Democrats Identify Vulnerable Members for 2018
DCCC names 19 incumbents to Frontline Program

New Hampshire Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, chairwoman of the DCCC’s Frontline Program, is herself a Frontline member heading into 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Monday is naming 19 members to the Frontline Program for its most vulnerable incumbents in 2018.

The initial Frontline roster, obtained first by Roll Call, is about half freshman members. Eight members won in districts President Donald Trump carried last fall. And all of them, save for one, are National Republican Congressional Committee initial targets.

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. 

Stephanie Murphy Defeats GOP's Mica in Florida’s 7th District
Mica had previously coasted to double-digit victories

Stephanie Murphy, Democratic candidate for Florida's 7th congressional district, here being interviewed by CQ Roll Call, won her race against incumbent Republican John L. Mica. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrat Stephanie Murphy will defeat incumbent Republican Rep. John L. Mica in Florida’s 7th District, The Associated Press projects. 

Murphy led Mica 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent with 98 percent of precincts reporting. 

Don't Blame Trump for These Imperiled Republicans
Some down-ballot Republicans are in tough spots because of faults of their own

Democrats have seized on comments New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett made about his opposition to gay candidates. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Not all down-ballot Republicans can blame Trump for making their elections in typically red districts competitive. A few of them have themselves to blame.

Chief among them is New Jersey’s Scott Garrett. His 5th District seat wouldn’t normally be a top Democratic target, but Democrats have spent millions trying to unseat the seven-term Republican this year. They’re going after his 2015 comments about not paying his dues to the National Republican Congressional Committee to protest the committee’s support for gay candidates. 

Ratings Changes in 12 Competitive House Races
6 races shift toward Democrats but 6 improve for Republicans

Iowa Rep. David Young's' re-election contest in the state's 3rd District moves from Tossup to Tilts Republican, according to The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call's latest race rating. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With five weeks to go before Election Day, Democrats are still waiting for Donald Trump to create the nationwide swell that would be necessary to put the Republicans’ House majority into play. House races are often late to engage but, thus far, the developments have been a mixed bag for Democrats, keeping sizable gains out of reach.

The lack of vulnerable Democrats — and the resiliency of many Republican incumbents in the face of an unpopular presidential nominee — could amount to a historic election in the House, but not in the way one might think. The cycle could produce the fewest number of House seats to flip party control in 60 years.

Democrats Reserve Airtime to Expand House Map
House Majority PAC adds reservations in six new districts

The House Majority PAC is targeting Utah Rep. Mia Love's district with an ad reservation for the fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Majority PAC reserved broadcast and cable airtime in seven new media markets Monday, covering six congressional districts that are either Tossups or Republican-leaning seats the party hopes to put in play this fall.   

The PAC's reservations for the fall now exceed $24 million across 30 media markets.   

Democrats Land Last-Minute Mica Challenger in Florida
Stephanie Murphy announces her candidacy day before filing deadline

Democrats have landed another candidate to challenge Florida Republican Rep. John Mica. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The day before Florida's Friday filing deadline, business professor Stephanie Murphy announced she's challenging Rep. John Mica.  

Mica's 7th District has been a desirable target for Democrats, but up until now, they haven't had a candidate to take on the 12-term Republican since Democrat Bill Phillips suspended his campaign in April.   

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.