Democrats are lining up all over the country to challenge Republican members of the House. And not just in swing districts.
There are no good hiding places for the GOP.
That’s the message a flood of looming Democratic candidates are sending to Republicans as the GOP braces for the 2018 election season, especially after the amazing flip of the Alabama Senate seat earlier this month.
Democrats are not only targeting vulnerable Republicans in the House who won in districts that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016, of which there are currently two dozen. They’re also lining up to challenge Republicans in traditionally safe GOP districts.
Example: Texas Rep. Pete Sessions won re-election unopposed by a Democratic candidate in 2016. For 2018, he already has 10 Democratic opponents who want to try to knock him off.
According to Federal Elections Commission filings, Democrats are poised to oppose every Republican in the House, minus just 20 seats. “By comparison, Democrats in 80 districts do not have a Republican opponent for their seat,” the New York Times reports.
And the money is pouring in. For two long-shot special election contests in the deeply red states of Georgia and Alabama this year, Democratic candidates raised more than $40 million.
It’s all part of an outpouring of electoral energy and enthusiasm among Democrats, who can’t wait to get to the polls and send Republicans and Donald Trump a message.
Indeed, Trump is creating the extraordinary headwind for Republicans who face a “wave” election building for Democrats next year.
Only 3 in 10 Americans believe the U.S. is headed in the right direction, according to a recent Associated Press poll. That’s compared to 52 percent who say the country is worse off since Trump took office in January.
Overall, 49 percent of registered voters who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting for Congress next year, according to a recent CNN poll. That’s compared to 32 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters who say the same.
Democrats might get a head start in 2018 with the special election set for next March in western Pennsylvania to replace longtime Rep. Tim Murphy, an anti-abortion Republican who allegedly encouraged a lover to terminate a pregnancy.
Normally considered a safe GOP seat, Democrats are targeting the 18th district for a flip, and forecasters say they have a solid shot. “If you look at every special election to date, Republicans have been underperforming Trump’s [margin] by double digits,” Titus Bond, a Republican strategist, told Politico.
Last week, Politico reported “those closest to Trump are bracing for a possible bloodbath in the 2018 midterms.”
Democrats want to make sure that electoral misery for Republicans is felt in nearly every district in the country.