DDHQ 2018 House Updates – September 28, 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 404 days until the 2018 midterm elections. Democrats are up in the generic ballot by 7.6% 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 Wednesday September 27, 2017.

At Home


TN-07: Rep. Marsha Blackburn is considering a bid for the open seat that Sen. Bob Corker will vacate in 2018. I’ll let the pros over at Crystal Ball cover the possible senate dynamics at play here, but let’s you and I talk about what an open TN-07 means for Volunteer State Republicans. First off, it would be Tennessee’s second open seat vacated by a Republican, joining Rep. Diane Black’s TN-06 in a more-vulnerable-than-necessary category of RNCC funding. Tennessee’s sixth is a good case study for looking at the impacts of Blackburn’s seat opening up: Blackburn’s district voted for Republican candidates by 40 point margins, the same as TN-06. On its face the contest is a very Republican one, especially when incumbents are running. TN-07 is a blood red district in Presidential contests too, voting for Trump 70% to 30%, meaning that even in the current pro-Democratic environment, we would expect a Democrat running for Blackburn’s seat to be sitting near a 35 point deficit.


NH-02: Republican State Rep. Steve Negron has formed an exploratory committee to challenge Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D), becoming the first Republican in the district to do so. Kuster, who has been in the House since 2012 and effectively resisted the pro-Trump rural NH wave in 2016, would prove a tough incumbent to beat. That being said, Negron has the money and connections to launch a viable bid against Kuster, certainly a stronger one than last year’s Republican candidate Jim Lawrence. Lawrence only raised $95,000 in last year’s cycle, dwarfed by Kuster who spent more than $2,000,000 to retain her seat. Kuster won her 2016 re-election with 52% of the two-party vote, and Hillary Clinton won the district with 51%. Decision Desk rates the seat as Likely Democratic.


NY-19: Democratic candidate Sue Sullivan dropped her bid to unseat Rep. John Faso (R), citing her inability to raise enough money to run a viable campaign. There are still seven Democrats running for the central New York seat, and according to our ratings they have a shot at unseating Faso. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee included NY-19 on its initial list of seats to target in the 2018 midterms. We rate NY-19 as Lean Republican, mostly because of Faso’s nine point win there in November of 2018.


Inside the Beltway



TX-23: Democratic challenger to Rep. Will Hurd (R) Jay Hulings just scored some big endorsements from Washington. The two House groups to endorse the former federal prosecutor are the New Democratic and Blue Dog Coalitions, together a bloc of roughly 80 moderate Democratic members of the House, many from Texas. The endorsements could go a long way in a Democratic primary where three viable candidates have filed papers to run against Hurd next fall. Regardless who wins the Democratic primary, they will have a good shot at unseating Hurd, who won with a slim 1.2 point margin last year while Hillary Clinton carried the district by a 52-38% margin. Decision Desk HQ currently rates the seat as Tossup.


Data roundup

House Election

According to the latest House data

  • Democrats are up 7.6% in the national congressional generic ballot
  • They have about a 1/3rd shot at winning a House majority
  • Democrats have a 10% chance of winning more than 250 seats.


Trump Approval

  • According to FiveThirtyEight’s average of Trump approval polls, his rating has taken a slight dip. We’ll see whether than holds up.


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