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GOP Super PAC Expands Field Presence to 17 Districts
Congressional Leadership Fund opens offices in six more districts

Congressional Leadership Fund is opening a field office in New Jersey Rep. Leonard Lance’s district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican super PAC backed by House leadership is expanding its field program by opening new offices in six GOP-held districts. 

Congressional Leadership Fund now has a 17 field offices across the country.

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.

Republican Kevin Yoder Re-Elected in Kansas’ 3rd District
Democrat Jay Sidie's bid to unseat incumbent falls short

Kansas 3rd District incumbent, GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder, won re-election on Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder will defeat Democrat Jay Sidie in Kansas’ 3rd District, The Associated Press projects. 

Yoder led Sidie 48 percent to 44 percent with 20 percent of precincts reporting. 

Ratings Change: 7 House Races Shift Toward Democrats
But one change toward Republicans isn’t particularly good news for majority chances

California Rep. Jeff Denham faces a competitive re-election fight with less than two weeks before Nov. 8. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When nearly 90 percent of the batch of House ratings changes are in your favor, it’s normally great news. But with a limited House playing field, Democrats need to win virtually all of the competitive seats, and some initial takeover targets look like they are slipping out of reach.

In the most recent set of ratings changes by The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call, seven races shift toward the Democrats. Takeover prospects improved in a couple of California districts (the 10th and 49th), a couple of districts with weakened GOP incumbents (Florida’s 7th and New Jersey’s 5th), and two suburban districts (Kansas’ 3rd and Pennsylvania’s 8th).

Ratings Change: 5 House Races Shift Toward Democrats
But Democrats are still waiting for wave required to win majority

The good news for Republicans is that the bottom hasn’t fallen out from underneath their down-ballot candidates. The bad news is that there are still nearly three weeks left before Election Day, and 24 hours in each day for Donald Trump to torpedo the party’s chances of holding the House.

District-level polling after the release of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” video and the second debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton showed some vulnerability for Republicans, particularly in suburban districts. But we didn’t see a widespread cratering of GOP candidates in the competitive districts or evidence that the number of competitive seats is increasing dramatically.

Democrats Look to Make Inroads in Kansas
DCCC lands recruit in 3rd District

Democrats are targeting Kansas Republican Kevin Yoder, but he has a $2.4 million war chest. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats have recruited businessman Jay Sidie to challenge Kansas Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder in November.   

Democrats need to win 30 seats to win a majority in the House. But as Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report has outlined , for the party to take full advantage of Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, Democrats needs to target seats where the GOP holds the advantage.  

The Seats Democrats Must Win to Retake House
Minority party must gain 30 seats in November; little to no room for error

Democrats are focusing on more suburban districts, where they believe changing demographics are moving seats into the Democratic column, in their effort to regain the majority in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Democratic chances of taking back the House improve with the success of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, party strategists are trying to figure out exactly how and where it’s going to happen. It’s not too difficult to see Democrats gaining 10, or even 20, seats in November, but gaining the 30 required for a majority is more difficult and will require Democrats winning a large swath of seats where Republicans are currently heavy favorites.  

Winning the House majority is more than focusing on the presidential margin and allotting House seats to Democrats because of the strength of some GOP incumbents. For example, Democrats are not going to defeat Republican Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo this year, even though President Barack Obama won New Jersey’s 2nd with 54 percent, or win New Jersey’s 3rd (which Obama won with 52 percent), where wealthy GOP Rep. Tom MacArthur could easily outspend any challenger.