Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur, flanked by Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, right, and Ohio Rep. Bob Latta, attends a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in Emancipation Hall on March 21 to honor members of the Office of Strategic Services. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Marcy Kaptur was at a Toledo, Ohio, funeral home when The New York Times interviewed her during her first campaign for the House. It was 1982. But the headline of the resulting story could have been written today: “Democrats in Ohio Woo Disenchanted Defectors.”
For a party still grappling with what went wrong in 2016, taking back the House in November now looks like the Democrats’ best chance of reclaiming some power in a Republican-controlled government. And although the most natural pickups might be in Virginia, California or New York, party strategists acknowledge they need to play for the center too.