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Democrats Identify Vulnerable Members for 2018
DCCC names 19 incumbents to Frontline Program

New Hampshire Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, chairwoman of the DCCC’s Frontline Program, is herself a Frontline member heading into 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Monday is naming 19 members to the Frontline Program for its most vulnerable incumbents in 2018.

The initial Frontline roster, obtained first by Roll Call, is about half freshman members. Eight members won in districts President Donald Trump carried last fall. And all of them, save for one, are National Republican Congressional Committee initial targets.

NRCC Goes After Blue-Collar Districts in 2018
GOP campaign arm releases list of 36 initial targets

Rep. Tim Walz speaks with guests during a campaign event in Duluth for fellow Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan last fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee’s initial list of offensive targets for 2018 includes 36 Democrat-held districts, many in blue-collar areas of the country.

If Democrats are targeting the well-educated suburbs (see New Jersey’s 11th District, for example), where Donald Trump either barely won or underperformed, Republicans are going after many rural districts where Hillary Clinton underperformed the congressional ticket. 

New Member: Democrat O'Halleran Replaces Kirkpatrick in Arizona’s 1st District
Kirkpatrick vacated her House seat to run for the Senate

Democrat Tom O'Halleran will replace Anne Kirkpatrick in Congress. (Photo courtesy Tom O'Halleran Facebook page)

Democrat Tom O’Halleran will defeat Republican Paul Babeu in Arizona’s 1st District, The Associated Press projects. 

O’Halleran led Babeu 50 percent to 44 percent with 62 percent of precincts reporting. 

Don't Blame Trump for These Imperiled Republicans
Some down-ballot Republicans are in tough spots because of faults of their own

Democrats have seized on comments New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett made about his opposition to gay candidates. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Not all down-ballot Republicans can blame Trump for making their elections in typically red districts competitive. A few of them have themselves to blame.

Chief among them is New Jersey’s Scott Garrett. His 5th District seat wouldn’t normally be a top Democratic target, but Democrats have spent millions trying to unseat the seven-term Republican this year. They’re going after his 2015 comments about not paying his dues to the National Republican Congressional Committee to protest the committee’s support for gay candidates. 

Ratings Change: 5 House Races Shift Toward Democrats
But Democrats are still waiting for wave required to win majority

The good news for Republicans is that the bottom hasn’t fallen out from underneath their down-ballot candidates. The bad news is that there are still nearly three weeks left before Election Day, and 24 hours in each day for Donald Trump to torpedo the party’s chances of holding the House.

District-level polling after the release of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” video and the second debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton showed some vulnerability for Republicans, particularly in suburban districts. But we didn’t see a widespread cratering of GOP candidates in the competitive districts or evidence that the number of competitive seats is increasing dramatically.

Ratings Changes in 12 Competitive House Races
6 races shift toward Democrats but 6 improve for Republicans

Iowa Rep. David Young's' re-election contest in the state's 3rd District moves from Tossup to Tilts Republican, according to The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call's latest race rating. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With five weeks to go before Election Day, Democrats are still waiting for Donald Trump to create the nationwide swell that would be necessary to put the Republicans’ House majority into play. House races are often late to engage but, thus far, the developments have been a mixed bag for Democrats, keeping sizable gains out of reach.

The lack of vulnerable Democrats — and the resiliency of many Republican incumbents in the face of an unpopular presidential nominee — could amount to a historic election in the House, but not in the way one might think. The cycle could produce the fewest number of House seats to flip party control in 60 years.

Democrats and Republicans Optimistic About Hot Arizona House Races
Internal polls show Democrats holding 1st and GOP holding 2nd District

Arizona Rep. Martha McSally holds a 19-point lead over Democratic challenger Matt Heinz according to a new campaign internal poll. She won her seat by just 167 votes two years ago. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New internal polls of Arizona's competitive House races suggest the state could be on track to maintain the delegation's current 5-4 partisan split. 

A Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee poll released Wednesday gave Democrat Tom O'Halleran a 45 percent to 38 percent lead over Republican Paul Babeu in the tossup 1st District. Current Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick is running for Senate. 

Field Set in Arizona's Tossup House District
Republican-turned-Democrat to face off against scandal-plagued Republican

Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Arizona, seen here at a Capitol news conference in 2010 with Sen. John McCain, won the Republican primary for the state's 1st District Tuesday. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated Sept. 4 | In Arizona's tossup 1st District, Democrat Tom O'Halleran, a former Republican state senator, will face off against Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu in November.

Babeu easily beat five other Republicans in the primary in this eastern Arizona district, but he brings years of baggage to the race.