2018 House Overview (Aug. 17, 2018): From Waves to Fires

This cycle, the wave analogy has been watered down and it’s time for a new metaphor: fire. More specifically, fires. 

Whether it’s GOP Members in Hillary Clinton districts, extraordinary Democratic challengers and fundraising, competitive open seats, or lazy incumbents, Republicans have dozens of fires around the country, and the party might not have enough resources to put them all out. GOP outside groups can’t spend at the same level this fall that was required in the special elections.

House Republicans are defending far more vulnerable seats than Democrats, 76 to 10. And, unlike the Senate, Democrats don’t need to win all of the competitive seats to gain the 23 necessary for a majority. 

We’re still a few weeks away from Labor Day, and the traditional start of the general election campaigns, but the fight for the House is well underway. 

Instead of holding back until the final two months, waiting for voters to supposedly start paying attention after returning from summer vacation, Democratic candidates and the Republican-led Congressional Leadership Fund hit the television airwaves in August. The next few weeks will be critical to understanding whether GOP attacks using Nancy Pelosi or candidate-specific material will be enough to damage and disqualify Democratic challengers. If the attacks don’t start to move numbers in September, it will be a bad omen for Republicans for November. 

It’s easy for Republicans to dismiss the national generic ballot because it…

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