BREAKING NEWS Wildland-urban interface recommendations published in Camp Fire Case Study Full Story

The Democratic wave looks like it is getting bigger and bigger

In the wake of C...

Posted: Mar 16, 2018 1:41 PM
Updated: Mar 16, 2018 1:41 PM

In the wake of Conor Lamb's near-certain victory in a strongly conservative district in southwestern Pennsylvania on Tuesday, political handicappers are moving a slew of seats in Democrats' direction -- a reflection of a national political environment looking increasingly toxic for Republicans trying to hold their House majority this fall.

On Friday, CNN changed the ratings of 17 House contests -- all in Democrats favor. The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan handicapping site, moved 9 races in Democrats' favor on Friday as well.

What those changes mean is a) a broader playing field on which the fight for House control will be fought and b) far more Republican vulnerabilities than Democratic ones on that playing field.

CNN rates 69 GOP-held seats as competitive as compared to just 15 for Democrats. The Cook Report now carries 73 Republican seats as competitive compared to a meager 17 for Democrats. Inside Elections, another political tip sheet, has 57 Republican seats in its competitive ranks and just 12 Democratic seats.

The 2018 election was always going to be a tough one for Republicans. The party made huge gains in the House in both the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections, pickups that gave them control of more seats than Republicans had held in decades. That fact combined with historical trend of losses for president's party in midterm elections boded poorly for GOP chances.

But, two interrelated factors have made the Republican outlook in 2018 even more grim.

First is President Donald Trump's unpopularity. He has been mired in the high 30s/low 40s in national approval, a historically low mark for a president at this point in his 1st term. According to Gallup, the average -- yes, average -- seat loss since 1946 for a president's party in the House when that president's approval rating is below 50% is 36 seats. Democrats only need 23 seats to win back the majority.

Second is the energy within the Democratic base -- the direct result of a distaste for Trump and a desire to use the coming election as a way to send a strong message to the President. From Virginia's 2017 elections to the special election victories of Sen. Doug Jones in Alabama and Lamb in Pennsylvania, the Democratic base has been hugely activated while Republicans have struggled to match that momentum.

Lamb's apparent win is evidence of just how dangerous a disparity in base energy can be. The 18th district is a consistently Republican seat where Trump won by 20 points and Mitt Romney cruised by 17. That Lamb was even close to winning is a testament to the tilt of the national playing field against Republicans. That he appears to have won speaks to how even seemingly safe Republicans need to know they can lose in an environment like this one.

As Cook Report House editor David Wasserman notes:

"Of the 120 Republicans sitting in districts where Trump won by less in 2016, 19 aren't running for reelection and 70 more were first elected after 2008 -- in other words, they haven't had to run in this type of political environment before."

There is a wave building. Everything from Virginia to Alabama to Pennsylvania -- and more than three dozen Democratic seat pickups at the state legislative level since Trump's victory -- tell us that.

The only question now is how big the wave will grow -- and whether Republicans desperately trying to build bulwarks against the onrushing water can succeed.

The news out of Pennsylvania suggests we could be looking at a 1994-, 2006- or 2010-level wave, one that washes away even the people who saw it coming miles out in the ocean.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3559311

Reported Deaths: 51794
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles118923221241
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2860772783
Orange2607213982
San Diego2589823260
Santa Clara1102371777
Kern102627811
Fresno950151422
Sacramento929611464
Alameda802791241
Ventura77395834
San Joaquin665691082
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus55887946
Tulare47784746
Monterey42138327
San Mateo38872515
San Francisco34138398
Santa Barbara31763407
Solano30024164
Merced28915395
Sonoma28004298
Imperial26855589
Kings21951218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15414209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12787185
Shasta10969174
Butte10922160
El Dorado9095100
Napa899869
Sutter884597
San Benito575259
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Tuolumne394659
Nevada394074
Mendocino379643
Amador344841
Humboldt318033
Lake314140
Glenn221923
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128736
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 50°
Oroville
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 53°
Chico
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 50°
Red Bluff
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 55°
Red Bluff
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 55°
Chico
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 50°
Windy & sunny conditions continue Sunday with more sunshine next week. Next weekend there will be a chance for some showers.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events