Home / Politics / The GOP's top-of-the-ticket problem could cost it control of the House

The GOP's top-of-the-ticket problem could cost it control of the House

FRIEDENS, PA - JUNE 08: (from left to right) Ron Aldom, executive director of the Somerset County Chamber of Commerce, Carl Metzgar, PA State Representative, George Dethlefsen, CEO Corsa Coal Corp., Pat Stefano, PA State Senator, and Scott Wagner, PA State Senator hold up a "Trump Digs Coal" sign at the grand opening of Corsa Coal's Acosta Deep Mine on June 8, 2017 in Friedens, Pennsylvania. The mine is expected to create more than 70 new jobs and should produce 400,000 tons of metallurgical coal a year. (Photo by Justin Merriman/Getty Images)

Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner, far right, is down by double digits in a state that holds 6 key pickup opportunities for Democrats.

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).

Want to help Democrats take back critical gubernatorial seats ahead of 2020 redistricting? Please give $3 right now to help push five key candidates to victory in GA, FL, MI, OH, and WI.

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