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MEMO: DCCC Expands Offensive Battlefield to 39 Districts

DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos released the following statement:

“Democrats started the 2020 cycle by going on offense and after outworking and outperforming Washington Republicans over the last eight months we’re pushing even further into Republican held territory.”


From:            Kory Kozloski, DCCC Political Director

Date:             August 15, 2019

Subject:         DCCC Expands Offensive Battlefield to 39 Districts

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee began the 2020 election cycle by going on offense, laying out the 33 districts it would target to flip from red to blue. In the eight months since, House Democrats have met or exceeded every metric in the early phase of House races in 2020: Democrats, from Frontline Members to the DCCC, have blown away fundraising norms; top-tier candidates have launched in 29 of the previously 33 targeted districts; and nearly 60 March Forward field managers are already on the ground holding Republicans accountable in key communities across the country.

In contrast, Republicans path to a House majority is getting longer and narrower by the day: they have faced a growing “wave” of retirements, from the “TEXODUS” to House Republicans’ recruitment chair; and the NRCC has been outraised in every single month of 2019. On top of those obstacles, the national political environment continues to improve for Democrats, who consistently hold doubledigit leads in the generic Congressional ballot.

Through it all, Washington Republicans’ increasingly unpopular records on health care repeal and the GOP tax handout to the wealthiest Americans, paid for by the middle class, hang over them like a specter they cannot escape.

Building on the momentum generated since the earliest days of the 2020 election cycle, Democrats are pushing further into Republican-held territory and adding the following districts to the DCCC’s offensive battlefield: FL-16, IA-02, MI-03, MT-AL, OH-12, and VA-05.


  • In 2018, the Democratic House candidate earned 45.4% of the vote, the strongest performance for a Democrat since Florida’s redistricting in 2012, and a 5.2-point improvement on 2016.
  • The district is 32% college educated — outpacing the statewide numbers by 11% — and is almost 90% suburban, a major factor as Republicans struggle to manage a nationwide exodus of suburban voters from the Republican party.


  • The district has been in Democratic hands since 2007, withstanding the Republican waves in 2010 and 2014. In 2018, Congressman Dave Loebsack won 56.3% of the major party vote, the strongest performance of any Democratic House candidate in Iowa.
  • While President Trump carried the district in 2016, he earned below 49% of the vote. Every other Democratic presidential candidate since 2000 has won the district, and Obama won 56.6% of the major party vote in 2012. Additionally, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Fred Hubbell carried the district with 52% of the major party vote in 2018.


  • With Rep. Justin Amash’s abandonment of the Republican Party, a three-way race with two Republican-leaning candidates seems increasingly likely. The Cook Political Report rates MI-03 a toss-up.
  • In 2018, the Democratic House candidate earned 43.2% of the total vote, more than enough to beat a split Republican vote.
  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer nearly won the district in 2018, earning 49.1% of the major party vote. President Obama carried MI-03 in 2008, winning 50.4%.


  • Greg Gianforte has filed to run yet again for Governor of Montana in 2020, which would make MT-AL an open seat.
  • Democrats have performed well in recent House elections, earning 47% of the major party vote in the 2017 congressional special election and 48% in the 2018 midterms.
  • Since 2006, Democrats in Montana have only lost one Senate election and have won every gubernatorial race. In 2016, Governor Steve Bullock won re-election with 52% of the major party vote even as Trump surpassed 60%, and in 2018, Senator Jon Tester earned 50.3% of the total vote.


  • Democrats have recently gotten much more competitive in this district, winning 49% of the major party vote in the 2018 special House election and 48% in the November general. Previously, no Democratic candidate for Congress had reached more than 37% of the vote in OH-12 since 2008.
  • In 2018, Senator Sherrod Brown earned 51.4% of the vote, becoming the first statewide Democratic candidate to carry the district since 2006.
  • 40% of the district’s residents have college degrees, making it the most educated district in Ohio, and 9 points more college-educated than the nation as a whole.


  • Democratic House candidates continue to improve in this district as the 2018 Democratic nominee earned 47% of the major party vote, better than any Democratic candidate since 2008 and 5 points better than the 2016 candidate.
  • Senator Tim Kaine nearly carried this district, winning 49% of the major party vote.



  • The DCCC has raised $61.7 million dollars through Q2 of 2019, compared to the NRCC’s $44.5 million – a $17.2 million advantage.
  • The DCCC has $11 million more cash on hand than it did at this point in 2015, the last presidential cycle.
  • Five Democratic challenger campaigns have already outraised GOP incumbents.
  • At the end of Q2, 17 Frontline Members had either over $1 million cash on hand or were within $50k of the $1,000,000 mark.
  • At the end of Q2 2019, Democratic Frontline Members had over $38 million on hand.


  • 12 Republicans have retired in comparison to just 3 Democrats.
  • Democrats have top-tier recruits who have raised over $100k in 28 of their 39 offensive districts.
  • At least 8 potentially top-tier Republican recruits have declined to run against Frontline Democrats.
  • In 28 of the 39 districts Democrats are targeting, there is a Democratic candidate who has raised over 100k (72%). In comparison, of the 55 districts Republicans are targeting, just 24 of those districts have a Republican who’s raised over 100k (43%).

March Forward: Early Aggressive Field Investment

  • Beginning in March, the DCCC has put 54 Field Managers on the ground in 29 states.
  • DCCC Field Managers have met with over 4,250 volunteers.
  • DCCC Field Managers have organized over 375 events.


AZ-06 – Dave Schweikert NC-13 – Ted Budd
CA-22 – Devin Nunes NE-02 – Don Bacon
CA-50 – Duncan Hunter NY-01 – Lee Zeldin
CO-03 – Scott Tipton NY-02 – Peter King
FL-15 – Ross Spano NY-24 – John Katko
FL-16 – Vern Buchanan NY-27 – Chris Collins
FL-18 – Brian Mast OH-01 – Steve Chabot
GA-07 – OPEN OH-12 – Troy Balderson
IA-02 – OPEN PA-01 – Brian Fitzpatrick
IA-04 – Steve King PA-10 – Scott Perry
IL-13 – Rodney Davis PA-16 – Mike Kelly
IN-05 – OPEN TX-10 – Mike McCaul
KY-06 – Andy Barr TX-21 – Chip Roy
MI-03 – Justin Amash TX-22 – OPEN
MI-06 – Fred Upton TX-23 – OPEN
MN-01 – Jim Hagedorn TX-24 – OPEN
MO-02 – Ann Wagner TX-31 – John Carter
MT-AL – OPEN VA-05 – Denver Riggleman
NC-02 – George Holding WA-03 – Jaime Herrera Beutler
NC-09 – OPEN


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