WASHINGTON — With 95 days to go until Election Day, the House majority is up for grabs.
President Donald Trump’s below-average approval ratings, Democrats’ enthusiasm edge and a historic number of GOP open seats make Democrats the slight favorites to take control in the lower chamber. But what’s their route to picking up the 23 seats they need?
As Republican groups prepare to raise and spend over $100 million to prevent a Democratic takeover, the race-by-race battleground is coming into focus. The Cook Political Report rates 60 GOP-held seats and just five Democratic-held seats as at-risk — meaning Democrats need to win 28 of those 65 to win control.
We’ve identified eight types of races that will decide the House’s fate. The battleground is wide and spans many different slices of America — from the professional suburbs of Minneapolis to the coalfields of southern West Virginia.
Here’s a breakdown of what we estimate Democrats need in each of these eight categories to prevail in November.
Note: The Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voter Index, or PVI, is a metric of how much more Democratic or Republican a district has voted in the last two presidential elections compared to the nation as a whole.
Category 1: Races with Democratic departures
Democrats’ path to a majority starts with protecting their own vulnerable seats. Most of their incumbents are in excellent shape, but the party holds five open seats in districts that Trump carried in 2016. Of those, they’re sure to lose Pennsylvania’s 14th District, which Rep. Conor Lamb is leaving to run in a nearby seat after the state’s map was redrawn. The next two most vulnerable open seats are in rural Minnesota.
Democrats probably need: To hold 3 of 5.
Category 2: Clinton districts that saw a red exodus
There are 42 open or vacant Republican seats, the most since at least 1930. Of those, the most problematic for the GOP are the eight districts Hillary Clinton carried in 2016. In these seats, history is working against the GOP: Since 1992, in situations when a president’s… read more at
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