Democrats need to knock off Republicans who sit in seats President Barack Obama won, like Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, center, and Frank Guinta, R-N.H., right. Defeating Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., would suggest more of a wave. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Not all districts are created equal. They all count the same when adding for a majority, but victories in one type of district may portend a much better night for Democrats than in others. With just four days to go until Election Day, Democrats almost surely won’t gain the 30 seats needed for a House majority on Tuesday. But they will make some gains. Here’s where to watch for early clues as to just how big or small Democratic gains will be.
To achieve double-digit gains, Democrats must win the known battlegrounds. These are the districts that always were going to be competitive, and where presidential year turnout usually gives Democrats an advantage. At the very least, Democrats need to win the districts that President Barack Obama carried — places like Illinois’ 10th District, Nevada’s 4th and 3rd Districts, Maine’s 2nd District, Florida’s 26th District, (which is now even more Democratic), Iowa’s 1st District and New York’s 19th District. If they’re not able to win these seats, Democratic gains in the House will likely be very minimal.