The PJ Tatler

New York Democrat Rep. Steve Israel May Be In Trouble This Fall. Wait, What?

A memo from the National Republican Congressional Committee today highlights some surprising new poll numbers. According to the memo, Democrat incumbents are weak across the nation, even in places where traditionally they are locks to win.

The memo singles out California Democrat Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26). According to a Harper Polling survey, just 32% of Brownley’s constituents believe that she deserves re-election. President Obama won that district with 54% of the vote in 2012, but his disapproval is up to 52% there now. According to the poll, Republican Jeff Gorrell leads Brownley in a head-to-head matchup, 44-42%.

In Washington’s District 1, Obama won with 54% of the vote in 2012. But incumbent Democrat Rep. Suzan DelBene only gets a re-election stamp of approval from 36% of voters there now. Obama’s disapproval in the district is 51%.

The most surprising results noted in the NRCC memo come from New York. In the open seat in the 21st district, Obama’s disapproval stands at 55%. And in NY-03, the district of DCCC head Steve Israel, just 33% of voters there believe he deserves re-election. 52% disapprove of President Obama’s job performance.

Does this mean that Republicans will win all of these seats? No. But if the numbers hold, Democrats will not only not be playing much offense this fall, they will be playing defense all over the board. They will be forced to spend money just to protect seats that were believed to be in the bag. Credible Republican candidates will have chances to knock off some Democrats and expand the GOP’s majority in the House. Democrats have built groups like Battleground Texas to expand the map, and expand it will — into blue territory, though, not red.