2018 Campaign

Democrats Hold 9-Point Lead In Generic Ballot

A new CNN/ORC poll finds 50% of American voters would vote for the Democratic candidate for Congress while 41% would choose the Republican candidate if the election were held today.

“A lead that large, this far out, is not necessarily predictive, however — although it approaches the edge Democrats held early on in the 2006 election cycle when they won control of the House, it is also similar to their advantage early on in the 2010 cycle, which ended with a Republican takeover of the chamber.”

Democrats Head to Campaign School

NBC News: “If an anti-Donald Trump wave is coming, House Democrats want to be ready to catch it. So they’re sending hundreds of operatives to school in a massive training operation that they say is bigger and starting earlier than anything the party has attempted before. Over 1,300 aspiring campaign managers, field directors, and finance chiefs have so far enrolled in what the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is calling ‘DCCC-University.’”

“Sessions are scheduled in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Raleigh, North Carolina in coming weeks, as well as online, open to anyone who applies.”

GOP Worried Trump Will Drag Down 2018 Ticket

“Republicans say President Donald Trump needs to turn things around fast — or the GOP could pay dearly in 2018,” Politico reports.

“With the party preparing to defend its congressional majorities in next year’s midterms, senior Republicans are expressing early concern about Trump’s lack of legislative accomplishments, his record-low approval ratings, and the overall dysfunction that’s gripped his administration.”

Democratic Recruitment Helped by Anti-Trump Wave

“A wave of first-time candidates eager to fight President Trump and his young administration plan to challenge House Republican incumbents, giving Democratic Party leaders hope that they can capi­tal­ize on the anger and intensity at grass-roots protests and town hall meetings across the country this year,” the Washington Post reports.

“At least 15 declared candidates or contenders on the verge of announcing have emerged in districts that Democrats must win to take back the House, including in several districts where the party did not seriously compete in 2014 or 2016, according to party officials.”

Democrats Hold Big Enthusiasm Edge for 2018

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds Democrats lead the generic congressional ballot by 47% to 41%.

“But what’s more notable is the enthusiasm imbalance. 63% of Democrats say they’re ‘very excited’ about voting in the 2018 election, compared to only 52% of Republicans who express that sentiment. When you look at the 2018 House picture just among the voters most excited about turning out next year, the lead for Democrats grows to 19 points at 57-38. Republican leaning voters are comparatively disengaged, with the GOP holding advantages only among voters who are ‘somewhat excited’ (48-40) and ‘not that excited’ (46-31).”

GOP Plays Defense In Governor’s Races

Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “Those looking for electoral drama in the 2018 cycle should pay attention to the 38 gubernatorial races being held this year and next. In our initial ratings of these contests, more than half of them — 20 of 38 — start in the competitive Toss-up or Leans Republican/Democratic categories. That includes a whopping 10 Toss-ups: five of those are currently controlled by Republicans, four by Democrats, and one by an independent (Bill Walker of Alaska).”

“Contributing to this slew of competitive ratings is the fact that so many of the governorships contested over the next year and a half are open: At least roughly half of them will not feature an incumbent, and an additional three (Alabama, Iowa, and South Carolina) will or are likely to feature an unelected incumbent seeking a first elected term.”

Chaffetz Will Not Seek Re-Election

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) will not seek re-election in 2018, two sources who have been informed of his decision tell BuzzFeed News.

His statement on Facebook: “For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives. I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins. I have the full support of Speaker Ryan to continue as Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. That said, I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector.”

Vulnerable Senate Democrats See Fundraising Surge

“Many vulnerable Senate Democrats saw their campaign donations soar during the first three months of the year, as they raced to demonstrate early financial strength ahead of the 2018 battle for the Senate,” USA Today reports.

“The 10 Democratic incumbents up for re-election in states carried by President Trump collectively raised nearly $19 million between Jan. 1 and March 31, more than twice what they collected during the comparable period of their last Senate campaigns.”

Outside Group Backs McCaskill with Ads

“A nonprofit controlled by allies of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is spending $500,000 on radio ads backing Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, an early cash injection bucking up one of the most vulnerable Democrats facing reelection in 2018,” Politico reports.

“Majority Forward is paying for the ads, which will air statewide over the next four weeks. Majority Forward is affiliated with Senate Majority PAC, the main super PAC that supports Senate Democrats. The ads are the first from either group aimed at the 2018 elections, when 10 Senate Democrats are up for reelection in states President Donald Trump carried last fall.”