Republicans have a huge problem in more than half a dozen states that alone could provide Democrats the 23 seats needed to take back the House next month. In seven states that are home to 29 competitive races this season, the GOP’s gubernatorial candidates are either lagging or imploding. The states range from coastal Democratic strongholds to the heartland states that helped push Trump over the finish line in 2016. Here’s a look at the map from NBC News in order of the states with the most seats in play.
- California (7 seats): Democrat Gavin Newsom is as sure of a “sure thing” as gubernatorial candidate can get. Target races include CA-10, CA-25, CA-39, CA-45, CA-48, CA-49, CA-50.
- Pennsylvania (6 seats): Incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) both have double digit leads. Seats in play for flips include PA-1, PA-5, PA-6, PA-7, PA-10, PA-16.
- Illinois (4 seats): Democrat J.B. Pritzker holds a double-digit lead over GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner. Pickup targets include IL-6, IL-12, IL-13, IL-14.
- New York (4 seats): Incumbent Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is also a shoe in. Pickup opportunities include NY-19, NY-22, NY-24, NY-27.
- Virginia (4 seats): Democratic incumbent Sen. Tim Kaine is coasting to re-election. Potential flips include VA-2, VA-5, VA-7, VA-10.
- Michigan (2 seats): Democrat Gretchen Whitmer is holding strong against her GOP opponent. Pick-off seats include MI-8, MI-11.
- Minnesota (2 seats): Another state were Democratic gubernatorial and senate candidates hold double-digit leads. Pickup targets include MN-2, MN-3.
The Democrats’ top-of-the-ticket advantage will also be amplified by their overall advantage in sheer number of candidates—there’s only four congressional seats without a Democrat running this year, while Republicans aren’t fielding a candidate in fully 39 districts.
The two dynamics will be a force multiplier on both ends, with down-ticket Democratic candidates getting coattail benefits while up-ticket candidates get a boost from higher turnout due to having more candidates in the field (similar to what happened in Virginia last year).