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House Democrats Look Beyond DNC Chairman Race
They have no say in the election but hold high hopes for the winner

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison is the only member of Congress running for the Democratic National Committee chairmanship. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congressional Democrats have little sway over who the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee will be. But the eventual winner — to be elected by DNC members this weekend in Atlanta — may play an important role in shaping the direction of a party that desperately needs help articulating its message and organizing ahead of the 2018 midterms.

“Right about now, they do nothing with the Congress. So anything would be an improvement,” Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell, a former DNC member, said of the committee last week, outside the House chamber. 

Fight for the House Centers on Five States
More than one-third of targeted districts reside in a handful of states

DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján is tasked with leading House Democrats back to the majority, including picking up handfuls of seats in a few key states. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Both parties haven’t wasted any time unveiling their House target lists for next year’s midterm elections, and a few states have emerged as early battlegrounds. 

At the end of January, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released an ambitious list of 59 Republican-held districts, followed by the National Republican Congressional Committee’s ambitious list of 36 Democratic-held districts just more than a week later.

DCCC Announces Vice Chairmen
Party hopes members will help make inroads to majority

California Rep. Ted Lieu is one of five new regional vice chairmen at the DCCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Thursday announced the election of its five new regional vice chairmen, completing a months-long process of the House Democrats’ expansion of their leadership circle to include more perspectives after the 2016 election disappointment.

Some Democrats have pointed to the DCCC as one of the reasons the party’s messaging last year failed to win them as many House seats as they had been projecting. They’ve said the campaign arm did not do enough to reach voters in middle America, particularly Rust Belt areas where jobs are a primary concern. 

Georgia Candidates Are Not Afraid to Embrace Donald Trump
But is there room for multiple Trump loyalists in district that only narrowly voted for him?

Several Georgia Republicans are vying to take succeed newly confirmed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in the state’s 6th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump only carried Georgia’s 6th District by a point and a half last fall. But that’s not stopping multiple Republicans from wrapping their arms around him in the upcoming special election to replace newly confirmed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price

Bruce LeVell, executive director of Trump’s National Diversity Coalition, and technology executive Bob Gray are vying to become the first Trump loyalists elected to Congress during his administration. Republican committeemen picked the establishment candidate over a Trump campaign staffer in last week’s nominating convention for Kansas’s 4th District.

DCCC Raises $7.8 Million in January
House Democratic campaign arm breaks digital fundraising record

The DCCC, chaired by New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján, had its best month for off-year digital fundraising in January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $7.8 million in January, according to figures obtained first by Roll Call. 

The House Democratic campaign arm ended the month with nearly $9.9 million in the bank, putting it in a stronger financial position than it was at the end of January 2015.

The Loneliness of the DCCC Recruiter
Four open seats this year don’t provide much opportunity

Washington Rep. Denny Heck who chairs the DCCC’s Recruitment committee, says he’s realistic, but optimistic, about the Democrats’ chances of picking up open seats this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

BALTIMORE — The head recruiter for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has four open seats he needs candidates for. But in an illustration of the challenges Democrats face in clawing their way back to the majority, all four vacancies are in heavily Republican districts.

At a panel here Thursday during the minority party’s issues retreat, Rep. Denny Heck of Washington, who chairs the DCCC’s Recruitment committee, said he would remain realistic, but optimistic, about the potential for Democrats to fill the positions long held by the opposing party. The four seats are the ones held by Republicans picked to serve in the administration of President Donald Trump.

DCCC Announces 2018 Leadership Team
Expanded team includes returning members and some fresh faces

Washington Rep. Denny Heck will return as DCCC recruitment chairman for the 2018 cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján announced his leadership team for the 2018 cycle on Thursday.

The 20-person team, shared first with Roll Call, is an expanded group from previous cycles. 

NRCC Goes After Blue-Collar Districts in 2018
GOP campaign arm releases list of 36 initial targets

Rep. Tim Walz speaks with guests during a campaign event in Duluth for fellow Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan last fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee’s initial list of offensive targets for 2018 includes 36 Democrat-held districts, many in blue-collar areas of the country.

If Democrats are targeting the well-educated suburbs (see New Jersey’s 11th District, for example), where Donald Trump either barely won or underperformed, Republicans are going after many rural districts where Hillary Clinton underperformed the congressional ticket. 

There’s No Rest for the Fundraising Weary
Vulnerable freshmen face high expectations for first quarter fundraising

Nevada Rep. Jacky Rosen, seen here with DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján, will be a top target for Republicans in 2018 and says she’ll be kicking off fundraising events in February. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Even before they’ve settled into their new lives on Capitol Hill, freshman House members from swing districts need to prepare for the fight to stay there. 

No member likes to talk about fundraising. Navigating the halls during the first month of the 115th Congress, new members stressed the importance of listening to the people who sent them to Washington. 

DCCC Targets Trump Districts in 2018
Democrats are banking on Trump being unpopular in even deep-red seats

New York Rep. Chris Collins, one of President Donald Trumps biggest House allies, is a 2018 Democratic target. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Fresh off the second weekend of nationwide protests against President Donald Trump, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has released its initial list of Republican-held seats it plans to target in 2018.

The House Democrats’ campaign arm is banking on Trump’s unpopularity being a drag on down-ballot Republicans, even though many GOP incumbents proved resilient to efforts to tie them to Trump in 2016. Democrats gained a net of six seats last November.