DDHQ 2018 House Updates – October 10, 2017

Welcome to our daily DDHQ House Elections Updates. I’m your host, G. Elliott Morris. Questions, comments, concerns? Feel free to pass along via email or twitter. There are 393 days until the 2018 midterm elections. Democrats are up in the generic ballot by 8.2% and we rate 195 seats as Safe, Likely or Lean Democratic, 12 as Tossup, and 227 as Safe, Likely, or Lean Republican. 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 on Monday, October 9.


WA-03: Peter Harrison, a Democrat from Vancouver and self-described scientist, announced on Monday that he’s running for this Southwestern Washington seat. Harrison was touting his healthcare policy chops in an interview with Washington’s The Reflector, arguing that he has strong experience in the healthcare system and has ideas about how to improve it, beyond adopting a single-payer system. This will provide a clear fight between Harrison and current third district Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, who voted against the GOP’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act in early 2017. But a potentially stronger point of contention between the two involves natural resources. Workers in WA-03’s popular lumber and fishing industries felt threatened when the environmental movement hit the district in the late 1990s. Since, the district has voted for Republican candidates in four of the last five Presidential elections. Herrera won her seat by 24% in 2016 while Donald Trump carried in by 8%. We rate the seat as Likely Republican.

NH-01: We are getting a look at the first Democratic candidates rumored in the running for the seat vacated by Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D). Maura Sullivan, an Iraq War veteran from Portsmouth, is apparently the choice of political circles in the area. Sullivan joins a list of possible candidates that includes former New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie, state Reps. Mindi Messmer and Robert Cushing, and former NH House Speaker Terie Norelli. Sullivan possesses the candidate qualities some Democratic analysts have argued as most useful in the 2018 environment: he’s a former U.S. Marine, a former high-ranking Defense Department employee, and has a business education. Read what we wrote about NH-01 so far here.

MI-06: It is still unclear if Rep. Fred Upton (R) is planning to run for re-election in this Likely Republican district, but Democratic candidates are lining up just in case he chooses not to. Democrats will certainly have an uphill battle either in either scenario, but running against Upton would be harder thanks to his incumbency bonus (he ran ahead of Trump by 12% in the 2016 election). An Upton retirement would be one of the most valuable for Democrats in the entire Congress.  But the right Democrat (a moderate one, probably) would likely be able to contest the seat in a wave environment. After all, MI-06 has a history of voting blue, voting for Bill Clinton twice and Barack Obama once. We’ll keep our eyes on MI-06, but if Upton is in for the next cycle — his 17th! — the race will likely be a big nothingburger.



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