News · Press Release


“The DCCC has continued to expand what is likely the largest battlefield in history. Democrats are firmly on offense for a variety of reasons, including incredible candidate recruitment, record-breaking fundraising, a historically unpopular Republican agenda, and extensive district level polling showing Democrats already beating or in close competition with their opponents. We have a long way to go and won’t take anything for granted, but are on track to take back the House in November.”

– DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján


  • Largest Battlefield in a Decade:
    • The DCCC has expanded the House battlefield to over 100 districts, the largest in at least a decade. The latest additions include AK-AL, MD-01, NJ-04 OH-15, SC-05, TX-31, and WI-07.
  • Costly Republican Retirements:
    • Republicans are also on pace for a potentially historic number of retirements. But more importantly, many of the retirements are significant for the path to 24:
      • Republicans with significant cash-on-hand advantages and well-established brands have retired, creating open seats often in expensive media markets. These retirements weren’t part of the NRCC’s plan or budgets and these open seats will further spread Republicans thin and force them to make tough decisions about who to defend and who to let go.
      • Retirements have left open six districts that Clinton carried in 2016. Since 1990, the president’s party has not successfully defended any open House seat that the President lost two years earlier (0/20).
      • Open seats present huge pickup opportunities beyond the districts that Clinton carried. Over the last three midterm cycles, the president’s party dropped 22 points off their congressional margin in open seats.


  • Candidates with Records of Service:
    • 40 veterans, three former CIA operatives, medical professionals, business owners and job-creators, nonprofit executives, and teachers with deep records of service to their communities are already providing a strong contrast to establishment Republicans.
    • Elected officials whose bipartisan records and independent profiles have put tough districts into play: Clarke Tucker (AR-02), Brendan Kelly (IL-12), Jim Gray (KY-06), Paul Davis (KS-02), Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02), Aftab Pureval (OH-01), Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), and Ben McAdams (UT-04).
  • Surge of Women Running for Congress:
    • According to the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics, Democratic women likely challenging House incumbents has increased more than 300% since the 2016 cycle.
    • The vast majority of the women running for Congress are Democrats. For example, 50% of the candidates in the DCCC’s Red to Blue program are women: Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Abby Finkenauer (IA-01), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Angie Craig (MN-02), Kathy Manning (NC-13), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Susie Lee (NV-03) and Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06).


  • Democratic Challengers Out-Raising GOP Incumbents:
    • From the start of the cycle, the DCCC expanded staff capacity to focus on training and supporting candidates and campaigns to ensure that our incredible recruits had the resources necessary to tell their stories. The amount that candidates have raised, particularly from small-dollar donations, did not happen by mistake.
      • There are at least 145 Democratic candidates who have raised $100,000, which is a huge increase compared to past midterm cycles.
      • In the 4th quarter of 2017, 54 Democratic challengers out-raised 43 Republican incumbents. This is a marked increase from the 3rd quarter of 2017, when 35 Republican incumbents were out-raised.
  • DCCC Outpacing the NRCC:
    • The DCCC has outraised the NRCC eight months in a row (May-Dec) and by a whopping $20M in 2017.
      • Immediately after President Trump’s election, the DCCC made aggressive early investments in online fundraising despite the committee being in debt.
      • Of the $105M total raised in 2017, $42.61M came from online donations and the DCCC has received donations from over 290,000 first time donors.
      • To be clear: Democrats will be out-spent in the midterms. Democratic candidates face an unprecedented amount of Republican outside money, including potentially hundreds of millions of dollars from the Congressional Leadership Fund and the Koch Brothers.


  • March into ’18:
    • The DCCC made unprecedentedly aggressive investments in organizing, putting more staff in more districts earlier than ever before.
      • In February 2017, after the Women’s March, the DCCC launched March into ’18 in 20 districts. In October 2017, the DCCC announced a large expansion of the national field program, including increasing on-the-ground and online organizing capacity.
      • There are currently 45 March into ’18 organizers deployed in 45-targeted districts. By comparison, last cycle the DCCC did not have organizers on the ground until February 2016.
    • To date, the March into ’18 accountability project has been responsible for more than 2,415 earned media stories, 9,455 activists identified, and 2,421 precinct captains recruited.
    • Organizers have built 2,642 local partnerships with groups including SwingLeft, Indivisible, Democratic clubs, and many other groups that have arisen since Trump’s election.
  • Expanding Field Program:
    • By Election Day 2018, we aim to deploy 33% more field staff than were deployed by Election Day 2016.
    • The DCCC is building out aggressive voter registration in 33 districts.
    • For the first time ever, the DCCC opened an Orange County office housing the entire western states staff.


  • Healthcare Front and Center in 2018:
    • According to monthly internal DCCC polling, Democrats in Congress have a massive 28-point advantage over Republicans in Congress on the issue of healthcare. This represents a 17-point shift from September through January.
      • A contributing factor to this lack of trust for Republicans is their passage of a law in December 2017 that will gut the Affordable Care Act and raise premiums.
    • The Affordable Care Act is now more popular than ever and voters will hold Republicans accountable for future increases in the cost of their healthcare.
    • Healthcare continues to register as a top motivating factor for voters heading into the midterms.
  • Tax Scam Damaged GOP Brand:
    • On the issue of tax reform, Democrats in Congress maintain a 6-point advantage over Republicans in Congress as of January, marking a 10-point shift from September. On taxes and government spending more broadly, Democrats in Congress have a similar 7-point advantage.
    • Poll after poll has shown that voters know the wealthy and big corporations will benefit the most from this scam, not the middle-class.
    • The cap on the SALT deduction targets the suburban voters who overwhelmingly reside in highly competitive House districts, further exposing the political perils of their legislation.


  • History Favors Democrats:
    • Since World War II, the president’s party has lost an average of 26 seats in the midterms. Since 1970, the average loss is 33 seats when the President’s job approval is below 50%.
  • Generic Ballot, Enthusiasm Gap, District Polling:
    • Throughout the 2018 cycle, the generic ballot trends have consistently favored Democrats. In early February of this year, Marist had the Democrats’ advantage on the generic ballot at +11D and Quinnipiac had it at +9D.
    • In 2017 and 2018, Marist has conducted 9 polls with an average generic ballot at +9D and Quinnipiac’s 15 polls in that time average +12.7D, showing that the long-term trends are stable and very favorable to Democrats.
    • Moreover, district and state level polling continues to show that a large number of specific Republicans are vulnerable.
      • Reminder: In June of last year, before anyone was talking about a massive generic shift towards Democrats, the DCCC released a batch of district-specific polls showing the house generic extremely competitive in a huge number of districts. We also released district polls where Republicans were already losing in named head-to-head match-ups, or leading by small margins. Ask us for details!
    • Polls using a likely voter screen are showing a growing enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans.
      • A recent ABC News/ Washington Post poll found that the generic ballot across ALL Republican-held districts is only R +6, indicating that the districts actually on the House battlefield are in much worse shape for Republicans.
    • DCCC Trump job performance polling across the battlefield:
      • Clinton Districts (all 23 districts): Average job performance: 37/54
      • GOP-Held Open Districts (11 districts): Average job performance: 41/52
      • Trump Districts (60+ districts): Average job performance: 41/52
    • Paul Ryan has far worse job approval and favorability numbers than Trump in competitive districts. Public and internal polling has confirmed repeatedly that his numbers have plummeted since the start of 2017, and remain very low.
    • Further, DCCC polling shows that far more voters would prefer Democrats who provide a check and balance on Trump than Republicans who work with Trump. This is a key metric for the midterms.

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