2018, Part I: My outlook and viewing guide for the House

The bottom line for me is that getting to 218 in the House will be enough for me Tuesday night, because 218, a majority, is enough to control every House committee, and thus control over subpoenas backed by the force of law, and enough to start public hearings under oath. And if Trump fires Mueller or Rosenstein, those committees could hire either or both to continue their investigation with sufficient legal tools. I expect Sessions to be gone by January 2019, though I’d guess that Mueller is far along that as long as he is on the job in early 2019, he can reveal enough about Trump’s criminal conspiracy. But a House committee is a solid back-up.

So here is the path I see to 218, a net of +23 seats on top of the Dems’ current 195, based on the timing of when polls close.

I have created a list of top Democratic pick-up opportunities by combining 3 sources: the Cook Political Report’s likely/leaning/toss-ups; the 25 districts won by a GOP representative but also by Hillary Clinton; and FiveThirtyEight’s aggregated polling. The list includes a total of 52 districts, with 32 as “key pick-up opportunities” for Democrats, plus three vulnerable districts for Democrats.

The Cook Political Report labels 18 GOP seats that are currently “likely” or “lean Democratic.” There are two Dem seats that are currently labeled “likely” or “lean Republican.” Let’s say that’s a net +16. These are marked “L.”

Meanwhile there are 30 GOP seats that are labeled “toss-up” and just 1 Dem seat that’s a toss-up. If the Democrats win most of their “likely/lean Dem” seats (let’s say net +13), and a third of their toss-ups (+10), that’s enough for a majority. These are marked “T.”

There are 25 House seats that Republicans won but Hillary Clinton also won in 2016. Those should be especially winnable — and just about the right number to win the House, even if the Dems lose their two vulnerable seats.  On this list, they are marked “H.”

And I add a few additional states identified as roughly comparable pick-up opportunities by FiveThirtyEight.com, which I label with the site’s percent chance of Dem pick-up. This list of 53 districts is roughly organized by closing times, from East to West.

Again, the code is: Bold, key pick-up opportunity (538 has chance > 50%) = 32 total.

L: Likely/Lean. T: Toss-up. H: Hillary won the district. Fraction: 538’s chance of Dem win.

CLOSING 6pm-7pm ET:
FL-15 Carlson/Spano: T (3/7)
FL-26 Powell/Curbelo: T/H (5/9)
FL-27 Shalala: L/H (6/7)

VA-02 Luria/Taylor: T (1/3)
VA-07 Spanbarger/Brat: T  (3/7)
VA-10 Wexton/Comstock: L/H (8/9)
GA-06 McBath/Handel: T (1/2)
GA-07 Bourdeaux/Woodall (1/6)
KY-06 McGrath/Barr: T (4/9)
CLOSING 7:30pm ET
OH-12 O’Connor/Balderson: T (1/3)
NC-09 McCready/Harris: T (4/9)
NC-13 Manning/Budd: T (3/8)
CLOSING 8pm-9pm ET
ME-02 Golden/Poliquin: T (5/8)
NY-02 Shirley/King (2/7)
NY-19 Delgado/Faso: T (3/5)
NY-22 Brindisi/Tenney: T (1/2)
NY-24: Balter/Katko: H (1/6)
NY-27: McMurray/Collins (1/4)

NJ-02: Van Drew/Grossman L (49/50)

NJ-03 Kim/MacArthur: T (5/9)

NJ-07 Malinowski/Lance: T/H (7/9)
NJ-11: Sherrill/Webber L (6/7)

PA-01 Wallace/Fitzpatrick: T/H (4/7)

PA-05: Scanlon L/H (99/100)
PA-06: Houlihan L/H (99/100)
PA-07: Wild/Nothstein L/H (19/20)
PA-10 Scott/Perry: T (1/3)
PA-17: Lamb: L (19/20)
MI-08 Slotkin/Bishop: T (2/3)
MI-11: Stevens/Epstein: L (4/5)
IL-06 Casten/Roskam: L/H (1/2)
IL-14 Underwood/Hultgren: T (7/10)
MN-02 Craig/Lewis: L (6/7)
MN-03 Phillips/Paulsen: L/H (6/7)
IA-01 Finkenauer/Blum: L (19/20)
IA-03 Axne/Young: T (7/10)

KS-02 Davis: T (5/8)
KS-03 Davids/Yoder: L/H (6/7)
TX-07 Fletcher/Culberson: T/H (1/2)
TX-23 Ortiz-Jones/Hurd H (2/9)
TX-32 Allred/Sessions: T/H (3/8)
CO-06 Crow/Coffman: L/H (8/9)
NM-02 Torres-Small: T, (4/9)
CLOSING 10p-11pm ET
UT-04 McAdams/Love: T  (5/8)
AZ-02 Tipirmeni: L/H (2/9)
WA-08 Schrier/Rossi: L/H (2/3)
CA-10 Harder/Denham: T/H (7/10)
CA-21: Cox/Valadao: H (1/5)
CA-25 Hill/Knight: T/H (5/8)
CA-39 Cisneros/Kim: T/H (4/7)
CA-45 Porter/Walters: T/H (5/8)
CA-48 Rouda/Rohrabacher: T/H (5/9)
CA-49 Levin/Harkey: L/H (29/30)
Dem seats at risk:
PA-14
MN-1
MN-8

 

 

 

Author: Jed Shugerman

Jed Handelsman Shugerman is a Professor at Fordham Law School. He received his B.A., J.D., and Ph.D. (History) from Yale. His book, The People’s Courts (Harvard 2012), traces the rise of judicial elections, judicial review, and the influence of money and parties in American courts. It is based on his dissertation that won the 2009 ASLH’s Cromwell Prize. He is co-author of amicus briefs on the history of presidential power, the Emoluments Clauses, the Appointments Clause, the First Amendment rights of elected judges, and the due process problems of elected judges in death penalty cases. He is currently working on two books on the history of executive power and prosecution in America. The first is tentatively titled “A Faithful President: The Founders v. the Unitary Executive,” questioning the textual and historical evidence for the theory of unchecked and unbalanced presidential power. This book draws on his articles “Vesting” (Stanford Law Review forthcoming 2022), “Removal of Context” (Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities 2022), a co-authored “Faithful Execution and Article II” (Harvard Law Review 2019 with Andrew Kent and Ethan Leib), “The Indecisions of 1789” (forthcoming Penn. Law Review), and “The Creation of the Department of Justice,” (Stanford Law Review 2014). The second book project is “The Rise of the Prosecutor Politicians: Race, War, and Mass Incarceration,” focusing on California Governor Earl Warren, his presidential running mate Thomas Dewey, the Kennedys, World War II and the Cold War, the war on crime, the growth of prosecutorial power, and its emergence as a stepping stone to electoral power for ambitious politicians in the mid-twentieth century.

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