Welcome to the first edition of our daily DDHQ House Elections Updates. I’m your host, G. Elliott Morris. Questions, comments, concerns? Feel free to pass along via email. There are 434 days until the 2018 midterm elections. Democrats are up in the generic ballot by 8% and we rate 196 seats as Safe, Likely or Lean Democratic. Check our full U.S. House forecast here and read our full list of ratings here.
Here’s what happened in elections to the U.S. House of Representatives so far this week.
ME-02: Bruce Poliquin (R) gets a challenger
Jared Golden announced his candidacy for ME-02, the seat currently held by the only House Republican east of New York state. Despite Trump winning the district by roughly 12% in the 2016 presidential election, the district had a Democratic representative as recent as 2012. DDHQ currently has this district rated as Lean Republican, but in a national environment shifting toward the Democrats every day, there is real potential for a tossup race here.
UT-01: Rob Bishop (R) retiring after 2018
Presuming he wins his reelection bid in 2018 — which is likely in a Sade Republican seat — Rob Bishop says it will be his last term. Representative Bishop was first elected to Congress in 2002 with 61% of the vote and has won by more than 20 points in every election since. Hillary Clinton won just 31% of the vote there in 2016. It is presumed safe for whoever comes after Bishop in 2020, but of course, we are not ruling anything out.
IA-03: David Young (R) faces tough race in 2018
There are currently six Democrats running for the nomination to challenge Rep. David Young in 2018, and Pete D’Alessandro is the latest addition to the troupe. D’Alessandro, the man who ran Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign in the state, has been teasing the race for a while now, claiming to hold the banner for progressives in the state that want to do something besides opposing President Trump. IA-03 is one of the many Lean Republican seats that could be easy pickups for a focused Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee next year — but it’s also the sort of battleground environment that exposes the rift between “new” and “old” Democrats from around the country. Rep. Young won 53% in his last election, and Hillary Clinton won 48%.
NJ-11: Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) may get a worthy competitor
Rep. Frelinghuysen may get a viable general election opponent in Democrat Mikie Sherrill who promised to move into the district by her party’s primary next cycle. Sherrill is endorsed by New Politics, VoteVets, EMILY’s List, Rep. Seth Moulton and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Off the Sidelines PAC.
- The U.S. Supreme Court temporarily put on hold a District ruling that invalidated two of Texas’ congressional districts two weeks ago. The two districts, TX-27 and TX-35, were ruled unconstitutional racial gerrymanders and ordered redrawn before the next cycle. A decision by the Supreme Court to strike down the districts could deliver two more seats to Democrats in 2018, though that’s the best outlook for them. TX-27 is a Likely Republican district. TX-25 is safely in the Democrat’s column.
- Illinois became the 10th state to pass automatic voter registration today. There are currently 4 congressional districts in Illinois that are rated Lean Republican. On the other side of the aisle, every Democratic-held House seat is rated as Safe Democrat. If turnout increases, we could see those leaning districts become more competitive.