But they need to recognize that there are 12 Democratic House Reps whose districts went for Donald Trump, too.
When Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright woke up on Election Day 2016, he represented a safe blue Pennsylvania district. But by the time he went to sleep that night, Donald Trump had painted Cartwright’s turf red beneath his feet.
Incredible! This is big for Republicans, especially in Pennsylvania, a state which has endured a massive flip from blue to red over the last three decades.
Cartwright still won a third term, but Republicans hope to follow up on Trump’s top-of-the-ticket success by targeting Cartwright and 11 other House Democrats in Trump districts in 2018.
These are welcome developments, especially because Trump's MAGA Agenda is working for working Midwestern and Rust Belt voters. They will love having more money in their paychecks, and they will have a Democratic Congressional Majority trying to take that away.
Republicans are mostly on defense in the House of Representatives ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, with Democrats looking to erase the GOP’s 24-seat advantage and take back the majority. But Republicans are also confident they can pad their margin by picking off some Democrats in heavily white, blue-collar districts next fall, despite the political winds blowing against them elsewhere in the U.S. — and Democrats are relying on those members to learn the lessons of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss to avoid 2018 surprises.
The key part of the equation is "blue collar". The demographic which Democrats took for granted for decades is now leaving the Dems in droves. They see Trump and the GOP is the working Americans' champion now. Big wins are in store if Trump and company focus on the needs of blue-collar workers, rural and suburban communities, and round support for law enforcement and individual liberties.
“Incumbents realized their districts are more competitive than they thought [after 2016], and that it’s a different world,” said Democratic pollster Jason McGrath. “Nothing gets you to eat your vegetables like a health scare.”
Yes indeed. Republicans in California have to pay attention to the voters and offer more attentive care and concern about local issues, especially because they cannot anger the GOP leadership with liberal voting. Expect to see House reps on both sides of the aisle in California and across the country pay close attention to city and county issues over the next ten months.
Congressional Leadership Fund, the main Republican super PAC focused on House races, has already named Cartwright, Wisconsin's Ron Kind and Iowa's Dave Loebsack as top 2018 targets,
Those three seats will get picked off. Those victories will cushion Republican losses in other parts of the country.
Cartwright, who won reelection by 7 points but saw Trump carry his stretch of central and northeastern Pennsylvania by double digits (after voting for Barack Obama twice), says he is on track to hold the seat.
The key change focused on the emphasis on working Americans, something that previous Republican Presidents (Bush I and II) ignored, and Obama completely decimated.
“I think that the real question is: Why did I do well there too? Why did 30,000 Trump voters also vote for Matt Cartwright?” he said. “I think the reason is that I focus on jobs and wages, better jobs and better wages.”
Yes, and Republicans have delivered on providing both with the tax reform package.
But Democratic operatives say they simply don’t yet know whether the party’s presidential numbers among blue-collar whites in 2016 were a one-year aberration — or a new normal foreshadowing tough sledding with those voters for local candidates next year.
Tough sledding is here. A Republican competitor for Erie County Commissioner in Pennsylvania nearly won. 200 votes carried the Democratic incumbent, a bare win considering how solidly liberal--or at least Democratic--Erie County, Pennsylvania has been for the last three decades.
Here's more good GOP news, this time in newly-redefined battleground state Minnesota:
Republican Jim Hagedorn believes he’s at the crest of a sea change in southern Minnesota. The businessman challenged Democrat Tim Walz in 2014 and 2016, losing by just a few thousand votes last year in a race that outside observers did not realize was competitive until election night returns started streaming in. Now, Walz is running for governor, opening a district that backed Trump by 15 points.
That seat is going to GOP hands. The incumbency factor which kept Walz alive is gone now that he's gone. His chances at a statewide election win are more tenuous, too since Democratic partisans in the governor's primary will not overlook his conservative votes in Congress, especially on the Second Amendment.
Two other Trump-Democratic districts won’t have Democratic incumbents in 2018. New Hampshire's Carol Shea-Porter is retiring, while Nevada's Jacky Rosen is running for Senate. But so far, for both parties and in both perennial battleground districts, the primary fields are largely wide and unsettled.
The New Hampshire seat opened up about three months ago, most likely beacsue Shea-Porter recognized that the headwins were not in her favor. The revelations of out-of-state voter fraud in the Granite State may have hastened her exit, too. Because this incumbent is not running (the seat has switched hands off and on for the past decade), the seat could more likely fall into GOP hands, especially since the New Hampshire Republican Party has romped the state, taking over the state legislature and the governor's mansion.
Farther north in Minnesota, another Republican-leaning seat has evaded the GOP’s efforts by backing Democrat Rick Nolan for the past three terms. Last year, Trump won the district by 16 points, while Nolan squeaked by Republican Stewart Mills by just 2,009 votes.
This seat is gone. Minnesota Republicans are doubly engaged for 2018. Both US Senate seats will be up, with one open essentially following Al Franken's resignation.
The Daily Kos has jumped onto the same voter information, reporting on the 12 Democratic House reps whose seats Trump won in 2016. Did they borrow everything from Politico?
With the Democratic Party upsets in Virginia and Alabama, I have learned to temper my outright enthusiasm for Republican victories going into 2018. Media bias and Democratic ground games are strong, and Republican operatives throughout the country need to take the anti-Trump hatred seriously. Democrats, progressives, and angry leftists are angry, and they will do just about anything they can to stop Trump. Their every waking moments are glued into stopping Trump and stalling the steady dismantling of President Obama's legacy.
One of their key demographics, the illegal alien "DREAMers" are about to be deported, too, which would have assured a steady dream of future DEmocratic voters. They lose the amnesty battle, and Democrats will be facing a long-term wilderness.
Democratic chances of winning the House in 2018 are more complicated now that Republicans have enough territory to fight back and win, too. Democrats must win 24 seats to gain the majority. Even if Republicans suffer major losses in big blue states like California and New York, victories throughout the Midwest will ensure that the GOP stays in power and continues pushing the MAGA Agenda.