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Political Editors / July 31, 2018

Republicans’ Steep Hill to Climb

House GOP will be defending a record number of open seats come November, a distinct disadvantage.

The House GOP will be defending a record number of open seats in November. Some 42 currently Republican-held seats are being vacated, the most since 1930. Eight of these seats are in districts that voted for Hillary Clinton and another 13 are in districts that President Donald Trump won by a slim margin — in other words, potential toss-ups.

David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report currently rates 19 of these 42 seats as still solidly in Republican hands and another 11 as Republican-leaning, whereas three seats are likely going to the Democrats. For the Democrats to win control of the House, they need to flip a total of 23 seats. Wasserman adds, “With 102 days to go, Democrats remain substantial favorites for House control.” The Cook analysis currently rates 181 Democrat and 153 Republican seats as “solid.”

To make matters worse, The Resurgent’s David Thornton notes, “Republican candidates also face a fundraising gap. … The leading Democrat raised more than the Republican in 20 of the 42 Republican open seats between April and June. This was not only true in all but one of the districts carried by Hillary, but also in 13 of 34 districts carried by Trump.”

So, as it looks now, Democrats appear to have a distinct advantage and much to be hopeful for three months out. But as the adage goes, the only real numbers that matter are seen on Election Day, and much is sure to happen between now and November. To wit, there was also a 90% chance Donald Trump would lose to Hillary Clinton — before he didn’t.

(Edited.)

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