With President Trump and Washington Republicans crowing over Tuesday’s win in a hotly contested special Georgia House race, the head of the House Democrats’ campaign arm said for the first time Wednesday he thinks the party can retake control next year.
“Is the momentum real? Is it building to the point that we can win 24 seats and take back the House? The answer is yes,” Rep. Ben Ray Luján, a New Mexico Democrat and chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in a memo to DCCC staff released Wednesday.
The memo cited internal polls showing specific Democrats, whose names the DCCC would not release, leading against four GOP incumbents: Reps. Martha McSally of Arizona, Brian Mast of Florida, Kevin Yoder of Kansas and Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey.
The memo also said that in 24 districts, a generic Democratic candidate polled better this spring than a generic Democrat scored in October. Lujan said Trump’s popularity and the issues the Republican majority has pursued since January contributed to the environment. He also cited the historical trend of a president’s party losing seats in midterm elections, while focusing on a former House speaker in dismissing Tuesday’s victory of Republican Karen Handel over Democrat Jon Ossoff in the race to fill the seat vacated when Dr. Tom Price became secretary of Health and Human Services.
“Newt Gingrich’s deep red seat in Georgia should never have been in play, yet Jon Ossoff narrowly lost and dramatically outperformed the typical Democrat in this district,” Lujan wrote. “We will take the many lessons learned from Georgia’s 6th District and apply them to the battlefield, which consists of many districts that are fundamentally far more competitive.”
Republicans responded that Democrats have focused efforts on four special races so far, and lost them all.
“Democrats across the country are looking up at the scoreboard and Googling the conversion rate between moral victories and an actual vote in Congress,” said Chris Martin, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
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