<< Update: In Texas where Congressional Democrats receive an average of only 40% of the vote and where 52.2% voted for Trump and 43.2% for Clinton in 2016, Texans cast an early ballot in the state’s 15 most populous counties, for today’s primary – the highest early vote turnout in a nonpresidential election year in Texas history. Democratic early voting saw a 105 percent increase from 2014, while Republicans posted a far more modest 15 percent increase. If they can do it in the heart of Texas, we can do it in NJ even stronger.>>
As frequently heard in the TV show Mission Impossible, “Your mission, should you chose to accept it,” is to participate in taking Democratic control of the U. S. House of Representatives. Doing so this year is far from being impossible. Such a victory grows increasingly likely and would substantially weaken Trump’s agenda and permit Democrats to block harmful bills. The national Democratic goal to regain control calls for picking up 25 additional Democratic seats. Nationally the first important primary election is being held today March 6 in Texas.
In New Jersey with 12 House seats, five with Republican incumbents, the Democratic battle is well underway. If NJ were to pick up the four Republican seats in play it would represent 16% of those needed. How sweet that would be. The candidate Petition Filing Deadline for Primary Election is only 4 weeks away on April 2, and the primary election day is only three months away on June 5.
Texas has a huge impactful 36-seat contingent superseded by only California and New York. In a major political role reversal, Texas Republicans are approaching the primary today concerned they’ll be outvoted by Democrats, and Democrats are daring to hope the sky-high turnout by their party in early voting presages big gains in November. In this largely Republican state there are only nine Democratic House incumbents, all of whom appear safe, but among the Republican seats there is one Toss Up, two Leaning Republican, and one Likely Republican. Slim pickings but every pick up counts.
In New Jersey among the five seats currently in Republican hands, four are the most subject to being flipped. According to the Cook Report they are :
- CD 2 where LoBiondo (R) is departing, “Leans Democrat”;
- CD 11 where Frelinghuysen is departing, “Republican Toss Up”;
- CD 7 where Leonard Lance (R) is the incumbent, “Leaning Republican”, and
- CD 3 where Tom MacArthur (R) is the incumbent, “Likely Republican”.
- CD 4 where Chris Smith as of now is “Safe Republican”.
With 435 House seats, of which currently 193 are in the hands of Democrats, we need to add 25 Dem seats to gain a majority: 218 (D) and 217 (R). It may seem like a stretch but it’s not. In six of the seven midterm elections since 1966, as Cook Political Report points out, when presidential approval ratings hovered below 50 percent, his party has lost two dozen or more seats in the House, giving the opposition party a majority the next year. The lone exception was 2014 in President Obama’s second term. Nationally there are 68 GOP seats in play but only 19 Democratic seats in play.
Furthermore, as you will note below there are nine more seats with a Republican in which Clinton carried the 2016 election than the Democratic seats in which Trump won – another advantage. Trump’s contiunig screw ups and the Robert Mueller walls closing in on him can only strengthen our position. Also to our advantage, as noted below, there are 19 more open seats currently held by the GOP than Democrats.
Here at the starting gate is where the battle nationally and in New Jersey stands now
WHERE THEY STAND NATIONALLY NJ
Democratic seats heading into November: 193 7
Vacant seats: 4 0
Open seats 51 2
Seats with a Democratic incumbent carried by Trump: 12 1
( CD 5 2016: Josh Gottheimer (D) 51.1%; Garrett (R) 46.7% – Trump 48.8; Clinton 47.8 )
Seats with a GOP incumbent carried by Clinton: 23 1
( CD 7 2016 Lance (R) 54.1%; Jacob 43.1%; Clinton: 48.6%; Trump 47.5%)
Seats with a GOP incumbent that Trump carried with under 50% of the vote 17 1
(CD 11 2016 Frelinghuysen (R) 58.0%; Wenzel (D) 38.9% – Trump 48.8%; Clinton: 47.9%)
Number of additional seats nationally needed for Dems to control the House: 25