VA-10

5 Things Tuesday’s Results Tell Us About 2018
GOP losses could spell trouble for Virginia’s Barbara Comstock

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock is one of the most vulnerable incumbents up for re-election next year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Tuesday’s victories in Virginia and New Jersey had Democratic strategists practically tripping over themselves to predict 2018 good fortunes.

Democrats won the governor’s mansion in both states by wide margins. They picked up at least 16 state legislative seats in Virginia. That included a transgender Democrat defeating a longtime conservative Republican state legislator who authored a so-called bathroom bill. And in Maine, voters supported a ballot measure to expand Medicaid.

Democratic Recruits Pounce on GOP Budget Vote
Candidates defend state and local tax deduction in competitive districts

New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen was the only Garden State Republican to vote for the budget resolution on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats looking to pick up House seats in wealthier, suburban districts next fall pounced on Thursday’s narrow adoption of a budget resolution that could clear the way for the elimination of the state and local tax deduction that benefits many of those districts.

Republican leaders heralded the vote as bringing them closer to achieving a tax overhaul — a legislative priority to which many GOP strategists are pinning their party’s midterm fate.

Health Care Vote Takes Away GOP’s Offensive Campaign Message
Repeal has been winning message, but GOP now has plan of its own to defend

Iowa Rep. Rod Blum, a Freedom Caucus member and Democratic target, voted for the health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For nearly seven years, Republicans have run — and won — on the campaign promise to get rid of the 2010 health care law.

But now that House Republicans are on record on their own replacement plan, that unifying offensive message has faded, especially since some of their most vulnerable incumbents are at odds with leadership and the White House on what’s being touted as the party’s first major legislative victory this Congress.

Advocacy Group Targets 29 Republicans Ahead of Health Care Vote
American Action Network is making a final six-figure push in support of AHCA

American Action Network’s latest digital campaign targets Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who has come out against leadership’s health care plan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An advocacy group with close ties to House leadership is launching a final push to pressure 29 Republicans to support the GOP health care plan ahead of an expected vote later this week.

Some of those lawmakers have indicated they won’s support the bill.

Republicans Identify Vulnerable Members for 2018
NRCC announces initial round of Patriot Program

Minnesota freshman Rep. Jason Lewis is part of the NRCC’s initial Patriot Program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee has named 10 members to its Patriot Program for incumbents who are expected to face tough re-election races in 2018.

“Our Patriots are a group of battle-tested members who won hard-fought races in 2016 and are ready to win once again,” Rep. Steve Stivers, the NRCC chairman, said in a statement Wednesday. 

DCCC Targets Trump Districts in 2018
Democrats are banking on Trump being unpopular in even deep-red seats

New York Rep. Chris Collins, one of President Donald Trumps biggest House allies, is a 2018 Democratic target. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Fresh off the second weekend of nationwide protests against President Donald Trump, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has released its initial list of Republican-held seats it plans to target in 2018.

The House Democrats’ campaign arm is banking on Trump’s unpopularity being a drag on down-ballot Republicans, even though many GOP incumbents proved resilient to efforts to tie them to Trump in 2016. Democrats gained a net of six seats last November.

Republican Barbara Comstock Re-Elected in Virginia's 10th District
Incumbent turns back Democratic challenger LuAnn Bennett

Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock won re-election in Virginia's 10th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock will defeat Democrat LuAnn Bennett in Virginia’s 10th District, The Associated Press projects. 

Comstock led Bennett 54 percent to 46 percent with 82 percent of precincts reporting. 

How Many House Seats Will Democrats Pick Up? Watch These Districts
Certain district types may provide early clues

Democrats need to knock off Republicans who sit in seats President Barack Obama won, like Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, center, and Frank Guinta, R-N.H., right. Defeating Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., would suggest more of a wave. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Not all districts are created equal. They all count the same when adding for a majority, but victories in one type of district may portend a much better night for Democrats than in others. With just four days to go until Election Day, Democrats almost surely won’t gain the 30 seats needed for a House majority on Tuesday. But they will make some gains. Here’s where to watch for early clues as to just how big or small Democratic gains will be.

To achieve double-digit gains, Democrats must win the known battlegrounds. These are the districts that always were going to be competitive, and where presidential year turnout usually gives Democrats an advantage. At the very least, Democrats need to win the districts that President Barack Obama carried — places like Illinois’ 10th District, Nevada’s 4th and 3rd Districts, Maine’s 2nd District, Florida’s 26th District, (which is now even more Democratic), Iowa’s 1st District and New York’s 19th District. If they’re not able to win these seats, Democratic gains in the House will likely be very minimal.  

Ratings Change: 5 House Races Shift Toward Democrats
But Democrats are still waiting for wave required to win majority

The good news for Republicans is that the bottom hasn’t fallen out from underneath their down-ballot candidates. The bad news is that there are still nearly three weeks left before Election Day, and 24 hours in each day for Donald Trump to torpedo the party’s chances of holding the House.

District-level polling after the release of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” video and the second debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton showed some vulnerability for Republicans, particularly in suburban districts. But we didn’t see a widespread cratering of GOP candidates in the competitive districts or evidence that the number of competitive seats is increasing dramatically.

House GOP Super PAC Investing Record Sums in 15 Districts
Congressional Leadership Fund to spend more than it did in 2012 and 2014

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, seen here with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, is getting help from the Congressional Leadership Fund. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC backed by House Republican leadership, is pouring another $10.7 million into House races as the GOP seeks to defend their hold on the lower chamber and flip several Democratic-held seats. 

The additional spending brings the fund's general election expenditures this cycle to $20.7 million in 15 House districts, nearly twice what it spent in 2014 and 2012. The super PAC spent $11.6 million in 2014 and $10.7 million in 2012.