Republicans on the cusp of House victory – with blue grass deciding its size

Polls tightened in late October, as expected, DCCC executive director Tim Persico recapped on the call. But, he argued, the party’s candidates remained neck and neck and could hold a majority if key races fight their way through on Tuesday.

It’s unclear how many of Tuesday’s home races — from Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley suburbs to Virginia Beach’s military stronghold to Connecticut’s farm towns — will crash for Republicans.

It’s not just President Joe Biden’s weak endorsement that’s boosting the GOP: Cash-rich Republican super PACs have dumped hundreds of millions of dollars on vanishing Democrats in Orange County, California, in northern Maine. Democrats have been scrambling to close the gap, focusing for much of the fall on hoarding more donor dollars.

And in recent weeks, a good chunk of those GOP ad dollars have focused on one particularly potent attack: fears of rising crime.

“When you talk to ordinary Oregonians, the fact is they’re just afraid to go downtown. They don’t want to walk down the street with their kids,” said GOP candidate Lori Chavez-DeRemer, a former mayor of suburban Portland, Oregon, who is now able to return a seat there.

The redistricting also squeezed Democrats, who controlled the process in far fewer states than the GOP. In the states where they drew the maps, like Maryland and New York, Democrats were forced to watch state judges dismiss them as inappropriate partisan gerrymanders while their counterparts in Florida and Ohio saw their maps tinted red intact.

But the Democrats have created another obstacle for themselves by drawing maps that will serve them for the next decade, not to carry them through a year of GOP wavering. That meant states like Oregon and Nevada each had three districts that Biden carried with high single-digit margins in 2020. Democrats now risk losing those six seats to Republicans on Tuesday, but would be favored to win them back. all in a better national environment.

“The bottom line is that a structural advantage they had is gone,” said Kelly Ward Burton, chairwoman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. “These become seats that we recover right away, especially in a presidential year.”

The top House Democrats have long called themselves these midterm underdogs; nearly every president since World War II has lost seats two years after taking office. Not to mention the overheating economy, lingering pandemic and war in Europe that Biden faces.

While Biden and congressional Democrats were ultimately successful in pushing through more of his agenda than expected, the party has often struggled to communicate how these laws — from a sweeping pandemic relief package to massive infrastructure investments – helped voters in real time.

Polls close at 7 p.m. ET in Virginia and part of Indiana, home to at least three competitive home races that could offer an early sign of GOP dominance. Republicans are seeking to oust the Democratic representative. Elaine Luria in Virginia Beach, Rep. Abigail Spanberger in Central Virginia and Rep. Frank Mrvan in northwestern Indiana.

Pennsylvania, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Michigan, Kansas and Texas — all with one or more marquee races — will close their polls at 8 p.m. New York, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona will join them the next hour.

Washington state and California are expected to be among those unlikely to see competitive House races called on election night.

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