There is a lot of time between now and the November 2018 midterm elections. That said, I read an interesting article that is making me wonder what a safe seat looks like, at least in Congress, in 2018.
In Politico’s GOP Breaks the Glass as House Outlook Darkens, the author talks about how back in 2010, when the GOP won a ton of seats both in Congress and in state legislatures, the Democrats hadn’t realized that the wave building against them was also endangering safe incumbent seats. Well, that is happening again now but in reverse.
Republican strategists see the wave building, see the enthusiasm that the Democrats have, and are sounding the alarm that Republican candidates must get serious about fundraising and campaigning. They believe that way too many incumbent Republicans, especially those who were voted into office in 2010 and haven’t really had to work very hard to get re-elected, are not doing nearly enough to beat back any Democratic challengers.
As examples, the article points to the current special election campaign underway in Arizona District 8 which went for Trump +21 in 2016. The Republican should easily win this race, but the GOP is taking no chances. They are pouring money into the race, Paul Ryan recently held a fundraiser for the race, and GOP House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is flying out to the district to campaign for the GOP candidate. (You should check out this great piece about the Democratic candidate Hiral Tipirneni from my friend Nick Knudsen — she is really exciting the Democrats in that district who are volunteering in droves for her.)
The GOP is taking no chances, but that’s going to take a lot of money. GOP leadership is imploring their members to fundraise more. From Politico: “National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) met one-on-one with all 43 House Republicans who were outraised by Democratic opponents during the fourth quarter of 2017.”
But guess what. Their fundraising continues to be lackluster, to say the least. Just today, Cook Political Report reported that not only did Democrats outraise Republican incumbents in 58 seats, but that it was so bad in 7 districts that they changed the race ratings in favor of the Democrats. Check out the full list of those districts, especially if one of them is your congressional district.
So, do keep in mind that the GOP doesn’t think that even their Safe Republican-rated seats are all that safe, and will pour money into protecting those seats. This election cycle, EVERY seat is should be a contest. If there ever was a year to get in the fight even in those reliably red districts, this would be the year. Your efforts can make the #BlueWave crash hard.