In the shadow of the presidential race, Republicans and Democrats are preparing for another battle: the fight for the House. It’s not going to get as much attention over the next 18 months, but control of the House is every bit as important as the race for the White House when it comes to the legislative agenda of 2021.
In defense of their majority, Democrats are focused on making sure their most vulnerable incumbents are well-funded while trying to keep the overall battleground as large as possible in order to stretch Republican resources thin. Democratic strategists believe if they can take over five seats currently held by Republicans, it will be enough to insulate their majority.
Republicans need to gain 18 or 19 seats to regain the majority depending on the outcome of the do-over election North Carolina’s 9th District on Sept. 10. At this early stage, Democrats are likely to maintain their majority, but control of the House is in play.
Republicans are focused on recruiting high-quality candidates (including political outsiders) and confident in a battleground that includes 31 Democrats representing districts President Donald Trump carried in 2016. But those takeover opportunities are not created equal.
For example, in New Jersey’s 5th District, Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer represents a Trump district but he also already had $4.9 million at the end of March while the GOP challenger just announced his campaign this week. Or Minnesota’s 7th and Wisconsin’s…