House Dems’ class of 2018 on the chopping block Tuesday as political pendulum swings back to GOP
By The Associated Press
Friday, November 6, 2018
WASHINGTON — House Democrats will be in play much of the day in their bid to unseat Republicans from the majority in the midterm elections.
Democrats believe that their new crop of freshmen and freshmen who just won elections in Minnesota and South Carolina are more electable. That’s the case this time, and they have reason for believing it, despite the Trump administration’s anti-incumbent messaging.
Republicans have an uphill fight and the Democrats have a strong chance of winning new seats.
But the Democrats think that their team of freshman candidates will be more appealing to voters than their opponents, and will keep many votes from flipping to the GOP. At the same time, they believe they can win swing districts in competitive states.
“Voters have said they want to send a message with a new Congress,” said Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland. “And that’s a message on jobs, and health care, and to bring the nation together.”
Democrats were hopeful in 2016 that their message of change and the new-look Congress could propel them back. They did it in a big way — taking the House for the first time since 2010 — but fell short.
Then-Rep. Joe Crowley of New York, their first-term caucus leader who is now the top House Democrat, said that some of the 2018 freshmen who won elections in Minnesota and Virginia were not the kind of candidates the Democrats would campaign for.
“You should be running for House seats where you have won elections,” he said. “We’re not. We’re running for different types of seats.”
With the new crop of potential newcomers taking over, the Democrats believe they are now more of a threat to GOP seats than they were in the 2016 election, when then-House Speaker Paul Ryan was the chief election officer.
It’s too early to say whether the Democrats will be able to keep the House majority, but they are on pace to win at least 17 seats out of 35. Democrats need 24 seats to take back the House.
In Virginia, Rep. Jennifer Wexton, who’s challenging GOP Rep