VA-05

Democrats Expanding Battlefield Into Trump Country
DCCC adds 20 more GOP seats to its target list

The DCCC is targeting California Rep. Devin Nunes in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Monday added 20 seats to its target list for 2018. The House Democrats’ campaign arm is now going after 79 Republican-held seats in the midterms.

President Donald Trump won these newly targeted seats by anywhere from 6 to 49 points. The first round of 59 targets, announced in January, included the 23 GOP-held seats that Hillary Clinton carried last fall. But it also included plenty of red districts, including at least eight districts that Trump carried by 15 points or more.

New Member: Republican Tom Garrett Elected in Virginia’s 5th District
Incumbent GOP Rep. Robert Hurt did not seek re-election

(Photo courtesy Tom Garrett)

Republican Tom Garrett will defeat Democrat Jane Dittmar in Virginia’s 5th District, The Associated Press projects.

Garrett led Dittmar, 60 percent to 40 percent with 65 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).

Could Trump Help Turn an Open Virginia Seat Blue?
Both parties paying closer attention to traditionally Republican 5th District

Republican Tom Garrett and Democrat Jane Dittmar are facing off for Virginia's 5th District seat, left open by the retirement of GOP Rep. Robert Hurt. (Photos courtesy campaign websites)

Jane Dittmar had tried to tie her Republican opponent in Virginia’s 5th District to Donald Trump Wednesday, something that most Democratic congressional candidates are doing to their opponents these days.

She wanted GOP state Sen. Tom Garrett to condemn two armed Trump supporters who protested outside her office last week.