DDHQ 2018 House Updates – September 14 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 418 days until the 2018 midterm elections. Democrats are up in the generic ballot by 9.4% 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 on Wednesday, September 13.


MA-03: Three Democrats looking to succeed Niki Tsongas (D)

Democrats State Senator Barbara L’Italien, Daniel Knob, and Steve Kerrigan have announced their explorations of bids to run for Rep. Tsongas’ MA-03. When Tsongas announced her intention to retire at the end of her 2016 term, Republican Scott Gunderson was quick to jump into the race’s right side. But until this triplet of announcements, the left side remained empty. MA-03 voted for Tsongas by more than 30 points in 2016 and 2014. However, Massachusetts’ third does have a history of close calls in down ballot races. According to data compiled by Daily Kos Elections, the district voted against its two Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey in a series of elections held in 2012 and 2013. In 2014 — an unfriendly election for Democrats, to be sure — the district also voted for Republican Governor Charlie Baker.


MI-11: GOP Senate candidate may jump ship for Trott’s seat

A Republican candidate for Michigan’s U.S. Senate seat, Lena Epstein, says she may drop out and become the conservative torchbearer in the open election to replace the retiring Rep. Dave Trott in MI-11. Epstein has never held elected office and is angling herself as an outsider who will upend Washington’s system of governing. If she jumped into the Republican primary for MI-11, she would (possibly) face five or more candidates, most of whom have served in other offices or have ties to high-dollar state politics. In the general, Epstein would (likely) face off with Democrat Haley Stevens, who raised more than $300,000 in her first quarter.

Overall, these dynamics are what we would expect in a reddish open congressional race. However, Epstein’s conservative bent may pose a barrier to being elected during a national midterm environment that seems to be favoring the Democrats. Our model of the 2018 midterms currently shows MI-11 going o the Democratic candidate by four percentage points. But it’s a long way to November of next year, and we currently rate Michigan’s eleventh as Tossup.


Other Buzz:


  • Writing for the New York Times’ The Upshot, I explained how young voters may (or may not!) be the ace Democrats think they have up their sleeve. Link here.



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