An unprecedented wave of well-funded Democrats have launched campaigns against Republican members of Congress this year, setting the stage for a true battle for control of the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm election. Animated by opposition to President Donald Trump and Republicans’ congressional majorities, at least 162 Democrats in 82 GOP-held districts have raised over $100,000 so far this year, according to a POLITICO analysis of FEC data. ... The Democrats’ fundraising success, especially from a glut of candidates who have never run for office before, has set off alarm bells for GOP strategists watching the House landscape develop. 'That’s something that should get every Republican’s attention in Washington,' said Jason Roe, a Republican strategist who works on House races. 'These first-timers are printing money.'"Also at Politico, Rachel Bade reports on GOP retirements and resignations:
Rep. Pat Tiberi, a loyal ally of Ryan, is the latest departure. The Ohio Republican announced Thursday that he will resign by the end of January to take a job in the private sector. House GOP leaders had hoped the senior Ways and Means Committee member would lead the powerful tax panel in the coming years, House GOP sources told POLITICO. But Tiberi, a longtime tax reform proponent, made other plans just as tax talks are kicking off in earnest.
Tiberi will hardly be the last to leave, multiple House GOP sources say.
Lawmakers have grown increasingly frustrated with Trump’s penchant for drama and inability to focus on the legislative agenda, numerous House GOP lawmakers and staffers said. While Trump and most Republican voters blame Congress for nothing substantial getting done, GOP lawmakers are privately exasperated that they don’t have a coherent leader who can help them deliver.Jennifer Agresta reports on a new CNN poll:
Amid that Republican divide, the poll also finds Democrats holding a lead in the generic congressional ballot -- 51% to 37% overall, driven by a unified base of Democrats. Nearly all self-identified Democrats (98%) say they prefer the Democratic candidate in their congressional district, compared to 88% of Republicans who prefer the GOP candidate in their district. Among independents, Democrats have an edge of just four points, within the margin of sampling error for that group.Jennifer Duffy at Cook Political Report:
Senate Republicans started the cycle with a good electoral map that gave them some hope that they could gain seats, even in a mid-term election when history strongly suggests that they should lose them. But, a growing schism in the Republican Party is threatening to erode many of the advantages Senate Republicans have, and is beginning to jeopardize their ability to gain seats as they are forced to fight multiple primaries that have the potential to provide Democrats with opportunities that didn’t exist just a month ago.