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March 15, 2018

JOSH KRAUSHAAR: Democrats in Commanding Position to Win House.

At this point, there have been enough off-year elections, polling data, and candidate-recruiting successes to render a clear verdict: Democrats are solid favorites to retake the House this year. Conor Lamb’s performance in a conservative, blue-collar Pennsylvania congressional district is simply the latest evidence that the makings of a perfect political storm are in play for 2018: energized Democratic turnout, apathetic Republican engagement, and suburban independents (particularly women) running away from the GOP.

The race-by-race tally also suggests the potential of a significant Democratic wave. There are now a whopping 47 Republican-held House seats that are rated as vulnerable by The Cook Political Report; Democrats need to win only around half of them (24) to take back the majority. Pennsylvania’s new congressional map could easily net Democrats five or six seats in the state. Without a competitive gubernatorial and Senate race in California, seven GOP-held seats in the state are at risk of flipping. Those two states alone get Democrats halfway back to power.

I wouldn’t say that the Democrats’ position is “commanding,” but I have been saying for over a year now that I wish the GOP majority would legislate like there’s no tomorrow — because there might not be one.

Also, doing so would give skeptical GOP voters the enthusiasm to turn out in enough numbers to keep the House.