April 2, 2019 — Last week we spent a great deal of time analyzing the 2020 Senate races, and now we begin to take a look at some of the expected US House activity.
With Republicans now fighting to regain the majority they lost in November, are there enough opportunities for them to convert the 18 or 19 (depending upon the NC-9 special election result) districts that they will need to reclaim the House?
After the November vote, we see 31 seats that President Trump carried in 2016, which a Democrat now represents. That number rose from 12 before the election. These districts will form the basis of the Republican target list, but it doesn’t appear they will have enough open seats to augment their conversion inroad opportunities. And, as has been the case in the previous four elections, Republicans are already risking many more of these latter seats than Democrats.
Generally, a feature of the House flipping is the winning party converting a sizable number of open seats. That certainly happened in 2018 as we again saw an unusually large number of incumbent-less campaigns (64), with 16 of them going to the opposite party (13 R to D; 3 D to R). Since the congressional seats were re-drawn before the 2012 election, a total of 64 (2012), 47 (2014), and 49 (2016) districts were open, in addition to the aforementioned 64 for the last cycle.
By Jim Ellis
April 1, 2019 — Several presumed presidential candidates whose aspirations appeared dormant have suddenly sprung to life. In reading the current political tea leaves, and should the latest trends prove true, we could return to projections of a Democratic presidential field as large as 23 candidates.
While it has been generally regarded as a given that former Vice President Joe Biden would enter the race next month, and all indications are that he will, as many as six others may also soon join according to individual published reports late last week.
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), whose name surfaced months ago as an individual contemplating becoming a national candidate, all of a sudden says that he will likely do so. This, after seemingly weeks of not even being mentioned in the long list of aspiring candidates.
Ex-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who looked to be gearing up early but hadn’t been heard from lately, also confirms that he is headed toward announcing his candidacy this month.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has brandished more overt signs of planning to run. Always admitting that he was considering becoming a candidate, Gov. Bullock has spent some time in Iowa conducting meetings and getting to know the political terrain. He has also firmly ruled out challenging Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) and appears headed toward the national stage. Bullock is ineligible to seek a third term as governor, so these underlying signals seem more indicative that he will, in fact, run for president.