Democratic strategists added 15 races to their Red to Blue program aimed at gaining enough seats in the U.S. House of Representatives to claim a majority, citing "the toxic national environment for Republicans," Morning Consult reports.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee named five new candidates to the Red to Blue program, four running for seats in New York and one in Indiana. Contests in 10 more districts were designated as "Emerging Races" and may gain more focus as Election Day approaches.
"With general election voters starting to tune in, there are strong Democratic candidates in districts across the country who are ready to talk with voters about the disastrous agenda that Donald Trump — and his House Republican sidekicks — are promoting," the DCCC
said in a memo. "Whether they like it or not, House Republicans are part of the Party of Trump and will be defined by him in the eyes of voters."
With former Sen. Evan Bayh running again in Indiana, Democrats hope Shelli Yoder can take advantage and beat Trey Hollingsworth, who moved into the 9th District from Tennessee last fall and entered the race a month later.
On New York's Long Island, Anna Throne-Holst is taking on First District Rep. Lee Zeldin, who the New York Post reports
has a habit of skipping committee meetings. Last year he missed more than half of his House Foreign Affairs Committee's meetings. The panel deals with national security and foreign policy.
In Albany, Democrats are running Fordham University professor Zephyr Teachout for the open 19th District seat against conservative former state Assemblyman John Faso. President Barack Obama won the district in 2008 and 2012, making it a prime target for his party.
Twenty-first District Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Republican only a year into her first term, faces a strong challenge from retired Army Col. Mike Derrick, who received a Bronze Star and earned two masters degrees from Indiana University. Stefanik's Adirondack district also went to Obama twice, giving Derrick a good chance.
"If you'd have polled the members and asked: 'Do we have a chance — even an outside chance — to get the majority back?' At that point, the overwhelming majority would have said no," said Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., the leader of Democrat's efforts to recruit new candidates, speaking to The Washington Post
in June about the state of play as the year began. "I don't think that is the case now."
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