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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, June 1, 2020

The House GOP's Huge Challenge

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race.

Mike DeBonis at WP:
Vulnerable Democratic incumbents have massively outraised their Republican challengers, national GOP groups have yet to show the ability to make up the fundraising gap, and in several key districts, some of the party’s most coveted recruits have opted not to run. Public opinion polls, meanwhile, indicate a Democratic advantage on the congressional ballot in line with what the party enjoyed in 2018, ahead of their sweeping national gains.

Multiple nonpartisan forecasters, in fact, have worsened their outlook for House Republicans in recent weeks, arguing that those structural disadvantages, plus national political head winds for Republicans, will limit GOP House gains — and potentially allow for further Democratic pickups.

“Republicans sincerely believe that 2018 was a high-water mark for Democrats, that it is just not possible that Democrats can improve on their 2018 performance, and I don’t know that that’s true,” said Nathan L. Gonzales, editor and publisher of Inside Elections, who recently declared the California result an “outlier” and predicted that the November election would leave the House “close to the status quo” with no more than five seats changing hands between parties.

...

While the gap is now 17 seats, the margin is certain to be wider. A court-ordered mid-cycle redistricting in North Carolina created two additional safe Democratic seats in that state, and the retirement of GOP Rep. Will Hurd has opened a prime Democratic pickup opportunity in South Texas.
...
Data compiled by the Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman found that, as of March, in the 55 top races targeted by the NRCC, the median Democratic incumbent had raised more than six times what the median leading Republican challenger had raised. And that was before the coronavirus pandemic upended political fundraising, making it more difficult for those behind to catch up. Wasserman declared the GOP’s path to the majority as “slim to non-existent” earlier this month.