Category Archives: House

The Democrat’s House Target Lineup

By Jim Ellis

2018-us-house-racesOct. 22, 2018 — Democrats appear to be on the cusp of regaining the House majority, but actually achieving their goal is not yet guaranteed.

The Dems have accomplished three major objectives that have put them in position to claim the majority. They have recruited strong candidates, many with military service credentials, supported them with record-setting fundraising, and initiated viable competition in an incredible 95 Republican seats.

With the Democrats fielding so many candidates, it makes their odds of obtaining approximately 25 conversion victories reasonable. It is obviously much more realistic to clinch such a number when the competitive pool covers 95 congressional districts rather than 40 or even 50.

From the following group, the Dems will convert three seats, meaning they need a net 21 more to claim a bare majority at 218:

NJ-2 – Open – (Rep. LoBiondo) Jeff Van Drew (D) vs. Seth Grossman (R)
PA-5 – Vacant – (Rep. Meehan) Mary Gay Scanlon (D) vs. Pearl Kim (R)
PA-6 – Open – (Rep. Costello) Chrissy Houlahan (D) vs. Greg McCauley (R)

From the succeeding most competitive tier, the Dems need to win 21 of these 41 campaigns to claim a bare majority at 218:

AZ-2 – Open (Rep. McSally) – Ann Kirkpatrick (D) vs. Lea Marquez-Peterson (R)
CA-10 – Rep. Jeff Denham (R) vs. Josh Harder (D)
CA-25 – Rep. Steve Knight (R) vs. Katie Hill (D)
CA-39 – Open (Rep. Royce) – Young Kim (R) vs. Gil Cisneros (D)
CA-45 – Rep. Mimi Walters (R) vs. Katie Porter (D)
CA-48 – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R) vs. Harley Rouda (D)
CA-49 – Open (Rep. Issa) – Mike Levin (D) vs. Diane Harkey (R)
CA-50 – Rep. Duncan Hunter (R) vs. Ammar Campa-Najjar (D)
CO-6 – Rep. Mike Coffman (R) vs. Jason Crow (D)
FL-26 – Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R) vs. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D)
FL-27 – Open (Rep. Ros-Lehtinen) – Maria Elvira Salazar (R) vs. Donna Shalala (D)
IL-6 – Rep. Peter Roskam (R) vs. Sean Casten (D)
IL-12 – Rep. Mike Bost (R) vs. Brendan Kelly (D)
IA-1 – Rep. Rod Blum (R) vs. Abby Finkenauer (D)
IA-3 – Rep. David Young (R) vs. Cindy Axne (D)
KS-2 – Open (Rep. Jenkins) – Paul Davis (D) vs. Steve Watkins (R)
KS-3 – Rep. Kevin Yoder (R) vs. Sharice Davids (D)
KY-6 – Rep. Andy Barr (R) vs. Amy McGrath (D)
ME-2 – Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) vs. Jared Golden (D)
MI-8 – Rep. Mike Bishop (R) vs. Elissa Slotkin (D)
MI-11 – Open (Rep. Trott) – Haley Stevens (D) vs. Lena Epstein (R)
MN-2 – Rep. Jason Lewis (R) vs. Angie Craig (D)
MN-3 – Rep. Erik Paulsen (R) vs. Dean Phillips (D)
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Surprising Q3 Financial Disclosures

By Jim Ellis

Oct. 19, 2018 — The third quarter financial disclosure reports are now public, and more details are readily available. Thus, we are able to learn about various record-setting fundraising efforts.

FEC-moneyIn addition to Texas US Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke (D) attracting $38 million in the third quarter, an all-time record for any such campaign, several House candidates also reported financial numbers that have never been seen for district-level politics.

In the third quarter of 2018, nine House contenders exceeded raising $3 million, eight Democrats and one Republican.

In California’s 22nd District, incumbent Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was the top Republican fundraiser and appears to have accumulated more financial resources for the entire campaign than any other congressional candidate of either party. In the quarter, Rep. Nunes raised $3.14 million. For the campaign, he has exceeded the $10.5 million mark.

But his Democratic opponent, attorney Andrew Janz, brought in over $4 million for the quarter, the only congressional candidate in the US to do so, and an all-time record for a quarter. He still trails Rep. Nunes in overall receipts (Janz posted $7.13 million for the campaign), however. Together, this campaign leads the nation in combined fundraising with over $17 million. For a regular cycle congressional campaign – not including the special elections we saw earlier that became national contests – this, too, is likely an all-time record for a House contest.

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House Campaigns Turning Around

By Jim Ellis

daily-kosOct. 16, 2018 — According to the liberal Daily Kos Elections website, six congressional races that appeared to be headed in one direction look to be reversing themselves.

Four campaigns that Democrats earlier projected as red to blue conversions are now either tilting toward the Republican candidate or coming back into play. An additional campaign that we believed was always miscategorized is now performing as we predicted, while a further Republican incumbent, already projected to be in a close race, has actually dropped behind for the first time in a published poll. Descriptions for each of these contests follow.

Two GOP incumbents who were trailing in several polls — the Siena College/New York Times polls had one lagging 15 points behind and the other by 10, for example — have come back to take the lead or are hovering in virtual tie range.


IOWA

Iowa Rep. Rod Blum (R-Dubuque) has represented the most Democratic seat in Iowa for two terms. He fell significantly behind state Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Dubuque) to the point where the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) even canceled a flight of media advertising because they presumably believed the race was sealed.

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McSally Surges in New Arizona Poll

By Jim Ellis

Rep. Martha McSally (R-Tucson)

Rep. Martha McSally (R-Tucson)

Oct. 12, 2018 — A new OH Predictive Insights survey for ABC News 15 in Phoenix (Oct. 1-2; 600 likely Arizona voters) brings new information about the open Arizona Senate race. According to the ballot test results, Rep. Martha McSally (R-Tucson) has overcome Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-Phoenix) consistent small lead in the battle to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R) and claims a six-point advantage, 47-41 percent.

Though this is the first time that Rep. McSally has scored a lead beyond the polling margin of error, the new result is plausible.

For several weeks, surveys have projected that Gov. Doug Ducey (R) is expanding his small advantage over Arizona State University professor and Democratic gubernatorial nominee David Garcia into a double-digit lead, but the same polls continued to forecast Rep. Sinema with a tight edge in the Senate race. It seemed only a matter of time before the act of Ducey cementing his margin would begin to help McSally.

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)

Secondly, McSally, a retired Air Force colonel and the first woman to fly a combat mission and command a flight squadron, has been hitting Sinema over her role as a war protester prior to the latter woman being elected to the state legislature. The contrast is a compelling one and should play to McSally’s favor. Arizona may be more politically competitive that in past years, but Republicans still maintain a statewide advantage here. Additionally, the death of Arizona Sen. John McCain brings greater attention to those engaged in military careers, thus further helping McSally.

An outside conservative organization then began attacking Sinema over legislation she drafted while in the legislature that made it more difficult to charge individuals in child prostitution cases. Sinema’s argument was that men should not be held totally responsible for engaging in such a crime if the prostitute in question is made to look much older than her true age. This attack appears relatively weak and may miss the mark, but it adds to the multi-pronged strategy to cast Rep. Sinema in a negative light.

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Forecasting the Results – Part II

By Jim Ellis

2018-democrat-house-majority-breakdown-text-graphicOct. 8, 2018 — The Democrats need to convert a net 24 seats to secure a one-seat majority in the US House on Election Day, Nov. 6. Many reports quote the number 23 as what is necessary to win control, but the new Pennsylvania map will yield one seat coming back to the Republicans — the new open 14th District — thus pushing the total up to 24.

As stated Friday, our forecasts listed below are based upon a series of factors, including current polling numbers, voter history, candidate personal and job approval favorability, fundraising, other races on the state ballot that could drive turnout, and outside issues such as the confirmation vote to for Judge Brett Kavanaugh to become a Supreme Court Justice, which could change the turnout model, etc.

According to our new analysis, the Democrats are on the cusp of converting the requisite number of Republican seats to take a bare majority and seeing their caucus become significantly larger. At this point, the Democratic gain range appears to reach 23 on the low side and 35 at the apex.

Looking at the country by state and region, it appears the Democrats will do well in the Midwest, in particular. The Great Lakes region that delivered President Trump his surprise victory appears to be snapping back to the Democrats in the midterm House races. Michigan looks particularly good for them at both the statewide and district levels.

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