Moreover, in a reversal from the 2014 midterms, Democrats enjoy a wide voter enthusiasm gap. According to a new CNN/SSRS survey, 51 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaners said they were “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic about voting in November compared to 36 percent of Republicans/GOP leaners. Young voters, Trump’s weakest age segment, also express far more interest in casting ballots than they did four years ago.

The DCCC approved of the new report:

“While Republicans have been left floundering without a coherent message, Democratic momentum is growing stronger by the day,” said DCCC Spokesperson Tyler Law. “Democratic candidates across the country are ready to harness this energy, while many Republicans incumbents have been caught woefully unprepared.

A DCCC memo from Monday claimed the party has a “clear advantage in new district polls.” It includes 12 districts: Iowa-1, New Jersey-2, California-10, Utah-4, New York-22, Michigan-7, Virginia-10, Florida-26, Washington-8, Nevada-4, Colorado-6, Washington-5.

Six of those polls show Democrats beating their Republican opponent.

The Democrats want to retake the House, which has led them to challenge every single GOP incumbent this November. It also looks like 60 House Democrats won’t have a GOP opponent in the election. From The Wall Street Journal:

The goal is to maximize their opportunities if there is a surge in Democratic turnout, as has happened in some special elections. Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to retake control of the House.

The strategy is similar to one employed in 1994 by former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich, who recruited candidates nationwide to run for Congress. Republicans that year did catch a red wave, gaining 54 seats, enough to become the House majority. In 1995, they elected Mr. Gingrich as the first Republican speaker in 40 years.

While Mr. Gingrich largely directed the 1994 effort, the expanded Democratic campaign for the 2018 midterms is both organized and somewhat propelled by a backlash to Republican dominance in Washington.

The New York Times reported today that New Jersey has become “a key battleground” for the parties to control the House. The state will lose two Republican representatives, Rodney Frelinghuysen and Frank LoBindo, to retirement. The Cook Report recently changed Rep. Leonard Lance’s race to a tossup. These, along with other situations, have made groups look at the state:

Super PACs and labor groups are mapping out plans for New Jersey, though they are mostly waiting until after the party primaries in June before making official endorsements or announcements about resources devoted to the races.

“We view New Jersey House races as some of the best pickup opportunities in the country,” said Josh Schwerin, a spokesman for Priorities USA, one of the largest progressive super PACs, “and are keeping an eye on them as we decide where to play in the future.”


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