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Dems Will Probably Take Back The House Next Year-- But Only Because The GOP Is Committing Hari Kari

"DIY" by Nancy Ohanian

There are some swing districts with Republican incumbents that look like they may very difficult for the GOP to hold next year. For example, these 11 Republicans— 9 of whom are freshmen— barely scraped by last year:

  • CO-03, Lauren Boebert- 546 votes (50.08%)

  • CA-13, John Durarte- 564 votes (50.21%)

  • MI-10, John James- 1,600 votes (48.0%)

  • NY-17, Mike Lawler- 1,820 votes (50.32)

  • NY-19, Marc Molinaro- 1,845 votes (50.8%)

  • NY-22, Brandon Williams- 2,631 votes (50.49%)

  • AZ-01, David Schweikert- 3,195 votes (50.44%)

  • AZ-06, Juan Ciscomani- 5,232 votes (50.7%)

  • OR-05, Lori Chavez-DeRemer- 7,229 votes (51.0%)

  • NJ-07, Thomas Kean- 8,691 votes (51.4%)

  • NY-04, D’Esposito- 9,851 votes (51.8%)

Another way to look at it is to examine the 18 congressional districts that voted for Biden in 2020 and then for a Republican in 2022. By order of Biden margin over Trump:

  • NY-04, Anthony D’Esposito- 14.6 points (shitty Democratic candidate)

  • CA-22, David Valadao- 13.0 points (shitty Democratic candidate)

  • CA-27, Mike Garcia- 12.4 points (shitty Democratic candidate)

  • CA-13, John Duarte- 10.9 points (shitty Democratic candidate)

  • NY-17, Mike Lawler- 10.1 points (shitty Democratic candidate)

  • OR-05, Lori Chavez-DeRemer- 8.8 points (great Democratic candidate; abandoned by the DCCC)

  • NY-03, George Santos- 8.2 points (shitty Democratic candidate)

  • NY-22, Brandon Williams- 7.4 points (shitty Democratic candidate)

  • NE-02, Don Bacon- 6.4 points (incumbent has a strong brand)

  • CA-45, Michelle Steel- 6.1 points

  • NY-19, Marc Molinaro- 4.6 points

  • PA-01, Brian Fitzpatrick- 4.6 points (incumbent has a strong brand)

  • NJ-07, Tom Kean- 3.8 points

  • VA-02, Jen Kiggans- 1.9 points (badly gerrymandered district)

  • CA-40, Young Kim- 1.9 points

  • AZ-01, David Schweikert- 1.5 points (DCCC’s fault)

  • NY-02, Nick LaLota- 0.2 point

  • AZ-06, Juan Ciscomani- 0.1 point (DCCC’s fault)

There’s no reason to think that these seats are going to be easy to win next year, especially because many of them were lost because of terrible candidates— like Rudy Salas in CA-22 and Adam Gray in CA-12— who the DCCC wants to run again. The DCCC is a generally miserable organization that only wins when the Republicans create a terrible national environment for their candidates. The DCCC chair last cycle, Sean Patrick Maloney, was especially terrible— and even managed to lose his own seat for no other reason than how utterly awful he was on every conceivable level. This year, the chair, Suzan DelBene (New Dem-WA) is probably not as terrible, but still not any good.

The good news for Democrats though is… as it has been in recent cycles, first and foremost: Trump, Trump, Trump plus the incredible and non-stop dysfunction in the House and the clueless GOP agenda on women’s Choice. Unless he dies or cuts a deal, the twice-impeached, twice-indicted (so far) Trump is probably going to be the GOP nominee. That won’t bother the MAGA base on bit... but normal people?

Yesterday, Leigh Ann Caldwell, Theodoric Meyer and Tobi Raji reported that down-ballot candidates will have to contend with the fact that Trump consumes all the oxygen in the room. He will always be the issue. “There’s not a person who is running for any office who is not worried about the oxygen suck and the drama that could be next year,” said one Republican donor who helps recruit candidates to run, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. “Instead of talking about jobs, inflation and the debt, candidates are going to be drawn in and forced to be in that vortex that is Donald Trump.”

Being on a ballot with Trump or where Trump is a major issue in the campaign has previously been problematic for Republicans down ballot. Trump appeared to be a major factor in Republicans losing seats in the Senate in the past three election cycles and losing the House in 2018 and underperforming in 2022.
…John Thune (SD), suggested this week that Trump's indictment could hurt candidate recruitment.
“As you try and recruit candidates, they’re going to be looking at that political environment and saying, ‘Am I going to be running, you know, against the tide or with the tide,’ and there’s a big difference based on who you nominate (at the top of the ticket),” Thune told reporters.
House and Senate Republicans are in key recruitment season as the third fundraising quarter of the year, which begins on July 1, is near. It’s a prime time for candidates to enter the race.
…[I]f the big recruits don’t jump in during the next quarter, then sirens will start to flare, and Trump could be a key person to blame, especially in purple states and districts.

And even as new polling shows that “record-high 69% say abortion should generally be legal in the first three months of pregnancy” and that “52% of Americans say abortion is morally acceptable, matching last year’s all-time high,” Republicans are banning abortion everywhere they can. Voters notice— and Democrats are making sure they notice even more. Next week, the Dems will introduce a discharge petition to force a vote on the Women's Health Protection Act, a bill that would codify a nationwide right to an abortion before viability. To pass, it needs 5 Republicans. It probably won’t even get one, a bad look for the party— and for individual candidates like the ones mentioned above. It’ll fail but give Democrats plenty of material for election ads.

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