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 398 days until the 2018 midterm elections. Democrats are up in the generic ballot by 8.2% and we rate 196 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 Tuesday, October 3, 2017 (and a breaking update tonight!)
PA-18: News broke on Tuesday that Republican Rep. Tim Murphy texted a woman with which he had an affair to get an abortion. The developments, while certainly not a new story in Congressional history, could be shocking to some conservatives in the area who see Murphy as a stalwart pro-life Republican. However, the seat has voted for Murphy since 2002 and he has ran unopposed in general elections since 2012 — a testament to his large incumbency advantage.
While he would likely not be too vulnerable in the general election, he could definitely face a primary challenge from the right. Tonight, the Congressman announced he will retire after this term, opening the seat up. Decision Desk HQ currently rates the seat as Safe Republican.
IA-04: A fifth candidate has officially jumped into the race for Rep. Steve King’s (R) Likely Republican seat. Dr. John Paschen is a pediatrician from Ames, Iowa who seemingly intends to use his medical experience to challenge Rep. King from a leftward position on healthcare and immigration. While the dynamics of the 5-way Democratic primary are tough to parse out this early, the general election is much easier to measure. King won his seat by 22 points last year, running slightly behind Trump’s 28 point win margin but still certainly wide enough to consider his seat safe.
Inside the Beltway
- The House yesterday passed a bill that would criminalize abortions after the 20-week mark. Abortion is a generally hyper-partisan issue, so the legislation probably won’t override other big-ticket items of the 2018 campaign — like tax reform, healthcare, and Donald Trump — when voters make their decisions next fall.
According to the latest House data…
- Democrats are up 8.2% in our estimates of the national environment
- They have about a 1/3rd shot at winning a House majority
- Democrats have a 10% chance of winning more than 250 seats.
Congressional Ballot Polls
- A new Politico/Morning Consult poll has Democrats up 2% in the House generic ballot
- Trump is still hanging around 39% approval in the 538 average, which is notably bad for a President, though stable and comparatively good for this President.