As Democrats Celebrate Biden 'Wins,' More Blue House Seats Become Competitive

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

If you follow the news closely, you’ve probably been struck by the big change in tone by major media organs. “Inside Biden’s hot streak, from the poolside to the Capitol” claims the Washington Post. Another Post article informs us that the GOP insult “Let’s go Brandon” has become a Democratic rallying cry.


And the New York Times claims things are looking up for the Democrats: “With Deal in Hand, Democrats Enter the Fall Armed With Something New: Hope.”

Well, Democrats can keep hope alive. But Republicans are building on their already considerable advantage in a way that makes the Democrats look pretty silly and desperate.

This Politico article shows that Republicans are beginning their poaching phase of the campaign — targeting congressional districts that, in ordinary times, they wouldn’t have a prayer of winning.

Four surveys conducted in late July reveal close races in open seats in Oregon, Colorado and California that President Joe Biden carried by between 11 and 15 points in 2020. Taken all together, GOP operatives view the data as a sign that Biden’s sinking approval numbers could drag Democratic candidates down enough to bring deep blue turf into reach.

A few caveats are in order. First, these polls were taken in July — still almost four months from election day. Also, Democrats have a large advantage in voter registration in those districts. And the polls upon which the observations are based were conducted by Republican consultants.


But the numbers comport with general assessments about the state of the House map from strategists of both parties, as well as the close results of the 2021 statewide elections in New Jersey and Virginia. Altogether, the tightening polls suggest that some super-blue seats could be in play in November, which would mean Democrats may have to expend precious resources there on defense — especially because they lack well-funded incumbents.

The money Democrats are spending to defend a blue incumbent who won between 55 and 60 percent of the vote in 2020 is money they won’t have to spend on far closer races.

Republican Mike Erickson led Democratic state Rep. Andrea Salinas in the open Oregon sixth district by seven points — a district that Democrats specifically drew to give themselves an easy win.

Oregon has turned into a surprising pressure point for Democrats, who are defending three open seats in the state. The most at-risk district is the one that Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader lost in a May primary. Now, a more progressive Democrat is defending the turf against a credible GOP candidate in a seat Biden won by 9 points.

For all the talk of GOP “extremists” costing Republicans seats in November, we don’t hear much about Democratic extremists costing the Democrats. Schrader lost to AOC clone Jamie McLeod-Skinner. She will face Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer in November, and many observers give Chavez-DeRemer a decent shot at an upset.


Also in Oregon, the seat held by retiring Rep. Peter DeFazio features a close race between Democrat Val Hoyle leading Republican Alek Skarlatos, 46% to 41%, with 13% undecided. Skarlatos, a former National Guardsman who took out a terrorist on a Paris-bound train, is running in a district where Biden is 16-points underwater.

That’s the story for Democrats. Unless Biden’s approval numbers improve dramatically, a Red Wedding will greet the Democrats on November 8.


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