2018, Part I: My outlook and viewing guide for the House

The bottom line for me is that getting to 218 in the House will be enough for me Tuesday night, because 218, a majority, is enough to control every House committee, and thus control over subpoenas backed by the force of law, and enough to start public hearings under oath. And if Trump fires Mueller or Rosenstein, those committees could hire either or both to continue their investigation with sufficient legal tools. I expect Sessions to be gone by January 2019, though I’d guess that Mueller is far along that as long as he is on the job in early 2019, he can reveal enough about Trump’s criminal conspiracy. But a House committee is a solid back-up.

So here is the path I see to 218, a net of +23 seats on top of the Dems’ current 195, based on the timing of when polls close.

I have created a list of top Democratic pick-up opportunities by combining 3 sources: the Cook Political Report’s likely/leaning/toss-ups; the 25 districts won by a GOP representative but also by Hillary Clinton; and FiveThirtyEight’s aggregated polling. The list includes a total of 52 districts, with 32 as “key pick-up opportunities” for Democrats, plus three vulnerable districts for Democrats.

The Cook Political Report labels 18 GOP seats that are currently “likely” or “lean Democratic.” There are two Dem seats that are currently labeled “likely” or “lean Republican.” Let’s say that’s a net +16. These are marked “L.”

Meanwhile there are 30 GOP seats that are labeled “toss-up” and just 1 Dem seat that’s a toss-up. If the Democrats win most of their “likely/lean Dem” seats (let’s say net +13), and a third of their toss-ups (+10), that’s enough for a majority. These are marked “T.”

There are 25 House seats that Republicans won but Hillary Clinton also won in 2016. Those should be especially winnable — and just about the right number to win the House, even if the Dems lose their two vulnerable seats.  On this list, they are marked “H.”

And I add a few additional states identified as roughly comparable pick-up opportunities by FiveThirtyEight.com, which I label with the site’s percent chance of Dem pick-up. This list of 53 districts is roughly organized by closing times, from East to West.

Again, the code is: Bold, key pick-up opportunity (538 has chance > 50%) = 32 total.

L: Likely/Lean. T: Toss-up. H: Hillary won the district. Fraction: 538’s chance of Dem win.

CLOSING 6pm-7pm ET:
FL-15 Carlson/Spano: T (3/7)
FL-26 Powell/Curbelo: T/H (5/9)
FL-27 Shalala: L/H (6/7)

VA-02 Luria/Taylor: T (1/3)
VA-07 Spanbarger/Brat: T  (3/7)
VA-10 Wexton/Comstock: L/H (8/9)
GA-06 McBath/Handel: T (1/2)
GA-07 Bourdeaux/Woodall (1/6)
KY-06 McGrath/Barr: T (4/9)
CLOSING 7:30pm ET
OH-12 O’Connor/Balderson: T (1/3)
NC-09 McCready/Harris: T (4/9)
NC-13 Manning/Budd: T (3/8)
CLOSING 8pm-9pm ET
ME-02 Golden/Poliquin: T (5/8)
NY-02 Shirley/King (2/7)
NY-19 Delgado/Faso: T (3/5)
NY-22 Brindisi/Tenney: T (1/2)
NY-24: Balter/Katko: H (1/6)
NY-27: McMurray/Collins (1/4)

NJ-02: Van Drew/Grossman L (49/50)

NJ-03 Kim/MacArthur: T (5/9)

NJ-07 Malinowski/Lance: T/H (7/9)
NJ-11: Sherrill/Webber L (6/7)

PA-01 Wallace/Fitzpatrick: T/H (4/7)

PA-05: Scanlon L/H (99/100)
PA-06: Houlihan L/H (99/100)
PA-07: Wild/Nothstein L/H (19/20)
PA-10 Scott/Perry: T (1/3)
PA-17: Lamb: L (19/20)
MI-08 Slotkin/Bishop: T (2/3)
MI-11: Stevens/Epstein: L (4/5)
IL-06 Casten/Roskam: L/H (1/2)
IL-14 Underwood/Hultgren: T (7/10)
MN-02 Craig/Lewis: L (6/7)
MN-03 Phillips/Paulsen: L/H (6/7)
IA-01 Finkenauer/Blum: L (19/20)
IA-03 Axne/Young: T (7/10)

KS-02 Davis: T (5/8)
KS-03 Davids/Yoder: L/H (6/7)
TX-07 Fletcher/Culberson: T/H (1/2)
TX-23 Ortiz-Jones/Hurd H (2/9)
TX-32 Allred/Sessions: T/H (3/8)
CO-06 Crow/Coffman: L/H (8/9)
NM-02 Torres-Small: T, (4/9)
CLOSING 10p-11pm ET
UT-04 McAdams/Love: T  (5/8)
AZ-02 Tipirmeni: L/H (2/9)
WA-08 Schrier/Rossi: L/H (2/3)
CA-10 Harder/Denham: T/H (7/10)
CA-21: Cox/Valadao: H (1/5)
CA-25 Hill/Knight: T/H (5/8)
CA-39 Cisneros/Kim: T/H (4/7)
CA-45 Porter/Walters: T/H (5/8)
CA-48 Rouda/Rohrabacher: T/H (5/9)
CA-49 Levin/Harkey: L/H (29/30)
Dem seats at risk:
PA-14
MN-1
MN-8

 

 

 

Author: Jed Shugerman

Legal historian at Fordham Law School, teaching Torts, Administrative Law, and Constitutional History. JD/PhD in History, Yale. Red Sox and Celtics fan, youth soccer coach. Author of "The People's Courts: Pursuing Judicial Independence in America" (2012) on the rise of judicial elections in America. I filed an amicus brief in the Emoluments litigation against Trump along with a great team of historians. I'm working on "The Rise of the Prosecutor Politicians," a history of prosecutors and American politics, and another project on the origins of independent agencies in America.

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