6 Key 2018 Midterm House Races to Watch

As the 2018 midterms arrive Tuesday, many experts are predicting that the Democrats are likely to regain control of the 435-seat House of Representatives.

The ABC-owned political polling analysis website FiveThirtyEight gives Democrats a six-out-of-seven chance at retaking control of the lower chamber.

While reports have indicated that Republicans are likely to maintain control of the Senate, Republicans only hold a 23-seat majority in the House.

David Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report believes that Democrats are “poised” to pick up anywhere between “25 and 40 seats.”

The Cook Political Report also lists 29 House races as “toss-ups” with only one of those races being an office currently held by a Democrat.

All this comes as statistics show that incumbents in the House tend to win their elections at a rate that often exceeds 90 percent. In 2016, House elections had a 97 percent incumbency rating.

With all 435 House seats up for grabs, the following pages contain six key House races to watch on Nov. 6.

1. California’s 48th

There is an effort in the liberal state of California to defeat Republican members of Congress in California’s traditionally conservative districts.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee earlier this year released a list of 61 Republican seats (that has since been expanded) that it was looking to overturn and seven of them were from California.

One of the names on that list was one of President Donald Trump’s biggest supporters in the lower chamber, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a 71-year-old conservative who represents California’s 48th District based in Orange County.

Rohrabacher is known for his stances against illegal immigration and has taken some heat for his support for better U.S. relations with Russia and President Vladimir Putin.

Rohrabacher is going up against Democrat businessman Harley Rouda.

According to a Monmouth University poll of likely voters, Rohrabacher has a 2-point edge over Rouda in a standard midterm election. However, Rouda has a 2-percentage-point edge over Rohrabacher in a “Democratic Surge” election.

Rouda is a first-time candidate, while Rohrabacher has a lifetime 75 percent score with the conservative lobbying group Heritage Action. Rohrabacher has a 89 percent score from the social conservative lobbying organization Family Research Council Action during the first session of the current Congress.

2. Florida’s 27th

With Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen not seeking re-election, President Bill Clinton’s former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala and Republican Spanish-language TV anchor Maria Elvira Salazar are battling it out for the seat.

Salazar, a Miami-born daughter of Cuban political refugees who has worked for CNN Español and Univision, professes to be a Christian mother who “values and nurtures all life from birth to natural death.”

Salazar promises to oppose tax funding for late-term abortions and also oppose a “culture of death.”

“My votes will consistently protect life, and I will work to ensure that abortions become the exception, not the rule,” she states on her website.

A New York Times/Siena College poll of 542 likely voters from October (with a 5-percentage-point margin or error) gives Shalala a 7-point advantage. An October Mason Dixon poll of 625 likely voters (with a 4-point margin of error) showed Salazar with a 2-point advantage.

Earlier this month, the National Republican Congressional Committee redirected $1.5 million to Florida’s 27th district to aid Salazar in the race.

3. Colorado’s 6th

While the NRCC has directed more funding to Florida’s 27th, it has cut funding this month that was meant to help Colorado Republican Rep. Mike Coffman in his re-election campaign in Colorado’s 6th, a sign that the party may have given up on his race.

Coffman, who has served in Congress since 2009, is running against well-funded Democrat challenger Jason Crow in a district that was won by Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton by 10 points.

In the 2012 election, Coffman nearly lost his seat but was able to edge out his Democrat challenger by just over two points. In 2016, Coffman won re-election by eight points. However, the polling numbers don’t look great for Coffman and Real Clear Politics has this race listed as “leans Dem” as of Thursday evening.

An October NYT Upshot/Siena College poll gives Crow a 9-point advantage after a September NYT Upshot/Siena College poll also showed Crow with an 11-point advantage.

A recent TargetPoint poll of 385 likely voters gives Crow a 5-point advantage. A FiveThirtyEight overview of polling on the race shows that all but one poll gives the advantage to Crow over Coffman.

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Source: Christian Post