Apr 4, 2023 - Politics & Policy

House Dems target Trump districts for ambitious 2024 push

DCCC’s “blue sky” targets in 2024
Data: Dave's Redistricting Atlas, Daily Kos, New York Times; Table: Simran Parwani/Axios

House Democrats' campaign arm is homing in on districts won by former President Trump in its efforts to expand the 2024 House map.

Why it matters: The move builds on the 19 districts targeted by House Dems' primary super PAC, including by adding a half dozen GOP incumbents it sees as particularly weak or vulnerable despite holding safer districts.

  • The list from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), first reported by NBC News, includes 31 GOP-held seats and two being vacated by Reps. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) and Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.).
  • On top of the seats targeted by House Majority PAC, most of which were won by President Biden in 2020, the DCCC's list includes additional targets in states where Republicans did abnormally well in 2022, such as Florida and California.

Zoom in: Among the targets are Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) and Scott Perry (R-Pa.), the chair of the right-wing Freed Caucus. All three participated in the right-wing revolt during the speaker election in January.

What we're watching: Democrats are banking on a victory in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election on Tuesday, which will determine the ideological makeup of the state's top judicial body.

  • Janet Protasiewicz, the liberal candidate, wants to re-adjudicate Wisconsin's U.S. House map – which gave Republicans 6 out of 8 seats despite statewide elections being highly competitive.
  • Democrats view Rep. Bryan Steil's (R-Wisc.) district as an opportunity. It was formerly represented by Speaker Paul Ryan and narrowly won by Trump in 2020

What we're hearing: Candidate quality is at the center of many of these choices, a Democratic source explained, pointing to the hardline views of Perry, Boebert and others on the list.

  • The source noted that Steil, a relative moderate, signed onto a probe into Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg in his capacity as House Administration Committee chair.
  • Top-of-the-ticket dynamics could boost Democrats in some states, the source said – especially Montana, where popular Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) is running for reelection.

The other side: A Republican strategist working on House races cast Perry, Zinke, Luna and Reps. Miller Meeks (R-Iowa) and Maria Salazar (R-Fla.) as unrealistic targets for Democrats.

  • But Van Orden is more realistic, they said, while Steil only makes sense if Protasiewicz wins.
  • The strategist argued that Democrats' main goal with the list appeared to be presenting an ambitious number.
  • National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Jack Pandol told Axios, "Why would voters change their minds [post-2022] after Democrats spent their time in the minority coddling violent criminals and opposing relief?"
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