'Devastating to Republicans across the map': GOP operatives are worried Democrats will increase their House majority in November
If November brings as much of a blue wave as Democratic strategists are hoping for, Democrats will not only recapture the White House and the U.S. Senate, but will also increase their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Reporter Ally Mutnick discusses that possibility in a July 29 article for Politico, addressing GOP fears that even more Democrats might be in the House in 2021.
“A slew of dismal summer polls and a persistent fundraising gap have left some Republicans fretting about a nightmare scenario in November: that they will fall further into the House minority,” Mutnick explains. “Publicly, House GOP leaders are declaring they can still net the 17 seats needed to flip the chamber. But privately, some party strategists concede it’s a much grimmer picture, with as many as 20 Republican seats at risk of falling into Democratic hands.”
Although Republicans slightly increased their Senate majority in the 2018 midterms, Democrats enjoyed a major blue wave in the House — where they enjoyed a net gain of 40 seats. When Rep. Nancy Pelosi was sworn in as House speaker in January 2019, it was obvious that the days of the House rubber stamping President Donald Trump’s agenda were over.
Former Rep. Carlos Carbelo of Florida was among the GOP congressmen who was voted out of office in 2018, and he fears that more House Republicans could suffer that same fate this year.
Carbelo told Politico, “Republicans were jolted by the fact that a lot of white suburban voters abandoned them. The question now is whether that trend will continue. If it does, it could endanger some of those districts, particularly in the Midwest.”
California’s Mike Garcia, New York’s John Katko, Pennsylvania’s Brian Fitzpatrick, Illinois’ Rodney Davis and Nebraska’s Don Bacon are some of the incumbent House Republicans Mutnick described as “vulnerable,” and others who are possibly “becoming vulnerable” — according to the Politico reporter — include Rep. Steve Chabot of Ohio, Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona and Rep. Chip Roy of Texas. Although Texas is a light red state at this point, it can be quite Democratic at the local level: Democrats were disappointed when Beto O’Rourke narrowly lost to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018, but they were delighted over their ability to flip some GOP-held seats in some House districts in the Lone Star State.
Interviewed on condition of anonymity, a member of the National Republican Congressional Committee noted how aggressively the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has been fundraising and told Politico, “The DCCC's candidates are printing money, and the president’s falling poll numbers are devastating to Republicans across the map. That's why (House Minority Leader Kevin) McCarthy and the NRCC need to hold the line and focus on saving incumbents first.”
Similary, long-time GOP operative Mike DuHaime told Politico, “The fact that the polling is close has got to be troubling in a lot of those districts, and the incumbents in those districts can't view themselves as too safe. They must take it seriously.”
DCCC Executive Director Lucinda Guinn noted that a key part of Democratic strategy with the House is attacking incumbent Republicans in suburban districts.
Guinn told Politico, “Republicans have been banking on 2018 being their rock bottom, particularly in the suburbs. But we’ve built a battlefield that is big. We took back the House by going on offense in the suburbs, and we are going to continue pushing the boundaries.”