ATLANTA – Facing fresh criticism from fellow Democrats after the disappointing reduce a Georgia special election, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Ben Ray Luján on Wednesday sought to rally his party by declaring the House of Representatives in play and distributing internal data suggesting a number of incumbent Republicans are typically in more electoral trouble than widely thought.
In a virtually 1,600-word Wednesday morning memo to committee staff that is obtained by POLITICO, the revolutionary Mexico congressman shared polling conducted between late March and mid-June showing Democrats set up in making gains in a very several competitive seats held by Republicans.
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Explaining that occasionally the pollsters tested specific Democratic challengers against Republican incumbents, Lujan said “many incumbents – who won with double digits last cycle – would be within the race in their careers, including Reps. Martha McSally (D+5), Brian Mast (D+3), Kevin Yoder (D+2), and Rodney Frelinghuysen (D+3).”
“We have a unique possiblity to flip power over is know for Representatives in 2018. That is about far more than one race: the national environment, unprecedented grassroots energy and impressive Democratic candidates taking the initiative to operate deep in the battlefield leave without a doubt that Democrats can take back your house next fall,” he writes elsewhere while in the memo. “I don’t get this to statement lightly – I’ve never said hello before. I know the street here we are at a Democratic House majority are going to be long and hard.”
The message lands in the tough time for Democratic leaders, coming if they pumped money into Georgia’s 6th District to try and elect Jon Ossoff to restore now-HHS Secretary Tom Price, Tuesday’s loss to Republican Karen Handel hit them hard.
Activists, consultants, and lawmakers alike spent hours night and Wednesday morning questioning the DCCC’s leadership in Georgia also in several other special elections where Democrats have fallen close but fallen short.
The party’s candidates have fallen far closer than previous Democrats inside the heavily Republican districts, though the couple of high-profile losses – including in Kansas and Montana – still proved demoralizing to many party strategists.
Lujan’s message on Wednesday could be that the Trump-driven swing that’s been observed in those races portends a broader shift in advance of 2018.
“As you are aware of, we want 24 seats to retake the bulk. Our DCCC polling team and outdoors pollsters went into many districts in the past few days to master: Will be the momentum real? Would it be building clear we can win 24 seats and gain back your property? The correct answer is yes. In many more than 24 districts and counting, generic Democrats are leading in the polls and have already made significant shifts from your last polls to be found in 2016.”
One with the polling graphics inside the memo shows an 18-point Democratic advantage in Florida’s 27th District Held by retiring Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – an 11-point lead in California’s 21st Held by David Valadao – and 9-point leads inside California’s 10th (Jeff Denham) and 49th (Darrell Issa) districts.
Lujan also told staff that starting recently, senior aides and allies shall be deployed into target districts to expand candidate recruitment, which Lujan himself is planning trips to states including Maine, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Missouri.